Many dog lovers consider making dog training a career. Professional dog training can be a rewarding job. You will get to spend your days surrounded by dogs and help people and their pets co-exist without any problems.
Most of the time, people contact dog trainers only when they have problems. This means you may have to work with dogs with separation anxiety or already have a set of habits formed. Training such dogs can be quite challenging. Having prior dog training experience or some structured education in dog training can help. You can check out our canine training courses at Ridgeside K9 Ohio if you are interested in making dog training a career.
While you may be interested in becoming a dog trainer, there are certain things you need to be aware of before taking this up. Here are some tips to become a professional dog trainer:
Begin With Training Your Own Dog
The first step to becoming a certified dog trainer is to train your own pet. If you don’t own a pet, see if you can spend time with a friend’s or family member’s pet. It is important to spend time with the dog so that you build a training routine with it. Don’t just teach it basics. Teach the dog advanced skills as well.
If possible, take up a dog sport with your pet so that you can get deeper into the technical aspects of training like timing, reward placement, and rate of reinforcement. The idea is to get used to different scenarios because your future clients can need help with different dogs and behaviors. All the practice you get on your own pet will help you improve your skills as a dog trainer.
Practice With Other Dogs As Well
Training your own dog will give you the chance to hone your skills as a trainer, but there is a sense of familiarity with your dog that will let you get away with mistakes. As such, dropping treats or accidentally rewarding the dog for wrong behavior won’t make much of a difference. However, this may not be the case with your clients. You must know multiple methods of training dogs.
One of the best ways to improve your dog training skills is to work with dogs that are not your own or those you are not very familiar with. If possible, you can contact local shelters and request them if you can teach the dogs there. One of the best ways to learn how to become a dog trainer is to apprentice with other professional dog trainers. This will allow you to work with more dogs and a chance to learn from a professional. The trainer will also be able to monitor you and correct any of your mistakes.
Train Other People to Train Their Pets
The important thing about dog training is that most trainers don’t train dogs. Instead, they train people how to train their dogs themselves. This means a dog trainer should be good with people skills. You should teach your clients to handle their pets, teach them new skills, and motivate them to learn new training techniques. Even with this aspect of dog training, you can work with your friends and family initially till you have mastered the art of dog training.
While you can learn to train different types of dogs, dog training is based on the science of animal behavior. Hence, a significant part of learning to become a dog trainer includes educating yourself and reading different material about dog training. It is important to learn and understand the different techniques involved in dog training.
You will not solve your clients’ problems if you cannot adapt based on the situation. Find schools or training institutes where you can learn techniques that are based on science. There are different types of courses for dog training. You could take up an online course, attend in-person workshops or seminars, or take up apprenticeships. How you choose to learn will depend on the course, the cost, location, and duration.
Get Certified to Be a Professional Dog Trainer
Once you have theoretical and practical knowledge about dog training, you can get your dog training skills validated through a certification. Getting the certification will prove to your clients that you have been tested and passed strict dog training standards.