Becoming a Dog Trainer
Training dogs is not a piece of cake but can definitely be a very fulfilling job if you do it well. It might come up as a hobby, you might buy your own dog and decide to train him. Once you have all the info you need to know on the subject, you start working on your dog and everything is going great. He learns tricks, he listens to you, other people praise you and you get to wonder if you could do this for a living.
Knowing how to teach a dog some tricks could be a good base for becoming a dog trainer, but it is for sure not enough.
First of all, you need to know that you should get a certification. This means following a course and taking an exam as well. A good program will not only give you the basics but take you even deeper into the following: the history of dog training, dog behavior, animal learning and also a topic where you learn how to design you own classes.
Like any good training program, make sure that the one you choose gives you theoretical information but also the opportunity to practice on various types of dogs. Also, just a few days of training yourself will not be enough. Of course your skills will also improve with time and experience, but make sure that you get as much information as you can from your course.
Also, a good opportunity to learn is being an apprentice for a more experienced dog trainer. Find a mentor that is willing to teach you what his experience has taught him, is open minded, eager to learn even more and uses humane training methods.
Another opportunity to deal with plenty of dog breeds, personalities and difficult cases is to volunteer with an animal shelter. Here you will find scared dogs, aggressive ones and many other types of dogs that will allow you to learn a lot about how to handle more difficult situations.
Once you are well prepared, you can start to think if you want to be self-employed or get hired by an existing business.
If you choose to be self-employed, you need to think about the expenses that this job implies. You might need a training room, unless you train the dogs at their owner?s house. Next, think about buying treats, a clicker, a collar, or anything else you might want to use during the trainings.
In the meantime, think about your regular expenses, like rent, utilities, groceries, and also extra money for going out or other activities you enjoy. After doing so, try to estimate how much you will need to charge for training one dog.
When you advertise for your business, make sure you are transparent and do not raise your client?s expectations higher than they should be. If you are very good in house training a dog, then start by offering this service and then start adding new services.
Even if you have a hard time once in a while, being a dog trainer will bring you a lot of satisfaction for sure, so it is worth the time and investment.