A career in dog training can be very rewarding and lucrative if you go into it with the knowledge and respect required for a field of work that involves animals and people.
Many individuals who have considered or started a career in dog training are surprised by how people-based the work can be. When thinking about dog training they tend to focus on the requirements of the job that deal with the dogs and forget about the fact that the owners and handlers need to be trained as well.
Ideal candidates for this kind of work are at ease around animals and people. They can communicate easily and have more patience than the average person. They tend to be calm and positive people with a quiet confidence.
People who have successful careers as dog trainers are flexible and creative with all types and breeds and personalities of dogs. They have an inherit understanding of the unique nature of each animal. They know what will be required individually for successful training.
They also must be able to communicate effectively with owners and handlers, who will ultimately be responsible for the animal once training has completed. Being able to explain the same information in different ways is an important talent when dealing with trainers and owners.
There are two basic types of dog training to consider… pet training and service dog training. Service dog training includes not only police dogs, rescue dogs and cadaver dogs but also dogs that help the handicapped with their daily lives and routines.
Dogs can be trained to open doors, retrieve ringing phones, turning lights on or off and many other necessary chores. Service dogs are also employed as Seeing Eye dogs and aids to Parkinson’s patients, helping them to stay upright when walking. They are also aids to autistic children who seem to respond very positively to service dogs.
Pet training is usually an entrepreneurial business for the trainers while service dog training usually involves a training center of some sort. Opportunities in pet training are readily available while service dog training is much more difficult to receive certification for.
There are not a lot of career centres that with educate people for a career in dog training. Most trainers have learned by spending time with dogs and reading up on different training techniques and theories on the subject.
Many people start at dog shelters as volunteers, gaining valuable time with different breeds of dogs as well as the public, gaining experience with different personalities. More and more dog training schools are popping up these days since dog training has become a pop culture phenomenon. After all, who has not heard of Cesar Millan and the dog whisperer?
It is important to remember as well that if you decide to become a dog trainer you will likely be starting your own business. As such, you need to think of your certification as a business. Many dog training businesses fail because the financial and marketing side of the school has been neglected.
Be sure to start with a solid business plan, make sure you have proper financing in place and market yourself. Relationship building is important in this business, both with the dogs and with other related businesses and individuals in your area. Get to know your local vets, groomers and shelters. They are the ones who will be recommending you to potential clients.