The very first thing to analyze before taking the decision of becoming a professional dog trainer is the reason behind becoming one. Is it because you think it pays really well? In that case, you can go for various other higher-paying fields. Is it because you love dogs? In that case, you can go and buy a dog for yourself and hire a trainer to train it instead of becoming one. Is it because you think you enjoy communicating with dogs and feel confident about connecting with them in a natural way out of understanding and affection? Well, in this case, you should correctly consider training dogs as a rewarding profession. The following points will provide you with some insights on how to become a professional dog trainer:
To start with, make up your mind and focus on the aptest procedure to go about it, through a practical process. After having made up your mind about pursuing the path of training dogs, you can start self-teaching yourself by studying and researching the subject matter and the ways to go for educational courses, certifications, and training lessons in this particular domain.
1) Attending seminars and conferences on dog training and various workshops on dog behaviors would surely help you to broaden your knowledge base and resources of information regarding this field of career and hence it is advised to attend these seminars, as much as possible. If you are willing to attain holistic knowledge, insight, and information about the subject/field, it is advisable to be present at as many seminars and conferences as possible, covering varied topics viz:
- History of Breed (studying the origin of specific canine breeds and their genes)
- Dog Training History (studying training methods of the past and comparison with the present)
- Animal Learning (how animals learn tricks)
- Dog Behavior (studying canine psychology)
- Designing Classes (formulation of training programs)
- Pet Safety Tips (first aid for pets)
- Training Dogs for Movies & Advertising
- Animal Control Laws and Legalities
- Canine Anatomy,
- Structure and Gait
- Canine Health and Nutrition
- Medicine for Dogs (Holistic, Traditional & Alternative)
2) Apart from this, you are also suggested to join some renowned Animals Behavior Organizations and dog Training Schools like ‘The American Dog Trainers Network’, ‘The Association of Pet Dog Trainers’, ‘The animal Behavior Society’, ‘The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors’ and so on.
3) There are certain dog training schools and organizations which provide certifications on completing the courses on dog training but it is important to check the backgrounds, accreditation, course materials, and hands-on training program provided by these organizations and their practical values as well.
4) Generally, people interested in becoming dog trainers are not aware of a lot of dog training schools and colleges providing degrees and hence they believe in self-training themselves by observing renowned and experienced dog trainers, training and handling their dogs.
5) One can also go for Animal Behavior Courses from reputed organizations like ‘The ASPCA Animal Behavior Course’ provided in New Your City.
6) Besides there are some universities that provide Animal Behavior Programs and the names are Cornell University, Tufts University, and Guelph University.
7) Another wonderful way of self-teaching yourself about training dogs is to work in dog shelters and rescue camps and centers, as a volunteer. This would enable you to associate with as many dog breeds as possible and would give you a natural opportunity to understand, communicate and connect with them.
8) Reading a variety of books, and magazines and watching educational and instructive videos on dog training also help to a good extent to absorb knowledge and comprehension. It always helps to have a degree or formal educational specialization in Animal Science and Behavior.
Above all, the most important thing to keep in mind is to possess a natural and spontaneous ability to successfully communicate and interact with the dogs without using any coercive or inhumane methods or punishment. The keyword lies in happily making the dog follow your instructions and there lies the real challenge of the profession.