I’m Thinking I Might Want to Be a Dog Trainer
Not a bad idea! Dog training is a great career, especially if you love animals. Becoming a dog trainer allows you the privilege of helping dogs become the best version of themselves while making life for their owners more manageable and happier. It’s a wonderful feeling.
The practical advantages of becoming a dog trainer aren’t too shabby, either! Dog training offers:
- Flexible hours
- A chance to open your own business if you want
- The opportunity to spend time outdoors
- The potential to earn a good salary.
- An excuse to surround yourself with dogs!
How Do I Become a Dog Trainer?
When it comes to learning how to be a dog trainer, you have some different options. You can find tons of books and videos about dog obedience training skills. You can seek out professional trainers who might conduct webinars or in-person seminars. There are also some very good online schools that offer dog training certification programs. Each of these can be legitimately helpful in your quest to learn the basics of being a dog obedience trainer.
However, while it might be tempting to try and master dog training while sitting on your couch, there is no substitute for learning the career in a more traditional in-person classroom setting.
Here are 5 reasons why:
- Getting hands-on experience with real dogs is essential and you can’t get hands-on dog training experience from a book or with a keyboard (books and keyboards aren’t as fun to pet, either). While books, online classes, and seminars can give you a great deal of knowledge, there is no substitute for working with living, breathing, wiggling, barking, pulling, jumping, nipping, drooling, wonderful dogs. You will get immediate feedback from a dog, and immediate help from an instructor who hears your tone of voice and watches your every move. An in-person instructor can help you correct mistakes the moment they happen before a mistake becomes a habit.
- A classroom setting gives you direct access to experts in the field who are professional dog trainers that have spent their entire careers working with a variety of canine personalities. With firsthand experience handling challenging behaviors, your instructors can be invaluable problem-solving resources. If you don’t understand something, you have an instructor there to help you out in real time.
- Instead of sitting alone with a book or laptop, you will be surrounded by classmates. Building camaraderie with other students gives you a great support system as you go through dog training classes together. You can share your frustrations and achievements, seek advice, and cheer one another on to success. By collaborating, you can solve problems together instead of struggling in isolation. In addition, your classmates will become fellow dog trainers, giving you an instant network of professional contacts.
- An in-person class makes it hard to procrastinate since you have to physically show up and participate in order to earn your certification. This is especially good for those who aren’t self-motivated or adept at time management. With an in-person class, you can’t just decide to do it when you feel like it; there are hard and fast meeting times and instructors who won’t take kindly to students who skip class or refuse to put in the effort necessary to master dog training skills.
- Learning to work with dogs in a classroom makes concentration easier. There aren’t the distractions you have at home with your phone out of sight, no children needing a ride to soccer practice, no Netflix beckoning, no friends calling you to hang out, and no chores demanding attention, you can focus better.
BONUS: If you enroll in an in-person class you will be more active and engaged in your learning! Instead of studying at home (near the bag of potato chips), you’ll be on your feet training dogs!
Where Do I Find an In-Person Dog Training Course?
Animal Behavior College has a long history of certifying dog trainers. Founder, Steven Appelbaum, has been training dogs for more than forty years and is passionate about changing lives—both canine and human. Under his guidance, ABC began offering a distance certification program for dog trainers that combines home study with a valuable hands-on externship.
Knowing the value of in-person training, ABC also offers a five-month on-campus dog trainer program. The course includes valuable one-on-one instruction as well as the opportunity to practice your newfound skills by training shelter dogs. The program is a wonderful way to both earn your dog training certification and save lives as teaching obedience skills to shelter dogs significantly improves their chances of finding a forever home.
If you have decided that dog training is for you, it makes sense to pursue the best career training possible. Completing an in-person course gives you invaluable experience and a high degree of confidence in your skills, allowing you to launch your dog training career primed for success.