Dog trainers take on a huge responsibility with every new client they accept. Their success means everything when it comes to a dog’s ability to become a polite citizen of its household and the wider world.
Dog Trainers Have a Lot to Learn
Not surprisingly, obedience trainers have a lot to learn! The best trainers have to know how to:
- Communicate effectively with both dogs and people
- Understand the science behind behavior modification as it applies to canines
- Work with dogs and owners both one-on-one and in a group setting
- Assemble a deep bag of training techniques and tricks because dogs are individuals with their own personalities, motivations, and behavior quirks
- Recognize breed characteristics and apply that knowledge when making a dog’s training plan
- Work safely with dogs
- Evaluate possible underlying issues that may be responsible for a negative behavior (for example, a dog may be in pain, suffering from hearing loss, or reacting to new stimuli in its environment)
- Apply LIMA (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive) training principals when deciding what approach to take with a dog
- Socialize dogs that have issues bonding with humans or being around other dogs
- Effectively use problem solving skills to figure out what will work with the most challenging dogs (and people)
- Teach owners to reinforce the lessons their dogs are learning
- Read a dog’s body language
If you’re looking for a one-approach-fits-all, rote type of career, dog training is definitely not for you!
What Basics Must a Comprehensive Dog Training Course Cover?
Learning to be a dog obedience trainer starts with an overview of breeds, normal behavior and expectations, as well as physical care, stages of growth and development, and socialization.
Modern dog training is based on science. Students must learn the basics of behavioral theory, conditioning, and positive reinforcement. Then there’s learning fundamentals like cues and hand signals and mastering training techniques like perfectly timing a clicker.
In addition to learning to train dogs basic commands, such as sit, stay, down, and come, students need to learn approaches to problem solving the different behaviors they’ll be asked to correct–barking, jumping, aggression, chewing on furniture and eating shoes, running out a door, and so many more!
Working with dogs in a safe manner is extremely important. Learning to handle an aggressive dog, recognizing the signs that a dog may be stressed out, and maintaining a safe environment for a group class should be vital parts of a trainer’s education.
You may be focusing on the “dog” in dog training, but a big part of a good dog training course focuses on how to talk to and “train” owners. If you cannot effectively communicate to an owner how to reinforce what a dog is learning, then you’re fighting an uphill battle; everything you’re teaching the dog may be lost if the owner is not using the same play book.
Dog Training Courses Must Cover the Basics and More
You can sit in a classroom or take online courses and learn a lot, but unless you have the opportunity to apply what you learn to live animals, you are probably wasting your time and money. When it comes to dog training, there simply is no substitute for hands-on experience under a watchful mentor.
If you’re thinking about enrolling in an online dog training course, finding a school that provides an opportunity for real-world learning is a must.
Animal Behavior College has been teaching dog trainers since 1998, and their comprehensive curriculum was developed by professional trainers. A huge part of any student’s ABC certification is the externship, in which each student is paired with a local mentor trainer.
Under the mentor’s watchful eye, students get experience working individually with dogs while receiving instruction and evaluation.
In addition, ABC asks students to volunteer at least 10 hours in their local shelter or rescue in its campaign to help shelter dogs, “Students Saving Lives.” Students get invaluable experience working with needy animals while at the same time helping them become more adoptable. Dogs who have been taught basic manners are far more desirable to would-be adopters.
See What ABC Has to Offer
Earning your dog trainer certification through the Animal Behavior College Dog Obedience Program is one of the best ways to launch your career. The program takes about a year to complete, and once certified, you’ll have the school’s support in the form of alumni benefits, including a listing on ABC’s searchable online dog trainer directory and access to a private job board.
To find out all ABC has to offer, contact an admissions counselor at 800-795-3294. Enroll today and take the first step toward a rewarding career!