How to become a dog trainer

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This topic contains 109 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by  waller540 8 years ago.

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    Hi KK,

    close to me there are 2 GSD only classes, is there any in your area you could go and compare those with a normal mixed class ?

    just a thought !!

    Claire x



    Thansk, I am not sure I will have a look.. to be honest, I am not sure what to look for as there are not the many GSD owner what I have seen of here in London.
    I think I have seen 2 in 7 years in the parks… ::) sigh lol…

    ANd you can call me jess if you like ๐Ÿ˜‰



    Thanks Jess ๐Ÿ™‚

    What a shame you dont see more ๐Ÿ™ย  There are certainly a few round here ๐Ÿ™‚ย  (about 100miles north of london)

    Claire x



    hi im new on here. i need sum advise. i really want to become a dog trainner but dnt av a clue how to go about it.i av been to a animal college but did jus the basics.i live in the west midlands and cant fint any where that learns you dog trainning. i hope there is someone out there who can help.



    You cannot become a dog trainer just by going on a course & then start training other people’s dogs or other people to train their dogs(although some people seem to think so)

    You really do need to have owned a dog & trained it.

    If you live in the midlands there are lots of dog training cubs who train their members to become dog trainers, but if you are looking to become a professinal dog trainer you have as others have written in this thread to gets lots of experience of dogs)

    M friend who has been a professional dog trainer for years(she trains other peoples dogs & rescue dogs etc)says the dog training is easy, it’s training people to train their own dogs that is hard. You need to be able teach people if this is what you want



    Dog training, the all evasive term could mean anything but quite a lucrative selling item.There is no qualifications for ‘dog training’ or ‘behaviourist’, sure you can tie in to someones (or organisation or groupss) methods, but train for what? toilet train? stop digging the garden? recall?
    Al the organisations such APDT are are simply groups of private individuals working as a commercial co-op type group, paying an annual contrinbution to a central fund which pays for one web site and they have most of their names on it, it is free enterprise private commercial training, but, there are no recognitions of any formal nature, in any case training techniques varie from individual to the other.
    In short anyone thinking of buying some kind of course needs to understand that in dog training there is no such thing as a recognised qualification although one group may recognise another grpoup on a purely private basis, but, that means nothing.
    Be very very carefull of buying any course for the above reasons, most exagerate or make entirely false claims, such as COAPE, that claims to be ‘accredited’ by National Open College Network. The COAPE course is not recognised by them at all, they are not even on its list.
    Thats only one example BUT people pay good money for such mirepresentations to loads of other study courses which in reallity amount to nothing except if you, the individual, want to recognise it/them for reasons of your own then fine, but thats as far as it goes.
    The moral is, if anyone is going to spend time and money on any course, be damned carefull, it is a selling point for pet owner obedience cause they have been sold the idea there is/are some kind of qualifications, but now they are becomiming aware they mean nothing and very soon the market for these training services will be gone, good whilst it lasted though.
    You dont need any course to put letters after your name, PDTP is good enough, I just made it up, it stands for Pet Dog Training Proffesional and it means just as much for a qualification to work as anything going and unlike COAPE, it costs nothing, means as much and has as much legality as anything else.




    I agree 1000000000% with Gill !!ย  A great deal of dog training is getting the owner to buy into the process and start understanding their dog a little better.

    I also agree with suebee in that there are those who abuse the unregulated world of dog training !ย  I think it is worth mentioning that OCN *do* accredit some courses at level 1 and 3 such as those run by Sheila Harper however these are expensive (around ยฃ1500) and although they are excellent really what they advocate above all else is experience training your own dog … Also its worth mentioning that groups such as APDT, APBC and numerous other TLA’s (!!) do require that members subscribe to a minimum code of practice – as with anything there are those who use and those who abuse.ย  There are also private franchises such as the notable “barkbusters” who charge a huge ยฃยฃยฃยฃ to buy into their brand (which IMHO is awful – sorry BB fans !!)

    The way into dog training which will gain you most respect and peer standing would be to train your own dog (or someone you know – a friend or family member maybe) many of the training concepts (discs, clickers etc..) have decent descriptions for free on the internet.ย  Also visit dog clubs in your area if you can and find one which has a training style you are comfortable with – a local club here (East Mids) actually run a training course to allow you to take their group courses, they are desperate for decent trainers so that is another possible route progressing from helping a club trainer to running / assisting with classes …

    Claire x



    Yea your right piglet, I think a good start in terms of words be for them all to state exactly what they mean by ‘training’, it sort of implies that someone selling a service can train any dog for any purpose, preposterous there are hundreds of different training goals for hundreds of different type dogs.
    The average pet owner wants a recall and little more but I dont remember seeing anyone advertising ‘obedience trainer’ and pet owners might well be under the impression that the person is capable of training them to train whatever dog they bring along to recall at all times, “I am a trainer” is a combination of meaning nothing and everthing, obedience trainer, yes that means something.
    There are lots of different ideas and methods ‘obedience trainers’ prefer to use themselves and no reason not state “I specialise in – this or that or tother” because any training method(s) MUST be tailored for that owner dog combination, not just the dog.
    Most ‘trainers’ simply use one inflexible method for all and everything which comes along instead of telling someone truthfully, “Sorry I dont think my style is suitable for your needs”, “if you want to know why I will explain” and so on, but no, if someone comes along they take them on no matter how unsuitable the combination or owner/dog is for that ‘trainer and their prefered method(s).
    But these courses just misrepresent themselves in order to sell their course, I havent actualy heard of one going as far as COAPE by making such high level false statement but no doubt if I looked around more there would be others.
    Credit where credit is due, the salses patter is excellent, buisiness ideas good but people are getting fed up of it cause the results dont balance.




    I think for someone who wants to help people and their dogs, is best going along to a few dog clubs of different sorts covering obedience, flyball, agility, trialing (if you can), ringcraft, heelwork to music and to start with just observing a range of instructors.ย  Maybe one club will run KCGC, another will teach “APDT approved methods”, but one thing is for sure – its the best way to experience the diversity of methods that you can use with a dog.ย  Maybe have a look into alternative approaches like t-touch aswell – the more tools that are in your “toolkit” the more rounded and confident you’ll feel.

    If you have your own dog, great try out some basic obedience as suebee says majority of pet owners just want their dog to walk nice on a lead, sit, stay, down, recall, and be OK around food / dogs / people.ย  Details of how to do these basic things are posted all over dogboard for free !! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Claire x



    You could try the BAGSD who have branches in the London area & are a single breed association & run training courses for trainers



    ooh yes – i forgot single breed clubs, they are really worth watching too ๐Ÿ™‚ย  round here there is a vast difference in the GSD clubs to the retriever clubs to the “mixed” clubs.

    its not that one is worse / better – the approaches are just different because each trainer is different !

    Claire x


    [quote author=piglet link=topic=965.msg6958#msg6958 date=1117306725]

    I just wanted to say I’d not heard of them – only APDT and APDC.ย  I’ve looked at your site appro, and it looks all nice kind methods and stuff – definately something i’d reccommend a “newbie” looking into alongside the first 2 i mention.

    Also, I think even seeing the different breeds in the flesh helps you appreciate them, see if you can get to some dog shows with breed classes and just experience the look of different dogs.ย  If you love dogs, it should be a nice day too !

    Lastly, definately train your own dog ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I found out recently that the person taking a training class I attended (and whose dog is obedient) has simply trained obedience and the dog is actually no good with other dogs etc…ย  along with other issues, its put me off.ย  I dont like dogs to be puppets – i like some dog left in them if you get me ?

    Claire ๐Ÿ™‚

    Who ain’t heard of Academy of Dog Training and Behaviour?ย  ???ย  The brainchild of Jennii Watson, one of the most respected competitors/obedience trainers in the UK and elsewhere. She’s held obedience courses all over the UK. Has qualified for Crufts obedience with several dogs over the years. She now runs on-line courses for would-be dog trainers (and they ain’t easy, believe me cos, after almost 30 years competing and judging in obedience, I have decided to take the courses) and ADTB fully qualified trainers become KC affiliated. ADTB members are in the Guinness Book of Records for the greatest number of dogs ever to take part in a sponsored “stay” for the “Make a Wish” foundation when members raised over ยฃ5,000..ย  ;D

    website :ย



    me … i hadnt heard of them ๐Ÿ™‚

    probably because i cant stand trad ob training.ย  ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  its not everyones cuppa and i feel it takes the dog out of your dog more than any other “doggie activity” does.

    my dog can sit, stay, recall and down because its the law to control them in public but I will never do ob work with him because i just hate it *shudder*.

    so – i wouldnt have heard of her from ob, and last time i looked my muttley couldnt qualify for crufts even if i wanted him to so i wouldnt have heard of her from there either …ย  for dog training i love Turid Rugaas among others … thats just me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Claire xย  ๐Ÿ™‚



    Jenni’s methods just aren’t aimed at Obedience dogs & she is a motivational trainer well know to the best trainers in th UK. She’s now living in Spain but the academy goes on

    Your dog could get to Crufts other Cross Breeds have won the Crufts Obedience championships & unlike other countries the UK Kennnel Club “Activities” are open to any breed or Cross Breed

    Turid like many others is also a motivational traner, IMHO motivational Dog Trainers are the best



    aah – i was thinking of the showing at crufts (which i thought – but dont know 4 sure) was open to pedigree, qualifying dogs.

    i did know flyball was open as several northamptonshire teams compete – usually against each other, in the final stages !!

    Claire ๐Ÿ™‚

    p.s. i’m not a trainer – just a pet dog owner of an almost 7yr old x-breed rescue dog (who does do fun agility and hoping to do some fun flyball when i get this bumpy outta my tummy so i can run about again without looking like a weeble !!) who i am sure would hate too many “doggie activites” as he loves his basket far too much !!! … and general font of boring but sometimes useful dog knowledge ๐Ÿ™‚ย  i just hadnt heard of her – thats all ๐Ÿ™‚ย  surely i cant be alone ???ย  i am off to look for her on google see what goodies i can find ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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