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, 1 month ago.

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  • #76990

    denisemcleod
    Member

    HI, Im Denise and have a dog training business. We are currenly taining approximately 90 dogs per week. This usually rises to around 120 after Crufts. We have 7 instructors, allbut one,  ex-customers. So I hope that I can help you achieve your ambition. 

    I find mostly that confidence when teaching, comes from a self belief that the knowledge you have is worthy of the effort it takes, to dispense it.

    To train dogs (people) you have to have many people skills. It is the people that you teach primarily. Yes, you have to be able to spot relationship problems between dog and owners and you have to have an understanding of how dogs work and think and learn, but mostly it is about delivering your knowledge in an interesting and hopefully entertaining way, that keeps the attention of your audience. Your human audience.

    To train a dog well you have to be able to deliver something knew, in a clear, concise and stimulating way that is understandable for that particular dog. With respect to its prior learning and its ability to learn. One dog may learn one activity easily, while a different dog finds the same task very difficult. 

    It is exactly the same process with people. Except that in a class situation, you have to deal with all those learning abilities at once. And deal with the dogs or help the owners deal with the dogs, at the same time. 

    Before becomming a dog trainer, I was very fortunate enough to go on the following non dog training courses via my previous proffesion. I find that all of these have helped me to some degree in my current role. Look to see if you can find anything similar, in addition to the course you are due to attend.

    The psychology of learning (diffeent people learn in different ways. ie visually, auditorally, imaginatively, via understandable analogy)
    Training the trainer (Teaching someone else, to teach someone else).
    Meditaiton and self hypnosis techniques. Great for staying calm and knowing that no matter what may happen around you, you are still calm inside.  Easier said than done sometimes 🙂
    Presentation skills (Several different courses)
    Public speaking
    Man Management skills. Motivation, stimulation, and building trust.
    Crisis management. Usefull for when the shi* hits the fan  😉
    Crisis news media management. Usefull when really massive shi* hits massive fans. 😉
    Self confidence and self control.
    About twelve different dog taining courses, seminars etc., with various different dog proffesionals.

    More than anything thoough,  you have to really believe in yourself and your aquired knowledge, whilst remaining open to aquisition of new skills, learning from others,  new techniques and progressive thinking.

    My main advice would be to goto lots of other peoples dog training courses and try to get involved.

    Some of my customersevolve into instructors, over a long period of time. First they show particular ability with their own dog, they show commitment to new learning, they show an aptitude for people communication, they show and express an interest in becoming an instructor.

    Then they come to all of our classes and start to get involved and bit by bit, they start taking a part of a class thet they are confident with under suervision, then when they feel and I feel they are ready, they take a whole class. Then a whole course. This can take anything from 6 months to 18 months, in my experience.  They are encouraged to take on new learning and to introduce new methods where we are all satisfied that it is good. They also spend time with me and each other watching my and their classes to aquire new techniques and provide critiques to other instructors.

    We regularly train, eat and walk our dogs together, so that we can talk about new ideas and air concerns or differing opinions.

    In my view if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well. You will only be confident in your own ability once you are confident in your own ability if that makes sense. So start with your own dog, then someone elses class, then get involved.

    And stay focussed on your intent., yes it is scarey and it is frought with self doubt, but everyone has doubt about their ability to do something, until they have actually done it!

    I remember my very first class – I was sick and couldn’t eat for days. Now I cant run a class without eating  ;D

    Remember how you felt before you started your own business? Scared right? How do you feel now its up and running ? Less scared right……? Same with dog taining 🙂

    Usefull non doggy Books.
    Feal the fear and do it anyway, by someone whose name I can not remember. But it is very well read, try the spiritual, psychological or self development department of your bookshop. 
    Confidence by Barbara De Angleis.
    Any book by Barbara De Angelis.   

    There are also a number of books about running dog training classes, mine are all out on loan right now so can’t remeber the authors. 

    Hope that helps…..
    Good Luck

    #76991

    Anonymous

    [quote author=Gemsy link=topic=965.msg119337#msg119337 date=1170842410]
    but the thing I’m a little worried about… ME. I’m too quiet! I’ll happily run around a field with a pack of dogs being silly and generally making a fool of myself, but when it comes to talking to people I’m very shy, and all the trainers I’ve met in the past are generally confident
    [/quote]

    Just like me 🙁  But I am sure the more you learn and participate with others on the course then your confidence will grow 🙂

    off to read Denise’s post 😛

    #76992

    denisemcleod
    Member

    You will notice that I have been on several different courses. You will notice that none of them where related to the ability to spell,  or type. My apologies  🙂

    #76993

    denisemcleod
    Member

    Feel the fear and do it anyway – Susan Jeffries. I think. Excellent book  🙂

    #76994

    Anonymous

    [quote author=kizkiznobite link=topic=965.msg119362#msg119362 date=1170845393]
    what does the course involve – how long for etc and do you take your own dogs
    [/quote]
    Still don’t really know yet, head office said they are “looking into it” 🙂
    It’s a long way off yet but I’m thinking ahead and worrying myself to death, as I’m currently terrible with people even on the phone, let alone face-to-face. But it is something I really want to do, as it would be a great new challenge and addition to my business!

    Thank you Denise for your words of advice, they’ve helped a LOT. I will definitely be looking out for some of those books too!  🙂

    #76995

    Gracie
    Member

    gemsy

    i hate talking on the phone even tho i work at a call centre, and im doing the bishop burton dog training course and im shy and very quiet too – and a few weeks ago i had to give a presentation in front of only about 9 poeple i wanted to die!! but i did it, and thinking about doing another one will be less intimidating
    i just enrolled and was there before i knew it everyone is in the same boat no one knows anyone else, and a few people are outgoing and loud and a few are really shy and timid!

    i would say go for it, it will build your confidence!! (ive only been doing mine since sept)

    #76996

    Anonymous

    [quote author=Gracie link=topic=965.msg125043#msg125043 date=1172360144]
    gemsy

    i hate talking on the phone even tho i work at a call centre, and im doing the bishop burton dog training course and im shy and very quiet too – and a few weeks ago i had to give a presentation in front of only about 9 poeple i wanted to die!! but i did it, and thinking about doing another one will be less intimidating
    i just enrolled and was there before i knew it everyone is in the same boat no one knows anyone else, and a few people are outgoing and loud and a few are really shy and timid!

    i would say go for it, it will build your confidence!! (ive only been doing mine since sept)
    [/quote]
    Hehe, thanks very much! I’m sure I’m not the only quiet person in the world but I’ve felt that it’s held me back so much in the past.. so I’m not going to let it stop me this time. 😀
    Lots of studying to do first though. I have no idea how I’m going to get the experience.. I only know of one training “school” round here, but I’m not sure I like their methods.

    #76997

    Michelle.l
    Member

    [quote author=Gemsy link=topic=965.msg132980#msg132980 date=1174419832]
    [/quote]
    Hehe, thanks very much! I’m sure I’m not the only quiet person in the world but I’ve felt that it’s held me back so much in the past[/quote]

    I am a quiet person too but I just asked at where I train my two if they needed any help last september time, since then I have been helping out every Turesday night and I still train my two on a Wednesday and with the help of Denise I am slowly starting to get my confiedence  😉

    #76998

    denisemcleod
    Member

    Michelle you are already a very good dog trainer with your own dogs. You are a very nice person. You can overcome your quietness.

    Michelle has been taking parsts of my classes already. And is doing very well.

    Gemsy, Have you seen my post on dog training-training as it where? Am looking at running a course to introduce people to all aspects of runnign dog training classes. There is more to it than teaching people to teach dogs. Let us know if you are interested in the course. Denise

    #76999

    Hi i’m new to this site, i really would love to become a dog trainer and all your information has been very helpful. But i think i am going to find different clubs to attend. I do have a lot of experience i have 3 border collies of my own and i compete in obedience with them all, i also do attend a dog training club i’ve been there for about 6 years but thats the only one i’ve ever been to. I also work in a rescue centre so i’ve had alot of experience with troubled dogs, i’m just finding it difficult to find local dog training clubs in birmingham. Can anyone help?

    #77000

    GSPmad
    Member

    try looking in regional pet services at the top of the board – there are lists of training clubs by area. can’t help with personal recommendation as don’t live near there, sorry.  🙂

    #77001

    Anonymous

    I found the Kennel Club really helpful when i was looking for training clubs in my area for Cass, but even more helpful (surprisingly) was the dog warden/animal welfare officer at out local council office, they had lists of all the training clubs and had visited many of them to check out the clubs for themselves – they told me about clubs i didn’t even know about in my area.

    #77002

    Sweetypye
    Member
    #77003

    hi and welcome & good luck  ;D

    #77004

    Anonymous
    quote :

    Feel the fear and do it anyway – Susan Jeffries. I think. Excellent book  Smiley

    this is also available on CD and is absolutely BRILLIANT – i promise you wont be disappointed !!!

    i am really shy and quiet too and worry constantly if people like me or not, i’m very insecure and not very confident.  before i met bev – i was so unconfident that i didnt even give cues to my own dog – in private !!

    claire x

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