Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?
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Thread: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

  1. #41
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    If you want to be a "certified" dog trainer, all you have to do is become certified through one of the many programs out there.

    If you want to be an effective dog trainer, you really need to train a bunch of dogs. Living with dogs is part of that. My dogs all have an "actively training self" and a "not actively training self." People need to be able to deal with both mindsets and they are really different.

    When actively training, it isn't important to think about exercise, management, enrichment, nutrition... When living with a dog, these things become critical. These issues are critical to the owners you'll be working with.

    I would live in my van with my dogs before I would live in a petless mansion. In college, I lived in some really terrible places in order to keep my dog. I can't imagine spending one minute or one dollar to train with someone who wasn't equally passionate about dogs. Dog training has some real challenges to it. Without a strong passion for dogs, I can't imagine how one could stand to do it. Given the language aspiringdogtrainer is using to convey his/her dog experience, it's very hard for me to imagine that this is a "best choice" for a career path. I would suggest getting into the world of dogs as a participant before trying to be a professional.

    I am a mentor trainer for one of the on-line dog training programs. I am frequently very surprised when my students come to me for their final stages of the program. Some of the students have dogs who are struggling to be pets. Their dogs don't have even the most basic skills. I am very confused how to help these people get ready to teach when they haven't even learned how to be effective students. I am a really big fan of trainers who have come up through the ranks. There is so much to be learned from walking into a class with an out of control dog and coming out the other side with a great dog/handler relationship. The certification programs have value, but to my mind, they have to be supported by hands-on experience. They should be a compliment to the handler's real-life skills, not a substitute for them.

    I have really strong opinions about who should be trainers. If a trainer fails, some owners will use that as a justification to give up on a dog. I have heard so many people say, "I tried everything. I even went to a trainer! He was just a bad dog." The dog ends up being put down or rehomed or hit by a car and the owner feels okay about it because they even tried a "trainer." I want the "trainer" to be really good at their job for the sake of the dog.

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  3. #42
    Senior Member Kyllobernese's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    From the OP's post it does not sound like she (he?) even particularly loves dogs and certainly needs experience with raising and training a puppy to learn how a dog's mind works. If properly trained, there is no reason whatsoever for them to turn out like the few dogs she had as a kid. It would be like me walking into a classroom full of kids and teaching them, never having or being around any, only in some ways that would be easier then what she is trying to do with dog training because you can talk to kids.

  4. #43
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    Plus we all used to be kids, and knew other kids, and kids are humans like all of us. . .so it's really different with kids vs dogs.

    Many wild animal programs (Sea World is the most obvious example) won't hire anyone who has ANY professional training experience at all, even teaching a class at 4H or something, because they want their trainers to be blank slates for the methods they'll teach them. So if working with wild animals is your end goal, you should find out what the preferred career path for that is before you try anything in the interim.
    "Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."
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    Why is this all so complicated? Why isn't there one route to certification, like with teaching, there's a nationally recognized standard, and all teachers who have gone through training are assumed to be education experts. Why can't that happen with animal training? I want to become a wildlife handler, and I thought dog training made sense as a place to start, because dog training is animal behavior psychology in action, but if there's no standard, it doesn't seem like a great place to start. No, teachers don't have to be parents to teach kids. I'm happy about that, actually. Raising a kid is exponentially more difficult than teaching one. For one, the teacher can go home at the end of the day.

  6. #45
    Senior Member ireth0's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by aspiringdogtrainer View Post
    Why is this all so complicated? Why isn't there one route to certification, like with teaching, there's a nationally recognized standard, and all teachers who have gone through training are assumed to be education experts. Why can't that happen with animal training? I want to become a wildlife handler, and I thought dog training made sense as a place to start, because dog training is animal behavior psychology in action, but if there's no standard, it doesn't seem like a great place to start. No, teachers don't have to be parents to teach kids. I'm happy about that, actually. Raising a kid is exponentially more difficult than teaching one. For one, the teacher can go home at the end of the day.
    It's complicated. But mainly it's because there isn't any kind of universally agreed upon standard for dog training for which to use. Additionally, that would involve governmental involvement and regulation, which many dog owners are against, and of course tax dollars being spent.


  7. #46
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    One of the community colleges near me has a wild life training program and graduates go on to work with zoos and such. Moorpark College in Moorpark California. They have a list of other programs out there. They do want applicants to have animal experience and list some ideas on what to look for.

    Nobody agrees on how to train dogs. Nobody agrees on how to raise a child. Many roads to the end result. Teachers aren't certified by the United Nations, each state here in the US has their own standard and test.

    Since you don't have a dog then I suggest learning how to train any animal you can get, hissing cockroach, betta fish, hamster and volunteering at the shelter. Even doing grunt work will help you learn about animals as you are just around them more. Since you haven't good background in being patient with the annoying behaviors of dogs then you might want to work with an animal less likely to push your buttons so you can learn to train and not get overwhelmed and give up or react badly when the animal doesn't do as you like. Bob Bailey worked with chickens. Since you are analytical perhaps start with something more basic than a dog. Here is one of 55 million hits on Google on his work.

  8. #47
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    I relate to this thread in a lot of ways. I grew up in a cat family, with minimal exposure to dogs from friends and relatives we didn't see often. I knew very, very little about dogs until well into college, and actually started reading about them because of my interest in rat training and behavior. Then I fell down the rabbit hole of information and haven't come out yet. I, too, like there to be a really clear, linear path to a goal that's nicely structured and doesn't require a lot of self-promotion and putting myself out there.

    But the truth is? This is all really, really good advice you've been getting. I devoured information about dogs from forums and books for literal years before getting one of my own, and I still made mistakes and struggled and set my training back in a lot of relatively 'rookie' ways. Did I ruin my dog? No, and the reading helped me a ton in figuring out where I'd made my mistakes and what steps I needed to take to fix them, but I now firmly believe that no book or course that doesn't require you to work with animals first-hand can really prepare you. Again, doesn't have to be your own animal, volunteering with shelters is a great way to start. I'm actually glad that there's no national standard, even though it makes my dream of working with animals harder, because there are so many methods and theories and divisive issues in dog behavior and training that I want the freedom to pick and choose a trainer that's right for my dog and my goals, not have to rely on a 'one size fits all' approach.

    A few things I wanted to add. It's okay that you don't know a lot about dogs or how they think right now, you can change that. Read, read, read. As you read, consider your sources. Forums are amazing sources of information, but you have to be prepared to think REALLY critically about everything you read on them, because anyone can post here. It's a good idea to start with a well-respected intro to dog behavior and training from a reputable source, so you have a bit of scientific understanding to judge "does what this person is saying make sense?" The Other End of the Leash is always a good read, written by a dog behaviorist, and Brian Hare (a very well respected researcher who focuses on how dogs learn and think) has a free Dog Emotion and Cognition course on Coursera. Consider your sources - a TV personality with a dog training book probably isn't as reliable as a veterinary behaviorist or someone who professionally trains service dogs, for example. Go in with an open mind. There's issues and techniques I've completely changed my stance on since I started researching, because the longer I do it, the more I'm exposed to situations and scenarios I'd never considered.

    Ask yourself whether you want to train people, because that's mostly what you'll be doing. It's one of the things that makes dog training significantly different from working with non-domestic animals. Most dog training is about showing owners what to do and how to do it, not working directly with their dogs. You'll also likely face some really awful situations, from people using brutal techniques ("I know the shock collar training works because she pees herself when we press the button" is an actual thing I heard during my short stint working at a pet store, and I wasn't even the trainer!) to having to tell a family that you can't help them with their beloved family pet, they need a behaviorist that specializes in aggression or to consider euthanasia.

    If your final goal is actually working with wildlife or zoo animals, change your approach. Going into it from dog training isn't super helpful, because domestic and wild animals need to be handled so differently, and most places will want to see a different kind of experience. If you want to go the school route, look into animal behavior, management, or welfare programs, or even a degree in learning theory or psychology (though you may have some of that from your current work?) - they'll be more broadly applicable to a lot of different kinds of animal jobs than dog training alone. But the big thing is getting in the door, and that requires self-promotion, which I frankly suck at. Find wildlife rehab centers, sanctuaries, or similar organizations. Ask about volunteer opportunities. Don't e-mail, call. Or better, go there in person. It's a lot harder to say no when they're looking at you. If they don't have anything for you, ask if there's programs or other volunteer work in your area that might make you more attractive to them as a volunteer or employee. If you do get in, accept that you'll start doing a lot of grunt work, cleaning and hauling, and might not even get to see the animals much at first. Ask questions, learn how and why they do things the way they do, work hard, and that will be what a lot of animal handler jobs like to see. Also keep in mind that even wildlife handlers and trainers spend very little of their day actually interacting with the animals - a lot of the job is, again, grunt work and doing things like planning enrichment, inspecting enclosures, etc.

    I'm not a trainer or work with animals professionally at this time, though I'm interested in a lot of the same things it seems you are. I'm still very early in this process myself due to complicated life things happening, but I have done a lot of research about how to get into these fields, from people actually working in them, and yeah. It's a rough, messy process that requires being willing to dig in and get the experience from ground zero. I hope something in here helps.

  9. #48
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by TGKvr View Post
    I have to wonder at the underlying reasons for your desire to be a dog trainer. I've been looking for trainers for the last several months, and I can say with certainty that I would never consider a trainer that didn't HAVE a dog, or didn't have a history of owning AND training dogs (either by showing, working, or breeding). And to be a GREAT trainer, you'd need experience in all life stages of development so... puppies.

    It sounds like you are drawn to training for the mental challenge most of all - for figuring out what makes them tick. It's an analytical approach, but seems to be lacking in heart. The way you're talking about dogs in general doesn't really come across as someone who LOVES dogs, which I feel is a key element in a successful trainer. I appreciate that you are acknowledging where your lack of experience exists and you're looking for ways to learn how to improve your knowledge base. But knowledge and experience go hand-in-hand; you simply can't have one without the other. By your own descriptions, it sounds like you have a short window of patience for all of the "problem" behaviors which people would theoretically be looking to you to help them solve. I don't want to discourage you from researching and improving understanding of dog behavior, but it just seems that you have more of a clinical and cold approach to the whole theory of training versus one that is driven by a simple love of dogs. And... I'm not sure if that's something that can be overcome.

    I would agree with all of the advice here, but mostly to get some hands-on experience and get a dog of your own. Even if it means moving... if this is a career path that you are truly serious about, then sacrifices will have to be made in order to give you the best opportunities to achieve your goals. There's a lot to learn from books and classes, but nothing can substitute practical real-world experience, and that means practicing on your own dog before someone else's.
    Yeppity yep! ^^^

    I am also aspiring dog trainer (just graduated and received my certification) from ABC, it wasnt my first choice I'll admit, but for me in my situation, it was the most affordable. I hope to do Denise Fenzi's programs next, as soon as I build up some revenue again. I am never going to stop in my quest for knowledge.

    It is VERY hard to be a dog trainer without your own dog to show for it, my dogs are like my business card, they show my skills, and what I am capable of, and capable of teaching others (at least that's how I see it). Plus like others have said, it gives me relatability with my prospective clients. Plus, if you can't train your own (and honestly, sorry to be blunt, but from what I have been reading, it doesnt look like you can), prospective clients are going to be thinking "than how can she expect to train mine?" I dont know of a trainer who doesnt use their own dogs as "selling points" for their skills, most all of the trainers I have taken classes with bring at least one demo dog with them so "show their stuff".

    Quote Originally Posted by aspiringdogtrainer View Post
    I'm cold and analytical in my approach to most things. I like animals, though, and I think I ultimately want a career working with them, preferably at a wildlife sanctuary or something. I'm assuming dog training would be a good prerequisite step. If it's not, I would like to be pointed in the right direction. I would ultimately like to work training service animals or conditioning zoo animals to show to the public; that would be a great career.
    Based on this statement right here, I dont think dog training is for you, I am sorry to say. When you're working with animals (and their people!), you can't be cold and analytical.





  10. #49
    Senior Member gingerkid's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by aspiringdogtrainer View Post
    I also acknowledge that I have a history of failing with dogs. I started keeping dogs when I was a young teenager, but it always fell into the same pattern. I raise a cute little puppy. It turns into a dog. The dog develops lots of really bad habits and refuses to really break those habits. I lose interest in the dog.
    If you truly want to be come an animal trainer, you need to stop ascribing your the failures to the animal. If the animal is not learning, it is either because there is stress present (from the environment or elsewhere) or because sufficient motivation is not present. Providing both of those things - an environment conducive to learning and something that the dog views sufficiently motivating - are the responsibility of the trainer, not the dog. To be a good trainer, you need to be able to look at a situation critically, identify things that might be preventing the dog from learning, and then come up with solutions (sometimes creative ones) to alleviate those problems. A really good demonstration of that is provided in the book "A Dog Named Boo" by Lisa Edwards, who is herself a fairly renowned dog trainer.

    I'm cold and analytical in my approach to most things. I like animals, though, and I think I ultimately want a career working with them, preferably at a wildlife sanctuary or something. I'm assuming dog training would be a good prerequisite step. If it's not, I would like to be pointed in the right direction. I would ultimately like to work training service animals or conditioning zoo animals to show to the public; that would be a great career.
    Most of the people I know working in wildlife rehab/conservation/zoos all have university degrees in a directly related field. I think you'll find it very hard to use dog training as a path into that kind of career; certainly if you do, you'll need to be among the best because I can guarantee that there are way more graduates looking for jobs in those fields than there are jobs, and that at least some of those graduates (and post-graduates) will also be animal trainers with impressive achievements under their belts, even if they're not certified training professionals. If that is truly the path you'd like to pursue, you're best bet is to contact some local wildlife rehab centers and zoos (or similar places) to ask what kinds of qualifications they require for those positions, and what paths people take to get there.

  11. #50
    Senior Member ireth0's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    Out of curiosity, what is it about animal/dog training that appeals to you?


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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    I like getting things to do what I want them to do; that's communication and control. It's how people are supposed to function, but I sometimes find talking to people difficult. Dogs are easier to handle than kids, in some cases, and cats are easier to manage than adults. Plus, I just like being around animals.

    Anyway, I signed up for the first part of a dog trainer training program. It was a bit of money--about the cost of two online college courses, so I hope this wasn't a mistake. I plan to volunteer with the local animal shelter and network with established trainers, where possible, to make it worth the investment. I tried to practice due diligence and had them put me in touch with an established trainer who went through the program. Assuming they weren't being dishonest, it's supposed to be a pretty good program, and I'm hoping it's what I need.
    Last edited by aspiringdogtrainer; 01-11-2017 at 06:48 PM.

  13. #52
    Senior Member Effisia's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by aspiringdogtrainer View Post
    I like getting things to do what I want them to do; that's communication and control. It's how people are supposed to function, but I sometimes find talking to people difficult. Dogs are easier to handle than kids, in some cases, and cats are easier to manage than adults. Plus, I just like being around animals.

    Anyway, I signed up for the first part of a dog trainer training class. It was a bit of money--about the cost of two online college courses, so I hope this wasn't a mistake. I plan to volunteer with the local animal shelter and network with established trainers, where possible, to make it worth the investment.
    Something to keep in mind is that the bulk of dog training is actually working with people. You're working with people to teach them to work with their dogs. I offer day training (where I would go to the house and train the dog while the people aren't home), but so far 100% of my clients have wanted the face-to-face option.

    I do like certifications, myself. I am looking forward to having that piece of paper and adding some initials after my name. But there are plenty of awesome trainers who wouldn't technically be considered "certified". The trainer I worked with for Annabel's initial training was excellent and her background is teaching (people).

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  14. #53
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by aspiringdogtrainer View Post
    I like getting things to do what I want them to do; that's communication and control. It's how people are supposed to function, but I sometimes find talking to people difficult. Dogs are easier to handle than kids, in some cases, and cats are easier to manage than adults. Plus, I just like being around animals.

    Oh boy, you're going to find dog training as a professional very, very frustrating and difficult.

    First, dogs aren't really "things" so much as independently thinking living creatures who have personalities, minds and opinions of their own. It isn't about control, it is about mutual trust and give/take and agreement. Like, you make it worth the dog's while to cooperate, the dog finds that good things come to him, you work as partners.

    If talking to people is difficult, being a dog trainer for the public is going to be an uphill battle. As others have said quite well, it is in large portion about teaching the humans how to train their dogs rather than training the dogs directly. Communication to people is key.

    I think you are wildly missing the concept of how dogs work and how humans work with dogs. Personally at least, if I asked about a dog trainer and someone forwarded me this thread and said "This is the dog trainer you are asking about", I'd head the other way in a heartbeat. It just seems there is a lack of draw, of compassion, of interest in dogs and dog training for itself and not as a stepping stone, a lack of patience and willingness to do the research it takes to find potential options for the more difficult cases. I am of course only going by what you write so I could be missing a lot of information, but as it stands, it just seems like a bad fit for you.

  15. #54
    Senior Member Hiraeth's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    I've been sort of uncomfortable with your motivations from the start - it seems as though you don't like dogs, and you don't like people, so why would you want to be in a profession in which you have to deal with troublesome dogs and troublesome adults every day?

    But this statement pushed it right over the edge for me:

    Quote Originally Posted by aspiringdogtrainer View Post
    I like getting things to do what I want them to do; that's communication and control. It's how people are supposed to function, but I sometimes find talking to people difficult. Dogs are easier to handle than kids, in some cases, and cats are easier to manage than adults. Plus, I just like being around animals.
    Getting things (let's not even address the fact that you're talking about living and breathing animals and people as things), to do what you want them to do is not about communication. It's about control, pure and simple. It sounds like you want a living thing to do what you say to do when you say to do it because you get joy out of being in control, being obeyed and being in power.

    That's not at all what dog training is about. My dogs and I are a team. We're friends. They're there for me when I need them, and I'm there for them when they need me. I don't ask them to do things just for giggles because I get off on weird power trips. And odds are, that's the type of relationship your clients would be looking for, too. Few people want to be domineering tyrants - most people want to be buddies with a fairly well-behaved canine companion.

    Everyone else has really sugarcoated this, but I'm not the sugarcoating type. Unless you are drastically misrepresenting yourself and your intentions, you shouldn't be in any field that involves working with animals if all you're concerned with is the analytical approach and being able to control them. That's not how animals OR people are supposed to function. If the only way you're comfortable interacting with other breathing things is if you're in control and they do what you want them to do, there's a way to handle that, and step number one is therapy.

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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    When you don't understand emotions, that's pretty much the only approach you CAN take, but I don't want to get into that at all. I will, however, point out that you're trying to make quite a few generalizations based on what I wrote on this forum, and I'm sorry, but I don't really understand why people do that.

    I try to be realistic and reasonable. I even describe friendships as relationships where both people use each other for mutual gains (that's not to say they're not loving relationships but both parties are in it because they are gaining something). It's not the way people normally describe things like that, but it's true. I'm not into sugar-coating things much either. I see no point in it; I prefer for people to be direct. The rest is a little frustrating. I care, but I show it quite differently. I'm not sure how well that translates.
    Last edited by aspiringdogtrainer; 01-11-2017 at 07:33 PM.

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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    Oh boy, you're going to find dog training as a professional very, very frustrating and difficult.

    First, dogs aren't really "things" so much as independently thinking living creatures who have personalities, minds and opinions of their own. It isn't about control, it is about mutual trust and give/take and agreement. Like, you make it worth the dog's while to cooperate, the dog finds that good things come to him, you work as partners.

    If talking to people is difficult, being a dog trainer for the public is going to be an uphill battle. As others have said quite well, it is in large portion about teaching the humans how to train their dogs rather than training the dogs directly. Communication to people is key.

    I think you are wildly missing the concept of how dogs work and how humans work with dogs. Personally at least, if I asked about a dog trainer and someone forwarded me this thread and said "This is the dog trainer you are asking about", I'd head the other way in a heartbeat. It just seems there is a lack of draw, of compassion, of interest in dogs and dog training for itself and not as a stepping stone, a lack of patience and willingness to do the research it takes to find potential options for the more difficult cases. I am of course only going by what you write so I could be missing a lot of information, but as it stands, it just seems like a bad fit for you.
    Right now, it is, but I'm assuming that's not because there's some fundamental flaw in how I view the world (although that might be the case) but rather an issue of current knowledge and training. I get along pretty well with other animals. To be honest, dogs are the only ones I've struggled with, and I guess it's because I just don't understand their nature, what drives and motivates them. My expectations are frequently different than what they give me. I would like to explore that a little bit and hopefully break it down for myself (and later for my clients). I am a teacher, even though I don't consider myself very good with people (and, yes, I think animals are, mostly, easier to communicate with, but dogs and horses are just too human-like in all of the wrong ways. I'm guessing I would hate working with monkeys, too, at least without sufficient training.)

  18. #57
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    I'm a dog sports person. Like, seriously, this weekend I have Agility on Saturday, Lure Coursing on Sunday, and Flyball on Monday. I've done seminars and classes and worked in other sports (Disc, Treibball, Rally). I'm only seriously involved in agility, one of my sports dogs is pretty young and just starting, the other's a little more experienced. Agility in particular involves a lot of behavior and cues and commands, over a fairly long period of time, with complicated actions. It's basically a really long behavioral chain, at speed.

    This is what I can tell you:

    Dogs aren't computers. There's nothing wrong with an analytical approach to dog training, but literally every dog you meet is going to be different. There is no 'if then' with dogs. Their motivation is mostly 'what works for them' and what that means varies with every dog. They all have quirks, phobias, fears, likes, dislikes, and things that they consider aversive or rewarding. It is different with literally every single dog. The first job of any dog trainer, when meeting a client dog, is to figure out how to communicate with that, specific, individual dog for that, specific, individual scenario. It changes, at least a little, every time.

    There IS learning theory at play - conditioned response to a marker meaning something pleasant is coming, used to mark behavior you want - but what is pleasant? Does that dog learn better via luring, shaping, or capturing? Does that dog work best for tug, ball, disc, or food (and if food, what kind of food - which food or toy makes the dog work, but doesn't make it lose it's mind? How high value do you have to go to leverage against environmental stressors)? Does that dog have an innate desire to please the owner? Or is it more environmentally driven? Or independent? What is the RELATIONSHIP between the owner and dog like? What environment are you in? Which things n that environment are reassuring, stimulating, distracting, or worrying for the dog? Every answer to every one of those questions changes for every single dog you meet.

    I can put every last one of my 5 dogs in the same room, one at a time, do the exact same thing with each, with the exact same reinforcer and try to teach them the same thing - and my level of success or lack of with every last one of them will be different.

    The thing you need to learn most is to understand and read dogs. You want to learn to train them to do that, and it absolutely can help, but you have to be able to get into their heads TO train them (is this dog, hyper, stressed, aggressive, scared, worried, overstimulated, just distracted? Is it tuned in and calm or shut down? What can I do about those states?). And then pull on the 'in the head' thing, previous experience and theoretical knowledge to be able to teach them.


    And then there are all the factors with people.

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  19. #58
    Senior Member Hiraeth's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    Quote Originally Posted by aspiringdogtrainer View Post
    When you don't understand emotions, that's pretty much the only approach you CAN take, but I don't want to get into that at all.

    I even describe friendships as relationships where both people use each other for mutual gains. It's not the way people normally describe things like that, but it's true. I'm not into sugar-coating things much either. I see no point in it; I prefer for people to be direct. The rest is a little frustrating. I care, but I show it quite differently. I'm not sure how well that translates.
    So, just being real, you're beginning to sound vaguely sociopathic. Which is fine, pursue therapy if you choose, or don't if you don't want to.

    Either way, the way you see the world and the way you approach human/human and human/animal relationships is NOT conducive to being a dog trainer. Dog trainers need to truly care about their clients, both human and dog, to get through the day. You have to have real passion to deal with your hundredth puppy who mouths a bit too much, or your thousandth adolescent dog who won't walk well on a leash. You have to want to help people, to make their lives better, and to help dogs, and make their lives better, too.

    You seem to be approaching this like some sort of personal science experiment. "I haven't ever really gotten dogs, and I've failed at training them in the past, so I'm going to challenge myself and get into this profession to figure out what I've done wrong before and to see if I can figure out how their brains work." And that's just not going to fly in this world. If a bunch of internet strangers can detect your detachment, dispassionate approach and disinclination to actually help owners or their dogs in just a few posts, what do you think people who interact with you on a daily basis will see? There's no way to hide that level of detachment.

    I think you should find another career path that you think is challenging and engaging without potentially putting the lives of dogs at risk, because that's what you'll be doing every single time you fail as a trainer, and fail you will if you are truly this ambivalent about it. It will save you money and time in the long run to realize that this isn't the career path for you as expeditiously as possible so that you can begin to explore other potential careers instead.

  20. #59
    Senior Member Effisia's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    Okay. I would first read The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson (though I'll admit, I'm one of her groupies - my certification is coming from her Academy). Also, The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. I also like McConnell's For the Love of a Dog. Karen Pryor's Don't Shoot the Dog is always recommended. You might also find some of Temple Grandin's books interesting. They're not exactly dog-related, but animal behavior is a fascinating field and critical if you want to train animals.

    You might also have to come to terms with the fact that dog training isn't for you. It is can be insanely frustrating and you really have to LOVE working with dogs and with people. And accounting/marketing/etc to a degree if you want to actually have a business at it.

    Working with dogs - any animal really - should be about developing a partnership. Learning to communicate with each other. To communicate with a different species and teach them our rules. They aren't born knowing where they should poop or what not to eat and, frankly, when it comes down to it a majority of the behaviors we consider "bad" in dogs are normal and natural for them. (Digging, barking, scavenging through the trash for food and so on) It takes patience and repetition to train the dog and it takes even MORE patience and repetition to train the owner

    Annabel Lee - Southshore Maiden You May Know, CGC
    Beckett - North River's Quantum Leap

  21. #60
    Senior Member CptJack's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone know a real way to become a certified dog trainer?

    So, just being real, you're beginning to sound vaguely sociopathic. Which is fine, pursue therapy if you choose, or don't if you don't want to.
    Honestly sounds mostly autistic (somewhere on the spectrum), which is way less (read not at all) scary. I would still not suggest dog training as a career, but I don't think this person is sociopathic/scary so much as barking up the wrong tree and likely to make themselves (and dogs if they get that far) miserable. Themselves definitely, dogs probably, depending on how well they solve the 'puzzle'.
    Last edited by CptJack; 01-11-2017 at 07:45 PM.

    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. Roger Caras

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