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I am almost finished with my veterinary assistant course. I've volunteered with kennels and have grown up around dogs my whole life ( especially German Sheperds). I"m going to go through a 10-12 month program to help me learn more about dog training.
Is there any advice any one is able to give me?
 

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Most important would be to have a back up plan.
Getting a reputation for your dog training skills takes time and you will without a doubt have a very slow start if you don't have many connections and references. Customers will want references, success stories, etc if you intend to make a real living off of this.
 

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People will tend to take you more seriously if you have titles behind your back. Agility, obedience etc. That way people will know you have trained your dogs successfully. Not essential though I just find it helps.
 

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I am almost finished with my veterinary assistant course. I've volunteered with kennels and have grown up around dogs my whole life ( especially German Sheperds). I"m going to go through a 10-12 month program to help me learn more about dog training.
Is there any advice any one is able to give me?
Don't count on making a living off it :)

My advice...
Make sure you have a good balance of theory and practical work. Study & read everything you can. Make sure you are up to date on new research. Working in a kennels is good, see if you can volunteer with a dog club of some sort to get some training experience in.
Train your own dogs, or borrow dogs to train. The more you can work with the better. No two dogs are the same, and you need to get experience in training different breeds... The way you train a Border Collie is very different to training a Greyhound, which is different to a GSD, which is different from a Maltese, and different from a Doberman! Every breed is different as is every individual :)
People skills are ESSENTIAL in the industry. It is not a job for people who don't like working with people, or people who get frustrated easily. You need to be a good teacher, you need to be able to explain things in a simple manner, you will probably work with children, old people, people who barely speak your language, people who think they know better than you...

I have been working with dogs for 7 years in kennels and as a trainer under one of the best behaviourists in my country for around 18 months. I also have been doing obedience and agility for 9 years, and have trained and competed with 4 of my own dogs, and 3 borrowed ones. I am currently training in competition obedience, rally-obedience, agility, tracking & working trials. I am also almost finished a BSc majoring in Animal Behaviour, have a certificate in animal care, a certificate in advanced canine behaviour and will soon start the Diploma in Advanced Canine Behaviour and Management.
 

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I have been working with dogs for 7 years in kennels and as a trainer under one of the best behaviourists in my country for around 18 months. I also have been doing obedience and agility for 9 years, and have trained and competed with 4 of my own dogs, and 3 borrowed ones. I am currently training in competition obedience, rally-obedience, agility, tracking & working trials. I am also almost finished a BSc majoring in Animal Behaviour, have a certificate in animal care, a certificate in advanced canine behaviour and will soon start the Diploma in Advanced Canine Behaviour and Management.
Absolutely love the borrowed dog program. Old school was train any dog that came near me. Just Sayin".....
 

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Absolutely love the borrowed dog program. Old school was train any dog that came near me. Just Sayin".....
It's a lot of fun and a great learning experience :) For awhile after I moved out of home I didn't have any dogs living near me, so marched up to my local agility club one day and said "I would love to help - what can I do?" and spent a month or so helping set up courses and put gear away, eventually someone felt sorry for me and said they had a useless dog that they don't enjoy running and let me play with them... Managed to get myself 2 "useless" dogs to train (won young kennel club agility handler of the year with one of them!) and eventually got handed a slightly less useless one (and have my own dog now who is a complete superstar of course!) :D
 

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Animal Care & Advanced Canine Behaviour were at CPIT, BSc at University of Canterbury, and the Diploma in Advanced Canine Behaviour and Management is via correspondence through the UK... My work is paying for it thankfully, it's very expensive :( http://www.animal-job.co.uk/Online-dl-Advanced-Canine-Behaviour-Management-COM.html
Oh cool! I didn't think you could do any comprehensive canine study anywhere but unitec in NZ. If I had known I would have went to CHCH not dumb ol Auckland lol.
 
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