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
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.