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Discussion Starter #1
hey all, you know i love dogs, they are like my obsesssion, i will watch any movie with a dog even if its not about the dog, will watch any commercial etc... they have been my passion since i was about 7 yrs old & i have been interested in training since then, reading all that i can & learning all that i can. while we stockpile money for a career leap, OH was thinking of offering horse lessons & helping ppl with their horses, & i got the idea why can i do the same with dogs?

the problem is I am not 'certified' offically tho i have what i would concider quite a bit of experience (tho i am always learning & willing to soak up knowledge) would i have a shot at charging for my services to ppl who are having probs with their dogs? just a thought (note this thread isnt a solicitation, just looking for advice on how to get started).
 

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What objective dog training goals have you accomplished? CGCs, obedience titles, therapy dog work, agility titles?

If it was me, I would go out and get some titles. That way, when people ask what you have done, you have a really clear answer. I think, also, that training a dog until it holds up under competition has real value. Maybe also consider teaching some community ed classes, assuming that you are able to teach CGC type exercises.

The best path possible would be apprenticing under someone with experience, but it's hard to find trainers willing to invest if you aren't competing and training a lot.
 

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One of the best dog trainers in town has a story a lot like yours. She adopted a severely abused dog 20 years ago and couldn't find anyone in the area not using choke chains, prong collars and dominance theory training techniques, which her dog just couldn't handle. So she set about learning a new way to train and began offering her services to others. Now she's the recognized expert of the area in problem dogs and gets amazing results with positive methods.

She dipped her toes into the waters by training at PetSmart. (They pretty much let you train any way you want as long as it's positive.) Once she had a client base and was known in the local dog community, she set out on her own. Her personal dogs have CGCs and TDs, but she doesn't train for competition, she deals solely in behavioral problems, so she doesn't have any agility, schutzhund, etc. titles. I guess it depends on your focus. If you want to train people in agility, you should get agility titles with your own dogs, but if you're dealing solely with behavioral issues, I don't think it's necessary.

Good luck! (If a certain opportunity comes through for my husband, I may try to become a trainer myself, as well. So I'm really rooting for you.)
 

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"Should I even try?" is a question only you can answer.

At the very least you probably should get some significant, practical, "hands-on" experience working with other dogs and their owners first, from somewhere. Petsmart trainer etc could be one option. Another way might be to volunteer at a local club to assist with their public classes.

IMO it's best to have something to "hang on the wall", as well. ie: diploma(s), trainer certification(s), memberships for organizations, titles & ribbons, related personal achievements, perhaps even a framed picture of you shaking hands with Pavlov or Darwin lol, whatever ....

Actually, walls are nice to have, too.


If you decide to go for it, I hope it works out for you.
Best wishes.
 

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Another idea is to try to work with dogs from all of the groups. Ideally, fostering some. Hounds, terriers, non-sporting dogs, and toys feel very different than sporting, working, and herding dogs. Obviously, the breeds within the groups vary dramatically, as do indiviual dogs. Getting your hands on as many dogs from diverse backgrounds as possible can only help build your skillset.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
dully noted! thank you! if push comes to shove & we lose the job here i might try to get on as a trainer at petsmart or petco or one of those
 
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