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Discussion Starter #1
There's no such thing as a "professional" dog trainer. A four year old teaching her puppy how to sit is recognized as a dog trainer as much as a Cesar Milan. Therefore, there are no requirements on what a dog trainer is.

Regardless, as a dog trainer I'm not hiring you for what you can train your dogs, I'm hiring you to help train me and mine. Big difference.
CP
I understand your reply, a simple rule of thumb is that a professional anything is the step up from amateur anything to somebody that makes that actually makes money from the service. Whatever the service happens to be.

"Engaged in a profession or engaging in as a profession or means of livelihood"

I'm not getting into the multitudes of certification/licensing etc that I know you hope for in the future. Just stating that there are creatures known as professional dog trainers in this world, licensed or not.

Kearrow
I have stated this many times that there is only one way to learn dog training and that is to train as many dogs as possible. Licenses, certificates and all that entails is super and when you start actual hands on dog work you can let the different dogs to be trained read your certificates and go on from there.
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

I'm not getting into the multitudes of certification/licensing etc that I know you hope for in the future. Just stating that there are creatures known as professional dog trainers in this world, licensed or not.
I never said the absence of the title "professional" does not allow us to differentiated between those who act professionally and those who do not. However, anyone who calls themselves a "professional" dog trainer is being misleading. This is a statement of fact, and not to be confused with a manifestation of today's ideal.
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

I never said the absence of the title "professional" does not allow us to differentiated between those who act professionally and those who do not. However, anyone who calls themselves a "professional" dog trainer is being misleading. This is a statement of fact, and not to be confused with a manifestation of today's ideal.
I have to disagree. Anyone who makes a living training dogs has the right to call themselves a professional dog trainer IMO. This goes for everyone from those who train dogs to perform in movies to those who do basic dog training in their city.
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

I have to disagree. Anyone who makes a living training dogs has the right to call themselves a professional dog trainer IMO. This goes for everyone from those who train dogs to perform in movies to those who do basic dog training in their city.
I don't see where you're disagreeing. I said exactly the same thing in my first post (4 year old v. CM). My point is "legally" there is no difference, and that comes with inherent problems. Seriously, who wants an uninsured CM wannabe training your dog and calling themselves "professional"? Not me. If you're too ignorant to know the difference you're vulnerable to their unprofessionalism. If it were legally defined, you would be afforded protections you don't have in place now.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

I don't see where you're disagreeing. I said exactly the same thing in my first post (4 year old v. CM). My point is "legally" there is no difference, and that comes with inherent problems. Seriously, who wants an uninsured CM wannabe training your dog and calling themselves "professional"? Not me. If you're too ignorant to know the difference you're vulnerable to their unprofessionalism. If it were legally defined, you would be afforded protections you don't have in place now.
I'm going to go with "The Miracle On 34th Street" movie where they bring all of Santa's letters in from the post office to prove the government recognized there was a Santa.:D On my tax returns for the last 45 years I have entered dog trainer as my occupation and the same government recognized me as actually being a dog trainer. (at least the IRS did) :eek: State Farm has been my kennel and occupation insurance also for more years than I can remember. I can't believe I'm the only one who has been insured as a dog trainer. It was necessary as we would put on Protection dog exhibitions in different counties/towns and had to have a special insured for the day/exhibition rider for the days involved. CP these are facts. I also had insurance during bird dog training trips. This actually is a no-brainer if you are going to be in any business venture. While I do agree if I were going to have a dog trained by somebody, I would want them to be insured so I sure have no argument there. I'm just doing my usual dump info on DF so newbies can understand what a professional dog trainer should have.
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

I have to disagree. Anyone who makes a living training dogs has the right to call themselves a professional dog trainer IMO. This goes for everyone from those who train dogs to perform in movies to those who do basic dog training in their city.
i think that is what he is saying. the point is hes not stopping anyone from CALLING themselves "professional dog trainer", so you're right - anyone who trains dogs (or doesn't train dogs!) can call themselves that. the confusion comes in where people equate 'professional' with a lot of different things and in the field of 'dog training' there isn't any standard to regulate the use of the term 'professional dog trainer' yet. calling yourself a professional is kind of misleading since I could go out and call myself a professional dog trainer just because I have decided to train dogs for money and that title isnt regulated (unlike dr, md...)
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

On my tax returns for the last 45 years I have entered dog trainer as my occupation and the same government recognized me as actually being a dog trainer.
The government isn't concerned what title you use for your legal business...they only care about your taxes.

Again, acting professionally and calling yourself one are two different things, especially in dogdom. As a licensed "professional" Engineer I can practice as an Engineer in my state, legally. A recent graduate from an accredited Engineering program can not, and they can not use the title "professional"...not until serving as an "apprenticeship" and not until testing as one. The same can not be said of dog professionals, so using such a title is misleading. Kinda like how many food companies plaster the word "natural" on their product and consumers are led to believe that title adds some intrinsic value. It usually does not, and titles certainly do not in differentiating dog trainers...at least not currently.
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

i think that is what he is saying. the point is hes not stopping anyone from CALLING themselves "professional dog trainer", so you're right - anyone who trains dogs (or doesn't train dogs!) can call themselves that. the confusion comes in where people equate 'professional' with a lot of different things and in the field of 'dog training' there isn't any standard to regulate the use of the term 'professional dog trainer' yet. calling yourself a professional is kind of misleading since I could go out and call myself a professional dog trainer just because I have decided to train dogs for money and that title isnt regulated (unlike dr, md...)
The same thing could be said for a lot of fields though. I would call myself a professional computer technician. I fix computers for a living. I have never, ever, ever had a client ask what kind of training and/or certifications I have that give me the right to that title. (I do hold several certifications BTW.) I've had plumbers do work for me and electricians as well and I've never really asked what licenses/certifications they have and to my knowledge it's not illegal for me to start calling myself a professional plumber tomorrow despite having little experience/training. Personally, if I hire a plumber, I want someone who can fix my sink regardless of whether they call themselves a plumber or a hydraulic technician.

I, personally, apply the same thing to dog training. I couldn't care less myself if you call yourself a professional dog trainer, I want to see a dog that you have trained. If you show up with no dog, I'm going to be skeptical initially of your dog training skills. If you show up with a well trained dog to me that speaks volumes for your skill. Again, this is me. Everyone's going to be different.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

Well this is another stickler on semantics for me.

I think the term professional dog trainer is only misleading if one used it and could not train dogs. It's another one of those agree to disagree issues.

Originally I was going to use the term professional poop-scooper but it just wasn't as catchy in a phrase. You know the "there's wvasko he sure is a good professional poop-scooper" it just doesn't have the right sound to it.:D
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

How about "Certified Dog Trainer"? I think that sounds at least a little better lol. I think "Certified Animal Behaviorist" sounds even better.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

How about "Certified Dog Trainer"? I think that sounds at least a little better lol. I think "Certified Animal Behaviorist" sounds even better.
Oh! Oh!
Yes I got it
Certified Poop-Scooper.
Just kidding they had no such titles when I started dog training and when I talk to possible clients on phone, there are some that I recommend an animal behaviorist
to help them.

A professional dog trainer should know his/her limitations.
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

Licensure, for most professions, exists primarily to protect the economic interests of licensees. I'm not some wild-eyed libertarian...not that there's anything wrong with that...and I believe that even though I personally benefit from such competition-limiting wall paper.
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

Licensure, for most professions, exists primarily to protect the economic interests of licensees.
Actually, I find the stories behind the fines levied against those in my profession amusing. I wouldn't read our quarterly newsletter otherwise.
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

I never said the absence of the title "professional" does not allow us to differentiated between those who act professionally and those who do not. However, anyone who calls themselves a "professional" dog trainer is being misleading. This is a statement of fact, and not to be confused with a manifestation of today's ideal.
Actually, I have to disagree to an extent. The use of the word "professional" merely means you accept a fee payment in return for a service product. In some professions there is a requirement for licensure (such as Engineering, Land Surveying etc.).

However, for those occupations with NO licensure requirement, the term "professional" may be used as an indication of money exchanged for services rendered.

I am a professional photographer. It is not my only occupation (thank goodness or I would starve). However, I do photography in exchange for money and that makes me a professional. Do all "professional" photographers behave in a manner that is beoming to their profession? NO. Absolutely NOT. I would like to think many do, but in working thru photo forums and forums that hire photographers for jobs, there are a lot who do not behave in a manner becoming to their profession (which hurts all their professional colleagues).

You can be a professional Automobile mechanic if you own a garage and repair Automobiles. You may be a credit to your profession. You may be ASE Certified (not required.. a private certification outfit). You may be ASE certified and a total loser and unable to fix anything... and yet, if you accept money for services, you are a "professional." Of course, if you don't get things fixed you will be out of business pretty quick.

LICENSED Professionals is a whole 'nother ball game. Typically a license requires a combination of education, experience and testing to obtain a license. Some states require anyone accepting monetary exchange for certain services to be a licensed professional (beautician, pet groomer etc.). Some licensure processes are out there attempting to force a level of excellance in the profession. Other licensure processes are out there to limit the number of professionals to protect the income of those who have licenses already.

"Professional Licensed Engineer" I think is an attempt to insure the person holding the license is qualified to do the work thru a combination of education, testing and experience (same with Licensed Professional Land Surveyor). However, having worked for many years in engineering designing bridges and highways, I ran into a lot of licensed PE's that I swear got their papers from a Cracker Jacks box.. (same with surveyors). I also was blessed to have worked under some extremely gifted Licensed PE's and Licensed LS's who gave me the love I have to this day for engineering (especially bridges). I was not licensed, but I did full designs which were reviewed and stamped by a Licensed PE (and the challenge was to hand in a design and drawings that got no 'red marks' :) )

Licensure in many professions is no insurance of professional behavior.

Now.. back to the original question: Do you need to own a dog to be a Professional dog Trainer? No. You don't need to own one. But, to help your credibility (and your bottom line) you probably need to have trained a dog (more than one) to some sort of title requiring a fairly stiff degree of work, training and time. This can be in a wide variety of dog related things from Dog Sports (such as Agility) to obedience to Herding....

If you are interested in retraining dogs that have been spoiled, then you need to references who are willing to support your abilities. IOW's if you are looking to train Joe's Dog who has No Recall, then you need to have trained a few dogs with poor recalls to recall reliably and when you talk to Joe, handing him those refs will help.

Volunteering at a shelter may be a good way to get that reference thing going. Just some ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

Wow!
After reading elana's reply I have decided to drop the certified self-regulated poop-scooper's title. I am now going back to using my self-regulated professional dog trainer's Nom De Plume.
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

Don't get me going on Civil Engineers.
However, for those occupations with NO licensure requirement, the term "professional" may be used as an indication of money exchanged for services rendered.
Not really. Again if my 6 year old cousin can call herself a professional dog trainer and wvasko can call himself a professional dog trainer, not only does money not need to exchange hands, the title has no meaning. When a dog trainer uses such a title they do so for the perceived value it has to the customer...it is a marketing gimmick. A licensed professional Civil Engineer uses such a title because it is the law. Big difference.

But again, I view dog trainers as servants of public health and safety. I'm not concerned with a photographer's title, I'm not likely to get bitten by that person snapping a photo.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

I knew it, it was short lived, I'm back to certified poop-scooper. Wait a minute, I wonder if poop-scooping could be a profession? I don't care I'm gonna be a pro poop-scooper(certified don't make much money):D Is your cousin making any money at dog training? If so I could use tips.

CP
I wonder why it is that if you are a professional trainer/handler you cannot enter dogs in an amateur stake/trial etc. You must enter dogs in open competition. That's probably the reason I called myself a professional because I was not allowed to compete in amateur stuff. I knew there had to be a reason. AKC uses the being paid for dog training made a person a professional. Are they silly or what.
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

While you KNOW I typically don't engage CP by taking a contrary position I do on this one thing by definition (I really don't want to lock horns with you CP.. it is just that for many of the same reasons you find it unpalatable I have had to deal with this business of 'professionalism' and the results of work that is.. cough cough.. less than a credit to a profession... and I wish your definition was the ONLY one in the dictionary):

pro⋅fes⋅sion⋅al Show Spelled Pronunciation [pruh-fesh-uh-nl] Show IPA
–adjective
1. following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder.

This is the FIRST definition of Professional (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Professional)

If your 6 year old cousin could collect money for dog training as an occupation or for gain (and people would pay him to do so) he could be a professional dog trainer by definition.

Could he do it? Maybe. Younger children than this have been professional actors. By definition.

Miriam Webster (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Professional) has this as the second definition of professional, but one can STILL call themselves a professional if they accept money for services as noted here:

1pro·fes·sion·al
Pronunciation: \prə-ˈfesh-nəl, -ˈfe-shə-nəl\
Function: adjective
Date: 1606
1 a: of, relating to, or characteristic of a profession b: engaged in one of the learned professions c (1): characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession (2): exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace
2 a: participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs <a professional golfer> b: having a particular profession as a permanent career <a professional soldier> c: engaged in by persons receiving financial return <professional football>3: following a line of conduct as though it were a profession <a professional patriot>

Most people who train dogs do so for their own reasons and are amateurs by definition No paycheck). If they collect money to do this (and can get people to pay them) they can call themselve professionals by definition.

While you personally may not consider them professionals, that is your choice. The Dictionary sees it a bit differently (and so do the courts.. but I really don't want to go there!).

PS: My point is that while Dog Training or Photography are not Legally Licensed professions under law like Engineers, they can be professions nevertheless.

[BTW in engineering I also do (part time) ME work under a licensed PE for the recertification of Steam Locomotives in passenger service. If I find errors I am required to recalculate and move on from there. It is precise and fascinating work. I am the last signature on the Form 4 for the FRA. ]
 

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Re: Question: Is It A Requirement to own Your own Dog when You Wish to be a Dog Train

pro⋅fes⋅sion⋅al Show Spelled Pronunciation [pruh-fesh-uh-nl] Show IPA
–adjective
1. following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: a professional builder.

If your 6 year old cousin could collect money for dog training as an occupation or for gain (and people would pay him to do so) he could be a professional dog trainer by definition.
Your definition says nothing about being paid money for a livelihood. You obviously don't know the livilihood and gain a cupcake has to a 6 year old.

My point is simple, as a consumer it is my responsibility to identify the professionalism in a dog trainer. Therefore only my perception of a trainer's professionalism is what matters. What the trainer calls him or herself has no bearing on that. The current system is as such that this responsibility is solely mine - buyer beware, so beware of who uses the title "professional". The State determines who a Professional Engineer is, not the customer. Liability dictates this.

My cousin Vinny who watched a few episodes of DW wants to train your dog, and he wants you to pay him for alpha rolling your dog. He'll put it on his business card that he is a "professional dog trainer". Legally he has the right to do so, but you and I both know anyone who's watched a few episodes of DW and wants to call himself a professional is not.

Dictionary definitions are nice in supporting arguments, but when they do not exist or apply, legally, what value do they really have?

I have no problem calling wvasko a professional. But it's my perception we're speaking of, not wvasko's. In fact I'm wondering why he doesn't go the other end of the spectrum and use all the titles - master professional doggy extraordinaire has a nice ring to it.

I wonder why it is that if you are a professional trainer/handler you cannot enter dogs in an amateur stake/trial etc. You must enter dogs in open competition. That's probably the reason I called myself a professional because I was not allowed to compete in amateur stuff. I knew there had to be a reason. AKC uses the being paid for dog training made a person a professional. Are they silly or what.
The AKC is a private entity, not a public entity like your State. So, the AKC makes their own rules and use their own definitions. You're essentially asking why is it I can't play a few rounds at Agusta even though I can hit it pretty straight.
 
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