|Psychiatric Service Dog In Training (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Do you fall in the category of people who pursue a career in dog training just because someone said it is a good thing or you have fallen so in love with dogs that you are left with no option but to fall even deeper?
Back to basic principles…
Dog training is more than a love for dogs; it also requires knowledge and skills in handling and disciplining them and knowing the basics of their behaviors. Dog trainers usually have a long history of experience with dogs and interaction with many dog owners and handlers and their pets.
What is your "dog division"?
There are two types of careers in the dog world- the pet service training and the dog training. Both have relatively high demands in the market but there are a lot more opportunities in pet dog training than service training.
The pet dog training usually involves dogs that function merely as pets and as companions for outdoor activities, therefore, the usual training involved are obedience training, agility training, potty training and training to eliminate unwanted behaviors like barking and biting.
Service training, on the other hand, involves specified training on services required by people with disabilities and those undergoing therapy. Another division of service dogs are involved in chasing criminals, drug and bomb sniffing, search and rescue dogs and hunting dogs.
These are highly intensive training and require the handler to get sufficient preparation to lead the dog in employing its specialized functions.
Understanding canine psychology
What do you really know about dogs- their thinking, their behaviors and their reaction to stimulus? Training adheres to conditioning the thinking of the dog to make specific responses. You should also know well the fundamentals of associative conditioning.
What about dog training education?
A dog training career requires that you have basic skills in dog training and handling. There are no degrees in dog training yet for there are no colleges and universities offering such. However, there are dog "academies" or "schools" that could provide basic training. However, the best dog trainers are often self-taught and have a natural inclination to dog handling.
Some have apprenticed with excellent dog trainers while others simply have the knack in training dogs. There are also a number of dog training organizations that could supplement the latest information on dog training.
Comparison of working attitude with people and dogs
Dog training involves training the handlers of the dogs as well. Therefore if you are pursuing a career in this field, it is very important that you have good people skills and that you can tolerate all types of people.
There are impatient owners who expect fast learning from their dogs without taking advice openly while there are those who relatively open to suggestions. You need to cater to both types of dog handlers and everyone in between. In short, a career in dog training is not only limited to dog training but also an experience of people training as well.
Dog training is not limited to "training" alone; there are also certain aspects that you should be knowledgeable of like maintenance of proper dog hygiene, nutrition and grooming.
You should also have good knowledge of dog competitions, accessories and training aids. You should also be able to distinguish different dog breeds and their fundamental differences.
You don’t have to be a guru in dog training to be an excellent trainer; you only have to develop certain skills necessary in handling dogs and their trainers and to have sufficient knowledge on theories and the capacity to put them into practical application.