If you’ve thought about becoming a dog trainer, but aren’t quite sure you have what is takes to become a great dog trainer, you’re not alone. In fact, there are tons of dog-lovers around the world who dream of living a life where they get up every morning and actually get paid to work with their favorite animals in the world–dogs! The thing that stops them: They don’t believe that they are capable of following such a career path. They wonder things like:
“I own a dog, but do I really know enough about dogs to train professionally?”
“Am I too old to learn how to train dogs?”
Or even, “Will people respect me and believe that I could successfully train their dog?”
Sound familiar? If so, here’s the truth that I want you to know: Many dog lovers are capable of becoming a dog trainer. Maybe even YOU. As with any passion or career, there are a few core skills and traits that will set you up for dog training success. To discover what those skills are and to see what it takes to become a great dog trainer, keep reading.
Often people jump into dog training programs with the idea that they will only be responsible for interacting with the animals they are training. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most dog behavioral issues are caused by the owners doing something that causes the problem! (Sometimes there’s actually nothing wrong with the dog at all!)
So, dog training is really primarily about knowledge transfer, or as I like to call it, dog owner education. For this reason, every consult you are a part of will involve working with the owners of the dog you are training. And your role is to get them to change how they interact with their dog!
Becoming a dog trainer often means starting up your own business. And doing this requires a certain amount of organizational skills. From start to finish, there’s a lot of moving pieces involved in establishing a business. You’ve got to be able to keep track of all your legal documents, build a website or manage someone that can do that for you, market yourself, and manage your client list–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It may sound a little overwhelming at first. But, as long as you have good organizational skills and keep track of everything happening around you, you have no reason to worry.
As a dog trainer, you are going to spend a lot of hours spent each week interacting with people from all different walks of life.
And if you don’t enjoy being around people or are triggered negatively by many different personalities and behaviors, becoming a dog behaviorist while using the approach that I use may not be the ideal career for you.
The better I’ve become with people, the better I’ve been able to educate and share knowledge that has helped shape the behaviors of my clients’ dogs. When this is done successfully, the results of your training methods will last much longer, making your consults an enjoyable and rewarding experience for you, your client and the dog that’s involved.
It’s fair to say that not only do I get great results working with dogs and their owners, but we also have a great time.
And now for some important traits.
A big part of being a dog training specialist is having the desire to help empower the owners, as well as help their dogs become happier and more relaxed. I can’t stress how important this is.
If you don’t truly care about the dogs and their owners, you’ll find yourself just rambling through consults wanting them to end, and they will ultimately end in failure. This will make future consults difficult. It will also destroy your reputation as a credible dog trainer. Not to mention, people aren’t stupid. They will be able to pick up on if you’re doing a consult just for the paycheck. Not good.
It’s also fair to say that the dog you’re working with will know you’re in a rush and that never helps…calm is king! Sometimes when you are working with a dog you simply need to go overboard, you need to go above and beyond to help people out. If you really care and want to help them and save their dogs then this part happens naturally.
You won’t find success as a dog behavior training specialist until you truly care about the emotions and feelings of both the dogs and owners you work with. This is when you get to make a difference in the lives of people. When you care, you form stronger bonds with clients. And, eventually, word that you truly care gets around and people appreciate it. This is what drives a successful dog training career.
I know, you’d think “loving dogs” is a common-sense trait when it comes to pursuing a job as a dog trainer. But it’s an important trait I feel people need to reflect on before making the decision to train dogs. Anybody can “like” dogs or tolerate them. But, not everyone is truly passionate about them. As a dog trainer, you may end up working all day long with dogs so it’s important in this line of work.
If you enjoy a half hour of playtime with your family pet, but get bored after that playtime is up, you’re probably not super passionate about dogs. On the other hand, if you can’t get enough of hanging out with your dog, learning about what makes him tick, going on walks, cuddling on the couch and playing in the backyard–well, that’s a good sign that you truly have a passion for working with dogs.
Another sub-trait of a dog lover is the ability to love all types of dogs. If you only love certain breeds or want to work with certain breeds, you’re going to struggle to connect with a lot of clients' fur babies. Just a quick piece of advice: You don’t need to have had a lot of experience with dogs before you start training. What’s important is that you love dogs and are open to working with different breeds.
And in case you are wondering, yes, dogs are incredibly smart. If you don’t really love a dog, they will know it–you just can’t fool them! This will have a negative impact on your consult. (Something I’ll help you with in the course!) So, before you sign yourself up for working with dogs all day long, make sure you’re truly passionate about them.
Whatever you want to achieve in life, you must have the right mindset. The more focused, determined and positive you are, the higher chance you have for succeeding as a dog behavior specialist. Having these traits really becomes important when you find yourself in the middle of a tricky consult.
I know from personal experience that you’re going to be thrown all sorts of curve balls–from clients that want to pull you off track to dogs that are more difficult to connect with. The good news: The more you can stay focused, determined and positive, the greater the chances are that you find success.
When you own a dog training business, things are bound to get rocky from time to time. When you hit a downward, turn you have to be able to focus and stay with it. Are you able to raise the bar when it’s time to take your business to the next level? Can you change and adapt depending on the different situations you’re thrown into? If your answer is YES to these questions, I have no doubt you’ll be able to succeed as a dog trainer.
If you have these skillsets and traits, then I have no doubt that you’d make a great dog trainer and I’d love to share more with you about my Dog Trainer Academy program.
The post Begin a Dog Training Career: What it Takes to Become a Great Dog Trainer appeared first on The Online Dog Trainer.