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OK guys, don't laugh at me...

7441 Views 29 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Nelson
I'm interested in how a person becomes a trainer or decoy. Not the Petco/PetSmart variety, the people seek you out from miles around & your schedule's booked solid for months type. I understand reputation is key, and it takes time to develop one. How does a person become sucessful in the field? Has anyone here ever thought of making a carrer of it? I've been a Nanny for, well forever, and if there's anything that would bring me the sheer joy I get from my job, it would be working with dogs. Is it possible to earn a decent pay?

(Sorry if this should maybe be in general/misc. I wasn't sure)
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A career in dog training generally comes from years of training dogs...and then taking it one step further.

You need to undertake 'official' training, not the pet-store variety. AKC (or CKC for the Canucks) style obed. training is usually the way to start. At this point in time, you'd need to be able to do both classic training and clicker training. Once you're taken a dog through to it's CD (Companion Dog), you move up to the other levels.

As you work with a Club, you'll eventually start by teaching introductory obedience (or beginner, etc.). Once you're able to teach that, and deal with the training issues/problems of individual dogs, you can move along to teach higher levels of obedience, as you've experienced them training your own dog(s).

Once you've mastered the basic obed., you can branch out to any other areas you're interested in. Once you become confident, and show good results, odds are you'll be in demand by word of mouth...and slowly you become a speaker/lecturer etc.

In addition, you need to attend various seminars on dog training and behaviour, workshops, maybe some classes and build up the more 'formal' part of your education.
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p.s. Does it pay well? No! That's why most trainers do it for the joy of it...and after hours, on weekends etc.

However, if you have something unique to offer...or manage to find a niche to fill, it's possible to do well...

Look at Cesar...
...don't forget that out of income fees you have to pay overhead - renting space is expensive, not to mention hard to find (lots of places don't want dogs and all their associated messes)...you may also have to pay an assistant if you can't find volunteers...and there will be some admin. costs as well...it's not all free and clear...(oh yeah - and taxes!!! :D )...

...don't be discouraged...like I said, start by training your own dog...attend some seminars, etc. and see how it goes...if it's for you, it will come about...
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