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I am wanting to become a dog trainer and I was considering going to Animal Behavior College but I have been reading some bad reviews about it which I don't like at all. Now I am totally clueless on what to do. I still want to become a dog trainer but are there any good colleges to become a certified trainer? Or do you think its best not to have a certification and just try and get yourself known? And start doing voluntarily work.

If you have a answer I would be so greatful! Its my dream job and has been for the past 5-6 years.
 

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The internet has made some information so accessible and some information impossible to find among all the junk! I feel your pain ;)

I would first start by finding behaviorists/trainers in your area and talking to them-find out if your state/province has designations. Ours doesn't-anyone can call themselves a trainer, but people still get college/university degrees.

To be honest, I firmly believe that ANY accredited college/university degree/diploma is NOT a waste. You get a peice of paper AND letters behind your name-and that counts for a lot. If there is a school you can attend and can afford-go for it!

I would also go full bore on volunteering-start at your humane society if they have a behavior department and try to get in there, or with other trainers in the area. Experience counts big time-both for what people think of you AND for you to have it 'under your belt' .

If your really confident with your skills already, instead of volunteering with an organization-run ads offering your services for free-but ask for letters of reference when your done helping them with their dog :)
 

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I think you should consider taking some animal behavior courses. I took it at my college and you learn so much different stuff. There is so much to training IMO
 

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I am an ABC graduate...let me know if you have any questions. I can give you my opinion if you'd like.

ABC was only one of several things I did that helped me become a dog trainer.

I think the most important thing that I did was apprentice under another trainer. I assisted 2 local trainers (not affiliated with ABC) for 3yrs, which gave me lots of hands-on experience as well as teaching opportunites.

Things that can help:

- read as many books as you can, watch lots of videos
- volunteer at your local shelter
- volunteer to assist a local dog trainer in exchange for learning
- take a variety of classes with your own dog
- attend dog-related seminars
- sign up for an educational program (Animal Behavior College, Karen Pryor Academy, SF/SPCA Dog Trainer's Academy, Dog's of Course, Companion Animal Sciences Institute...to name a few)
 
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