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I am very interested in learning HOW to train dogs. So far I have only met trainers who will teach me how to train my dog, but don't seem to be too enthused at teaching me how to train dogs and become a trainer myself.

Is there an online course? I am in the South MS area if anyone can reference me to a trainer that would help, that maybe I have not spoken too. Southeast ms area.
 

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Old school method was train dogs and then train more dogs. You start with your dog to see what kind of product you can produce on your own. To see if you have any talent and the proper temperament to train dogs.

New school method appears to be head off to dog school.
 

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how much knowlege do you already have? I personally recommend the KPA if you need everything..

I'm self taught, its a hard industry to break into, and many people do it WAY WAY before they are ready. I didn't feel comfortable taking peoples money until I felt I could answer ANY questions about ANYTHING dog related. Thats a huge body of knowlege that takes many years and lots of practice.

keep in mind you will be training the OWNER not the dog. Which is even harder, much harder than it looks. Make sure you like working with people.



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I agree with Criosphynx. I am self taught as well. Before I started training professionally, I took years and years to study dog behavior. Then an internship at CM dog psychology center learning old school dog training and rehabilitation. More study, more seminars, then an introduction to PR science based learning theory, and clicker training. For me it has been a evolving process as I continue to learn and grow as a trainer. I think it is important that you continue to educate yourself, and never stop learning.

For me, my success has been the quality of the dogs I have trained. As hard as it was to break into this business, that has always set me aside from the competition in my area. You must be a people person as Criosphynx states, because it will be more about the people than the dogs.
 

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Start reading voraciously. As Crio says, you need a huge body of knowledge.
On top of that, you need loads of practical experience.

When you are ready, get yourself a really difficult dog, and solve it. ;) I'm sort of kidding, but not really. What I hear from the pros around here (I'm not one!) is what really taught them stuff was working a very challenging dog through its problems.
 

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When you are ready, get yourself a really difficult dog, and solve it. ;) I'm sort of kidding, but not really. What I hear from the pros around here (I'm not one!) is what really taught them stuff was working a very challenging dog through its problems.
I agree with this paragraph with one stipulation. While you should get a difficult dog, it should not be one that is so challenging that you are beyond your knowledge zone. For me, it was a ramp up process from difficult to when most folks having given up on the dog altogether. It took me years to get from one side of that equation, to the other.

I believe all dogs can be trained and rehabilitated. The question becomes, how can I get them there. What tools do I use. What motivates them the most? How can I be creative in teaching the dog when modern methods don't work(clicker, food based reward etc.). When you have a big tool belt, this helps you think on your feet when things are not working the way you desire with the tools you are used to working with.

I have always said, don't marry yourself to one teaching technique to the point you can effectively use other PR based techniques when they are needed. This keeps you from being boxed into one situation, and keeps your learning base broad and effective.

As a dog trainer, you have to be ready for any, and everything.
 

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Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers - Canadian pet dog trainers association
Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Resources - American pet dog trainers association

Both may offer some good informaiton in taking off a career. I find trainers here are also members of the CKC (so being a AKC member might be a good idea too).

The next question. What types of things are you looking to do in regards to training? various levels of obedience? puppy classes? behavioural problems? If you are looking to get into rehabilitating behavioural cases of various degrees you might want to look towards an education that gears toward being a certified behaviour specialist as well. For example: As a registered/licenced veterinary technician I can work to achieve a speciality as a behaviour specialist.

Experience is going to be another thing. You aren't going to be a professional by taking some certification course. You'll have the basic tools to get started but you need experience doing it.

A lot of people look for some sort of certification and memberships with well-known associations. I am particular and don't want just someone off the street claiming they can help me with my dog. I want a professional and someone I can trust.
 

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A lot of people look for some sort of certification and memberships with well-known associations. I am particular and don't want just someone off the street claiming they can help me with my dog. I want a professional and someone I can trust.
I am going to say this because I know it to be true. While a certification can mean something behind a dog trainers name, it is not always a good marker of how good a dog trainer really is. Some organization only require that you pay for association to that group, but not have actual skills test required. Memberships lean more to payment than assessment.

With that said, I think you should look for some sort of education, certification of skills assessed, or even a membership. However I would go further and look at the quality of the dogs the trainer has trained. The two together will tell you more about the quality of the dog trainer, than anyone of those things alone.
 
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