Your role as a dog trainer may depend on which area you choose to specialise, but overall you can expect your duties to include:
- Providing basic obedience training
- Teaching the dog to recognise and obey verbal and non-verbal commands
- Helping familiarise dogs with collar and lead etiquette, such as preventing their backing away and walking well on a lead etc.
- Managing a dog’s aggressive or inappropriate behaviours
- Instructing owners to manage their dog’s behaviours at home/in working environments
- Teaching owners how to build upon the basic training
- Supporting a dog’s socialisation (from puppy age upwards)
- Recognising and decoding behavioural cues
- Hosting individual or group training sessions
And that’s really just an overview.
So as you can gather, whilst this career can be emotionally rewarding and invite plenty of opportunities to interact with lots of lovely pooch pals, it also comes with a number of serious responsibilities which shouldn’t be taken lightly.
A dog trainer is essentially there to understand a dog’s thought processes and instinctive drives, and help put the systems and tools in place to help owners or handlers productively manage them.
There’s another good quote from Marley & Me author John Grogan that we’d like to highlight here…
“There’s no such thing as a bad dog, just a bad owner.”
And although you might not technically be ‘the owner’ in this scenario, you’re the human responsible for this dog. Which means it’s your job to give that dog the best psychological, emotional and physical support to live a happy, healthy life.
So, needless to say… there’s a considerable weight to those responsibilities. Yet the good news is that you’re not expected to be an automatic expert, especially at this beginning stage of your dog training career.
In fact, if you’re relatively new to this world, a dog care certification can equip you with a solid understanding of topics such as canine psychology and natural behaviour, in addition to behavioural development.
It can also give you the best foundation to begin building a solid, successful career in this industry, an entry point to grasp all the essential knowledge and rise up the ranks.
Which neatly leads us onto our next point…