I only got my first two dogs 6 months ago and have really enjoyed transforming them into generally good citizens and am even interested in perhaps making it a career. How do I go about becoming a professional dog trainer? And maybe even walking dogs?

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  1. Single Worker 1230

    The best way is to find a mentor. Take many classes not just in training theory but in husbandry also. Train many types of dogs with many types of personalities. Volunteer at a shelter and offer to train their dogs in house hold manners. Finally, part of training dogs is training people. After all these dogs have owners (hopefully) so will will need to learn to deal with human personalities as well Believe me that part can be hard.

  2. xallyxx1

    There are several courses you can do to become a trainer. Just be wary that there are already many out there in the world! To walk dogs, however, all you need to do is advertise on the streets (like flyer’s and things) to say that you are a keen dog walker, and will walk dogs for a minimum charge of $20 (depending on the size of the dog)

  3. __A_YAHO

    Becoming a professional trainer (are you wanting to train for show or just good behavior or discing? more info on that please for a better answer) takes time. There are alot of places on the internet that are online only, etc. I researched two college’s and chose the one that let me do all of my book work, (learning breeds and natural traits, muscuoskeletal system, how their bodies work, when to start training for certain things because in the first year you don’t want to do too much physical so they don’t tear or strain a muscle that hasn’t completely formed yet and can cause problems later on down the line. Research, research and then some more, while working with your dogs. Experience is the best teacher. After my book work I had months of training in a shelter with rescuing and rehabilitating them so they could be adopted out, and then my last semester was with a mentor in my area and that is when I took my dog and she graduated with me as a Certified Therapy Dog. The whole experience has been wonderful for me. But I would work with your own two and a lot of question asking. I hope you find a place you like. Kudo’s to you!

  4. Love is a GSD eats *people* food

    Get experience! Find PROFFESIONAL, EXPERIENCED trainers in your area and ask for advice/shadowing opportunities. Dont go to your run of the mill petsmart trainer, that wont get you anywhere.
    I too am looking for a career in dog behavior, training, and nutrition. It all started when I got my shepherds. In the last couple of months, I have done private training through an experienced trainer who has 30+ years experience with shepherds and in rehab and schutzhund. Needless to say, I have learned a lot from him.
    I am currently going to school to get my associates degree as a vet tech. A vet tech degree can open MANY doors for you, as few degrees are actually companion animal specific, and few companion animal jobs require specific degrees. After I graduate, I plan on going on to get my bachelors degree in animal behavior. I would love to spend a few years doing field research on wolves. I believe their behavior and habits are a lot closer to dogs then most realize.
    Along the way, of course, I am looking for any job oppurtunities I can in the dog field. My trainer, for example, offers boarding as well, and he has hired all of his kennel techs as graduates from my school. Working under extremely experienced and knowledgable trainers is the fasted way to get your foot in the door. From there, do internships or paid assistant training jobs. Then work on doing full time trainer jobs.
    That is how I am looking at it. I’m sure there are many other ways. The key is experience and knowledge on dogs.
    EDIT: Just a clarification though, if you ever do become a trainer, be careful what you call yourself. You can not call yourself a behaviorist, for example, unless you actually have a degree in animal behavior. After I graduate my current school, I can be a trainer. After I get my bachelors degree in animal behavior, then I can call myself a behaviorist (and bring in the big bucks, lol)

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