Yep, today was the first day of another session of our dog trainers school. New students getting immersed in the world of professional dog training. How cool is that? Making a career decision to spend time making a living by helping families with their favorite, but sometimes mischievous, canine. It rocks! I will tell you that. This has to be one of the coolest and most rewarding professions in existence.
So what does it take to be a professional dog trainer? What are the innate skills that help a person be successful? That was a question I mused over with TMD’s head trainer this morning before we welcomed our new class. Is it having loads of dog experience? Someone who has competed in dog events and done well? Someone who has raised and lived with lots of dogs? Those situations certainly might help, but we decided they really were not determining factors when it came down to success in this biz.
More often than not, the prevalent quality that shines in those folks who go on to really succeed is that of having people skill. Surprise huh? In the dog biz, you need good people skills? Yep, it is true, because the human pays the bill!! If you don’t please the person, you can forget winning over the dog. That’s My Dog! has built it’s reputation on that skill. The ability to work with clients, to help them understand, to be empathetic to those who are trying to develop new abilities and behaviors. That is where it all starts and because of that, the trickle down is the dog wins too!! They get their frustrations reduced, their freedom renewed and they get to be called *good dog* again.
So if you’re interested in this profession, ask yourself; if you like dogs? but also do you like helping people and can you work cooperatively with both? We can teach you how to train dogs, how to rehab problem dog behaviors, how to structure lesson programs and instruct group classes. And we can also advise on how to teach people and how to get the message across. Those skills, combined with a goal oriented attitude can produce a career that is rewarding emotionally and financially.