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Anybody a dog trainer for a living

Discussion in 'Obedience & Sports' started by CasperWorldPeace, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. CasperWorldPeace

    CasperWorldPeace Little Dog

    If so how did you go along do it? getting started etc
  2. Kit

    Kit Good Dog

    I'm not, (I did train horses for several years) but my agility instructor, who is all of 22, has been teaching since she was 9 years old and a USDAA judge since she was 13.
    People would ask her to run their dogs and she attends a lot of seminars all over the world, and it just kind of evolved.
    She also studies how the dogs move, and how the handler moves in relationship to the dog. She gets advice from her personal trainer on the handlers moving.

    As far as basic obedience type training, you've got to work with a lot of different dogs, and if possible work with a reputable instructor before branching out on your own.
    You have to continue learning, understand that not every method works on every dog and must be willing to adapt and willing to take criticism as well as know people WILL talk about you.
  3. kayla baxter

    kayla baxter Big Dog

    I'm a certified trainer, KPA-CTP, but it's really just a side thing. If I had the financial means to cut back my hours at my full time job and spend the time to build a client base and rent a space I could possibly do it full time, but it's not an easy way to make a living.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. Blau

    Blau Big Dog

    I'm working on becoming a professional trainer, hoping to start working on my 300 hours for CPDT-KA as soon as I find a mentor, but there aren't any around here who can take on apprentices right now... I worked as an assistant trainer at a board and train place for a while, I basically did all the obedience training so I've got a LOT of experience with basic obedience/leash manner stuff.

    I'd definitely say that unless some big name hires you to work under them or you can do your own clients in a super pet-friendly area where people are willing to pay to have someone train their dog, it's hard to make "a living" as a trainer.
  5. Floras_Mom

    Floras_Mom Little Dog

    I trained professionally for a number of years. I fell into it.
    I had started training my own and my familie's dogs at the age of 12 and had some of the top scoring obedience dogs for a number of years. I started training classes for our local AKC club pretty early on and did this for quite a number of years. During this time I was constantly going to seminars around the country and working with some incredible trainers. Because I was well known in the dog community in my area, people started contacting me to train with and for them.

    Before Petsmart started their own training classes, I was approached by the manager of a store that had just come into our area about doing classes for them. I did this for a couple of years along with my own clients on the side. Eventually, Petsmart decided to start their own classes and train their own instructors. At that time I chose to continue on my own path. I did this for a number of years at my own facility. But it was not my primary form of income.

    Some years ago I remarried and moved to another part of the country. Because I was not known in this part of the country, I elected to stop training professionally and now only work with a select few clients on occasion. I have also stopped showing but may consider going back into it in the future.

    I still love to train and do it for the joy of working with the people and dogs. Very few get rich training professionally, but it is very rewarding if you truly love what you are doing. It is also very important to continue your education. Get out there and go to seminars, work with other instructors. There is always something new that you may or may not choose to utilize in the future. The more tricks you have in your bag, the more effective you will be.
  6. CrazyK9

    CrazyK9 Good Dog

    Im a trainer at Petco now. I figured I was working there I might as well do something I enjoy even if it is big box store BS lol. Luckily my mentor is pretty much on the same page as me as far as knowledge goes so we aren't the typical straight out of high school "dogs are cute lets work with them" people you typically see working as trainers in retail stores.
    Not my goal to stay here for sure. Id like to branch out eventually and work someplace decent. In the mean time I think this is a good way to get more experience with speaking and instructing which is my down fall. Im great with dogs, not so much with people lol.
  7. Floras_Mom

    Floras_Mom Little Dog

    Crazy, Do you find that you are very limited as to the methods you are allowed to use while training for Petco? I have heard from a number of people who are training for the bigbox stores that there are a lot of things they would love to utilize but have to stick to the store's methods only. I left before having to do Petsmart's way of training a long time ago, just curious how it is working for you?
  8. CrazyK9

    CrazyK9 Good Dog

    Well I definitely cant do my balanced training here as policy prohibits positive punishment and negative reinforcement. But I think that's over most of the customers heads anyway so I'm comfortable sticking with the positive reinforcement and negative punishment only. The type of people that come in here don't need to be popping their dogs collars at every little thing they think is wrong and misusing techniques. Thats the biggest obstacle for me, is trying to get people to understand the concepts and apply them correctly, not what methods are being used.

    I've definitely tweaked the curriculum a bit though. The layout they have for us is ridiculous. Im trying to put more emphasis on engagement, using body langauge over verbal cues, and using markers apprpriately. The order they had things in, both comands and explanations of behavior, made no sense whatsoever so I rearranged that too.

    My biggest gripe is my training area. Its waaay too small and its right by the front entrance which is also where the grooming door is plus the cat adoption cages are there too. Makes it way too overwhelming for a lot of dogs. :/
  9. Floras_Mom

    Floras_Mom Little Dog

    That makes sense. I've also found that people, just like dogs, all learn concepts differently.
    I have noticed at our local stores the lack of appropriate space for working classes. Our local Petsmart has a beautiful nice play area for dogs that are being boarded, that sits empty, while classes are being held in the aisles. I've often wondered why they don't start their classes there and then move out to the public areas as the class progresses.

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