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There are so many scams involving dog training and how to become a dog trainer on the internet that I thought I might give my readers a good shove in the right direction.
Dog training is mostly an unregulated business. There is no one place that dog trainers go to, to become certified or licensed. In fact most dog trainers have no such paper credentials. So how do you locate a good dog trainer? There are 2 methods. One is to ask friends or get recommendations from local dog breeders or animal shelters, the other is to contact the American Kennel Club to ask about local dog training clubs in your area. The dog training clubs are a good source of dog training information.
What if you want to become a dog trainer? The number one place to stay away from is those websites that claim for lots of $$$$$ they will put you through a program that in 12 weeks or less you can become a certified dog trainer. Don’t fall for that sales pitch. Dog trainers have had years of experience with dogs before they can call themselves a dog trainer. If you want to become a dog trainer the best way is to earn that title with your own dog or dogs in obedience classes at dog shows. Getting those ribbons and points for your dogs will give you the experience and contacts you need to further your career. The dog trainers that I worked with in the past were all affiliated with the American Kennel Club. They had all won awards for their work as trainers and each one of them owned a top awarded dog. Those are the types of dog trainers that have no problem with mentoring younger, future dog trainers and handlers.
You can also take college courses at your local community college in biology, animal nutrition, animal genetics and business management. All of those courses will help you round out your future as a dog trainer.
Lastly, stay away from those big pet store chain dog training classes. Number one, they take place in the store which is one of the worst places to train a dog. Those trainers are told to push products on to their students as part of their “sales pitch.” Find a dog training facility that is both comfortable temperature wise for you and your dog as well as large enough that the trainers and you can do sit-stay commands out of sight of the dogs. The legitimate dog trainers will not allow dogs under 6 months old in group classes. The main reason is the fact that dogs under 6 months old have not had all of their vaccines and are likely to end up with catching a disease should they be exposed to the virus. It does not cost hundreds of $$$ for your dog to be trained. Most AKC affiliated training clubs charge low rates for group classes.