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Wannabe dog trainer! help and advice please

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Balto-x, Apr 10, 2011.


  1. Balto-x

    Balto-x PetForums VIP

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    Hi
    im looking to train to be a dog trainer, i am about to do my dog first aid and all relevant courses with that, i would just love some advice and help from anyone, its a bit of a hard job to get info about course etc
    many thanks
    katie
     
  2. Hi, Sorry I can't help but didn't want to read and run. I'm sure someone will be along shortly that will be able to help with your question.
     
  3. Starlite

    Starlite PetForums VIP

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    Hi hun,
    you can do all the courses known to man but your best bet is to try and find a class or two, approach the trainer (provided you agree with their training methods obv!) and ask them if you can shadow them and assist in their classes to build up some experience :)
    I'd be looking towards ones which do the Good Citizen Scheme etc.

    Also, watch what courses you are going to do, very few are worth the paper they are written on!
    There are a few courses on the link which are looked on favourably by some universities if you wanted to go to degree level

    Compass Education and Training

    but like I said, be careful and do your research before parting with any cash. Good luck!
     
  4. Balto-x

    Balto-x PetForums VIP

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    thanks both :D we have a really good trainer atm who im going to approach next week about shadowing he has recommended the first aid as just a general back up because you never know :) our local club does kc good scheme which im going to do with balto to see how we get on and then go from there with that, the cash was what i am worried about! alot of these "course" are not worth the paper they are written on lol :)
    thanks for your replies xxx
     
  5. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    You should visit the COAPE website. Their courses start with a distance learning one then move on to four (I think residential weekends). Someone on the forum is doing one at the moment, but they are not cheap and do take a couple of years to complete. I also believe there is no practical learning going on, all theory.

    If you want something quick and really excellent (I have been on this one myself) try here:

    Alpha Dog Training School - Dog Trainer Courses

    Don't take any notice of the Alpha bit; Steve is not into packleader stuff, he is very up to date and he trains dogs for tv. Once you have done the two day course, you can then go on the four day one, which is practical with your own dog or one of his, but beware - it is all outdoors and is based around training classes. Neither of these courses are very expensive though and will give you a good grounding. I don't know where you are based, but there were loads of people from all over the country, one even from Newcastle.

    You have to be very, very careful when paying for courses online, because a lot of them have just made up their associations and they don't mean a thing. Also, a lot of them, believe it or not, are still clinging to the packleader/dominance rubbish. Even the dog psychology course from the Canine Behaviour Centre goes on about dogs making a play for dominance! I certainly told them what I thought about that.
     
  6. Balto-x

    Balto-x PetForums VIP

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    thanks for all that newfiemum :D thats all amazing stuff, alpha sounds really good xx
     
  7. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    It is in South Mimms, in Herts, but lots of people were staying in bed and breakfasts. It is worth doing, especially if you are planning to do classes. Had I realised the four day part was all outdoors, though, I would not have booked the March one. I have never been so cold in all my life!
     
  8. Old Shep

    Old Shep PetForums VIP

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    The Good Citizen courses to be a tester are maybe worth doing. They are not expensive and only take a day. At the end you will be qualified to test people for the scheme. There are separate courses to test each level.
    I did the bronze level one last year and it was good fun, too. I'm hoping to do the Silver this year. It's all experience.

    May be worth looking at the KC accredited instructor scheme, there is info available on their website. I think there are only certain courses they "approve" of which may give an indication of whether a course is worth doing or not.

    I'd love to be a trainer, but I'm useless with groups and wouldn't have the confidence (never mind the experience!)

    Good luck!!
     
  9. Balto-x

    Balto-x PetForums VIP

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    yeah thats what im planning on doing eventually is classes, but i think i might opt for june if i go to alpha not bloody december! i bet march was freezing! xx
     
  10. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

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    Yes, it was. I thought I was dying of hyperthermia! I am glad I didn't take either of my dogs as well as they would never have stood up to it.

    The first course, the two day one, is indoors in a sort of hall with calor gas heaters, so that one is ok. You get to have a go at clicker training with one of his dogs on that and with him, trying to get him to touch something he doesn't know about! It was good fun.
     
  11. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    you'll get used to the cold when you take classes, I only do 2 hrs a week inside, the rest of the classes are outdoors as it gives more scope it also is a more realistic training environment.
     
  12. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    You have to be used to the cold anyway with Border Collies! :D
     
  13. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    Yes owning a BC can be a cold hobby. I don't really want to say anything about courses because I am too out of date, I did the coape diploma as did my OH but it was some time ago.
    Getting practical stuff will help massively, do you go to class with your own dog ? Watching classes, helping out when you are ready or any use to do so, the reason I say that is i get contacted a couple of times each week by someone who wants to help, trouble is they don't know how to do anything so no help, but you will learn a lot from observation. Just a tip if you are obsvering someones class and someone comes to you for advice refer them to the trainer, don't try to answer yourself.

    Get yourself round to some dog events competitive obedience, Working trials (my chosen sport), gundog trials, sheep dog trials, agility, flyball see whats happening in the dog world, lots of people who compete in these events are also dog trainers.
     
  14. Balto-x

    Balto-x PetForums VIP

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    Thanks for all that info, we are with a trainer once a week and then attend his social walks, the last couple of weeks I have observed how he does things but not spoken to him yet about, after what u have all said I'm going to ask him on Saturday if I can observe more of his lessons for a month or so just to get a feel of what happens etc xx
     
  15. Jenny Olley

    Jenny Olley PetForums VIP

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    You will learn so much from watching the trainer, the dogs and the owners.
     
  16. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Actually attending classes as a "backup" handler with a puppy owner you know, you can notice a lot by observing even if you are just a hanger on, providing transport and carrying poo bags.
     
  17. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    nothing much to add to all the excellen responses...especially from Newfiesmum! ;)

    i am more into behaviour work than running classes (far too much competition where i live) but the requirements are the same. your clients will want to know that you have studied your teaching methods, are competant at what you do, and understand the basics at least of dog psychology.

    in the real world,,,,no matter how many bits of paper you own if one of your clients decides to sue you for something they believe you did wrong with their dog.....you still wont have a leg to stand on in court! so research your study and do the best you can within the funding limits you have.

    i took the online courses with the ADTB....simply because i like their ethos and it was affordable... i am working towards being an accredited trainer some time soon.
     
  18. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

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    Just going to pop my two pennies-worth in here.

    Would echo the recommendations for courses here. COAPE courses are very good. Sarah Whitehead's "Think Dog!" online course is also to be recommended.
    Might be worth having a look at the APDT website as I know they often have residential courses on there.

    My advice would be to go to as many seminar days, courses etc as possible.

    In addition, I cannot stress the importance of hands-on experience. OP- you have your own pup, so doing lots of training with him is obviously the way to go. But also lots of experience training and observing other breeds is ESSENTIAL.

    According to my friend who is a behaviourist, she knows tons of people with online or distance learning qualifications who are very good on theory BUT if you gave them a stressed dog, they wouldn't be able to identify that it was stressed or why? Similarly if you handed them a clicker, reinforcers and dog they wouldn't have a clue about how to work on free shaping a behaviour.

    So lots of experience really is VERY important. Volunteering at your local rescue might be a good way to go. Ask your trainer if they'd allow you to shadow them perhaps?

    Best of luck :)
     
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