As anyone who’s been around an out-of-control dog can attest, without some basic training, most dogs are just plain hard to live with.
And without the help of professional trainers, many dog owners simply don’t have the skills or knowledge to manage their dogs.
Dog trainers actually fit into several categories. Dog obedience training can prevent behavioral problems and solve existing ones. Trainers teach tricks, family manners, show-ring exercises, and various skills. Some trainers teach specialized skills to search-andrescue dogs, sled-and-carting dogs, hunting dogs, or service dogs for people with disabilities.
Most trainers agree that training should be fun for the dog. Every training session should include some sort of games, petting and praise. Training should be something the dog looks forward to, just as it looks forward to a walk or being fed or groomed. This is especially true for companion dogs, where every learned behavior should have a use in the home as well.
Some basic training for a dog includes sitting on command, staying, or lying down. Dogs should also be trained to get in and out of a car or truck, heel and walk on a leash without trying to pull away, and come when called.
As with all training, dog training focuses on rewarding the dog for good behavior with priase or a treat. Often, trainers also make bad behavior impossible by controlling the dog’s access to certain areas or by teaching the dog an alternative action, such as sitting when it meets a stranger to keep it from jumping up.
Dog training doesn’t end with the dog, however. The dogs owner must also learn how to live and interact with his or her pet. A good trainer is able to convince owners that they must correct their bad habits as well, such as feeding the dog from the table, and explain the reasons behind various dog behaviors.
Often, dog trainers work for themselves. Others work for an obedience school, kennel, pet store, or humane society. Those who train specialty dogs work for specific types of institutions, such as police departments or disability advocacy organizations. Getting ready. Nearly all dog trainers start by training their own dogs. Many gain professional experience by taking courses and attending workshops at vocational schools or community colleges, and some complete degrees or vocational certificates. Courses address canine behavior and health, learning theory of animals, obedience instruction, problem-solving methods, and safety. Schools also teach basic business skills.
Although formal training and certification are not always necessary to become a dog trainer, they often help aspiring trainers gain credibility. On the job training is also a good way to learn this rewarding and challenging career. Apprentice dog trainers often work with more experienced trainers, sometimes in formal internship programs. Another option is to participate in workshops offered by their employers.
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