You know, I'm often asked about dog training certification and if it's required to be a successful trainer. Hopefully I can offer some good food for thought with this article.
To be honest, anyone can be a successful trainer, even those that are self taught. Yet by going through a dog training certification course you may have a paw up with folks looking to employ a professional. More and more dog owners are finding the advantages of going with certified trainers, especially when it comes to specialized training for service dogs and working breeds. So, I typically recommend to most dog owners, a certified trainer is the direction to go. It's also the way I advise fellow trainers who are considering a career in the field. As a dog trainer, if you're ready to take your expertise to the next level, becoming certified will prove to be beneficial in a many ways.
In effect, what we're trying to establish as trainers is a community where dogs learn to behave and perform as we wish. This translates to happy animals and proud owners, and therein is our motivation for what we do as trainers. And of course, the better we become, the more our community can grow. Since the art of dog training is not a regulated practice, being certified ensures the new dog owner that a trainer is on the same page with those who employ accepted training practices. A dog training certification is going to tell your potential clients that you have exceptional skills and knowledge in the area of dog training.
Certification For Dog Trainers
Certainly, if you're considering becoming a certified trainer, it's important to point out, certification courses are going to require anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks of your time. As for what to expect, your training routines will combine hands-on activities with classroom sessions. Certification training for service dogs and working breeds will include extensive apprenticeship, where a lot of time is spent with the dogs, and limited time in the classroom. At the other end of the spectrum, family dog and behavior training will consist of more classroom education, and not as much time with the dogs.
As for the immediate benefits of dog training certification, once you've become certified you can establish your affiliations, and carry your work further into the circles where you are endeavoring to employ your craft.
Finding an accredited certification school is not particularly difficult, and it's only a matter of finding the school that suits your purposes as a trainer. If your passion is training service dogs, you'll want to find an organization that specializes in this type of schooling. On the other hand, if you or your particular community is active with working breeds, such as retrievers or herd dogs, this will be the type of certification training that's going to best suit your purposes. In addition, the qualifications for acceptance into certain courses are going to vary depending on the type of certification training.
Overall, dog training certification courses have requirements that might include a minimum of previous training experience, referrals from a veterinarian or a clinic, and possibly some of your client references. Some schools require an application fee, and all schools require a paid tuition.
Talk With Fellow Trainers
Talking with others that have completed a trainers certification course is a wonderful way to learn even more about the benefits of being certified.
By speaking with your peers, you will receive first hand information gained from those that have actually gone through a specific certification program. You can also gain tons of feedback about the program from those that have learned by doing ;)
In some instances, trainers began to realize the benefits of being certified shortly after completing their schooling. In other instances, trainers received their certification and shared their knowledge in community classes and volunteer activities. However, in every instance, those who have completed the training and received their certification will attest to the incredible amount of knowledge that was gained through the experience. And after all, that is what teaching is all about. Learning, and passing our knowledge along for the benefit of our community and our dogs.
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