Are you considering becoming a certified professional dog trainer? You love dogs and want to train to be a dog trainer. If that sounds like you, then beware! Every dog you encounter as a certified professional trainer has a person attached to the leash. More than that, as a professional dog trainer, it is your ability to teach the person that has the greatest impact on the long term success of the dog.
Many certified professional dog trainers choose dog training as a career because they love dogs and are trying to turn a passion into a profession. Be sure that your passion includes helping and teaching people. If you want to become a professional dog trainer, it can be a challenging career path for someone who loves dogs but doesn’t have well-developed people skills. What does this mean for you? Here are some dog trainer requirements that focus on the human side of the equation:
1. Communication: As a certified professional trainer, you must be able to clearly and efficiently convey information to clients and prospective clients. Many clients have busy lives with competing priorities, and your time as a certified professional trainer – especially in group classes – is very limited. This makes clear and efficient communication vital for both your profitability and customer satisfaction.
2. Have a Heart: Compassion shouldn’t be reserved for the dogs, but also shared with your clients and prospective clients. Many people turn to certified professional dog trainers in times that are especially stressful and emotional for their families. They are struggling to cope with problems that seem overwhelming to them. Criticizing their choices and judging the past does little to help a client move forward with solutions to the challenges they are facing.
3. Organization: As a certified professional trainer, you’re a teacher whose expert knowledge of dog behavior is the basis of your professional credibility. It is essential that you be able to organize your class content and client communications so that you present information clearly and in a way that can be understood by your clients.
As you investigate the options and weigh the question – to become a certified dog trainer or not? – don’t forget that certified dog training professionals must like people, too!