Have you dreamed of working with animals all your life? Or maybe you've decided you need a career change? Joining the Humane Society or packing your bags for the Peace Corps isn't for everyone, but becoming a dog trainer can be a happy medium -- helping humans and animals alike. Dog training is a skill that is always in demand. Here are 10 quick tips to get you on your way.
1. Be patient. It’s not going to happen over night. Becoming a dog trainer (a good one), takes years of dedication and training. You have to really want this.
2. Read, read, read. Books, magazines, training manuals. Get to know the latest techniques and theories on dog training (and of course, dog psychology). The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be when you begin.
3. Practice, they say, makes perfect, and they are right (whoever “they” might be). Practice on familiar dogs. If you don’t already have a dog of your own, then borrow or steal one. (Okay, don’t steal one. People -- and the authorities -- get angry about such things).
4. Volunteer at a local animal shelter. This puts you in close contact with many different types of dogs, giving you an opportunity to observe their behavior towards humans. Eventually, you'll learn what makes dogs tick and why.
5. Volunteer at a dog training school to observe trainers in action. This way, you can watch what trainers do, how they handle different personalities in dogs, and how dogs react to being trained.