When most folks hear that you are a dog trainer most people believe it’s easy you just teach the dog to sit…not that hard! Dog training has branched out in so many different areas of our day to day life that the possibilities are endless for specialized education for dog trainers. If you plunge into the world of dog training you will discover biomedical detection, conservation detection, KNPV, French Ring, Tri –ball , Scent work for pet dogs, tracking for fun, Cadaver Dog, Urban Search and Rescue, etc. These specialized areas of dog training are only the tip of a massive growing iceberg!
In order to understand specialized areas of dog training you must master the basics. You would be unable to train a police dog or service without understanding the importance of basic obedience and advanced obedience. Many potential and current students in a school for dog trainers want to skip over this education and get “to the fun stuff.” It would be impossible for a future dog trainer to be successful without understanding basic behavior modification. It can be difficult to maintain focus during lectures and videos on operant conditioning, shaping, chaining, reinforcement schedules, using training tools but it’s a crucial component to a successful career as a dog trainer.
There are many dog trainer schools and seminars out there that expose students to a few days up to a week of specialized training in the areas of service dog work, police k-9, protection, detection, agility and so forth. Some students leave with a certificate thinking they have what it takes to teach in those specialized areas of dog training. This can be no further from the truth and this applies to any profession. Highland Canine Training offers specialized courses covering areas of working dog drive development up to a full dual purpose patrol dog but when you finish even our 12 week school you simply have an understanding of the foundation work for specialized dog training the rest will come with experience. If you have the mindset that you know all there is to know about dog training you should probably quit or retire! The dog training business is changing and evolving more each day and we have to stay on top of the new directions they may take us.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics animal care and service workers, which does include professional dog trainers, held 220,400 jobs in 2008 and are expected to hold 265,000 jobs by 2018! This report also stated that a variety of professional organizations, trade, and/or vocational schools offer certifications and specialized teaching to enhance the dog