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Old 06-18-2013, 12:49 PM
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Default What qualifies someone to train dogs?

Mainly pet dogs. Sports are a whole different thing.

What makes someone qualified to train pet dogs?

Do titles matter?
Certificates from schools or programs?
Number of dogs they own?
Experience with dogs?
Can someone who has only ever had one dog in their life be qualified to train dogs?
Would you want to see their own dog(s) and their behaviour?

This is a question I've thought about for a while now but especially recently as my area has a sudden influx of people offering dog training services and my manager at work wanting to bring some of them in to show off their services. This is a city of 80,000 people and I need two hands to count dog trainers which is kind of ridiculous to me lol. Some have certificates from 6 week programs, some just because they've had dogs before and want some extra cash, some are probably legit.

So what's your take?
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:10 PM
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Personally I think there are a lot of people out there training 'professionally' who have no business training.

I will not train with someone in ANYTHING be it or manners, sport, whatever unless they have competed wih multiple dogs and preferably have had success with their students. I don't care about classroom Certificates, I want practical experience. Now the school I'm at now the trainers go to seminars often with 'big wigs'. I think its a good thing but I don't care that they don't have their APDT.

Been there done that especially in agility. Well meaning trainers but they haven't even put their own dogs through many titles. If they had it was like... RN, CGC and novice agility. Not enough experience base to work from IMO.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:12 PM
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My initial reaction would be results and methods. How are the dogs that they've trained doing and how did they get there? Usually these trainers are found by recommendation and word of mouth, something your everyday pet owner may not have much access too.

Searching for a trainer though? I'd want to see some sort of certification, and definitely more than 6 weeks. I don't think they need to own dogs, but they need expierence with them. Perhaps helping to train shelter dogs while they wait for their forever homes. And lastly, they need to have a well rounded knowledge on dogs and the personality to successfully teach the pet owner as well as the pet. Dog nutrition, positive training, dog behavior, appropriately taking a dog in public, etc... Lots of pet owners never go past their first obedience lessons, so the person who fills that role needs to be a wealth of information on dogs and needs to bee able to deliver it in such a way that people learn from it(even if it's completely different than what the previously thought).
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyPug View Post
Mainly pet dogs. Sports are a whole different thing.

What makes someone qualified to train pet dogs?

Do titles matter?
Certificates from schools or programs?
Number of dogs they own?
Experience with dogs?
Can someone who has only ever had one dog in their life be qualified to train dogs?
Would you want to see their own dog(s) and their behaviour?

This is a question I've thought about for a while now but especially recently as my area has a sudden influx of people offering dog training services and my manager at work wanting to bring some of them in to show off their services. This is a city of 80,000 people and I need two hands to count dog trainers which is kind of ridiculous to me lol. Some have certificates from 6 week programs, some just because they've had dogs before and want some extra cash, some are probably legit.

So what's your take?

I think that a large portion of it should be the ability to teach people. A person could have the ability to do amazing things with a dog as far as training goes, but if they can't communicate effectively with the owner of the dog, then what's the point? The owner is the one that needs to learn how to train their dog.

Also, a trainer that believes there is only one way to do something and offers no flexibility on a dog to dog basis is not one I'd go to. Experience is important as well, especially with a large variety of breeds.

So yea, that's my take. The ability to communicate, flexibility and experience. Titles are great and all, but more important if you are looking at sport dog training and not so much for basic obedience and manners, etc.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:27 PM
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A strong understanding of dog behaviors, breeds, and so forth. An open mind, several methods and the comfort with saying I'm not sure but I will find out. Experience far, far outweighs any classroom certifications, in fact I don't even care for them. My agility and obed trainer probably has some but I have no idea, my IPO helper and club president are picked on the same ideals.

Beyond that an ability to clearly explain and maintain a low/no judgment and open mind with their students. An understanding that you cannot help the dogs if you do not help the owners and this often takes a lot of hard work and patience. Teaching the dogs is a lot easier than teaching the owners.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:31 PM
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For pet dogs, yeah, I dont really care about titles on the dogs. I saw too many "trainers" push dogs and drive their own ego with titles not noticing the damage to they were doing to their personal dogs. I want a trainer who actually NOTICES the dog and understands them. I also want a trainer who knows how to teach. You could be awesome at titling your own dogs, doesnt mean you know how to teach manners, basics, or beyond to others.

I want understanding of dog behavior. I want continued education. I want practical experience sure but I dont think titles show that.

Now, that being said...NOTHING is wrong with titles of course! If I was looking for an agility trainer I would yes, expect them to actually compete in agility but the other stuff would still be very important.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:38 PM
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I like titles because it is objective proof. I know this person trained these dogs to these levels.

I've met some very well read trainers and students that are woefully bad at putting their book knowledge into practice.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I like titles because it is objective proof. I know this person trained these dogs to these levels.

I've met some very well read trainers and students that are woefully bad at putting their book knowledge into practice.
For sports, sure, but a fantastic pet trainer doesn't have to title a dog. IMO My coworker is a great trick trainer & pet trainer, she's super smart and relates to clients well. Her dog was in a couple plays and even worked as an animal actor but she has never titled a dog and I am still confident in her abilities.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I like titles because it is objective proof. I know this person trained these dogs to these levels.
.
Its only objective proof that they trained that particular dog to that particular goal. Doesnt give any proof of how they relate to people, or other breeds of dogs, or house manners, etc.

Again, some of the most titled trainers I used to work with had dogs that were not good pets. The dogs were either working or put away. Thats not a pet or family dog so why would I go to them or use their titles in training one?

I also just know a lot of trainers who have wonderful dogs that will likely never have titles, or at least not many. They are rescues or abuse cases or what have you which yes, often CAN go on to title but I would rather a trainer not worry about titles and worry about the dog being comfortable in its own skin first. Or I guess what I mean is I am not going to fault a trainer for rescuing a dog that does not have the right temperament for competing.
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:59 PM
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I don't really think any one thing would qualify someone really.

I don't have a check list for what I look for in a trainer, honestly the best way I've gone about things is meeting them and seeing what they're like, how they relate and work with their cliental, how they work with dogs and how good they are at imparting knowledge in a way that helps and furthers you while being able to shift depending on the goals/attitudes/wants/needs of the person, or the dog.

It's also nice to see if the people they are teaching are flourishing and growing because at the end of the day it's going to be about that more than the trainers personal successes.

If I met someone that had never titled a dog and only owned one dog their whole life but had some crazy good ideas, worked well with me and my dog and were able to impart their wisdom and help well then I would totally go to them.

Titles, experience and multiple dogs under their belts are great but not end all be all to me.
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