Getting Into Dog Training

This forum is all about training and behavior. Everything from potty training to working titles!

Postby PetieMarie22 » April 27th, 2010, 3:08 pm

How does one become a dog trainer? Has anyone heard anything good or bad about the Animal Behavioral College. Are there any other schools or classes that can be taken if someone wants to get into dog training?
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » April 27th, 2010, 3:16 pm

I've always heard better things about CASI (Companion Animal Science Institute) than ABC, but mostly I hear to just read as much as you can and attend as many seminars as you can. I'm also in the process of trying to get into the field, and my local shelter has kind of assigned me as their training consultant. So check at your local shelter to get some experience under your belt. I've also volunteered to enslave myself to my dog trainer if she ever needs an extra set of hands for a class.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies.""
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Postby TheRedQueen » April 27th, 2010, 4:07 pm

I'm a big fan of apprenticing...take as many seminars, classes, etc that you can. Soak in the knowledge of others... 8)
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby katiek0417 » April 30th, 2010, 6:20 am

TheRedQueen wrote:I'm a big fan of apprenticing...take as many seminars, classes, etc that you can. Soak in the knowledge of others... 8)

x2 This is the best way to learn...

But also, do yourself a favor, and get a used psych textbook on learning and behavior and read through the chapters that discuss classical conditioning, the consequences of operant conditioning, and reinforcement schedules. You'd be surprised at how many trainers don't use the consequences the way they were originally intended!

I'm also a huge fan of the Steven Lindsay books (the series, Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training)...he was actually one of the lead investigators on the Army's BioSensor Puppy program. I, specifically, like his books because there is a ton of good information in there...I don't necessarily follow what he says to a "t" but I think he does try to explain things well...

I also just read The Mind of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz. She's a cognitive science professor at Columbia University, and has spent much of her time doing research on the cognition and behavior of dogs! It's actually a very good read (and she discusses science in a very understandable manner)....
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