What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I am a graduate of Penn Foster Career School where I studied Dog Training & Grooming. I have trained classes for an obedience Club for 5 years. I continue to further my education through seminars both online and in person.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I have worked with animals for many years. I have also trained dogs over the years for myself and a few other people, though not as a job, more for fun. It wasn't until I got my standard poodle and took her to group training, that I became inspired to pursue a career as a dog trainer. I started out as an assistant trainer for the very club that I took my poodle to for training. I moved up to training group classes on Saturdays as a dog obedience instructor. I sought out courses for a better understanding of the dog training profession. I also attend seminars on dog training whenever possible to be up to date on anything new and helpful for my students and clients.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
My advice is to ask questions concerning a person's knowledge in the field. You need to be comfortable with the methods that people use for dog training. There is a right way and wrong way to train a dog or even just manage a behavior issue that your dog has. I recommend that the trainer you choose be one who uses positive reinforcement to get results. The philosophy of a great dog trainer should be: "A dog should perform a command because he/she wants to, not because of fear of repercussions." My dogs "work" (perform commands) because they love to do it. Training takes time and patience and your trainer should exhibit patience when working with your dog.