Why Become a Dog Trainer?
Just like many other people, I was bought a dog as a present! I had never owned my own dog before, and I had a love for German Shepherds (who doesn't!). I had no idea how to train my pup and he was beginning to get too strong for me to walk already at just a few months old.
I joined a class and was informed my dog needed to be put on a K9 Bridle, and my dog would be fixed by the end of the session. My dog hated it, he fought and scratched at his face, but the instructor insisted my dog would be walking just fine, I just had to be persistent.
2 weeks later and my dog was at the vets, he was battered and bruised all over his face and he had pretty much scratched the underside of his throat out from trying to get this torturous piece of equipment off his face. The vet said not to use anything on his face and my trainer should find a new method.
My trainer did find another method - she had recently employed an
assistant trainer who was most experienced in German Shepherds. The
new trainer promptly put on a choke chain and stated I MUST NOT let my dog pull, sniff, go pee or do anything if I did not want him to. She then had me go to the other end of the hall, call my dog, he ran towards me, got to the end of the lead and she pulled back on the lead, causing the choke chain to tighten against my dogs sensitive throat. He screamed and I was horrified. That was how I was to train my dog to walk nicely?
I found myself a new trainer, he had fab recommendations and he had experience with German Shepherds too! I was told he used reward training, so take lots of treats. I packed lots of treats and set off for the hall.
The first lesson - Leave It! As soon as I walked in I was ordered not to let my dog eat anything off the floor. The floor had been littered with food. Each time he tried to put his head down to sniff or
take food, I was to jerk his head up high, then give him a treat for
lifting his head up! I found this confusing, hurting a dog to get him to stop doing something but then treat him as well. If I was confused how was my dog feeling about me hurting him all the time? I decided going to a trainer was not the answer for me.
A New Adventure!
I searched the Internet for trainers that had videos of them training their German Shepherds and came across Nando Brown. He didn't have a German Shepherd, but a Belgian Malinois called Fizz. Mali's are a super high energy dog mainly used for
police work and security/protection work. Yet here he was using
no pain, fear or force!
I wanted to be like him! He was working with the Institute of
Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT), so I checked them out. They were
holding a 2 day Career as a Dog Trainer course in the new year! Yes!!!
I attended the course and was instantly hooked. Steve Mann was the IMDT founder and was running the course, he explained how dogs learn (through association) and that, yes, training with pain and fear does work - the fallout being that the dog never fully trusts you and is more susceptible to having bigger behaviour issues in the future. So why would you want to train using fear or pain?
5 day Happy Puppy Instructor with Nando Brown
1 day Happy Recallers workshop
1 day Loose Lead Walking workshop
4 day Practical Instructors Course
2 day Assessment - Full Member awarded
Other Courses Taken
British College of Canine Science - Level 4 advanced dog behaviour diploma (ongoing)
Karen Pryor Academy - Dog Trainer Foundations
School of Canine Science - Puppy Lab
School of Canine Science - Scent for Six
Dognostics - Walk this Way Program
Dognostics - Fun Trick Program
Canine Confidence - Introduction to TTouch
Pet Professionals Guild - Pet Dog Ambassador Instructor/Assessor Absolute Dogs - Pro Dog Trainer
Absolute Dogs - Pro Dog Trainer Geek
Absolute Dogs - Training Academy
Subthreshold Training - Separation Anxiety Pro