"Anyone can be a good dog trainer"

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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What'd you say?- I wasn't- listening.
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 4:26pm PST 
My end goal is to become a professional dog trainer, more than likely training service dogs. Before I quit my last job my boss was trying to sway my interest in training dogs so that I could be more involved in sales; he said something along the lines of "Anyone can be a good dog trainer."

The self doubting part of me was like "yea probably." But even if anyone technically can, I think a lot of what makes a good trainer is patience and diligence, and not everyone has that nor will they ever, so right away I think that goes to say something.

But beyond that?

This is all assuming the person has an interest in animals of course.

So what do you think? Do you think anyone could be a good dog trainer?
Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 5:09pm PST 
Obviously not, based on the number of poor trainers I have met!!
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 5:57pm PST 
Certainly not, the world is riddled with poor dog trainers who think highly of themselves. And often they are quick to share erroneous information and mask opinion as fact. shock


What'd you say?- I wasn't- listening.
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 7:05pm PST 
And by good I mean the results someone can continuously achieve.

In response to the bad trainers you met, is it just because they're misinformed?
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 7:34pm PST 
That's like saying anybody can be a great basketball player. You don't see me in the NBA now do ya?!

There is a certain skillset that needs to be learned, but I also think natural talent is really the winner in all work fields.

I played basketball all through my childhood. Made varsity my freshman year. Spent all my freetime on basketball. Never got any scholarships, got my butt handed to me by the private schools and city teams. Obviously diligence isn't all it takes to become great.

Edited by author Wed Mar 6, '13 7:37pm PST


Blame the deed,- NOT the Breed
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 7:44pm PST 
Talent isnt always needed, sure it can help but hard work and diligence can pay off. Have you seen "Rudy"?..Very inspirational film based on a true story. If you truly want to be a trainer, just work hard and improve as you progress
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 7:58pm PST 
I'm sorry, but that's bollocks.

The bad ones? It's not so much that many are misinformed, but OVERINFORMED. They thump the books they've read, are deaf to all else, and call themselves an expert.

Some of the best sheep dog trainers I've seen have never picked up a book ... it's a natural knack. The animals like them. They instinctively know how to work the dogs. Frankly, if someone who wants to be a trainer is doing nothing but trawling through literature, they obviously don't have true instinct on their side. It's more than just educating yourself, like in anything of true skill, and so while maybe any bonzo can sell themselves as a trainer, not everyone can be a good one.
'Barcoola'- Rogue

Door? What door?
Barked: Wed Mar 6, '13 8:24pm PST 
It's not so much the people out there calling themselves trainers, it's more about anyone who wants to put the time and effort into teaching a dog to do something - some people may take longer to teach a dog something than others who have more instinct about handling dogs, but if the end result is the same and they have a well rounded, well trained dog, surely they can call themselves a good dog trainer? I know there's a lot of people out there calling themselves good trainers when they're not etc, but anyone with the will and determination to go about training a dog, surely they deserve a chance?

Sorry I have something in my mind but I can't quite explain it the way I want >.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Thu Mar 7, '13 9:29am PST 
If that was the case, would there not be more good trainers out there?

I don't think it's simply a lack of misinformation, but a culmination of things that can make a bad trainer:

- Misinformation
If you lack the proper information or knowledge on canine behavior, how can you truly be a good trainer? For example: those who alpha roll their dogs all the time and call themselves good trainers despite having been bit and having a dog that is uncomfortable around them - why do they think they're good? Misinformation and lack of knowledge on canine behavior, simply put. It's not necessarily that they don't WANT to learn, but rather, what and who they have learned from and what they have yet to learn.

- Lack of Experience
If you lack experience and jump into training with a dog that has fear or aggression issues, resource guards, any behavioral issue really, it can REALLY make it more difficult. You lack experience, it's harder to work with animals and truly help them or be a GOOD trainer. Starting off with an easier dog and training it to do all the basics and even some more advanced levels of training, and then slowly working your way up, and gaining experience with different behaviors AND with different breeds can ultimately help a person accomplish a status of 'good trainer'.

- Ego
Let's face it, how many of the so-called 'good dog trainers' have a big ego? A friend calls them a Dog Whisperer, or a family member says they're amazing with dogs and BAM, they have their ego stroked and begin trying to give anyone and everyone advice. It's these people that I'm not personally fond of... But you see them EVERYWHERE.

- Inability to Adapt to Individual Canines
This can come with lack of experience... But let's be honest.. Some dogs are simply EASIER to train! For example, I have a friend who had a Shepherd/Collie mix, and now has an Irish Setter pup as well.. Her Shepherd mix was INCREDIBLY easy to train, eager to please, and very naturally laid back and well behaved around the house and children. Her Irish Setter pup however, is more stubborn, more independent, and very exuberant in her behaviors which, while some may chuckle at her behavior and antics, others would get extremely frustrated with trying to train her because she's not quite as quick and requires more repetitive training on one command to really have it stick. Right now, I have them working on a solid 'leave it' with a clicker and it's going fantastic because they've learned HOW to adapt to her needs, help her understand AND are repeatedly doing this with her daily to reinforce the behavior they want. Before, however, they got frustrated and would give up.

- Ignorance
If you either don't want to, don't know how, or lack the knowledge of where to gain more knowledge in the canine world, it's going to bring down your ability to train quite a bit. Just because I disagree with certain methods of training, DOES NOT MEAN that I won't look into them and read up on them and try to keep an open mind(to an extent - there's certain methods I will NEVER condone), so that I can better understand and have a better knowledge in the canine world. You need to be able to keep an open mind and not say "Nope you're wrong. End of."

- Lack of Patience
If you lack patience, you're less likely to take the time with the animal to achieve the goals you have, and you're more likely to get frustrated if it doesn't happen sooner. Many people would have been frustrated with Charlie over the years. My friends were incredibly frustrated with their Irish Setter til I showed them HOW to adapt to her training needs and how to set realistic goals. You want to set the animal up for success too.

And there's soooo many more things that can make a trainer... not be so good. And I see them everywhere... all the time, claiming they can do this and do that when they either can't, or don't even have the experience to begin with. And what do a lot of them base it on? Someone, somewhere, saying they were good when in actuality, they weren't, lol.. At least not to those of us who have experience. And a good mentor can help!
Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Thu Mar 7, '13 10:16am PST 
I think besides learning technique, it takes a natural ability to observe the subtleties of dog behavior to know when you're getting a small response in the right direction-- a certain amount of empathy for the dog to get good results.

And while many people achieve the hurdle of having a knack with dogs and patience and desire, I think none of those things will amount to a really good trainer unless one is also empathetic with people and operates from a point of view that they can help people and ordinary people can also learn to teach their dogs too.
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