So ya wanna be a dog trainer?

I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of people and thousands of dogs over the past 13 years as a licensed independent social worker passing herself off as a professional dog trainer. Privately, in group classes or both, I work on helping teach people — of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities —  the skills and knowledge to make their human/dog relationships better. Sometimes with very difficult dogs, who become less difficult when the key to communication unfolds. Sometimes with very difficult people, who become less difficult when their defenses are lowered and they are open to taking greater responsibilities.  My focus is teaching positive  and non force based methods to help dog owners become benevolent leaders. A benevolent leader does not lead by force or threat, but by becoming someone the dogs want to follow because doing so is a good thing.  Those that follow the often difficult changes suggested — breaking patterns is hard work — find deeply satisfying improvements. Thus it feeds the passion that keeps me going.

Starting and solely operating my own company from scratch and with no support and all that that entails while also raising a gaggle of daughters has truly been a non-stop blast over the years. I end every day grateful for the freedom to follow my bliss and feeling deeply and satisfyingly exhausted. In addition, I’ve raised, trained, placed and supported numerous dogs for people with special needs, the most recent one being Bubbles who has garnered her own pages in this site and who has her own video coming soon!  I’ve also had several people over the years who have expressed a desire to learn how to become dog trainers and sought my help.  With similar bravado — I took on a series of people and spent great amounts of time trying to randomly give them opportunities to learn from me. Because I was operating without guidance in this realm, I sought a way to create a more formalized, structured and goal oriented path to teaching others who are interested.

To that end, I am now offering, along with other professionals, many whom I know and deeply respect, courses through online webinar based programming that can be as simple as learning basic theory to getting a certificate of dog training that really means something, and at affordable rates at the pace you can handle. I am now a proud teacher — my first course,  How to Teach a 6 Week Dog Group Class, is already online and available, and more of my courses are in development. Offerings will include how to do a phone intake, clicker training, teaching The Six Things All Dogs Should Know (recall, sit, down, stay, go and loose leash walking), service and therapy dog task training, How to Raise and Train Your Own Service Dog with Guidance, and much much more.

Peruse the range of content and credentials of the teaching staff, and watch this video to learn more about online education. If being a dog trainer is something you are burning to learn, this is one fantastic way to go about it. Hope to see you online. And if you’re in Cleveland, Ohio and interested in learning the craft of dog training and other ancillary skills under me directly, let me know by email.

If you want to be put on a mailing list when the preview to Bubbles: A Year in the Life of an Autism Service Dog Puppy is released, please comment on this post and let me know!