How To Become a K9 Connection Dog Trainer
At K9 Connection we regularly receive inquiries and resumes from individuals who are interested in becoming a dog trainer. The dog training industry is not an easy one to break in to, and reliable stable jobs are few and far between. At K9 Connection the stakes are even higher because we hold ourselves to a standard of excellence that has garnered praise from the industry worldwide.
Due to our success and growth, we are always keeping an eye out for new talent. The following page will provide interested individuals with an understanding of what it takes to become a dog trainer at K9 Connection.
The Big Picture
Our training is extremely specialized. Not only do we have a reputation of training dogs to a level of off leash reliability quickly and without the use of excessive force, but we also are regularly charged with the task of rehabilitating some of the most difficult dogs often after other training companies have already failed. We are able to accomplish these things because we have developed unique methods and techniques, which are grounded in the fundamentals of training and the science of animal behavior, yet are unlike anything that is taught in common dog training handbooks, and behavioral literature.
The proper execution of such techniques is not as simple as following a “paint by number” step-by-step instruction. It requires a level of intuition, feeling, and judgment that can only come from experience, and many hours with a leash in your hands. For this reason it can often take up to two years for someone to develop a level of proficiency to meet our standards. This takes a lot of work and dedication to the craft, and the reality is that very few are truly cut out for it.
The process of developing a new trainer requires a tremendous amount of time and dedication from us as well. Due to the high number of inquiries that we receive, we have a process that allows us to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Train your dog
The best way to begin is by starting as a client. Your level of commitment to training your own dog tells us a lot about how consistent and diligent you will be to learning this craft. Becoming a client will also give you a leg up when applying for the next stage because you will already have a basic understanding of our training system.
Beginning as a client also allows us to get to know you, which helps us to know whether you would be a good fit for our team. In addition to having to be good with dogs, being a dog trainer requires excellent inter-personal skills, so personality does matter.
Once someone has been through one or more of our training programs, and continues to show interest in developing their skills as a trainer, the next step is an apprenticeship. Many popular dog training schools can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and will give you only a fraction of the knowledge and hands on experience that we give our trainers. The apprenticeship allows you to work for your education and develop a unique skill set that cannot be gained from any dog trainer course.
This stage also allows us to ensure your dedication and commitment to learning. Apprenticeships are not all fun and playing with puppies, especially in the beginning. All apprentices are required to start with kennel chores and cleaning duties. Once you have shown dedication and consistency, we can be assured that our time and energy will be well spent coaching and teaching you the finer points of dog training. Apprenticeships can last anywhere from several months to several years depending on prior experience and the amount of time you are capable of investing.
As your apprenticeship progresses, you will spend increasingly more time on training. In due time we will be able to trust you to handle certain tasks independently. Once this happens on a consistent basis you may be added to the payroll. Apprenticeships do not typically end in a clean-cut fashion. You may be added to the staff for particular duties, while still being expected to apprentice to cultivate your more advanced skills. However, once you have gained overall proficiency in training and kennel duties, you will become a paid employee and your education will continue while you earn a steady paycheck. We only take one apprentice at a time, and only when we know we will be in need of a future employee, this way can put all of our effort into developing a rock solid member of our team.
Make It Happen
This may sound like a lot of work, and it most certainly is. However, if you truly have a passion for becoming one of the best trainers in the industry, and making a career out of helping people and their dogs, then this is an un-beatable opportunity.
If you are already a client, and want to discuss the possibility of an apprenticeship, contact either Tyler or Josh, or speak to us the next time you attend class.