Good places to look at for training certification

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by bogolove, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. bogolove

    bogolove New Member

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    I would like to look at some good sites or books, or schools that any of you may know for getting your trainer certification. I am reading some books, and I want to take my time, but I just wanted some opinions on some good places that you may have heard of. I know some of them can be expensive, but I am willing to save up my money to do it. Please let me know any advice, facts, opinions, etc. that may help me along the way. I have been interested in this for years now, and I really want to try to get all the information I can to make an informed decision. I would like to do this, and maybe also dog walking, or dog sitting. Thanks for everything!
     
  2. dr2little

    dr2little Moderator

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  3. bogolove

    bogolove New Member

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    Have you heard anything about either of these?
     
  4. dr2little

    dr2little Moderator

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    I carry both certifications. CPDT requires that applicants rack up "X" number of hours working with a certified trainer (if not already certified or educated in Canine behavior) and teaching classes/private sessions. You also complete a fairly extensive exam in a very strict setting.
    ABC sets you up with a mentor and after successfully completing the technical/exams and book work, (I believe it's about 12 sections with exams after each) you complete your apprenticeship. I'm a mentor for the program in my province and they will set you up with someone certified in your area.
     
  5. bogolove

    bogolove New Member

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    Renee said you were the one I needed to talk to. ;) So, can I learn to do it while I still have my current job? Is this something I can do on the weekends and nights (go to school, I mean). I do want to do this full time after I get certified. I did see on the first one that you had to have so many hours and five years training, and I am ready to get started! I also would like to get bonded so that I can pet sit, and dog walk too while the training gets going. I have so many questions, but i don't want to be too overwhelming at once. I am so excited about it and I hope so much that it works out bc I have never wanted anything more. I am starting to read books too so if you have any you recommend, please feel free to give me some titles and authors. I am interested in as much information as you are willing to provide me before you get sick of me! ;)
     
  6. bogolove

    bogolove New Member

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    How long is each course?
     
  7. dr2little

    dr2little Moderator

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    Check your PM in a minute...just so we don't keep a thread going.
     
  8. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    So ABC isn't a crock? I've always shied away from them because of the association with Petco, but I would like to get certified soon-ish.
     
  9. silverpawz

    silverpawz No Sugar Added

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    Personally I feel a certification for dog training is only worth the paper it's written on. There are no official standards for this profession, organizations can make up thier own, but it's not like going to college and getting a degree in a certain field and people who hire you know for sure you've had the proper training. That's just not how it works unfortunetly.

    The best thing you can do is get hands on experience. The more the better. Train your own dogs, get some titles on them if you're so inclined, volunteer at a shelter or rescue group and offer to train some of their dogs so they're easier to adopt, offer to train your friend's and neighbor's dogs, read every book you can find, even if you don't think you'll agree with it, learn about ALL methods, even if you don't think you'll use them.

    If you can find a trainer in your area who's willing to take you on as an apprentice then you've hit paydirt.

    Bottom line, hands on experience working with as many dogs as possible and working with an experienced trainer will give you more than enough knowledge without needing to shell out the big bucks for a certification.

    I've been trianing dogs for years and only ever been asked twice if I was certified. Most owners DON'T CARE, they just want you to fix thier problems. If you can get the results, they're happy.

    I learned to train by working for another trainer for a few years and doing exactly what I just described. Training shelter dogs, going to seminars, readining books, getting titles on my own dogs, and basically training very dog i could get my hands on. I don't regret for a second not getting certified and I've never lost a potential client because I'm not. Honestly I think it would have been a waste of time and money.
     
  10. dr2little

    dr2little Moderator

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    Actually there are standards and I think you'd be surprised just how complete and detailed both the material and exams are. Practical education is also very complete. Learning from another trainer with "experience" is why there are so many rogue trainers running around using forceful methods taught by old school trainers. I agree that a piece of paper doesn't magically a trainer make but it does teach an "experienced" trainer all of the science that they're often sorely missing. It's a shame that your clients don't care about education. I ONLY recommend trainers with both experience and certification and most Vets do the same.
    I'm not sure why anyone would steer someone away from an education... :confused:
     
  11. silverpawz

    silverpawz No Sugar Added

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    I would steer them away from it because like I said, there is no governing body that has exact standards for the dog training profession that every school must adhere to. Many training schools are barely useful at best. Are there some that can provide a decent education? Sure. But they are few and far between and they don't provide anything that you cannot learn from another trainer as well as persueing the knowledge on your own through seminars, shelter dogs, etc.

    This may be true to a certain degree, but plenty of so called training schools also turn out trainers who have no clue what they're doing when they get their first actual case.

    I would MUCH rather work for an experienced trainer who has a successful business set up and learn from them. When someone is looking for a trainer to learn from it is no different than looking for a trainer for their own dog. If they use extremly harsh methods then obviously they're not the right one to be teaching anyone. All it takes is some common sense when searching for the right trainer to apprentice under.

    All of which one can easily learn without attending such a school. As stated before, working for another trainer can and should teach you that science, it did for me, and there are plenty of other resources out there to help someone learn it.

    We obviously live in very different areas. I have no problem getting vet referreals, and have never been questioned by a vet about certification either. I see you're in Canada, maybe that's the difference? Is it more widly accepted there that trainers would be certified? Because in the states it's not expected by the majority of owners.

    My clients care about what I do to help them. Most don't even realize that someone CAN get certified to be a dog trainer, so why would they ask?

    I feel I learned more from the over 100 dogs I trained for my boss when I first started, the classes I ran for her, the various seminars I went too, the multitude of books I read and the dozens of shelter dogs I trained, all before ever starting my own business, then I ever would have at at a training school. I learned from real life experience, in real life situations that often cannot be duplicated.
     
  12. dr2little

    dr2little Moderator

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    I'd love to hear your reasons pertaining to the schools that I posted. I am a mentor for the ABC program. I don't work for them but believe in what they do and the changes that are slowly happening because of schools like this. I'm not understanding your motives in poopooing HIGHER EDUCATION. I get nothing out of recommending certification except the satisfaction in helping someone do it right. Don't you think that clients and their dogs deserve the most experience and education a trainer can provide?
     
  13. silverpawz

    silverpawz No Sugar Added

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    For starters the ABC college provides trainers for Petco...and if the way many of those trainers handle dogs is any indication of how good their training is....run far away. Are there some good trainers at pet stores?

    Of course, I'm sure there are some out there, I've even herd of them from fellow dog people, but if all of them go through this course and at least the majority of them are NOT coming out knowing what they're doing, then something is wrong.

    It also seems very stuck on clicker trainer and purely positive training. Which is something I hate to see in anyone that is teaching a potential trainer. This is just a personal opinion of mine of course since I have plenty of tools in my tools box and plenty of ways to approach a problem and I think that other trainers should as well. I have nothing AGAINST clicker training, I use it often, but it's not the end all be all. I don't believe in being stuck in one way of doing things. Again, just me.

    The course on aggression is only 7 days long. Seriously, 7 days? Not nearly enough. Even if every tidbit of information known to man on aggression is in that course seven days is not even close to long enough for someone to truly get a grasp on how to handle an aggressive dog. That takes hands on experience and TIME.

    Book learning can only take you so far and that's true for all aspects of dog training. Learning it in theory is great, doing it and helping others do it is something else all together.

    It also seems to focus very much on the extreme basics. Sit, stay, down, loose leash walking. Which I suppose is fine if all someone ever wants to do is teach basic group classes. But if you want to handle behavior problems, aggression and advanced obedience then apparently you're out of luck. They offer small sections for it, but again, that's not something you can effectivly learn how to deal with by simply reading about it for 28 days or so.

    From their page:
    Quite frankly someone can learn how to teach that by training thier own dogs and taking some extra classes. It's not rocket science to teach a dog how to sit and lie down. I don't see the need to pay a training school to learn it when there are so many other resources. Basically you're paying to sit in on classes and help the trainer out. At least that's what it sounds like.

    ABC doesn't seem to offer ANYTHING that one cannot learn without it.

    Seriously, I'm not sure how anyone can say that a course like that can even compare to a year or more of working under an experience trainer and learning the ins and outs of dog training, handling clients, behavior problems and doing it all hands on for a good long time. I don't see how there can even be a question.

    Replying to this now since I didn't notice it before. I'm familiar with them.
    ABC only requires a min. of 10 hours working with shelter dogs. Not enough, period.

    Not to mention it's an average of $3000 tuition which seems very over priced for what they offer. That's money that would be better spent toward building a business than throwing it down the drain for 'education' that you can get elsewhere without the high cost.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2006
  14. dr2little

    dr2little Moderator

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    I would agree that it's pricey. Along with the material though, the students are provided with a mentor for 4 six week (minimum) periods. As for a comment about wasting your money on the course. I am university educated in this field and I certainly don't feel that I wasted my money on this course. If money is your issue, the CPDT is a better option as it takes trainers who are already in the field and challenges them with an exam. It's amazing how many of those "experienced trainers fail that exam.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2006
  15. BlackPuppy

    BlackPuppy Owned by Belgians

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  16. opokki

    opokki New Member

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    Just my opinion -

    I think gaining an education is a important first step. Whether this is through a school, books & vidoes, or all of these. This will give you a nice foundation.

    I feel that I've learned a great deal from reading books and watching videos along with taking my own dog through various classes. I am a student at Cynology College, I've recently enrolled in Animal Behavior College and I've just begun assisting classes with a local CPDT. I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere now.
     
  17. dr2little

    dr2little Moderator

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    Are you enjoying the course? I'd love to hear the perspective of a current ABC student. What do you think about your instructor? There are a few people who would really benefit from hearing first hand from someone other than me (an ABC mentor). While I am not bias, your insight might be more useful to someone who wants to become a trainer.
     
  18. silverpawz

    silverpawz No Sugar Added

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    Dr2little, you obviously seem very offended and I don't appreciate you 'slamming' me either. I'm not attacking you personaly, never have in any of my posts, I've never said you were uneducated, and you seem to have missed that point and are bent on making me look like a rouge trainer with no knowledge at all.

    If you want to argue your viewpoint and actually make some headway with someone you might want to try doing so without taking personal shots at the one you're debating with. You are being very abrassive and frankly that speaks to me of someone who is grasping at straws to justify their own point.

    Of course I don't know every detail of the program, I DIDN'T TAKE IT, I know one trainer who has taken it and I've talked with other trainers about it quite frequently as it's a subject that often comes up when when we discuss apprentices and employees. And yes, *gasp*, I have visited their website, *shudder*, how horrible of me.

    As to ABC, you even said yourself in your last post that it's not worth the three grand! And yet you reccomend it to others?? Why?

    So because my opinions differ from yours I'm ridiculous? Okay, tell me what's beyond ridiculous. Please, let me know exactly what ABC can provide that someone cannot learn elsewhere. Make your point instead of just calling me ridiculous.

    And what are my motives? To save someone some money that they can better use toward their business? To offer the opinion that a trainer can easily learn the required knowledge by apprenticing and not attending ABC? Gosh, I'm a horrible person, you're right.

    Well than set me straight by all means, how much to they REALLY require and why don't they make that public knowledge on their site? Because I would think that if they do require more time they'd be eager to let everyone know. I sure as heck couldn't find it anywhere.

    So are you saying that anyone who hasn't taken a course from ABC or another training school is automatically an uneducted trainer? That's a pretty big blanket statement. You're basicly implying that it's impossible to find a great trainer to apprentice under, and I assure you it's far from impossible.

    Again, I'm not attacking YOU and I'd appreciate the same respect in return. I don't think that's too much to ask.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2006
  19. Mordy

    Mordy Quigleyfied

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    I don't want to butt in on your discussion, but I'd like to add another point of view.

    Yes, people can learn how to train by working with an established trainer, but in such a situation they are always going to get biased information from that one person's point of view. If he or she doesn't like [insert whatever] for one reason or another, it's very likely that they will pass on that dislike to their apprentice, and I'm not so sure how many such trainers will tell their student "it's something I don't like, but you should still read up on it and take away from that research what you find useful"?

    When doing coursework, regardless whether there are "official standards" (and there aren't really many "official standards" in general here in the U.S. compared to other countries) in regards to the profession or not, you will at the very least be presented with a wide array of information, which is hopefully supported by many footnotes and references to supporting research.

    You will have to work through your study material and sit for exams, which determine how well you have absorbed and understood that material. There is a certain kind of pressure to succeed, since you aren't going to invest several hundred dollars on something you aren't going to immerse yourself in.

    Regardless of what happens next, if you have completed a well put together curriculum of coursework, you have a solid foundation from which you can draw as you learn the practical aspect of training.
     
  20. silverpawz

    silverpawz No Sugar Added

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    Mordy, you make a good point about some individual trainers being bias toward one method. That certainly does happen, but it's not always the case.

    I think it's just as possible to get a bias view from a training school though.
     

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