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I am looking to put myself out in my neighborhood as a trainer to help some of the dogs I encounter on daily walks. However, most of you have probably figured out I have a hard time thinking of myself as even "decent". I have the knowledge, sure, but not the practice - and the practice is what I'm looking for. I'm seeing a lot of territorial aggression, fear reactivity, and dogs with very little basic manners - and humans that seem very frustrated on walks. I've even had people comment that my (clearly reacting) girl is SO WELL BEHAVED OMG HOW'D YOU DO THAT?!

I do not live near my behaviorist any more if I was to train under someone I trust, and finding anyone with even close to the same training standards isn't working as of yet, so I feel like my only option is to just get my feet wet and offer myself out as a very basic trainer.

My question is this: at what point can one call themselves a "trainer" with confidence? What "label" should I put out there? Consultant? Should I even be thinking to offer services just yet?

To clarify, I'm not even looking for extra cash, though I would charge simply because when people pay for something they are more likely to invest into it instead of just hearing words and expecting ME to do the work. I see a lot of scared dogs and perimeter barkers, and living in an apartment complex, that can get annoying for those around that home. And according to the comments I've had, I believe the interest is there to make it better.

So, what do you guys think? What would YOU look for if you were to hire me?
I think the answers to that question probably differs from one country to another. In Australia you cannot call yourself a trainer unless you have completed accredited training. Under the goods and services act you cannot sell your services as a trainer or any other type of practitioner unless you have certification from an accredited institution. From what I gather from looking around many US training pages there isn't an accreditation required for training institutes. There seems to be several training academies but there doesn't seem to be any necessity to have attended any of these in order to call yourself a trainer. This question came up a few months back in a US training group and the general consensus was that you could actually call yourself a trainer, do a business card and you are good to go.

If this is the case, I could (in the US) call myself a trainer. In Australia I must pay an average of AU$5000 for a 10 month Gov't Accredited certificate.

Bearing the above mentioned in mind you might think Aus has a higher standard than the US, however I do not believe that to be the case. The US seems far more advanced in respect to modern +R training methods but having said that the US also seems to produce some of the most hardcore DT trainers, some of which travel to Aus for seminars. It is actually quite hard to find a trainer that is +R in Australia. Most call themselves balanced trainers and are quite vocal about +R trainers, often saying "they just don't get it".

It's a mine field really as appearances don't always show the truth. You know that lovely young Aussie trainer who you followed at one point and put up one of her vids. Well she is actually a Balanced trainer and best mates with the trainer who recommended brutalising one of my GSD's.

A few months back I couldn't figure out why I wasn't having success with an issue with Jasper so I rang around EVERY trainer within 80kl. Hmm not one +R. Probably for the best in the end because as it turned out all I needed to do was continue being consistent and have more patience.
After reading that, Trifan, I totally understand. I put up a few postings without refering to myself as a trainer. I just don't feel comfortable putting myself among those who actually went to school for the psychology work, though I do realize most "trainers" didn't do that either. Debbie, our behaviorist, DID go to school for it and I tend to use her as a standard.

With one posting I gained 6 people wanting help, and I have worked with 4 of them already. Oh man the different dogs are so much fun! I make sure the owners know right up front that I do not do the training for them - I am not the one their dog has to listen to and work with. So I run them through drills I've learned for their specific situations, then have them do them so I can help, and then leave them with a recapping email after.

First lesson I learned - if you are going to work on loose leash walking at a 2pm appointment on a 104 F day, do that first - don't do the other things first and pump the dog full of treats. It doesn't end well.

Tonight I had a BC/GSD mix that was a blast - and completely untrusting of working with me. That was a fun one to direct without being able to show. He was also a holy terror to walk - I thought Ember was hypervigilant - he blew her out of the water.

I've already had one owner call me back to see her little Tinkerbell sitting mostly politely at the gate while she let me in the house - and I taught the owner how to train that this morning.

I do believe this is one of the most rewarding things I have done in a while. Just seeing the owner's faces light up when the dog does something it couldn't do 2 hours earlier is so much fun.
(10-03-2017, 07:01 PM)Ember Wrote: [ -> ]After reading that, Trifan, I totally understand. I put up a few postings without refering to myself as a trainer. I just don't feel comfortable putting myself among those who actually went to school for the psychology work, though I do realize most "trainers" didn't do that either. Debbie, our behaviorist, DID go to school for it and I tend to use her as a standard.

With one posting I gained 6 people wanting help, and I have worked with 4 of them already. Oh man the different dogs are so much fun! I make sure the owners know right up front that I do not do the training for them - I am not the one their dog has to listen to and work with. So I run them through drills I've learned for their specific situations, then have them do them so I can help, and then leave them with a recapping email after.

First lesson I learned - if you are going to work on loose leash walking at a 2pm appointment on a 104 F day, do that first - don't do the other things first and pump the dog full of treats. It doesn't end well.

Tonight I had a BC/GSD mix that was a blast - and completely untrusting of working with me. That was a fun one to direct without being able to show. He was also a holy terror to walk - I thought Ember was hypervigilant - he blew her out of the water.

I've already had one owner call me back to see her little Tinkerbell sitting mostly politely at the gate while she let me in the house - and I taught the owner how to train that this morning.

I do believe this is one of the most rewarding things I have done in a while. Just seeing the owner's faces light up when the dog does something it couldn't do 2 hours earlier is so much fun.

That's fantastic Ember, I think you would be really great at this. You know your abilities and your limitations so can go in with confidence. Most of all you love doing it and passion for whatever you choose to do makes the difference between ordinary and excellence. Good on you !