A dog trainer's job has two aspects. The first one is obviously to train the animal. But along with that it is also essential to know who the animal belongs to. The relationship between a human being and an animal is not one sided. So part of a dog trainer's work is also to train the pet owner.
How did you become a dog trainer?
It started out as a hobby actually. We had a lot of dogs in our house and I have been very comfortable around them since the beginning. In-fact, I started a company manufacturing dog biscuits. I used to read a lot of books on dogs and one day a friend just asked me to train his dog. That's how I got into this line of work. I do this on a part-time basis as I also have a real estate business to run.
Qualities required to be a good dog trainer - Love for animals goes without saying. Besides this, you must be fearless. A lot of these dogs are big and mean. And they are capable of sensing your fear and nervousness and will be able to dominate you. Another major aspect that you should be looking at is physical fitness. Running around the whole day with dogs can be a pretty tiring experience and you must be able to keep pace with these animals.
As of now, this career has opportunities for freelancing. One cannot realistically expect to make a full time career out of it at the moment. You could work for Government agencies like the Police Force and even the Army but jobs here are few and far between. Security is however gaining much importance especially in metropolitan cities, which has led to the demand of trained dogs by many security agencies and individuals as well.
Most memorable experience - Around three years ago there was a robbery at my home. It was solved eventually and the culprit happened to be a friend of mine. It was then that I realised that my dog had been trying to point this out to me for a long time. It just goes on to show how perceptive these animals are.
I am in the process of setting up a training school for dogs. This would be a place where dogs and their owners would be taught to know and understand each other better. It would be the first of its kind in the country.
Suggestions to aspirants in this field - Physical fitness is a must if you wish to enter this field. Work hard on developing your stamina. You must have a positive mental attitude. But remember don't jump into this line unless you absolutely love animals. That is a prerequisite for becoming an animal trainer.