I graduated with my Master’s degree in Business Administration two years ago. I remember walking out of my very last class and thinking: I will never have to go to school again in my life. It was one of the greatest feelings in the world.
The one thing they don’t tell you when they are preparing you for the “real world” is that if you don’t continue to learn, you will never be the best in the field. It’s important to stay apprised of the current research and different schools of thought, no matter what your field.
Dog training is no different. My friends are always saying, “You’re job isn’t really a job, you get to play with dogs all day.” Well, yes, my job is really a job. I love what I do, and that makes it far easier to get up in the morning. However, I don’t just play with dogs all day. If I did just play with them, we would never be able to train them to be the good dogs you want, AND it is more important to teach owners how to do the training rather than doing the training ourselves. In order to do this (and do it well), my colleagues and I must keep studying and learning the latest trends in the industry.
I am expanding my education every day. I just completed an advanced course for dog trainers that will help me with my handling skills and client relations. I am also studying for the Certification of Pet Dog Trainers exam. This certification requires 300 hours of classroom teaching experience as well as an extensive exam on canine communication, learning theory, etc. I’m studying every book I can get my hands on and hoping desperately to remember everything I learned before I ever touched a dog as a trainer.
It’s the only way to remain at the top of your field. It’s the only way to give your clients the best experience possible. The beauty is, if you have found something you love, none of it, the actual work or the studying, seems like work at all.