dog on books

Considering becoming a professional dog trainer? Great choice!

What should you know as you start your training journey?

We asked one of our amazing staff members – a professional trainer for over a decade – to compile her list of the “Top Five Things I Wish I’d Known My First Year.”

1. You don’t have to have an answer for everything.

That’s where networking comes in. Professionals refer to other professionals. Develop a base of like-minded professionals in your area to refer to and you will reap the benefits in receiving referrals in turn.

2. More training less talking!

It is easy to understand – new trainers are excited about how dogs learn and want to share that knowledge with the world. Often, people just want to know that the leash pulling, barking, or house soiling they called on you to help with can be fixed. Let your training do your talking for you until that has been established.

3. Do not be afraid to charge more than your competition

There is a perception of value that goes along with your rates. Do not be afraid to charge what you are worth. You get what you pay for!

4. You are making a difference in the world

Any bit of kindness added to the world has a ripple effect. When people learn to view the behavior their dog displays as an inability to cope rather than intentionally mischievous or stubborn, they will be more likely to apply this perspective to humans in their circle.

5. It’s the best job in the world!

Helping dogs live happier and more fulfilled lives with their humans (and vice versa!) is rewarding. For many, having a pet to care for can alleviate loneliness, provides companionship, and encourages exercise. That is no small thing!

Do you love dogs and want to make a difference? Victoria Stilwell Academy is a dog trainer school that is committed to your success both as a dog trainer and a business owner.

Our approach to the dog part of dog training (yes, there are other super-important parts as well!) is based on dog cognition, psychology, and behavioral science. Dogs are amazing creatures and getting paid to know all about them from the inside out is pretty awesome.