I have run Walkn’Roll with my partner Wayne and our dog/CEO Dita for the past 6 years. I have learned so much about dog behaviour, breeds and dog handling over that time. The progression into Dog Training has seemed an obvious one to me over the past couple of years.
I want to do it the right way and I am taking my time to gain the relevant theoretical knowledge. I am completing two online, accredited Diplomas with Canine Principles. I attend face to face courses with the IMDT (Institute of Modern Dog Trainers), read books, listen to podcasts, follow other trainers online and am currently gaining hands-on experience through volunteering at the Dogs Trust Dog School.
Entry into Dog Training is a bit of a maze when you first start out. I could have set up 6 years ago as a trainer with no qualifications or experience (there is no regulation) or I could study for another ten years and still not know it all. I’m trying to strike a healthy balance. Make sure I know my stuff and can practice it.
In my previous life I qualified as a teacher and that path was reassuringly laid out for me. Do this, study that, and once you pass you are a teacher. Then you had people guiding you through your first years, shadowing you, making suggestions, ensuring you carried out Continuous Professional Development.
With Dog Training, however, you are on your own. It is up to you to find your opportunities and put yourself out there, to research the many, many qualifications and membership bodies to be part of. It’s not for the faint-hearted but I am enjoying my journey and the path is becoming clearer the further along I go.
I have been lucky enough to meet some fantastic peers and role models who give me something to aspire to, each approaching the training world in a different way but giving me lots of advice and encouragement.
I have been volunteering with the Dog’s Trust Dog School now for almost a year. Below is a video made by a film studies student. She chose me as a case study and covered some of my thoughts on training.
It has been great hands-on experience for me; I can practice my training skills and put the theory I am learning into practice, all while supporting a very important charity.
As mentioned I am completing a Canine Coaching Diploma and Canine Behaviour Diploma with Canine Principles. Both Diplomas are accredited and the information is up to date and all based around positive training. Once achieved I will feel qualified to offer advice in a professional capacity. I have currently achieved full marks on my first 3 modules.
I will keep you all posted on my adventures into the world of Dog Training. Hopefully, we will soon be able to offer training alongside the dog walking and cat sitting we currently offer through Walkn’Roll.