1. Patience. Patience is indeed a virtue, is it not? Especially when dealing with clients and their dogs. Maintaining your patience is key to helping clients learn without feeling like you are getting annoyed with them.
2. Sense of Humor. On those days where it feels as though everything is going wrong and like the dogs are out to make you feel like a failure of a dog trainer, keep that sense of humor. Learn to keep it light-hearted. If you get frustrated, nobody benefits.
3. Creativity. Dog trainers all have their standard ways of teaching tasks. What happens when the dog or client just isn’t getting it though? You get creative! You use butt scratches (for the dog, not the client!) as rewards.
4. Flexibility. Not necessarily physical flexibility but more mental flexibility. Sometimes you will get a client that just does not want to do something the way you want them to do it. Be flexible. Pick and choose your battles and work around your client’s desires.
5. Confidence. Have some faith in yourself! You’ve put a lot of work into your training skills and business, so be confident about talking yourself up.
6. Humility. On the flip side, keep it humble. Don’t be a braggart. But mainly, do not take on clients that are over your head. There is no shame in saying, “you know, I’m not qualified to help you, but let me recommend you contact so and so!” People respect that. And honestly, it will keep you, and your dog safer.
7. Open Mind. You can learn a lot from other trainers, even those who do things differently than you do, You can learn something from everybody if you just keep an open mind.
8. Diplomacy. Tact can be difficult. Remain nonjudgmental and be careful in your wording. That old adage of catching more flies with honey than vinegar is true.
9. Tolerance for Being Dirty. If you are a neat freak, you may be in the wrong field. Between dirty paws, slobber, dog hair, and residue from stinky treats being wiped on your pants, you don’t have a dream of staying clean!
10. Hoarder of Dog Equipment. Having equipment on hand (different types of no-pull harnesses, head collars, flat collars, martingales, muzzles, etc) to show as examples to clients can help make things clearer for them. Also, since all dogs are shaped differently, sometimes one type of equipment will fit better than another. One size does NOT fit all when it comes to dog equipment.
SOME GREAT HEADS UP INFO IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO BECOME A DOG TRAINER OR TRYING TO FIND ONE FOR YOUR DOG.
SEE YOU SOON AT SONSHINE KENNELS-THE KENNEL THAT CARES 306-463-3361
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