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fuzzy82

Dog Trainer And Job Availability

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fuzzy82   

I am starting a Cert III in Dog training in a few months, which is something I have always been interested in and wanted to do.

Just wondering what the job availability is for training drug detection dogs, assistance dogs and that sort of thing? I could always do one-on-one in-home training and do obedience classes etc, but ideally I would like to train drug or assistance dogs, or something along those lines. Guide dogs are also an option, but not really a fan of using check chains so that wouldn't be the ideal job.

Does anyone know?

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Lollipup   

Are you doing this through the NDTF? Are you going to your block training in Queensland? I just got back from block 2. Its great.

They will be able to give you more info. I think scent detection has more opportunites than assistance dog training. Even so, a lot of this work is through your own business. Dog training is a field where you will have more oppotunity for self employment than working for someone.

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I am starting a Cert III in Dog training in a few months, which is something I have always been interested in and wanted to do.

Just wondering what the job availability is for training drug detection dogs, assistance dogs and that sort of thing? I could always do one-on-one in-home training and do obedience classes etc, but ideally I would like to train drug or assistance dogs, or something along those lines. Guide dogs are also an option, but not really a fan of using check chains so that wouldn't be the ideal job.

Does anyone know?

Umm Guide dogs don't use check chains to train their dogs... not sure about seeing eye dogs, but I do know for sure that guide dogs no longer use check chains.

They use positive reinforcement: clicker training, verbal praise and corrections with a soft martingale when necessary.

It is really hard to get a job with them, i believe it is desirable to have experience or a certificate/university degree in working with people with disabilities.

You can send your CV to Assistance dogs, but apparently they rarely employ people. The puppy raisers actually do a lot of the foundation training with the dogs.

If you want to work for customs, you have to already be an AQIS or australian customs employee. They recruit their dog handlers from within the organisation. They also hire experienced trainers from outside to give seminars or occasional training sessions.

I think your best bet would be assistance dogs, but you may have to start off volunteering, rather than with a paid job.

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Enigma   
Are you doing this through the NDTF? Are you going to your block training in Queensland? I just got back from block 2. Its great.

They will be able to give you more info. I think scent detection has more opportunites than assistance dog training. Even so, a lot of this work is through your own business. Dog training is a field where you will have more oppotunity for self employment than working for someone.

Did you do block 2 in Victoria Lollipup?

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Cosmolo   

Whether you work for yourself or someone else- it is a very difficult industry to break into. You need to be exceptionally good as competition is fierce. Good luck though- i will probably see you for training if you're doing the NDTF course. :o

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fuzzy82   

Yes, I am doing the NDTF. Glad you like it, I haven't heard anything about them other than what I have read on their site, so didn't know what they are like or anything.

I heard somewhere that guide dogs are trained used rather traditional methods, but glad that's not true:) I know some places they still are, but I think most of the people I have talked to are in Usa.

I have been considering working with the less adoptable dogs at the local shelter to get some extra experience, just teaching some basic manners. I used to volunteer with the cats there and I notice that the dogs lack mental stimulation and basic manners, and some of them have been there for 3-4 years....

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Lollipup   
Are you doing this through the NDTF? Are you going to your block training in Queensland? I just got back from block 2. Its great.

They will be able to give you more info. I think scent detection has more opportunites than assistance dog training. Even so, a lot of this work is through your own business. Dog training is a field where you will have more oppotunity for self employment than working for someone.

Did you do block 2 in Victoria Lollipup?

No I did both blocks in Queensland. In block 2 we had Boyd Hooper and Steve Austin which I was thrilled about.

Also I don't know about Melbourne or Sydney for sure but at block training we used check chains almost the entire time.

They explain and show all the tools and methods.

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Cosmolo   

In Melbourne you do most of the work on flat collars with workshops on a variety of different training tools and their use.

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RubyStar   
Umm Guide dogs don't use check chains to train their dogs... not sure about seeing eye dogs, but I do know for sure that guide dogs no longer use check chains.

As far as I'm aware, SEDA are not big on positive reinforcement.

If you want to work for customs, you have to already be an AQIS or australian customs employee. They recruit their dog handlers from within the organisation.

Not true. Jobs are also advertised externally for these positions. If someone better qualified outside of AQIS applies vs an internal AQIS employee, already being an AQIS employee won't give you the upper hand. You've just got to be better suited to the job.

Edit: I didn't read the Customs bit properly. Not sure if Customs get their recruits from AQIS? (remembering these are two separate groups). Pretty sure I've seen these positions advertised externally also, plus dog handlers for Corrective Services.

Edited by RubyStar

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fuzzy82   
Are you doing this through the NDTF? Are you going to your block training in Queensland? I just got back from block 2. Its great.

They will be able to give you more info. I think scent detection has more opportunites than assistance dog training. Even so, a lot of this work is through your own business. Dog training is a field where you will have more oppotunity for self employment than working for someone.

Did you do block 2 in Victoria Lollipup?

No I did both blocks in Queensland. In block 2 we had Boyd Hooper and Steve Austin which I was thrilled about.

Also I don't know about Melbourne or Sydney for sure but at block training we used check chains almost the entire time.

They explain and show all the tools and methods.

Definitely not bringing my dogs to block training then, refuse to use check chains on them, because they are both really soft and there is no need. This has made me rethink doing block training in Qld, maybe I will go down to Melbourne and do it instead.

Do you get to say 'I don't want to use this method', or do you HAVE to do whatever they say to do to the dog you are handling? What if you feel that the dog doesn't need it or is too soft for that type of correction?

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Umm Guide dogs don't use check chains to train their dogs... not sure about seeing eye dogs, but I do know for sure that guide dogs no longer use check chains.

As far as I'm aware, SEDA are not big on positive reinforcement.

If you want to work for customs, you have to already be an AQIS or australian customs employee. They recruit their dog handlers from within the organisation.

Not true. Jobs are also advertised externally for these positions. If someone better qualified outside of AQIS applies vs an internal AQIS employee, already being an AQIS employee won't give you the upper hand. You've just got to be better suited to the job.

Edit: I didn't read the Customs bit properly. Not sure if Customs get their recruits from AQIS? (remembering these are two separate groups). Pretty sure I've seen these positions advertised externally also, plus dog handlers for Corrective Services.

Thanks Rubystar, for some reason i thought you already had to be in customs or AQIS to be a dog handler? But perhaps i was getting mixed up with the police :o

Interesting to hear about different guide dog schools...

I should say that whilst check chains are not standard in Guide Dogs, there would be some cases where they would choose to use them.

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Cosmolo   

I don't think anyone would make you put a piece of equipment on your own dog that you were not happy with. You do however need to learn how to use different pieces of equipment.

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Lollipup   

Definitely not bringing my dogs to block training then, refuse to use check chains on them, because they are both really soft and there is no need. This has made me rethink doing block training in Qld, maybe I will go down to Melbourne and do it instead.

Do you get to say 'I don't want to use this method', or do you HAVE to do whatever they say to do to the dog you are handling? What if you feel that the dog doesn't need it or is too soft for that type of correction?

I Think you will get more out of it if you dont take your own dogs. That way you get lots of experience with all sorts of dogs.

I think they will teach the use of check chains at either block location. Of course you can discuss any concerns with the instructor. If you feel the dog is too soft for a harsh correction then don't give it one.

I understand your concern about check chains, at first I was concerned too. But I decided to go into the training with a fully open mind and I got a lot more out of it this way. Have fun whichever option you decide :o

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petmezz   

after doing NDTF my self, i recommend them.

you have a fundamental right to say no to ANY training method, medical procedure, who pats your dog ect it is your responsibility to do what you feel is right by your dog.

at NDTF you will need to use a check chain at some point, this course is so good because they teach all quadrants of reinforcement and punishment +R -R (i really really hate -R) +P and -P. you not only learn the theory but the practical side of things to, i recommend training with many many different dogs as posable, this will help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of different training methods, and how to merge them together to create faster more efficient training results.

i did a similar thing to what you are thinking, i volunteered at the local pound, training the dogs their with basic manners and basic obedience. it is extremely rewording to see these dogs progress and be adopted.

i prefer to use positive methods my self, however i did learn other methods through this course and it has helped me save peoples dogs because i could demonstrate quickly how to prevent the behavior happening with a small correction at the start of the behaviour, i offer a training method with minimal corrections and one with corrections and allow them to choose.

Have fun and enjoy

Edited by petmezz

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Erny   
at NDTF you will need to use a check chain at some point, this course is so good because they teach all quadrants of reinforcement and punishment +R -R (i really really hate -R)

How come, Petmezz? :thumbsup: . Are you basing your opinion on the video footage example they gave (back in my day ..... many many years ago, they used video footage of the ear pinch method of training to hold a dumbbell) - I distinctly remember gasping when I watched it back then, and remember talking with the other of my class members and saying I didn't like that method either. It was further down the track that I got to realise how well Negative Reinforcement can work, but that it doesn't have to be the same as that of an ear pinch. (To be fair, we were told that by NDTF at the time also, but initially I couldn't imagine anything else.)

Thing is now I see excellent work with excellent results in the use of the e-collar utilising low stimulation. No impact on muscular/skeletal as you would with any other training tool; low stress when done properly; ..... and I could go on.

This isn't about the e-collar - I only bring that up because that's where I would use the negative reinforcement training methodology the most and so I use it as an example.

I also don't mean to challenge : it is the prerogative of anyone to make choices about what training method they like, don't like, will or won't use. But I am genuinely interested to know why you "hate" negative reinforcement style learning.

And the answer to anyone doing the NDTF course and taking your own dogs : No, you do not have to do anything/use anything with your dog that you don't wish to for whatever the reason. But you do need to be able to demonstrate handling and training techniques - to what extent, you would need to check with NDTF. I'm certain it just doesn't have to be with your own dog though.

Edited by Erny

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RubyStar   

Anyone know if NDTF courses are going to be available to us West Coasters?! :thumbsup: I think I understand it as a distance learning thing, but you still need to attend a block of training in person somewhere? (which is either in Sydney, Melb or Bris?)

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fuzzy82   

That's right, I am doing it distance learning even though I am in Brisbane. You need to attend two block training things, one week each.

Thanks for the replies everyone, I think you are right that I shouldn't bring my own dogs to training, for the sake of getting more experience.

As for using a check chain, why do I need to learn how to use one? Once I become a trainer, I would do clicker training or reward based training without a clicker. It's what I do with my dogs. I know how a check chain works, I know how punishment works, I have read enough books about the learning theory behind it that I know how it works, I don't see why I need to do it to someone's dog in training when I never intend to use it. There are dog trainer courses in Usa that don't teach punishment at all, so obviously it's not something you NEED to know.

I am now a bit apprehensive about doing the course. Not because of the punishment thing, but because it seems there isn't a lot of job opportunity once I have finished it. Even if I start my own business there is a lot of competition. I'm not gonna spend $3400 on something that will never be more than hobby. I'd still really love to do it because I am interested in it, but I want to ultimately end up making money. I don't have thousands to spend on a hobby....

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RubyStar   

Unfortunately dog jobs are extremely competitive and a lot are not even that well paying even if you get one. And being self employed as a trainer comes with the usual risks of having your own business.

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Kavik   
That's right, I am doing it distance learning even though I am in Brisbane. You need to attend two block training things, one week each.

Thanks for the replies everyone, I think you are right that I shouldn't bring my own dogs to training, for the sake of getting more experience.

As for using a check chain, why do I need to learn how to use one? Once I become a trainer, I would do clicker training or reward based training without a clicker. It's what I do with my dogs. I know how a check chain works, I know how punishment works, I have read enough books about the learning theory behind it that I know how it works, I don't see why I need to do it to someone's dog in training when I never intend to use it. There are dog trainer courses in Usa that don't teach punishment at all, so obviously it's not something you NEED to know.

I am now a bit apprehensive about doing the course. Not because of the punishment thing, but because it seems there isn't a lot of job opportunity once I have finished it. Even if I start my own business there is a lot of competition. I'm not gonna spend $3400 on something that will never be more than hobby. I'd still really love to do it because I am interested in it, but I want to ultimately end up making money. I don't have thousands to spend on a hobby....

Don't forget too that the course is only the beginning of your learning. I posted on another thread that I remembered feeling like I knew so much after the course, that I was ready to jump in there and train other people's dogs etc, and now, years later (more than a decade actually :thumbsup: ) after attending more seminars with many national and international trainers and competing with my own dogs, I realise how much more there is to learn. The course was a great starting point, but certainly not the be all and end all of training dogs.

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Not sure about the actual Guide Dog training, but I've seen handlers of Guide Dogs in both Victoria and Queensland using check chains on their dogs. So I'd assume they were also trained in these collars :hug: I've also seen a handler in Victoria using a martingale on their Guide Dog. I've also seen a couple of dogs working in head collars. These were all Guide Dogs, not Seeing Eye Dogs. So I guess every organisation is different, and probably uses different collars according to what the dog works in best.

Edited by Baby Dragon

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