Tag Archives: Become a dog trainer

An Invitation to Learn More about The DogSmith and How To Become A Professional Dog Trainer

Join The DogSmith Founder Niki Tudge on a webinar in February and learn more about how you can become a professional dog trainer.  In fact, through the DogSmith Franchise you can become a professional pet care provider offering product and services across several business units. The DogSmith, America’s Dog Training, Dog Walking & Pet Care Franchise, invites you to join this webinar so you can learn all about The DogSmith, our training approach, business model and our mission, vision and values that steers our course every day.

The DogSmith® Unrivaled Pet Care – your Neighborhood Expert.

Visit our website to learn more about our company and see if you qualify for the DogSmith opportunity . www.DogSmith.com

1. Please join my meeting on February 3rd at 8 pm Eastern Time, 7pm Central Time, 5 pm Pacific


2.  Use your microphone and speakers (VoIP) – a headset is recommended.  Or, call in using your telephone.

Dial 218-844-4924

Access Code: You will receive this by email

Audio PIN: Shown after joining the meeting

Meeting Password: You will receive this by email

Meeting ID: 320-913-120

GoToMeeting® Online Meetings Made Easy™

Email Niki Tudge and receive the conference access code and password. NikiTudge@DogSmith.com

Niki Tudge

President & Founder

DogSmith® Franchise Services Inc

CPDT, E-Nadoi, CBC

AABP- Professional Dog Trainer

Dip, ABT, Diploma. Animal Behavior Technology

Pet Care Services CPCT, CAPCT

AKC “CGC” Evaluator


Toll Free 1-888-Dog-Smith (364-7648)

A Great Christmas Gift For You – Buy Job Security For Less Than A New Car

“We pamper them. We take them wherever we go. We spoil them with gifts and treats. They even get presents for holidays, birthdays and special occasions. They are our pets!” (APPA Pet Product Trend Report 2009).

71.4 Million Americans have a pet – that’s 62% of American households. 38.2 million Americans own cats and 45 million Americans own dogs. Financial analysts at a meeting of industry experts held in 2008 discussed how the pet industry may be resilient to the economic downturn. And it appears they were correct. Not only are more households pet owners but owners are spending increasingly more on their furry critters.

In 2009, 45 billion dollars will be spent across the US Pet Industry, a 2 Billion dollar increase from 2008. The expenditure in pet products and services is no longer restricted to the necessities such as food and veterinary visits. Owners are now investing in high-end pet products, state of the art services and designer clothing.

The trends in pet ownership in America coupled with the increase in what pet owners are willing to spend makes it the right time to join the exploding pet industry.

Join The DogSmith, the only pet Industry franchise in the United States that offers five businesses under one business model –

There are multiple streams of income from each of these five and a premium range of retail supplies such as dog toys, training products and apparel.

About Us-The DogSmith
Founded in 1998 by Niki Tudge, a leading proponent of positive animal training techniques, The DogSmith was always an organization destined to lead the pack.
Long recognized as an expert in America and the U.K., Niki was one of the first to recognize the disconnect between the needs of today’s pet-loving American families and the confusing, sometimes overwhelming and often misguided options provided by many unregulated dog training and pet care companies. Niki watched as, time and time again, dog lovers struggled to live comfortably with their pets. Niki has used her unique combination of “people” teaching expertise and dog training skills to create a proprietary system of education known as ARRF©.

DogSmith Revenue Generation Areas

  1. DogSmith Dog Training
    – Private Lessons
    – Group Lessons
    – Retail Sales of toys, training aids and apparel
  2. DogSmith Dog Walking
    – Private Walks
    – Dog Park Romps
  3. DogSmith Pet Sitting
    – Home Alone Visits
    – Lunch and Dinner Breaks
    – Canine Slumber Parties
  4. DogSmith Pet Nutrition Partnership
    – Dog and Cat Food
    – Treats
    – Supplements
  5. DogSmith Pet Waste Cleanup
    – Residential Accounts
    – Commercial Accounts
    – Retail Sales and service of Pet Waste Stations and Supplies

 Why refer your clients to your competition?

Steps to Becoming a DogSmith

  1. Initial Phone Call: The president and founder of The DogSmith will explain The DogSmith training and business philosophy with you and answer any of your questions.
  2. DogSmith Franchise Profile and Application: Our profile and application form is designed to help us get to know you and will provide us with information on your background, experience and skills. This information indicates whether you will potentially qualify for a DogSmith franchise. This form also gives us the opportunity to understand your goals and concerns.
  3. Second Phone Interview; A second discussion will take place with the Franchise Development Manager to review your Franchise Application form and your eligibility to join The DogSmith.
  4. Franchise Disclosure: We will review the Franchise Documents with you. The Franchise Disclosure addresses the legal and technical aspects of owning a DogSmith business. We will also provide you with information about The DogSmith Franchise Services head office and your relationship as an independent business owner.
  5. Due Diligence: By talking to current DogSmith Franchise Owners you will gain valuable firsthand perspective on our business. You will be welcome to speak with as many DogSmiths as you like.
  6. Territory Selection: Using demographic data, we will work with you to determine the exact boundaries of your exclusive DogSmith territory.
  7. Systems: You will learn more about the tools and techniques The DogSmith uses to operate their business from marketing to finances. Our Franchise Development Manager will explain the training program and the comprehensive pre-work required prior to training.
  8. Discovery: You are welcome to visit the DogSmith Training Center and learn more about our training program, philosophy and observe DogSmith Dog Training methods.

Decision and Acceptance: After the steps above, you will know if The DogSmith is the right business for your future, and we will know if you are DogSmith material. Together, we can make a decision about the business 

FREE consultation and No obligation – 1-888-Dog-Smith Call us Today!


The Challenge: Are You Ready?

Challenge: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain Do you long for a career combining your passion for animals with an independent lifestyle? Would you like to feel the pride and satisfaction of building your own business, a business that can make a difference in your community? Look into the mirror; do you like what you see? Are you tired of telling yourself, “maybe some day?” Well today is the day to invest in yourself. Control your destiny with The DogSmith. Take back ownership of your own life and act now. Don’t regret what might have been.

Call TODAY! Learn more about The DogSmith, Dog Training, Dog Walking Pet Sitting, Pet Nutrition and Pet Waste Cleanup business. FREE consultation and No obligation – 1-888-Dog-Smith

A MESSAGE FROM Niki Tudge, President and Founder of The DogSmith®

If you are interested in a career that combines your passion with your need for independence and freedom then look no further.
Look into the mirror, like what you see? Have the confidence to invest in their future?
Take the decision to talk to us, The DogSmith.
Learn more about our business model, Dog Training, Dog Walking and Pet Sitting.
No obligation
Take control of your own destiny. Croppedcar

Niki Tudge
President and Founder
The DogSmith®
America’s Dog Training, Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Franchise

Perfect Place To Learn To Be A Dog Trainer

The DogSmith National Dog Training Center is located in rural Florida – An ideal dog training venue for year around use and the perfect environment for candidates studying to become professional dog trainers.

The multi-use facility is very flexible and includes several acres of fenced pastures, classroom buildings and kennel areas.

The pasture areas are perfect for pet dog obedience training and the size of field can be varied to accommodate big or small dog training classes. They can also be adapted for whatever dog training skills are being taught, from basic pet dog obedience to competitive dog agility training.


Gizmo Learning The A-Frame

DogSmith Franchise owners receive hands on training at The DogSmith School for Dog TrainersCanine Class Mates at The DogSmith Training Cen and of course the dogs get trained too.

The classrooms for the academic portion of the dog training and animal behavior curriculum are located adjacent to the training fields so professional dog trainer students can quickly put their newly acquired dog training knowledge to practical use in “real life” situations. There are ample additional indoor dog training and kennel areas suitable for animal behavior assessments and practical dog handling lessons.

How To Be An Effective Dog and People Trainer

Much of the work performed by a Dog Trainer is working directly with people. When starting a dog training career you must recognize that not all of your time is spent in the company of dogs. Much of your teaching and skill coaching will be with dog owners, the two legged member of the team. Effective dog trainers must be effective people trainers and they recognize that professional training requires planning and preparation and a presentation method that ensures what you are teaching is actually being learned.

When preparing for a training session you must consider the 5 ‘W’s:
1. What are you training?
2. Where are you training?
3. When are you training?
4. Why are you training and
5. Who are you training?

Before you begin the actual training session you need to fully understand what exactly you plan to teach. What are the individual skill elements in the course? Do you have a copy of the course curriculum? Are you qualified to teach the course? Do you have all the homework handouts and training equipment you will need? You not only need to know the skills you will be training but to what level. Are you teaching a ‘sit’, or are you teaching a ‘sit/maintain’. If it is a ‘sit/maintain’, how long is the maintain behavior expected and at what distance from yourself will you expect the ‘sit’ behavior to be performed? The “What” you are training needs to have a finite objective that is clearly defined and attainable.

Next on the list is where are you conducting the training session? Have you secured the correct location? Does it conform to the necessary safety criteria? Is the area suitable for the type of training you will be doing? Do you have a selection of different locations available so skills learned at one location can be tested in new environments with new and different distractions? Frequent repetition in various scenarios ensures the skill is truly learned so the student can not only generalize in new situations but can also discriminate when appropriate. Also is your training environment suitable for any disabled or impaired individuals?

The third ‘W’ to be considered when preparing for a training class is when are you training, what day and what time of the day? Is your class time correctly posted and have you updated your students by email or phone if anything has changed. Do you know how to get there so you arrive in a timely manner, at least 20 minutes prior to the class start time? If it is an evening classes will there be enough light? Will the forecasted weather affect the class?

When you are preparing your training class be sure to include the background for the methodologies you use in your training. It is very important for adult learners to understand the rationale, the “why” it is best to do certain things in certain ways. Adults like to understand process as well as objectives. Adults take classes because they want to learn, they have identified a problem that needs solving and they are more easily satisfied if the learning is practical and can be related to everyday scenarios. Adults also deal with and process information more effectively when it is relevant and narrow in topic, not when it is surplus and broad.

This leads us to our last ‘W’ of preparation, ‘Who’ are you training. Always carefully review each application form you have for the class. Is the candidate suitable for the class they applied for in age, skill level and social skills? Know the dog breeds so you can prepare for any unique challenges in terms of drives, sensitivities, breed specifics, size of dog. Are your two legged students adults, children, or families participating together? Do any students have any disabilities that you will need to make provisions for? To be a good teacher of adults you need to be interested in people and interested in helping people find solutions. You must be flexible, patient, humorous, practical and creative. You must be prepared. It is pointless to have loads of technical knowledge, experience and skill if you cannot impart it to others effectively. Adult students seem to learn better if there is an atmosphere of mutual helpfulness and peer support. Adult learners are reluctant to take risks so you need to establish a climate of trust and acceptance. It is also important that adult learners feel free to express their views and are open to the views of others. Adult students bring clear expectations to the learning environment and expect instructors to accommodate these expectations.

Once you are fully prepared for your training class, all that remains for you to do is execute and manage the training session so your students fully learn what you are trying to teach them. Remember the old saying, when we tell a student something they retain 10%, when we show a student something they retain 50%, when the student performs what we show them they retain 90% and the other 10% comes with practice and repetition. This is the most effective way to teach a skill to another person. With the group or individual student you always provide a demonstration with a dog, first showing the exact skill you are going to teach. You do this several times without speaking. Have the group stand in a circle and while you are in the middle of the circle demonstrate quietly for a few seconds. Then you show the group the skill again, slowly as you explain the mechanics of the skill.

Then have the Student Perform the skill. Active involvement in the learning process is critical to efficient and effective learning. When the student is actively participating, rather than passively observing, greater learning takes place.

Each student/trainee then practices the skill on their own with their dog. As the trainer, you walk around the group while they practice. Take the time with each student; show them again slowly with their own dog making suggestions on their mechanics based on their individual needs. It is important at this stage to define individual goals for each dog. It is critical to reinforce and reward your two legged student, they need reinforcement just like the dogs do. Make sure the students have time to practice any new skill until you are comfortable that they have the correct training mechanics. In many cases in class the dogs will not necessarily have mastered a particular skill in class. What is important is that their owners have learned how to teach their dogs the skill so they can continue effective practice at home. At the end of each class recap everyone’s successes, reinforce people, and find a way to compliment each person on their training during and after each session. Search for areas to reinforce such as their training mechanics, their reinforcement timing, their voice tone, the relationship they have with their dog, their dog’s good looks. Make sure your students leave class with a new skill under their belt, feeling good about themselves and their future training successes. Not only will the dogs return to the next class with wagging tails but your students will return with positively wagging tongues.

At the DogSmith National Dog Training Center much of our focus is on developing good people trainers. Being a good Dog Trainer is not enough to becoming a successful DogSmith. The secret to becoming a great dog trainer is having the skills to engage and enroll the two legged component of the training partnership. If you are interested in becoming a dog trainer take our dog training, DogSmith Challenge

DogSmith Dog Trainers are trained by Niki Tudge the founder and president of DogSmith Franchise Services Inc. Niki Tudge is not only a Certified Pet Dog Trainer but also holds many certifications in the realms of people training, coaching and management consulting. For more information on becoming a DogSmith visit http://www.888DogSmith.com

The DogSmith National Dog Training Center

National Dog Training Center
The DogSmith National Dog Training Center is located in rural Florida – An ideal dog training venue for year around use and the perfect environment for candidates studying to become professional dog trainers.
The multi-use facility is very flexible and includes several acres of fenced pastures, classroom buildings and kennel areas.
The pasture areas are perfect for pet dog obedience training and the size of field can be varied to accommodate big or small dog training classes. They can also be adapted for whatever dog training skills are being taught, from basic pet dog obedience to competitive dog agility training.
Become A Dog Trainer
The classrooms for the academic portion of the dog training and animal behavior curriculum are located adjacent to the training fields so that professional dog trainer students can quickly put their newly acquired dog training knowledge to practical use in “real life” situations. There are ample additional indoor dog training and kennel areas suitable for animal behavior assessments and practical dog handling lessons.
College Curriculum for Dog Trainers
The DogSmith Dog Training School covers all the necessary operational, marketing and financial training needed to operate and successfully manage a dog training business.
Dog Training Methodology & Curriculum

The DogSmith Pet Dog Training curriculum takes into account the natural behaviors of dogs and their ability to learn using scientifically applied learning theories.

Theory: – Classroom style meetings, lectures and discussion. Dog training students will be involved in discussions, presentations, group “teach-backs”, seminars and have textbook homework to review for the following day.

Tools: Assigned readings, seminar DVD’s and training manuals.

Goal: by completion of training each dog training student will have the theoretical knowledge to:
a) Pass the American Kennel Club CGC Evaluator exam (2 years professional work experience required).
b) Pass the American Boarding Kennel Association Pet Care Technician Level 1& Level 2 exam.
c) Be prepared with the theoretical knowledge to take the CPDT exam (200 training hours required in addition).
d) Pass the Red Cross Canine CPR certificate.
e) Pass the DogSmith Dog Training Center Diploma qualifying exam (250 multiple choice questions and 2 behavioral questions).

Theory Covered:

Part One – Animal Husbandry.
This section of the curriculum covers canine physiology and ethology with a focus on canine domestication, canine communication and canine development – physical, social and sensory. We also cover the critical stages of canine development and each stage’s impact on learning. Part one also covers canine health, key diseases, and their effect on behavior, nutrition and the effect poor nutrition has on behavior, Spay/Neuter and the effects on behavior, health and population control, vaccinations, parasites & parasite control in the training environment, health & hygiene and basic pet care including pet CPR.

Part Two – Learning Theory
The learning theory section of our dog trainer curriculum covers operant conditioning – understanding behavioral consequences. We teach the four quadrants, Reinforcement, negative and positive and Punishment, negative and positive. The learning extends into operant extinction, spontaneous recovers and extinction burst. The training discusses the management of behavioral consequences, the two types of reinforcer and punisher, primary and secondary. How we select reinforcers, factors impacting the effectiveness of reinforcers, schedules of reinforcement and differential reinforcement. Learning theory also focuses on classical conditioning, how conditioning occurs, and extinction and environment stimulus control. We teach setting events and motivating operations. Stimulus control, transferring stimulus control prompting and fading of a stimulus are also covered in depth. Under the heading of learning theory we also cover the key training techniques to acquiring a behavior, shaping, prompting, luring, targeting and capturing. To assist with the development of these skills we spend many practical hours working on dog training mechanics, handler timing, body language, reinforcement timing and clear, concise and consistent cue systems.

Part Three – Dog Trainer Equipment
When learning to become a dog trainer it is critical that you are aware of and understand the differing types of dog training equipment available, those that are aligned with our dog training philosophy and those that we try to avoid. This section of the training covers all the basic training equipment from collars, to leashes, toys, enrichment tools, treat bags, clickers and the wide array of conditioned reinforcers available. We also teach the dog trainer about ancillary equipment and its purpose and safe use.

Part Four – Skill Training, Acquisition, fluency, generalization & maintenance

This section of the dog trainer curriculum covers the core of the DogSmith methodology. We cover in great detail, both in theory and practice, all the key dog obedience skills. These include ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stand’, ‘maintain’, ‘come’, ‘walk nicely’, ‘heel’, ‘leave it’, ‘off’, greeting a friendly stranger, sitting for petting, walking though a crowd, reaction to strange noise/visual stimulus and a supervised separation behavior. The DogSmith Dog Trainer curriculum for running effective puppy classes focus on social skills, housetraining, bite inhibition, chewing behavior, introducing a collar & leash, interactive games, play nice, crate training and foundation obedience skills. In this part of the training we also discuss and teach skills to manage and solve some of the more common canine problems such as digging, barking, chewing, counter-surfing, door-hogging and front door etiquette problems, house training and crate training. We begin to introduce the shelter sog in this part of the curriculum as many of your clients will have spent some of their life living in a shelter with unique living conditions, stress issues and environmental differences.

Part Five – Dog Trainer Instructional Skills
Much of your time as a dog trainer will be spent teaching people how to teach their dogs. Section five is dedicated to developing you as a people trainer as well as a dog trainer. You will learn how to prepare and plan for dog training classes, develop curriculum and training schedules, develop teaching skills. Learn about the DogSmith’s enrollment forms, training software, liability and indemnity forms and how to choose training locations. We teach you about class structures, payment methods and key policies for handling aggressive dogs, dogs in heat, children and bad weather policies. There is key attention placed on safety in the training environment in terms of general handling skills, owner responsibility, trainer responsibility and environmental safety. Liability and indemnity, location, payment, prognosis, follow up report & agreed action, when to refer a client and DogSmith ethics. Conducting the training requires that as a dog trainer you learn about skill demonstrations, task breakdown, behavior criteria, establishing client rapport, active listening, giving constructive feedback, targeting the audience and canine communication systems.

Part Six – Behavioral Modification

Part Six of the DogSmith Dog Trainer curriculum prepares you to conduct private lessons with a focus on modifying unwanted canine behavior. This part of the training focuses on the management, training and relationship an owner has with their dog. You will learn how to conduct a Functional Assessment, develop a contingency statement and recommend a behavior change program using the DogSmith’s MTR and ARRF.

Learn more www.888DogSmith.com

How to Become a Dog Trainer and Make Your Passion Your Profession

There are fewer careers that I can name that free you from the office cubicle while providing virtually unlimited potential for personal fulfillment and professional achievement than Dog Training and Pet Care. Dog Training and Pet Care is a field that will constantly challenge you intellectually and can provide you the opportunity to create a truly balanced joyous life.
Once you’ve determined that you want to be a professional dog trainer you need to do some research to find out the pros and cons of the various training philosophies and methodologies currently used. Dog Training methods and philosophies vary from trainer to trainer and school to school. Training philosophies go from the outdated and disproved “Alpha Roll” type coercive methods to the scientific based methods derived from modern studies of Learning Theory and Behavior. You can research various training philosophies and the current methods by visiting the following websites:

http://www.nadoi.org/ The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors was founded in 1965 to promote modern, humane training methods and at the same time elevate the standards of the profession. NADOI is not only the oldest group of its kind in the world, it is the only professional organization to require that all applicants demonstrate proficiency in their craft, as tested and measured by their peers, before membership is granted. NADOI members are found all across the USA and in many foreign countries.

http://www.ccpdt.org/ The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) is an international testing and certification program for professional pet dog trainers. The CCPDT’s certification program is based on humane training practices and the latest scientific knowledge related to dog training. Competence and continued growth in training practices is promoted through the recertification of qualified professionals.

http://www.apdt.com/ The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) is a professional organization of individual dog trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through education. The APDT offers individual pet dog trainers a respected and concerted voice in the dog world by promoting professional trainers to the veterinary profession and to increase public awareness of dog friendly training techniques.

http://www.888dogsmith.com/ The DogSmith exists to enhance the lives of pets and their owners by improving their relationship and the quality of the life they share, through providing professional support and training to pet dog owners, supporting and assisting humane societies, animal shelters and rescue organizations to minimize the number of unwanted animals and offering affordable and professional care to family pets so that pet ownership is never a burden.

Once you’ve done your research on training methods and philosophies you will need to decide if you want to learn in a concentrated full time program or if you want to learn and gain experience part time. You can gather the necessary skills by a combination of self study academics with extensive practical experience working for another trainer whose methods you respect or would you prefer to attend formal training through an established curriculum. There is no degree required to become a dog trainer, but you should attain both “book knowledge” and hands-on experience before offering your services to the public. Read books, attend seminars, watch DVDs. Get as much practical experience as possible by mentoring under another trainer and volunteering to work at your local shelter or with rescue groups. Shelter/rescue work is a great way to get practical experience with dogs of various breeds and temperament.
Don’t forget though that most of a professional dog trainer’s work involves training other people how to train and communicate with their dog. Consider whether you enjoy working with people as well as dogs. Many people get into the profession of dog training without realizing that what dog trainers do is really to train people to train dogs. You must have patience and empathy, and be as good coaching your human clients (lots of positive reinforcement!) as you are with your dogs.

Finally, is your goal to work for another training school in an established business or is your dream to start your own training and pet care business? One of the great possibilities of starting your own dog training business is that you can work out of your own home so start up costs are minimal. If you plan to start your own business you can be a sole entity or part of a franchise system.
You will probably start out by training part-time while working another job. Whether you can make a living as a full-time trainer depends on how many classes/sessions you are able to schedule in a week, how much demand there is for trainers in your geographic area, and whether you offer other additional services such as boarding, board-and-train or other pet care services.
And there is plenty of room to specialize if your interests are agility competition, obedience, rally, fly ball, assistance dogs or simply pet dogs. And don’t forget the growing interest in training cats, birds, horses, donkeys or any of the animals found more and more frequently on “hobby” farms around the country.

The challenges are endless as is the learning. But if you have the burning desire to work with animals and if you love meeting new people, analyzing problems and developing programs that may keep a dog from being given up to a shelter then you have what it takes to become a successful professional dog trainer.