Thursday, November 29, 2012

What does the future hold?

Hey everyone, I hope you all are doing well!  I am working like crazy and trying to get things ready for Chanukkah and my dad's birthday.  I also might be starting a new mini-job babysitting two mornings a week.  Ben also just got a job offer for a big-boy job, and that's really got me thinking about my future.  Once his job starts we decided that we are going to have to move, and that means the future is coming up quick.  Do I have enough skills and experience to get a full time job? Will I be able to relocate my life? My cat? Will I be able to get medical, dental, and vision insurance and all new doctors?  I am not really sure what I'm going to do.

Ok. Ok. so that's Christmas

I have been thinking about becoming a dog trainer, or dog and cat behaviorist.  I was doing a lot in order to achieve my dream.  I took a college course, and volunteered at an animal shelter training dogs.  But once I get my job, I didn't have time for that anymore, all that all fell to the wayside.  Now with the inevitability of moving in just a few months, I have come to the realization that I do not have the skills to go out and just get a full-time job right away.

 I felt like I needed a quick way to get that experience in order to get a job as soon as possible.  The dog trainer at my job went to a dog training school, about 30 minutes away, so I decided to look into that.  It looked like a great place!  It would only be 6 weeks long, and short classes. And upon graduating, you are a certified dog trainer.  it looked perfect, until I talked to Jamie about it.  She said that the school leans more towards correction rather that reward, which is not the training method I like to use.  And also that there are a lot of out of class room hours that you need to graduate, so I would probably not be able to work and go to school.  I was torn.

I did a lot of research, and what I found was most dog trainers get experience though apprenticing, rather than a school.  However, if I start and apprenticeship now, I would have to end it when I move in a few months, which would suck.  I could wait and start it when I move, but I don't know how long I would be apprenticing before I could get a job, and being on my own, I need a job ASAP.

Then I remembered Steve Diller.  He was my dog training class professor, and an amazing dog trainer.  He gave me his number when I finished the class and told me I could call him anytime if I needed anything.  Stupid me, I didn't call him for a whole year.  That is a YEAR I could have been gaining experience, all down the drains. Bleh.

I am still looking into different options, like Petco, and the Karen Pryor clicker training school, and I am waiting to hear back from Steve about any advice he may have for me.  I am still worried about what the future will hold for me, if I will be able to move in with my boyfriend and split the rent...or if I will be living in a box.

Claws up!


  1. I know how scary being out on the real world can be. Bills and work and making a new future. You will do great though, a little bit of hard work and motivation and you will be ok! I wish you the best in all your future plans!

  2. I hope you are able to work things out! The bright side is you'll be living with your boyfriend :) I was living with mine for about 2 years when we both moved out of state because of a job offer he had after he lost his job here. It was great, but then we didn't like the area and his job turned out to be a nightmare so we moved back with the sacrifice of living separately until we both got jobs and saved enough to afford a place again. Its really really hard, we're still living separately as I'm only working a long term temp job while I'm finishing up school for a certification in medical billing so I can make enough to live on my own again. It seems like there's always something you have to sacrifice when you want to be on your own. I hope you can find something that will allow you to live with your boyfriend, even if its in a box you'll realize it doesn't really matter because it's the two of you on your own together :)

  3. I definitely think you should try an apprenticeship! That would help you on your way, even if you have to move halfway. You can always go to school and work at the same time. What's a bog-boy?

  4. wow, seems like life is moving fast for you, I know how you feel. It can be crazy. I like what Frosso said about even if youre livin in a box it doesnt matter cuz its the two of you, that I agree.. partly. we communicate a lot and it seems like we have a lot in common, Im not too sure thatd be much fun.. lol no offence to Frosso at all. But try livin with him and if it doesnt fall into place for you to get a job right away and you need to, you can move back home and work on lookin for a job by him from there. & when you do get it then move back youll have your job ready & waiting for you when you get there.. I hope everything works out one way or another ! :)

  5. Apprenticeship is the best way to go :) But, the problem is finding someone who truly cares to teach you, loves doing their job and trains in a way you are comfortable with. I was a dog trainer for 6 years, I worked at Petsmart, Petco and at a private training facility (they trained dogs for police departments all over the world, SWAT, the army, ect.). I can't say all of what I will write is still 100% true, I left Petsmart 3 years ago and Petco 2 years ago so things may have changed now and/or it may depend on your store. But this is what I knew about both companies.

    Petsmart's training program is set up where you go to the district trainer's store and learn with them (it's been a long time and I don't really remember how long you go for) and do a workbook. This was my first job and the woman who trained me wasn't really into her job and just did whatever she wanted. She was an awful mentor and I really learned nothing from her. I did a lot of studying on my own and took classes outside of work. Petsmart will not pay for classes (again this may have changed) or anything else to further your training. I will say the best thing about Petsmart was they were very lax on letting you use products in the store at their cost.

    Petco has a pretty intense seminar and classes you go through as well as training with another trainer. At the store I went to, I already had knowledge from working at Petsmart and was the only trainer at the store, so I only had to go through a very small part of the course. Petco will do seminars every once in awhile to freshen up your knowledge and at your manager's discretion will pay for other classes. Unlike, Petsmart they are very cheap about paying for things you may need so, a lot of things may come out of your own pocket.

    Both stores are SUPPOSED to be positive reinforcement (which is the best way to go and don't ever let someone tell you otherwise), it depends on who trains you and their preference but once you are out on your own really it's up to you to train how you would like. Both store also have curriculum you are supposed to go along with for each class. I never felt they made sense so I just did my own thing and wrote my own curriculum. ;)

    I really don't recommend starting at a police training facility, it's not easy and not for the faint of heart. It is the hardest job I have ever had but, was my favorite. I also don't recommend most of the "dog training schools" most are a joke and you can learn just as much reading a book. There is no real certification for being a dog training, not a single one. It's all experience and you just have to find the right place to start. If anything I would recommend apprenticing now and reading as much as you can, it will give a leg up if you do apply somewhere. I also think anything from Karen Pryor is a must! I can't personally say anything about her classes, I had a friend who went and loved it, but I do think any/all of her books are must read. Mastering the art of clicker training is one of the best things you can do. The hardest part is helping others grasp the idea. I've taught dogs how to open doors, sneeze on command, wipe off their paws and ton of other things with the help of the clicker.

    So yeah, I'm sorry for writing you a novel! <3 Like I said I did this for 6 years and only stopped about 9 months ago so it's still in my blood :P The hardest part of dog training above all is working with others who have their own ideas. You have to be able to tell someone they are doing it wrong and help them grasp why it is wrong. You will always have people that will shoot you down and not believe you, you just have to keep pushing it in benefit for the dog. Ok I'll stop writing now I swear! But if you have any questions about anything feel free to email me :)




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