FetchMasters School of Dog Training
Developing Knowledge -AND- Skillfulness
Do you want to become a dog trainer? So do the thousands who attend workshops, devour books and videos, and attend online academies to prepare themselves for dog training careers. Knowledge about dog training in general – and positive dog training in particular – is abundant and easy to find.
But despite approaching the dog training industry with easier access to knowledge than previous generations, new entrants into the profession find they lack the real-world experience necessary to:
- Be considered for jobs as more than an intern or junior trainer
- Successfully train the more difficult dog sizes and temperaments
- Fluently work in prey-infested or high distraction environments
- Positively solve some of the tougher dog behavior problems in a way that competes with harsher methodologies.
In response to not being able to find lucrative employment after spending thousands of dollars on what amounts to more of an academic education, many new trainers turn to self-employment. The allure of high hourly wages, independence and lack of governmental regulation make a good case against the low-wage alternatives. But two things stand in the way of success:
- A high degree of knowledge does NOT create skillfulness in dog training. Skillfulness comes through coaching, practice and experience.
- A person who is a fantastic dog trainer (i.e. a technician) does not necessarily have the skills necessary to run a successful business (i.e. an entrepreneur).
Because of these two truths, the FetchMasters School of Dog Training offers two services:
- We provide an educational approach that incorporates both current and sound dog training knowledge AND provides a strong focus on heavily-coached hands-on skills development.
- We guide students through our heavily tested and successful entrepreneurial approach to prepare them for the realities of running their own businesses.
Why Turning Knowledge into Skillfulness is Important
Wanting to become a dog trainer and acquiring an academic education on the subject definitely creates an important foundation, but it is not enough.
Many novice dog trainers (and entry level employees in other professions) mistakenly think that knowledge equates to skillfulness. In fact, this phenomena is so prevalent that it has a name: The Dunning-Kruger Effect (see video below).
The truth is, skill comes from the synthesis of knowledge, practice and experience. These two examples will begin to illustrate the point:
- You can read books about the sport of boxing, learn its history and memorize its world champions. You can study its theories, and and learn the mechanics of its striking techniques. Yet, if you step into the ring with even an amateur boxer, you will experience quick. Skillfulness comes from expert coaching and sparring with many opponents.
- You can study the design of helicopters and memorize air traffic rules and regulations. You can even come to an academic understanding of how to fly them. However if you then get into one and try to fly it, you likely will wreck it and kill yourself. To become skilled, you must train under the tutelage of a flight instructor who will critique and guide you. You also need to log in a many flight hours before you are competent enough to be licensed.
Training dogs is similar. In the dog training industry, failing to recognize ones own skill level — or understanding the disconnect between knowledge and skill — creates several undesirable consequences, such as:
- Charging rates that are not commensurate with your actual experience and abilities, which is dishonest.
- Risking the welfare of both people and dogs by not being able to deliver what you only think you are capable of.
- Injuring the positive dog training industry by causing dissatisfied clients to move back towards harsher and potentially more harmful dog training methods.
For a more detailed explanation of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, check out this video:
To create professional-grade dog trainers. The FetchMasters School of Dog Training exists to help aspiring positive dog trainers develop a skill level commensurate with a professional practice. We want our students to (justifiably) be confident in representing themselves as professional and skillful.
To strengthen and support the reputation of the positive dog training niche. Currently the dog training industry in the United States is largely unregulated. Anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. Because of this, many under-qualified dog trainers call themselves positive dog trainers and do a disservice to the industry as a whole and positive dog training in particular. We must hold ourselves to a high professional standard and the FetchMasters School of Dog Training is built upon that foundation.
To provide training that can be mastered by different types of learners. While seminars, online courses and distance academies provide lots of good information, that information usually is in a static, written form or is transmitted via more-or-less canned content. This can be a challenge for those who are visual or kinesthetic learners.
Our classroom approach and immersive hands-on element allows us to adapt and effectively communicate to people of all learning styles. We keep our class sizes small and personal to ensure every person masters the material, both academically and physically.
The information provided in our classes represents current scientific understanding about dog training. But, as importantly, our methods are field tested, practical, and technically innovative. Read more about our training philosophy here.
To provide unsurpassed hands-on training and expert coaching. While seminars sometimes have “working spots” and various online academies often provide for some limited, basic hands-on practice, the following limitations are typical:
- They often have you work with your own dog. Working with your own dog has some benefits in a workshop scenario. Since your dog is already bonded with you, working with it isn’t too difficult and doesn’t hinder the workshop’s progress. However, it provides little in the way of developing a versatile, professional-grade skillset. Skillfulness requires working with numerous dogs — dogs that will challenge you and force you to think outside the box. Challenging dogs force you to up your game, which will make you a more successful dog trainer. At FetchMasters, we rely heavily on those challenging dogs to teach our own trainers how to positively overcome various training obstacles.
- Limited scope of training goals. To be a professional-grade dog trainer, you must have breadth and depth of experience . Most internship/externship programs allow the student to get only a taste of of training with few difficulties and little variety. The FetchMasters School of Dog Training fully immerses students into real-world dog training scenarios and challenges.
Our profoundly strong hands-on element makes our school perhaps the best hands-on education in the positive dog training world. When learning a foreign language, an immersive environment speeds progress. Likewise, immersing yourself in physical dog training under the guidance of our coaches develops your abilities at a faster rate than self-paced or mostly academic programs. If you want to become a dog trainer, we believe our program will give you a unique advantage in the positive dog training world.
We want you to do more than to just become a dog trainer. We want you be professional, skilled, knowledgeable — and we want you to uphold the ideals of the positive dog training niche. To start your journey and become a FetchMasters approved and certified dog trainer please fill out our online application below.