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Tomorrow I have an interview with Petsmart for a dog trainer position. I'm a bit nervous yet somewhat excited. I'm only 19 and am currently putting myself through college, so I was searching for a new job that would be somewhat easy, fun, and flexible. I am currently a waitress and am looking to get out of the restaurant industry...the pay is great IF you bust your ass AND am willing to put up with many people's bullsh*t on a daily basis....but the pay is no longer worth the stress i have endured. SOOO i thought about the things i LOVE (Xena immediately came to mind) and went on Monster.com. A local petsmart was looking for dog trainers and groomers...so i applied and they called me this morning to come in for an interview tomorrow for the dog trainer position.

One thing that kinda bothers me about the position is that it is partly based on commission...I would have to sell the classes. I've worked for tips as a waitress, but thats a bit different because the people are coming to you. You dont have to sell them anything. Here, I would be approaching people and attempting to sell them the classes.

Maybe I'm just putting the cart before the horse right now. I tend to worry myself alot about things that havent even happened or may never happen. After I got off the phone with the guy this morning, I abandoned the last 2hrs of sleeping I had left to do and started worrying...about the interview. What do I say? What do I wear?...I know all the answers to these questions yet still worried. Then I worried about the job...what are the people like, the employees, the managers? Will I make enough money and sell enough classes?

Sorry for the long-winded post. I tend to talk (or type) a lot when I'm nervous. Hopefully, if all goes well, I'll be able to give everyone some EXPERT training advice...lol. Wish me luck!
 

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This isn't meant to offend or insult anyone...THIS IS A REALITY CHECK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK...I'm going to be VERY frank about this...Cookie cutter dog training classes fit the needs of some dogs...not all!  No dog trainer is an expert...I've been training dogs for 16 (coming up on 17) years and I have NEVER claimed to be an expert!!!  Everytime you go out and train you learn something new, a new way to do something, a new way to look at something, a new way to train something, a new combination of D.B.L (dog body language)...  Any dog trainer that claims to be an "EXPERT" is a sham and all potential clients should RUN THE OTHER WAY AS FAST AS THEY CAN!  A good dog trainer is ALWAYS learning and building on their knowledge base.  Taking a class at a petstore to become a dog trainer for that pet store is great, so long as you agree to train their way and NEVER deviate from that way!!!

Dog training is HARD WORK.  It is physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging!!!  To be a good trainer, you need to learn a VARIETY of methods!  You need to time your time and be patient with your clients and their owners and find what methods of training work best for both.

I love my job and wish there were more training out there like me and some of my dog trainer friends!!!!  Just because your may be hired for this position and take a class and get "certified" as a PETSMART dog trainer doesn't make you and expert or even very good at it (not saying you won't be; no insult intended)!!!  There are PLENTY of crappy "certified" trainers out there (I know plenty) and PLENTY of great uncertified trainers out there!!!

Dog training isn't based on a piece of paper!!!!  Being a good trainer isn't about how much money you make or who you train (with or for)!!!  Being a good dog trainer is about experience (first and foremost), patience, imagination, and FLAT OUT LOVE OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!!!

Liz (professional dog trainer with 16 yrs experience) and Lilly (service dog extraordinaire)
 

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Well I don't know about the population where you are at but here... the classes are either always or almost always full. They have a calendar of the classes and how many positions were open. I told hubby... wow looks like there is only going to be two of us in that class (two wks before). The day of... all ten positions were full.

My friend started the dog grooming there and they'd send you to a professional school to get your certification... they got transfered to OKC so I don't know what school she's going to. The one for FL is in Tampa I believe. I was interested in the position and she was going to "hook me up" but when I found out I had to be in Tampa for a month... away from Sarah... a WHOLE MONTH. I just wasn't that keen on the idea. If I left her with hubby for a month she'd be all dirty and missing teeth... well that's if she had any. LOL You get the idea... but I love animals and she said the pay there for a groomer ranged from $500 to $1000 a week.

Just be calm and relax... you'll do great... either that or realize it's not something you want to do....

GOOD LUCK!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the EXPERT part was sort of a joke. Didnt really think I'd know all there is to know about being a trainer by getting this job.
 

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No trainer kows all there is to know...Anyways...My point was that it takes a lot of work to be a good trainer and that you should learn more than just the methods they (PETSMART) teaches so that you are a well rounded trainer.  Good luck!!!  I hope you enjoy training half as much as I do!!!!  Like  said...I love it!!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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I dont even know if a professional trainer is something I really want to do. I'm only a college kid! I'm in that stage where I'm just kinda floating around not really knowing what the hell I'm doing or where I'm going. I am "finding myself" so to speak. I'm in limbo and it scares the heck out of me. Every other week i think of something new...so far i've thought of a cop, a surgeon, a pharmacist, a teacher, a personal trainer (which i am actually pursuing as a side thing...not as a career), a veterinarian. I tried waitressing for 3 years and realized it wasnt for me. Since I am head over heels in love with Xena, I thought this might be something I'd enjoy and maybe help get my foot in the door to a career with animals. If it works out and turns out to be something I'd like to make a career of...then great. If not...my search continues. In all seriousness though, Liz, If i do end up in the position...I'll be sure to ask for your help and advice with any questions I might have. 17 years is quite a bit of experience.
 

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Mastray---As I said...it wasn't meant to offend, insult or be rude...It was just a reality check!  If it appeared rude, then...I guess I'm just rude...Not going to apologize for something I didn't mean to do.

PlaYtiMe24_7---Training is an excellent way to get your foot in the door with a career in animals.  I wish there were more vets and vet techs with animal behavior and training knowledge!!!  

I've been your age and in your shoes (finding myself; there are still some days that I wonder if I'm doing the right thing) and sometimes its just trial and error.  You'll figure it out at some point!!!  

We could definately use more good trainers in this world and on this board!  I'm rooting for you too!!!  I wish you the best of luck and have fingers, toes and Lilly's paws are crossed for you!!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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We all have to start somewhere and it's a good way for you to see if it's something that you might want to pursue...You may find it isn't for you, but you won't know til you try, so I say go for it..Heck at the very least you may get a chance to educate people about our lovely boxers!  :)
 
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