Q & A: Fear Of Water & How To Become A Dog Trainer
Question: Dog Afraid Of Water
“Our 1 ½ year-old German Shorthair Pointer has a water phobia. His mother loves the water, and water doesn’t seem to bother the others that were in the litter. My dog’s pedigree (mostly champions) shows Duals and Field Champions so the problem isn’t there. Our dog is trained, but the water thing is embarrassing. Any advice?”
In researching your question through various top field trainers, interestingly enough we found out that the issue your dog has is not all that unique. We found that many of the field champions of today started out being afraid of water. Properly handled, 99 percent of such dogs can overcome the problem.
You should start by introducing your dog to an area of water that does not have a severe drop-off, such as a beach or lake with a gradual slope. With the leash and collar attached, you should get into the water first to about your knees.
While working with your dog to overcome his problem, you should always be in the water with him. You should act the same as you would if you were introducing swimming to a small child; that is, gentle encouragement, lots of praise, and confidence building. You must be persistent, though; exposing the dog to water once a week isn’t enough.
Question: How To Become A Trainer
“Could you tell me how I can go about becoming a professional dog trainer? I have trained a few dogs, but none for shows. I love dogs and I want to make my training my profession, but just don’t know how to go about it. I have 4-H experience in dog care and training, am 18 years old, and would really like to get started.
“Our suggestion would be that you first get a group of your 4-H people and their dogs together and form a small class. And since you probably have put in many hours reading training books and publications then you should focus entirely on dog obedience training manuals, especially when it comes to trouble dogs. The information contained in such books and videos is enough to get anyone started on their way to becoming a dog trainer.
I must caution you though, that just knowing how to train dogs isn’t enough to enable you to turn “pro.” You must become knowledgeable in the field of canine behavior, canine nutrition, preventative medicine, canine physiology, canine psychology, etc.
You must learn the capabilities as well as the limitations of the canine. You must learn elements of business administration, as well as how to teach people – a good dog trainer must also be a good “people teacher”. A lot of this will come from experience, but much of it must also come from studying books and videos. Watch and read every single piece of material that you can get your hands on – and good luck!
The information shared on this site is for information only. It does not take the place of professional advice from your pet’s healthcare provider.