“On Getting Your Foot In The Door” As An Obedience Training Instructor

By Hexen –

I was offered a position at the local Petco where we lived in Virginia for being a grooming dept manager and Obedience training instructor, it was so bad that they called me almost every week for 2 months wondering where my applacation was… No way for the grooming but I was interrested in the training position….

I would go in every week to do some socialization work with my then boxer pup Ulysses. The manager would see me there and would see me working him. She apporached me with an offer…..I quickly stated to the manager that my views were 100% different then what the stores idea of training should be. She quickly stated that “difficult to handle dogs” or dogs that required prong collar training I could Book for appointments on my own time.

I pondered her offer then as luck would have it we then recieved the word that a move back to Germany was comming. I am not an unfair person, and I could not see taking a job for 12 weeks just to have to then quit and move.

So we are now in Germany and for the past few months I have been struggling with fighting through U.s Military red tape, jargen and “protocall” trying to finally set up my own grooming and dog obedience business.

I had my first meeting this past Tuesday to find out what was involved and needed in opening my own business, Yes I was excited until “The Man” started to tell me what the protocal was to be followed.

As they do not have a past or former work statment to follow I would need to write my own up for them to follow. This involves nothing more then what procedure is involved with your basic every day groom, brushing, bathing, toenails ear cleaning, trimming, safety handling procedures like not leaving the dog unattended on the table, the work basically broken down play by play if you will (omitting the fact that bows or bandanas added at the end of the groom), Hours of operation and price list.

Now anyone knowing what the Army is all about they like to see lots of tiny technical words used, hereforth, herewith, things of that nature. A little unfair to have a lay person try to write but I am doing my best and worked all day yesterday to get it typed up. The next thing I was told was minium 90 days review for someone else to decide if revisions need to be made. Now this does not even mean that I will be choosen to open the shop.

“Other Powers” decide if the work statment is acceptable, the next protocal is Powers 1 can say to powers2 we have a person in mind to operate this business. Powers 2 can say we want to choose from this pool of people. Or seniaro 2….. Powers 1 can say We need this service, can powers 2 recommend someone, Powers 2 can say “no powers1 you must find someone yourself” thus then I will be choosen. It is a dammed if you do dammed if you don’t situation. Yeah O.K what ever……Then jus to find out that even if I am not choosen they will still use my work statment as a guide for the other person.

I mentioned about the Obedience training school….. Oh no we will not even concider discussing that, as I did not attend a dog training school to get a certificate of graduation and or do not have a letter that I have worked for such and such dog training business for so many years. It does not matter how many letters of recommendation for past clients I have, nor does it matter that a different “Army entity” used me for classes and another to have a dog training information booth at a pet fest for 2 years…. So quickly I said “Does it not matter that I can get the backing from 2 different dog club training directors that I am qualified to do this dog training? That I have to ask on powers 1 said to me…

Now my understanding as far as getting my German Hundefuherschein (dog training licence)

is I had to be a memeber at a dog club for 5 years (Oops I fall 2 years short) and I must train and compete in the BH test with 1 other dog that is not mine. However last night I was told different! I have all the qualifications to get my Hundefuherschein as you do not have to train and compete with another dog that is not your own. The only thing I am still missing is the last 2 years of membership. How is that for a kick in the teeth! Unfortunatly I am too new of a member at the Boxer club for them to doctor something like that.

So I still have 1 other option to which I will approach in the next week or 2….. Seeing how the Miixed club had granted me permission to operate training group classes at their club before we moved back to the states perhaps they can figure something out for me use.

All I can say AIKI…… keep trying, keep pushing, and maybe if you come across a person willing take their dog into the pet somethings and work it for them showing the managment first hand that you would be an asset to their training department.

Wish me luck and and I the same to you!

Schutzhund Competitor and Professional Dog Trainer Chris Amick Sends Us A Letter

I recently downloaded and read your “Secrets” book and have to tell you how refreshing it is to find someone else with common sense! I’ve been involved in “dog sports” since the late 70’s and have trained and titled in both AKC obedience and Schutzhund.

I’ve taught classes with a few groups and given private lessons as a ‘sideline’. I’ve always trained under the principle that all dogs are different and that what works well with one will not necessarily be so good with another.

Like you, I am NOT “politically correct” and have not jumped on the “clicker” bandwagon and the “positive reinforcement only and the ban the “pinch collar” school of so-called “trainers”. My position cost me

acceptance into the NADOI (I got over it), [Editor’s note: I don’t know what NADOI is, either… probably some pseudo-professional association] BUT two different judges made the remark that mine was one of the “happiest” Rottweilers doing obedience work that they had seen and several of my “students” have earned various titles, so something must be working!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed your book and tapes. One of my long time “dreams” has been to do “dog work” as a full time job – I’m 45 & getting short on time I know! I will be ordering your Dog Training Business Kit in a few weeks and look forward to forward to a working relationship with you in the future. Keep up the good work.

I hope you and your loved ones have a great holiday season.

For the Sport!
– Chris Amick