Show dog handlers are also known as professional dog handlers. Dog handlers do not need a bachelor’s degree to do the job. However, they need to have undergone an apprenticeship from an experienced and established dog handler. To become a professional show dog handler, you should train and adhere to the code of ethics in dog handling.
Here are a few tips on how you could establish yourself as a show dog handler and become a professional dog handler:
- Do your own research. Find out more about dog handling from people who do this job. Go to dog shows and get close to the judges to find out why they rated the handlers that way. Search the Internet and online resources to find out more about the trade and the different kinds of dogs including their characteristics. Find out more about the different breeds of dogs online. Be on the look out for breeds that are available in your neighborhood and around the country.
- Train with a dog that you could handle. After researching about the different kinds and breeds of dogs available in your area, choose a dog that you feel comfortable working with. There are several breeds of dogs out in your local pet shops but it would be good to find a dog from breeders of the winners. However, you should also consider if you would be comfortable handling this dog. Even if the dog were from a ‘winner breed’, your ability to handle the dog would matter a lot in the performance once the shows take place.
- Train with an experienced handler. Once you have chosen a dog, find and train with professional dog handlers in your town. This is important and crucial in helping you make the dog do tricks for dog shows. The amount of time that you need to spend on training would vary depending on the receptiveness of the dog and your skills in training it to do the tricks. It could take some time to perfect the tricks, but the patience you put into the training could land you prizes on the dog shows that you would be in. There are clubs like the Professional Handler’s Association, Dog Handler’s Guild and AKC’s Registered Handler’s Program, which could help find establish trainers in your area and train with them.
- Practice what you have learned and get paid for it. There are dog show competitions that would help you highlight your craft and the tricks that your dog has learned. Dogs are one of the animals which are most used by the film industry. There are even films whose main characters are dogs. If you participate in dog shows and display your dog’s tricks, there is a chance that your dog would land a job in a movie or a television series. This would be an exciting adventure for you and your dog. However, you would have to work overtime on the tricks that the director wants your dog to do.
Are you ready for the challenge? If you could do the things mentioned in this article, I think you could do the job. This is unlike any other job that requires interaction with a fellow human being. This is a job, which requires you to communicate with an animal, which is why it is really a challenging trade.