This month has probably been the most stressful month of my life, as I have just completed my dissertation and handed it in for marking, I have a couple of assignments to do and then 5 years of studying is finally finished. I know some of you will be thinking it is a little overkill for a dog trainer to have a BSc (hons) when many excellent trainers out there have no qualifications at all, however, It may make more sense if I explain my reasons for doing the course.
To start with, I wanted to see if I could get a degree; as an apprentice trained print finisher having a degree seemed unobtainable and I just wanted to see if I was clever enough. Secondly, I wanted to expand my knowledge in a way that will help me develop and research methods and systems my own way, as previously my sole form of knowledge came from either books or seminars all expressing bias and personal opinion, which could be conflicting or on occasions misleading. Don’t get me wrong, I have attended some very good seminars and up to starting my degree read the occasional good book, however, these were few and far between; you see I wanted a way of expanding my knowledge that was not restricted to one person’s opinion or experience.
There have been several discussions on dog training Facebook pages about the lack of necessity for such a high qualification and don’t get me wrong its not a sure fire sign that the trainer is any good, as practical skills are just as important. However, there is no arguing that a trainer with a degree and good practical skills, has not only a high level of knowledge, but more importantly the resources to develop in a way deemed acceptable by all associations and organisations across the globe securing their place in the training world no matter what changes.
Which, reminds me of what I said in my application form for the course 5 years ago when I was asked “what do want to gain from this course?’ My answer? Simply, to be one of the best trainers in the world…and I am still working on it