Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dog Trainer

"Put your love of dogs to work and be someone who makes it happen!" - from the PetCo website

I am a dog person. I grew up with dogs, I have a dog, and really identify with the phrase, "The more people I meet, the more I like my dog." When I was a little kid, I wanted to be an animal trainer. More specifically, I wanted to train dogs for the movies. I read about dog psychology, could tell you what the characteristics of most breeds were, and tried (with mild success) to train all of my family's pets.

When my partner and I were first talking about moving to Michigan, the deal was that if we moved, she had to get me a dog. Within the first month, we adopted Xander from the shelter. Immediately, all of my dreams of training dogs came back. When I got him to sit on command for the first time, I felt like I had taught him to read. We signed him up for obedience classes and he passed two levels with flying colors, even managing to earn his Canine Good Citizen Status. I've never been more proud.

Since I haven't had a job, I've had the time to really work with Xander and develop his skills. He doesn't really have any fancy tricks, but he knows the basics and has shown an interest in agility work.

So, when I saw the posting for a PetCo Dog Trainer, I couldn't resist. Although I haven't worked as a dog trainer, I do have experience training dogs. Also, the posting mentioned that there was a dog training instructor program. The application was fairly straightforward - name, ssn, work experience, etc. At the end of the application, I took an assessment test. It had the basic questions designed to figure out what type of person is applying for the job. Most seemed to be getting at how caring or empathetic I could be. I'm caring. I'm empathetic. I don't enjoy kicking puppies. In fact, I actively frown on kicking puppies.

I guess this goes in the category of "Childhood Dream Jobs." I'd love to learn to be a dog trainer, and I could use the discount. It's not what I'm trained to do, but I learn quick and I love animals. Besides....I need the work.

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