Lv 5
Dd asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

When is someone qualified as a "dog expert"?

Obviously, there are no REAL standards one can go by. But when would YOU call someone an expert? Is it a certain amount of years of hands on experience? Their success rate with dogs? A degree in animal behavior?

It's sort of a difficult word for me to throw around. There are definitely some people I wouldn't hesitate to call experts, but there are some who are labeled as such who spread horrible misinformation.

44 Answers

  • Chetco
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You are right. "Expert" is a very difficult word.

    I am more knowledgeable than most, in my breed. I only know of a handful of people who may know more about Afghan hounds. I've been in Afghans since 1983, and have committed many years to studying..

    I 'married' a show kennel in 1968. My spouse had 13 purebred dogs, (toy breeds) and I was immersed into the dog world.

    However, there are MANY disciplines of the dog world, of which I have little knowledge.

    I have reared, trained or rehabbed about 340 dogs, of many breeds. So, I have picked up a lot of 'tricks of the trade'.

    I still learn something new every day, and there are dog related disciplines I still want to learn.

    I consider anyone who claims to "know it all", or says that " It's my way or the highway", either an egotist or a phony.. I think the same of anyone so closed minded that they insult everyone who doesn't do it their way, without bothering to learn about the method that they are criticizing.

    I don't know anyone who is a dog "expert", but only those who have varying degrees of expertise.

  • 1 decade ago

    You are absolutely correct. While I am a cdertificated dog trainer and I graduated from Animal behavijor college, I certainly do not consider myself an expert in any means.If I had my way, which I most certainly do not, I believe that at the completion of the externship, the applicants should take a small test involving performing with your own dog if need be, or another dog The basic functions of basic obedience. This test should be performed similar to the caine good citicizen test in which the instructor has a check sheet and gives points for each catagory such as sit, down, stay,come, stand, heel, loose leash walking and the like. In fact I just may contact the state regarding this because I feel it is vital to becoming a good dog trainer. once this test is completed, It would be sent to the state with a small fee and participant must pass at 80% and then they would be licensed and receive certification. From there they would have to put in volunteer hours of at least 80 hours and agaIn receive a certificate for completion. Then they would do stage three which would be compensated teaching under an experfienced professional for a period of 6 weeks. They would then be considerred a professional dog trainer.

    However, it still would take somewhere between five to ten years of experience with other dogs to be regarded as an expert, whether that would be on an individual basis or group basis, the time has to be put in. In my case I had to put in 6 hours observation, plus practice at home, then anotherf 6 hours in the apitude stage, and finally anotgher 6 houurs in the participation stage with home practice.Add to this volunteer hours for a shelter and then at least two years of experience.

    As soon as I complete the two years. Then I can call myself a professional dog trainer. Howevefr, it takes at least five to 8 years to be an expert and perhaps even more.

    So the next time you want to determine if the dog trainer is an expert, ask them to perform a quick little quiz including the conditional and unconditgional reinforcers and demonstrate positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement and give the little formula for a treatment plan for correcting inappropriate behaviors. This should be a piece of cake if they are an expert. Any dog trainer that is an expefrt should do this without question. Otherwise if you are looking for an expert. you are not interested. Hope this helps SHS

    Source(s): online text book andsomed verfy thin experience.
  • 1 decade ago

    I look at several things. The thing about is experience is how well have they keep up with the times. A person with 20 years experience could easily have just one year's experience 20 times. A degree may or may not help. I don't think that a degree makes a person an 'expert'. It does get the person started in the field and the resources to hopefully continue to keep learning. Hands on is very important. Sure a person can read on how to train, groom or what ever from a book but the only thing that makes a dog trainer, groomer or what ever is the actual hands on work. Years doesn't matter to me as much as success. Some of the wonderful trainers that I work with have only been training for a few years. Yet they are very smart and wise well beyond their years. I get more concerned with those folks who don't want to try something new. Although I'm old, I'm willing to try or consider trying something new.

    Source(s): old balanced trainer, who has a lot of successes but is far from being an expert in anything
  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think the term should be taken so literaly. We're not going to start seeing 'dog expert' listed in the phone book anytime soon and I don't think it's a title that people often claim.

    However, I think it's a relative term. Lots of people call me a dog expert because in my circle of friends, I AM the dog expert. They know little to nothing about dogs, or basically what the average person knows. I've been working with dogs in some capacity for 5 years or so, mainly grooming, some training/kenneling/boarding. I know a lot about dog behavior and body language, I have no fear of dogs. To them, that makes me a dog expert because I know so much more than they do. Would it make me one on here? Hell no.

    I think this term can be used a lot more loosely than professional trainer or animal behaviorist or whatever. I feel those are actual titles which most people would assume credentials of some sort. "Dog expert" just sounds like you know a lot about dogs.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't believe anyone is a "Dog Expert"..I consider myself very smart when it comes to the GSD and the Pekeingese for the many years of ownership and with what I have done in my life with them..but I'm no expert.Even a Vet is'nt an expert as they don't know everything and we sometimes find ourselves looking for another to come up with the answers we need.I believe there are certain trainers in Mals or Agility that can be considered an Expert but there is and always will be room to grown and learn..I can take bits and pieces from a few and combine to come up with a new training tip that worked..Thats why I enjoy YA and I have used a few..But a distinction of an "Expert" no,,,no such thing..

  • DSreg
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Experience and successful results.

    If Person 1 has a problem dog and they go to Person 2 who gives Person 1 the tools and knowledge to solve the problem and shows them how to prevent it from happening again, Person 2 is (in my book anyway) an expert, or at least likely to turn into one with more experience.

    An expert should also be able to identify a lost cause and not try to solve anything as some issues just cannot be cured.

    Qualifications may help somebody get off the ground but they can be faked. Experience and success cannot be.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think a degree has much to do with it. A dog expert is someone who has owned dogs for a long time, has dogs that are well behaved, knows a fair amount concerning the feeding, health, training, and care of dogs.

    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You know you have come across a very highly qualified dog person when you find a highly knowledgeable individual with years of experience and ask them if they are an expert and their answer is no because you learn something new every day, and they are still learning.

    I know of a woman who has had dogs for 30 years but she's still a dirty BYB and someone with only 9 years experience with the same breeds is much, much more knowledgeable.

  • 1 decade ago

    I totally agree with more bored collie.

    And Chetco..

    Also for the person below me..

    I work for a vet and I love him and he is very smart but i don't consider him a dog "expert"

    Most vets know little about nutrition, behavior,breeds..And the little they do know on the subject was taught to them by the companies who benefit from their knowledge.. ( eg Science Diet, Iams, Royal Canine,frontline,Merial, fort dodge.. etc, etc..)

    We are constantly having companies "teach" us stuff only to have their competitor come and tell us the complete opposite...

    So I think people should really do their own research on certain things and figure out what works best for them and makes the most sense to them. And try to find a vet who views things similarly.

    That being said trust your vet to treat your dogs with illnesses and injuries, and surgery.

  • 1 decade ago

    There are people who are experts in certain fields, such as breeding, nutrition, training, etc. but you would be hard pressed to find someone who is an expert in all.

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