At the School for Dog Trainers, we are immensely proud of the fact that many of our graduates go on to achieve amazing things in the dog training industry. With 94% of our graduates employed as professional dog trainers or having started their own dog training business, our programs have been proven to set students on course for a successful career in this industry.
Over the past couple of years, our Graduate Showcase series has helped some of our graduates to explain their journey and allowed prospective students to get a first-hand perspective of what it means to study at the School for Dog Trainers. These interviews provide valuable insight into the mind of successful dog trainers. What was their prior experience with dogs? What convinced them to study at the School for Dog Trainers? How do they apply what they studied in their day-to-day training? Their answers offer great advice and guidance to prospective dog trainers.
We have always prided ourselves on offering our programs to dog trainers from across the globe. We’re passionate about improving the human-canine relationship, not just in the United States, but around the world. To date, we have welcomed students from over thirty countries (and we have a feeling this number may increase in the months and years to come!), and our International Scholarship continues to attract applications from every continent.
In the latest edition of our Graduate Showcase series, we spoke to another international graduate who has gone on to make their mark after returning home from studying at the School for Dog Trainers. Camila Jaramillo runs Good Dog, based in Colombia. In this interview, Camila talks about her history with dogs, her decision to study at the School for Dog Trainers, and gives advice for new dog trainers entering the industry.
Please tell us a little bit about your business, Good Dog, and the services it offers.
Good Dog is an amazing place. Our slogan is we train dogs and educate owners, and we do a lot of work with the owners – we assign homework for them and their dogs during the weekends, so they can understand the process and how dogs learn.
We offer basic and advanced obedience for dogs in school, and a virtual puppy course and a virtual basic obedience course where we have students from a lot of different cities.
We offer daycare for dogs we have trained.
Could you tell us a little bit about your background with dogs?
I don’t know a family life without dogs. My parents got divorced when I was two years old and I don’t have brothers or sisters. I lived with my mom and grandma in a country house with five dogs.
In my dad’s family, my aunt was a dog breeder and my uncle had a security dog training center, pet stores, and he owns a pet importer business.
I worked for my uncle at the importer when I went to university, and actually learned a lot about dog food. Then, when I graduated from the university, I worked in my uncle’s pet stores – threee months for free and as the cleaning lady, later as a saleswoman, later as an administrator, and finally as coordinator of the stores before I left.
How did you first hear about Highland Canine/School for Dog Trainers?
I always wanted my own dog business – a training school for dogs. I searched some schools, but they offer to teach too much of too many different things – like an introduction to everything and nothing at the same time.
And then there was Highland, with a completely different approach.
Can you provide some insight into how your education at the School for Dog Trainers helped you to start your own business? How do you use what you learned in your day-to-day business activities?
I use what I learned at the School for Dog Trainers every day – not only at my business, but in my life too. I use operant conditioning in every aspect of my life. Do I want this or not? So should I reinforce, should I ignore…I love it!
Jason [Purgason, President of Highland Canine Training, LLC) taught me so much, not only about dog training, but about many aspects of the business and of life. He gave the best tools to face every aspect of my business, from dog’s behavior to client’s non-realistic expectations, and even legal stuff.
How easy (or difficult) did you find it to transition to running your own business?
It’s not easy as it sounds, but I would do it again and again.
When I went back to Colombia, I got divorced, and six months later was broke. So I had my dog’s Dogtra e-collars and prong collars, four crates, a clicker, and a cellphone. That’s all I needed – that and the will to make it happen, no matter what!
I did it all by myself for almost a year. Cleaning, feeding, training…I had no time to feel tired. Then I had some help with the cleaning two days a week, then three days… and now I have a team.
I feel so proud of what I have learned, of my dog school and my team, but I know it’s just the beginning.
What is your favorite aspect of running your own business?
For me, it is not anything different than finding out that I can.
Yes! You can! You can be humble to start from scratch! You can be strong enough to do a lot by your self! Passionate enough about what you do not to give up! And the most important thing, you can learn every day – from each dog, each owner, your team, and from your mistakes – because you are going to make a lot! So be humble enough and learn every single day.
Today's students at the School for Dog Trainers are graduating into an industry which is experiencing significant year-on-year growth. This obviously has many positives, but it also makes it a very competitive industry to be successful in. Do you have any advice for graduates who are thinking of starting their own business in this industry?
Don’t give up! If you want to have your own business, just don’t give up!
Don’t think of how difficult the world is, or how many training centers there are, or what your competitors do or say. Wake up every day thinking that you can, and put your heart and soul into it.
What are your future aspirations for your business?
Colombia…we are in a political and social crisis, and what will happen in the next elections will determine the future of our country. So I’m trying to make stronger and more attractive virtual courses to open a new market in Latin America.
And if I have to move to a different country, and start over again, I’ll do it! I’m a good dog trainer and I’m stubborn enough to start over, and I don’t care if I have to start working for someone else cleaning kennels. Now, I know what I can achieve!
You can keep up with the latest updates from Camila and Good Dog over on Instagram – @gooddog.co.
Read more in this series:
Graduate Showcase: Anna Shreeves & Walk SLO Pet Care
Graduate Showcase: Carmen Nixon, David Berlak & Paw by Paw Dog Training
Graduate Showcase: Steve Rigden & Taipei Dog Training
Graduate Showcase: Rebekah Collins & LittleRose Canine Services
Graduate Showcase: James Leung & Hong Kong Canine
Graduate Showcase: Katie Weibel & Appalachian Dog Training
Graduate Showcase: Jessica Geas & Petrichor K9
Graduate Showcase: Patrice Goldston & Dynamic Dogs of NC