Every new journey you take in life will be stressful. Whether you are starting a new career or traveling to a new place, by nature most people experience stress during these times of change. For many students, preparing to come to our school causes quite a bit of stress. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, “What am I going to need to bring with me?” No doubt, we hear this question so frequently as a result of the unique nature of our school. Sure, run of the mill school supplies would be sufficient at other schools but adding dogs into the learning environment changes everything.
About two thirds of our classes take place outside. With that being said, our students must be prepared for what ever mother nature may throw at us. We can and do try to keep students out of bad weather by bringing them to the classroom when we can, but there are times when we must train in the rain. There is a saying in this part of North Carolina that if you do not like the weather, wait fifteen minutes and it will change. As humorous as this saying is, there is validity to it.
This article is written with the intention of serving as a general list of things you may want to consider bringing/purchasing when you come to our school. Students, instructors, and trainers all contributed things to this list and none of the items are required, just things we thought to be helpful.
All of our student housing includes with basic amenities such as bed linens, washer/dryer, wifi, kitchen utensils and appliances.
Many students will wait until they get settled in before discussing with their housemates what extras they will need and purchasing them.
This list includes items students and staff found helpful when staying in our housing.
- Towels for dogs and humans
- Under bed storage bins
- Extra bedding
- Dog crate and supplies (if bringing a personal dog) *Personal dogs are required to be crated when left unattended.
- Laptop or Tablet (not required for school work but is helpful)
- White out
- Small audio recording device
Many of the listed classroom supplies will not surprise you, as they are standard for any school you may attend.
All course workbooks are provided by the school as part of tuition.
All required reading text can be check out from our library however, if you would like the books for your own library, we will happily supply students with a reading list.
Much of our programs take place outdoors, so a majority of the specialized gear you may need will fall under this category. Previous students have often found it useful to pack a to-go bag with various items they may need throughout the day was well as a change of clothes (just in case).
Working with dogs can be unpredictable, so it does not hurt to have backups. If you are in the Master Dog Trainer Program you will experience both the heat and the cold at some point during your course; make sure you are prepared with appropriate gear for both!
You will be on your feet a lot so make sure your footwear is comfortable and suited to outdoor work in a variety of conditions. Any clothing you decide to bring expect to get dirty throughout the day, because it will get dirty. Make sure all clothing is appropriately fitting and comfortable, especially pants you do not want anything too baggy or long enough to drag on the ground. Your pants will get snagged on something if they are too big which could result in ripping.
- 6ft leash (make sure this leash is comfortable in hand because at some point there will be a pulling dog on the other end of it)
- Large treat pouch
- 30 or 60ft long line
- Poop bags
- Towels for dogs and humans (again)
- Rain gear
- Spare change of clothes (whether your clothes are dirty, sweaty, or wet, it’s nice to have something clean and dry to change into.)
- Lightweight breathable shoes (Trail runners are a really good option for this, as they are breathable and light without sacrificing traction.)
- Waterproof Hiking boot or mid shoe (The higher outer wall provides ankle support while also helping to keep water out. Nothing ruins a day of training like wet feet.)
- Cold weather gear (Hats, gloves, insulated underwear, warm socks, etc.)
- Hot weather gear (sun hat, light weight shirt and pants)
- Bug spray
- Reusable plastic water bottle
The Most Important Accessory
The most important thing to bring when attending one of our programs is a smile and positive attitude. Whether things go our way or not, there is always something to be learned from every experience. Our courses are the most challenging in the industry and during stressful times students often lose sight of the fact that dog trainers have the best jobs on the planet. Every day we get to come to work or school and interact with dogs. Even on the worst days, it beats 8 hours in an office. Keep your chin up, learn from your mistakes, and never stop growing.
Hopefully you found this article helpful in getting prepared before you get here. As mentioned above you are not required to go out and buy anything, we just find these items helpful when attending our school. If you have any questions about what you should or shouldn’t bring, don’t hesitate to contact us.