Many dog lovers dream about spending their days with dogs, leveraging their interest in dogs into a full-time job. For some, like Fernando Camacho, that takes the form of dog training. Five years ago, the one-time graphic designer, personal trainer and real estate appraiser decided to move into the field of dog training.|
When the economic shift brought a downturn to the real estate market, Camacho decided it was time for a career move. Since adopting his pit bull Hayley in 2001 while doing volunteer work at a local rescue, Camacho learned more and more about dogs and decided that perhaps he could help others enjoy a great relationship with their own dogs. Says Camacho, recalling the career move: “In about a year, it was evident that this was what I was meant to do and what I really enjoyed doing. My dog training business took off, and I left appraising forever.”
Now an AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator, a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), a training partner with Best Friends Animal Society, and the founder of the FernDog Rescue Foundation nonprofit to help shelters and rescues, Camacho has taken his love of dogs one step further, launching an online course for dog trainers called Make Dogs Your Life.
“Dog training, as well as most professions with animals, is not something you do for money, fame or status,” says Camacho. “It’s a labor of love. People become dog trainers because they are passionate about dogs and have a strong desire to spend their life helping them and the humans they live with.”
And while that profession may be one that won’t make most people wealthy, it is a profession that, in these economic times, continues to thrive. “I’ve been a dog trainer for about five years now, and all of those years have been with a horrible economy. And my business has grown each and every year,” says Camacho. “One thing that is certain is that, in the U.S., people treat their dogs as family members. And when times are tough, they will still take care of their kids and their pets, no matter how bad it gets.”
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Dog heights generally range from a few inches at the withers to around: