The first thing to do when taking this course is to make sure you are set up correctly to collaborate as a student with each other and the instructors.
First be sure to have your profile set up with as much information as possible to introduce your self, upload photos (if you wish), and give the instructor and any other site members as much relevant information as possible. You should be able to get to your profile by going to “settings” in the drop down menu by your name and then clicking on profile. You can edit any privacy settings you would like, but i highly recommend remaining visible to at least logged in users or “friends” at the very least. The more visible you are the easier it is to collaborate. You will also be able to fine tune privacy settings for individual functions such as who will see your dogs, journals, etc..
Second request membership to the “Certified Foundation Style Dog Trainer” group located here.
In the group you will find other remote students, students who do some work at the facility, and other Certified Foundation Style Dog Trainers that want to be updated about what is new or want to refresh their knowledge. Here will be the place that we will make announcements about everything related to the students and will place important dates/events on the calendar. I highly suggest to “friend” everyone in this group. There will also be a private forum that can be used that only members of that group can see.
Learn the other function of the website and how other members use it here
Play around with the site and visit all the main areas. If you have any questions about its use write a topic in the appropriate forum help topic. Visit all the forums and play around with how to discover which are the freshest topics. Remember this website is meant to teach people how to train dogs, but this course is designed to teach you how to TEACH PEOPLE how to train dogs and troubleshoot their problems. From day one you must understand this vast difference. The more you read what other problems and goals people have, and read how they are helped or not helped the better.
Interact! The more friends you have the better experience you will have learning and getting practice HELPING other people. Try using the chat, even if it is to just write how goofy Mike D’Abruzzo is in the Howl Room.
Do all of this and read through the basic information in the “Self Help” section of the website. This is your FIRST assignment, to get familiar with the site so that we don’t spend more time trying to figure out the site and where to find info than learning about dog training.
When you are feeling good about getting around on the site. Practice sending a private message (not chat) to your instructor Michael D’Abruzzo that gives information about the best times to schedule one on one conversations Monday through Friday NEW YORK time. Include best phone number and Skype username (if you have one). You can also search Mike’s skype name and request contact: k91dogtraining
Please do not rush this first step and take as long as needed.