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December 9

Dog Training as a Career

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Dog Training as a career

Who Can Become a Dog Trainer?

First, why should a person think of becoming a dog trainer?

The thought creeps into our minds when we have hired dog trainers for our dogs.

Doesn't it become a bit exasperating when you have to take the services of a dog trainer every time a new dog is welcomed into the family?

Am speed.

Even if you opt for an online dog training certification, a career as a dog trainer can boast of three great benefits:

·        If you love dogs, a dog training career gives you ample opportunities to interact with various breeds of dogs.
·        The most important perk of taking up a service dog trainer career is that you get to train your dogs.
·        A person who has taken up a career as a dog trainer saves money. 

This is because he or she trains their dogs without external assistance.

There are many dog owners who want to become dog trainers. But a few common questions pull them from moving forward.

Q & A 
1. Is it possible for anybody to become a dog trainer?


Well, if you are interested in pursuing a career in dog training, you simply need to be familiar with dogs. Any person who had ever owned dogs is overqualified to become a trainer.

A dog trainer is also required to teach the owner(s) of the dog to training their pets. This simply means that you need to be a people person.

Sounds interesting?

Well, that is not all. Above all, you have to be very patient since you are required to cope with different styles of learning.

Patience is the name of the game. You have to be patient with a flair for learning.

Now you can decide for yourself whether you are qualified enough to take up a dog training career. 


2. I am already engaged in another career that I like. But I love dogs and want to learn the nuances of dog training. What should I do? I don't want to leave my present job. 


If you already own a dog you might have had it trained or attended a dog training program. 

This makes you half-a-trainer. It has not affected your current job. So you are not looking for a dog trainer's salary due to the other career.

You can attend a weekend training session or even opt for an online dog training certification. 


3. What are the minimum qualifications required to become a dog trainer?


Many dog training programs offer certifications to those who have completed the course successfully.

There are no government stipulations or state certifications to become a dog trainer.

Many avenues are open for continuing education which you can take up if desired. 


Duties and responsibilities


While it is easy to take up a dog training career, every aspiring dog trainer should be well aware of the responsibilities and roles that come with the vocation.

You can opt to be an amateur trainer, a self-employed freelancer, or work at any of the below:

i. A boarding kennel.
ii. A daycare center for dogs.
iii. An animal clinic.
iv. A shelter for animals. 
v. A dog rescue entity.


Irrespective of the nature of the segment you opted to pursue a career in dog training, your duties and responsibilities towards your wards remain the same.


·        Identify the particular dog's attributes and personality. 

Use suitable training techniques to teach it to obey basic commands.

·        Confirm bookings and schedule appointments of clients.
·        Discuss with the clients about training needs and behavioral worries. 
·        Interact with the dog to identify other behavioral concerns that were unnoticed by their owners. 

Communicate your findings effectively to your customers.

·        Impart sufficient techniques to the clients so that they will maintain and enforce skills learned by their dogs at the dog training programs. 
·        Ensure that the training premises remain neat and tidy at all times.
·        Identify problem areas like hyperactivity, aggression, biting, and separation anxiety. 

Resolve the issues by introducing suitable training techniques.

·        Document the training syllabus used for each dog and create clear progress reports for future reference.


Much similar to other professions, a dog trainer too can choose a specialty. 

The popular disciplines
1. Aggression Management.
2. Grooming of Show Dogs.
3. Service Dog Training.
4. Puppy Training.
5. Trick Training.

Each branch has its advantages and excitements. The income doesn't vary much for different disciplines.

However, a person planning to take up a dog trainer career should have a clear and concise idea about dog trainer salary.

Like any other job, the salary or income of a dog trainer, whether freelancing or employed depends on the usual factors as shortlisted below:

·        Knowledge level in the subjects assessed through certificates.
·        Education.
·        Experience.

Based on the above criteria, a dog trainer's salary can be approximately summed up as follows:

Bottom hourly pay: Less than $10.

Median hourly pay: $16 to $17.

Top hourly pay: $26 to $27.

The salary can in some cases include bonuses and commission depending upon the conditions on which you were hired.

The salaries are also really dependent on the country you're in as well - the rates above generally apply to US companies.

Some institutions use a profit-sharing equation to pay their trainers.


When you take your dog for a dog training program, it gets the basic lessons of socializing. However, most such programs include training sessions too.

Many institutions offer dog training classes to aspirants. Before you enroll, it is advised to ensure that they have experienced teachers and good feedback from past students.

A good school will teach you to create your syllabus to teach your clients when you begin your career. Other topics shall include the history and evolution of dog training, learning techniques, and tools.

The course, like any other training session, will consist of multiple things:

Course Contents
1.     Practical Training.
2.     Readings.
3.     Lectures.
4.     Interactive Live Sessions.

The students should get opportunities to work with shelters and veterinary clinics to get first-hand information on different types of breeds.

This will also benefit them to delve deeply into dog behavior.  

A confident person who loves dogs has a hoard of opportunities as a dog trainer. With practice, you can specialize in all areas of dog training.


about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.


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