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How to Become a Dog Trainer

Updated on October 22, 2020
Dog trainers even get to work with cute puppies
Dog trainers even get to work with cute puppies | Source

If you love dogs, you would be a great fit in a career where you work with dogs on a daily basis. Luckily, there are a wide range of jobs which allow people to work with dogs including being a dog trainer.

A job in training dogs can be very rewarding, especially if you love dogs. There are numerous things you can do as a dog trainer. For example, you could work in the prison system in a program that teaches offenders how to train dogs. Programs such as this are becoming increasingly popular as studies have shown a link between these programs and lower prison recidivism rates.

Another job in dog training would be to teach pet owners how to handle their dogs. This, in particular, is a highly popular career choice for dog trainers. Yet another job would be to train dogs to take care of their owners health needs. Dogs have proven to be helpful for the deaf, the blind, and even those with seizure disorders. As you can see, there are a large number of possibilities for those who work as dog trainers.

Requirements for a Good Dog Trainer

Becoming a dog trainer doesn't require a four-year degree from a college, but there are some requirements that you will have to meet if you wish to be successful.

One quality that you absolutely must-have is to be able to work well with dogs. If you're really interested in training dogs, chances are that you already love dogs (and work well with them.)

Another requirement is to be able to work well with people. You don't need to be on New York's list of socialites to be a dog trainer, but having a friendly personality will make being a dog trainer much more rewarding for both you and your clients. Dogs are smart animals, so much of your work will be focused on actually training people on how to train and care for their dogs.

Dog Training Classes, Courses, Books, Video and More!

You'll want to learn as much as you can about becoming a dog trainer. By reading books on the topic, watching DVDs, and taking courses you can learn a lot. While books, training manuals, and videos can be amazing teachers, nothing is as good as real-world training.

A ton of people own dogs which gives you many opportunities for the real world training you need. Practice what you learn on your own pooch as well as your friends' and neighbors dogs.

A good dog trainer will feel comfortable working with all breeds.
A good dog trainer will feel comfortable working with all breeds. | Source

Shadow a Trainer

You can also get experience by finding a dog trainer that wouldn't mind being your mentor. By working with this person, you'll get hands-on experience with a dog trainer. You will learn problems dog trainers commonly face and see what the day-to-day work is like.

If there are no dog trainers in your area that are interested in training their competition, pet shelters and rescue groups would love to have extra help in training their dogs. It's a well-known fact that shelter dogs that have training are much easier to adopt out, so you'll be working for a great cause.

Choosing a Career & Extending Your Education

After spending time learning about the different aspects of training dogs, you'll feel ready to make training dogs your job. If you've figured out what kind of job you would like that involves training dogs, you're set!

Dog training opens up a number of career pathways in dealing with canines. If you're finding that choosing a career is difficult, don't worry! There are several resources available that can not only help you get your feet wet in various types of work, but can help you find your niche!

Attending seminars, reading newsletters, and being a part of the International Association of Canine Professions (IACP) are all great ways to learn more about careers that are available in dog training. These are also great ways to continue your education so that you can be up to date on the latest techniques and trends. Taking part in a dog training refresher course will not only keep your skills up to par, but also allows you to keep your "foot-in-the-door" in various careers in the dog training field.


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    • PoliticsNOW profile image


      9 years ago from New York

      Interesting, I love dogs too and started a small dog watching business where I pet sit while people are on vacation. I also give them baths and nail clipping for extra cash. I have thought about training. Thanks for the Hub.

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Very informative Hub here! Good job.


    • Teylina profile image


      9 years ago

      You really got my attention with this; have been contemplating another work move, and have been trying desperately to work w/my daughter's dog, whom she rescued at about a year old. I know my large breeds, but working with a terrier has been a terror! And I've spent more time trying to learn how to handle! Maybe I'll pursue that learning. Thnx


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