How to Become a Dog Trainer?
How to Become a Dog Trainer? (Complete Guide)
Like a dog groomer, becoming a dog trainer is another domain you can excel as a dog enthusiast. In the US, you can build a career around dog training and keep up your love for dogs while earning your livelihood.
Dog training is a refreshing and rewarding job when you know how to master it. A professional dog trainer understands all the behavioral and physiological aspects of dogs and their owners’ needs. Unless you have the right mindset for dog training, things can get pretty challenging.
If you are an avid dog lover and looking to build your career as a dog trainer, you need to stay put and work step-by-step. You have to go through all the problems and solutions regarding dog behavior and training protocols to achieve fruitful results.
Skills & Responsibilities of a Dog Trainer
Before you start your dog trainer career, it is important to know what aspects you have to face in your journey. Dog training is a job that requires you to stick to the following responsibilities as a dog trainer.
Formulating Effective Dog Training Plans
As a dog trainer, ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t work. Dog training is a vast field because every dog is different in their behavior & temperaments. According to the nature and problem of the dog, a dog trainer must have sound knowledge of creating custom training plans.
The training plans consist of several parameters including obedience and command training. There are times when one dog can perform well in training through treats while the other doesn’t comply at all.
Thorough Knowledge of Dog Commands & Behaviors
Efficient training of a dog is only possible when you know all the training methods. That includes learning about the common dog commands and how to use them during the training. You can consult dog training books and enroll yourself in a diploma course to master it.
You can’t find the hidden problem when you don’t have knowledge and background. Likewise, you need to teach the owner and yourself about normal and abnormal dog behaviors. It will help you understand the psychology of the dog and how to correct it.
Be Patient & Sympathetic to Dogs
For a dog trainer, each dog is different and there is no single rule that applies to all of them. Dog trainers need to stay patient when they are dealing with a stubborn dog. Similarly, a dog trainer needs to change his training ways according to the training challenges he is facing.
The duration of training with stubborn and aggressive dogs is longer than with a calm dog. You may need to spend some extra time with such a dog to train him as a dog trainer. As easy as it sounds, patience is always a key to achieving success in the case of dog training.
Be Communicative with Dog Owners
Dog training is fifty percent of training a dog and fifty percent of training the owner of the dog. A good dog trainer knows how to deal with the owners and earn their trust. As a dog trainer, you need to be excellent at communicating all the aspects of dog training and care to the owner.
Besides, the dog trainer needs to work with the dog owner to teach the owner about training the dog at home. In the case of dogs, routine training and practice is the only way to make a dog obedient and a good citizen.
A dog trainer should be able to teach the dog owners about common behavioral issues in dogs. This is especially important in the case of adult dogs where the trainer and the owner have to reinforce the good behavior in adult dogs.
Qualifications Required to Become a Dog Trainer
If you’ve got the skills required to become a dog trainer, you might wonder if you’re qualified enough for this title. There is no graduation or bachelor’s degree required to become a dog trainer. You can take a step forward after completing your high school diploma or GED equivalent.
The eligibility criteria for becoming a dog trainer are based on non-academic and academic qualifications.
Dog Ownership & Training
As a dog enthusiast, you must have a dog at home, right? The process of becoming a dog trainer starts at home by owning and working on your dog. You can begin by teaching your dog to learn basic and advanced commands.
This will build confidence in you when you know there is no negative aspect of it to train your dog. You can train him in any way you like and your dog will obey you. It will ultimately increase your chances of understanding the behavior and reactions of dogs during training.
You can read and learn about different dog training and behavioral modifications and apply these to your dog. Dog sports and competitions are a great way to know which technique and reward system works best in training dogs.
Dog Behavior & Training Education
Educating yourself with complete knowledge of any field puts you in a good position. This is the same in the case of dog training where you need a lot of information. You should work on getting dog behavior and training knowledge through books, the internet, or watching your favorite dog trainer.
At the same time, you must have a thorough idea about each dog breed and the behavioral problems associated with it. This will give you an edge over competitors and you can communicate well with the clients.
Enroll in the Dog Training Course
Getting a professional dog training certificate makes you a legal dog trainer in the US. The dog training credentials can be earned through several dog training schools. These schools offer specific diplomas and training courses to give you a certified dog trainer certificate.
Not only the certificate will help you land do training job, the membership with these institutions will increase your clientage. The relevant organization will put you on their member list from where any dog owner can search and hire you as a dog trainer.
You can earn a dog training certificate from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. The CCPDT is the most widely popular organization to provide dog training accreditations and certificates after 300 hours of dog training experience.
Similarly, the Academy for Dog Trainers is another dog training academy under the supervision of Jean Donaldson. The academy offers a remote work setting you can do at home and the total length of the course is two years. This dog trainer course costs around $8000.
Karen Pryor Academy provides a full-fledged six-month dog training course for under $6000. The KPA is recognized as a highly renown institute and has virtual and in-person training sessions. You can avail your dog trainer certificate by passing an online exam and training workshops at KPA.
Who Can Hire Dog Trainers? – Carrier Opportunities & Salary
After getting the training and certification from the dog training school, you’re now ready to embark on the dog trainer journey. You have several career opportunities waiting for you as a professional dog trainer such as:
- Private Dog Training Facilities
- Dog Training Instructor
- Service & Shelter Dog Training Centers
- Dog Walk & In-Home Dog Sitting
- Self-Starting a Boarding Kennel Business
- Online & In-Home Dog Training Services
- Dog Boarding & Training Content Writers
- Registered Veterinary Clinics
The salary of a dog trainer can vary depending on the nature of the job and the state of employment. On average, a US-based dog trainer can earn around $41,000 annually by working with a reputable organization.
If you work hard enough and gain some good clientage, you can earn up to $70,000 per year. In conclusion, becoming a dog trainer is a reputable job you can do while keeping your love for the dogs alive and constant.