With over 70 million dogs in the United States alone, dog training is a needed and desired occupation. Dog trainers don’t necessarily have to have a license, but some certification and training are required. Experience will also help your career immensely, and volunteer work is an excellent way to start building your resume. Dog training can be a dream job for many as you help both dog and owner learn to listen to one another.
What Does It Teach?
As a dog trainer, you can teach a variety of methods. Verbal commands, clicker training, hand signals for the dog, treats or rewards, and desensitizing dogs are common training techniques used. As a trainer, you are not only responsible for training the dog; you have to train the owner too.
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience, but keep in mind you won’t be paid for it.
The owner or handler needs to know how to utilize your methods at home or when you are not there, so the partnership can be successful. You can give the owner/handler practice tips or homework to help them achieve their goals. You can also show them how to use various leashes, collars, and other training tools safely and effectively.
During your training, especially group sessions, handlers can see and interact with other breeds. This is a fantastic learning experience and can help dissuade stereotypes about particular breeds as people learn that proper handling and training is a key factor in their dog’s behaviour.
What are the Options?
As a dog trainer, you will most likely be self-employed. There are some places such as pet stores that offer occasional training, and shelters, kennels, and veterinary offices may offer clinics that they will need your services for. Volunteering is a great way to gain experience, but keep in mind you won’t be paid for it. Many trainers usually provide private sessions, but there are some that offer group sessions for those dogs and handlers that are not beginners. You can assist with the training of puppies and younger dogs, and even teach some tricks.
What Training Will I Need?
Licensing isn’t required. However, many dog trainers have some form of certification or education to show. Associations such as the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers have tests you can take to earn your certification. This Council also expects you to continue your training education to maintain your certification status. Other organizations, like the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, also have a certification you can earn. Some certifications require you to pass with an 80% or above, so be sure to check what the rules and regulations are required for your certificate.
What Should I Have to Get Started?
As a trainer, you should have classes and a curriculum set up. Determine whether you will do either group lessons or private lessons, or a combination of both, and choose a good location for your training. Acquire a certification if you can from the Council for Professional Dog Trainers and register with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. You can always seek a knowledgeable mentor in the field to help you get started or answer any questions you may have.
Dog training offers you the flexibility of working for yourself on your own schedule. Many pet stores and animal-related occupations schedule clinics and training for their clients and their dogs. Your services can be used to help owners and handlers better their skills and communication with their pet. Their dog can learn commands and how to behave safely in public and at home. Experience is the best type of training you can get as a dog trainer, and volunteering and placing ads are a great way to help you start your business.
Sarah writes for Crazy Pet Guy. She loves her furry friends and does not shy away from writing helpful information about pet care and awareness.