How To Become A Dog Trainer

If you have been a dog owner for some time, you may feel the desire to help train other people’s dogs.  Becoming a dog trainer can be an exciting process and fulfilling way to spend your time.

There are several important steps you should take if dog training sounds like your next step.  

Dog Trainer Jobs – What it Entails?

Many people may desire to become a dog trainer, but you should be sure this job is a good fit for you. 

First, dog training involves working not just with pets but also with their owners. The best dog trainers are also great with people.  If you enjoy working with people and dogs alike, dog training may be a great option.  

It can be very important that you have successfully trained a dog of your own before you pursue becoming a dog trainer.  This is not a requirement, but it does allow dog owners to trust you more.

Learning from your own experience can be one of the most valuable ways to pass on training skills to clients.  

Getting Educated on Becoming a Dog Trainer

Once you have decided that dog training is for you, the first step is to get educated about the topic.  It is important to be as knowledgeable as possible since you will encounter many breeds of dogs with various training needs.  

One way to get educated is to enroll in online courses.  Much of dog training is based on behavioral science. So, be sure the course aligns with sound research.  These courses offer online dog training as well as practical hands-on assignments to help practice the learned skills. 

Online courses such as those offered by Karen Pryor Academy provide different courses to meet your specific training goals.  Who knows, you might be on your way to becoming an online dog trainer as well.

Another way to get educated is to enroll in local classes.  These classes often offer you a chance to practice training skills alongside professional dog trainers. 

This type of mentorship can be beneficial to your skillset. Be sure the classes align with positive behavioral practices and are sound in dog training history and ethics.  

Along with courses, many dog training schools or individual trainers offer workshops and seminars that focus on becoming a trainer.  These are typically a few hours or a week-long. It can be a great way to learn from others in the field.

Some of these workshops also offer various levels of certification.  You can check your local area to find a workshop by doing an internet search for “dog training workshops.”  

Do I Need to be Certified?  

Dog training certification is not a requirement to becoming a dog trainer.  However, as the field grows in popularity, gaining a certificate will help you acquire more clients. It likewise provides you with another level of training. 

After the experience of training your dog and much education, it may be time to look at certification. 

Many dog schools offer certifications that are simply proof of completing a specific course of education.  The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) has been around for almost 20 years. This is the leading independent certifying organization.  This certification will help prove to clients that you are fit for the job.  

If you opt for certification through the CCPDT, you must complete exams that focus on humane and science-based training practices.  This certification is one of the highest marks of professional distinction in the dog training community.  The certification offered is valid for three years. You may choose to re-take the exam to re-certify or complete continuing education hours to sharpen your skills.  

Learn and Experience

Although hands-on experiences are an essential part of becoming a dog trainer, many books can help build your knowledge around the topic.  Reading dog training books can help you get ideas on how to do dog training.

There are also books on which take you to the world of dog trainers, such as the one written by Nicole Wilde. In this book, Nicole, an internationally recognized trainer and behavior specialist, take you through the process of becoming a dog trainer.  She uses humor as she also suggests ways to best handle clients, safety reminders, and how to build an internet presence.  

Having your own puppy or dog is beneficial as you get hands-on experience in handling a dog. You get a first-hand view of a dog’s behavior and what generally works and not.

Educate yourself if you think dog training is the right job for you. Gain from your own experience as a dog trainer, as well as opportunities in your area for workshops and apprenticeships. 

Do the work to become certified to gain the respect of your future clients. Be sure to enjoy the learning process and each dog and owner you get to help along the way!