How do I Become a Dog Trainer?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 02 February 2020
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A dog trainer works to train dogs, teaching them commands and helping them learn the behaviors their owners desire. There are no strict guidelines to follow when a person wants to become a dog trainer. In most cases, however, a person interested in this career needs to gain knowledge of dog training practices as well as hands-on experience. For many, this means attending a professional dog training school. While not strictly required, a person may also seek certification in order to have a better chance of securing a job or clients.

An individual who becomes a dog trainer works with dogs, teaching them commands and getting them to respond as expected. A person in this field may teach dogs how to sit, stay, and lie down on command; he may also teach dogs how to behave well, such as how to walk with their owners instead of pulling them down the street. A person in this field may also help curb a dog’s current behavioral problems. If, for example, a dog exhibits aggressive behavior toward household members, guests, or other dogs, a dog trainer may help encourage him toward more acceptable behavior. A person in this field may also teach dog owners how to train their dogs and encourage them to behave well.


Often, a person who wants to become a dog trainer attends a dog trainer school. He may not only delve into dog training techniques in such a school, but also study dog health and psychology. While dog training schools typically offer plenty of classroom work, those that offer a good deal of hands-on experience may provide the most effective training. In addition to training school, a person who wants to become a dog trainer may learn about dog training from books, DVDs, and websites.

Though dog training schools can put an aspiring trainer on the right track for preparing for this career, experience with dogs is an important aspect of getting ready for this job. In addition to hands-on experience gained through a training school, a person in this career may opt to work with dogs in an animal shelter or hospital. He may also gain a job or internship assisting a professional dog trainer in preparation for this job. Even working as a dog sitter may provide an aspiring trainer with experience he can use.

A person who wants to become a dog trainer may seek certification in this field. An individual may get a job or find clients without it, but securing certification may help him gain the confidence of those in a position to hire him. Generally, a person who seeks certification in this field needs a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) certificate. With this at hand, he typically has to complete training and then pass an exam to become certified.



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