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What Are the Different Types of Dog Trainer Qualifications?

By G. Wiesen
Updated: May 17, 2024

Dog trainer qualifications typically take the form of a certificate from an organization that focuses on teaching new trainers. There are also some individuals who pursue a degree, often an undergraduate degree, in a program such as veterinary discipline to be qualified for training in positions like law enforcement. A number of professional organizations also offer membership, which may require training from another group or evidence of employment experience. This type of experience, in and of itself, can also be used as dog trainer qualifications; though this can depend on the length of time someone was employed in the field.

Some of the most common types of dog trainer qualifications are those that can be received through completion of a program designed to teach new trainers. Such courses are frequently offered by organizations and schools that choose to focus on teaching dog training, rather than a general education. These types of organizations usually grant students a certificate indicating completion of the training program. The validity of such dog trainer qualifications often depends a great deal upon the group that certifies the student, so potential employers may look for certain agencies over others to ensure quality training.

There are also some forms of dog trainer qualifications that can be received through completion of a program at a standard college or vocational institute. This typically results in a student being awarded a degree, usually an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a particular field such as dog training or veterinary skills. These schools may offer other types of classes, such as ones that focus on business and communications, which can allow someone to more easily start a business or enter the workplace afterward. Certain professional fields may look for dog trainer qualifications in the form of a degree rather than certification; these can include law enforcement and the entertainment industry.

Professional experience can also provide someone with dog trainer qualifications, especially if the work occurred as an apprenticeship to an established trainer. People may be able to work as a dog groomer or in a similar position and gain additional experience to earn a promotion into training. Sufficient experience working in dog training can serve to replace a degree, and make certification quicker and easier. There are also many people who join a professional organization as one of their dog trainer qualifications. This can demonstrate to clients that they are competent, allow them to network with other professionals and develop contacts within the industry, and help them meet new potential customers through these groups.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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