How to Become a Dog Trainer

how to become a dog trainer
Becoming a dog trainer is a popular choice of occupation, especially amongst animal lovers. With the increasing number of dog adoptions, the demand for certified trainers is also on the rise.

If you are an avid animal lover or have always wanted a job that involves being around animals, then dog training is the right career choice for you. Its recent emergence as a lucrative career, is due to the increased dog adoptions, awareness amongst owners regarding responsible pet ownership, and the need for well behaved and well trained pets. Dog training is not limited to only the pet dogs, but has found a lot of scope in the police and law enforcement services sectors. Training certification is offered by a number of schools, that train and educate those who wish to establish a career in this business.

Becoming a Dog Trainer

The most important step in becoming a dog trainer, is obtaining a certificate, which can be obtained after doing a certified course. The most important prerequisite to have a successful and rewarding career in this field, is to be a genuine dog lover because the job requires a lot of dedication and commitment. This can also be developed while pursuing the course, but it is very likely that your interest and dedication towards the job might deteriorate and this can hamper your career as well.

The first step in becoming a trainer is to enroll yourself in a dog training school, that offers courses in the basic methods of training. Since there are many such schools, it is advisable to research on the course content that each one offers, before enrolling for the course.

The curriculum of a good course should include the study of the dog’s psychology, anatomy, health  problems, dog ehavior, communication, and the use training tools and equipment. It should also include business management modules and some dog training courses for pet owners. Apart from pet training, you can also get certifications in service training and protection training.

The theoretical study should be well merged with practical sessions. At the end of the course, you would receive a course completion certificate from the school, but to be a certified dog trainer, a national certification is required, for which you have to qualify in the examination conducted by a national certifying organization. A well-known national organization offering standardized certification, is the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), established in 2001.

Candidates applying for CCPDT should have a GED equivalent or a high school graduation, and are required to complete 300 hours of training, along with references from a client, a professional colleague, and a veterinarian. After getting certified, trainers need to maintain their credentials by attending various seminars and conferences, where they would be able to interact with other professionals from the same field.

Scope and Benefits

A career in dog training has a lot of scope and can be highly rewarding, provided you give it the right amount of dedication and efficiency that is required. They are in great demand for training pet, service, and protection dogs, which makes the job a well paying one.

Being a certified dog trainer has added advantages, as they are very sought-after and are preferred over non-certified ones. A pet owner would look for a certified trainer, to ensure that the training experience is good for the pet. Working with a certified professional assures the owner that the training would be safe and effective, as the trainer has the required skill, knowledge, and expertise.

To be a successful trainer, make sure that you regularly update your knowledge and skill related to the field, and are familiar with the latest training tools and techniques. Most importantly, while training a dog, display your love and affection for it, along with your skills.

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