Being a dog trainer is more than just a job. It’s an opportunity to share every dog’s unique personality with their family and help them build a strong bond. If you love spending time with dogs and have experience working with them, becoming a dog trainer could be the perfect career for you. Training dogs is not only fun but it can also be very rewarding. Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about becoming a dog trainer:
Decide whether dog training is the right career for you.
If you are thinking about becoming a dog trainer, there are some things to consider before jumping in. First and foremost, you should ask yourself whether or not this is the right career choice for you. It’s important to do this because dog training can be a rewarding and interesting job, but it’s also not always easy.
First of all, dog trainers work with animals who don’t always behave as they should or want them to behave. This can make things frustrating at times—and even dangerous! Also remember that being around dogs every day can put your health at risk if precautions aren’t taken (for example: washing hands thoroughly after handling different species).
Earn a high school diploma or GED.
You must have a high school diploma or GED to become a dog trainer. You can get an alternative education like the GED, or you can complete high school through an online program.
GED programs are offered through local school districts and cover a broad range of subjects including reading comprehension and writing as well as math skills. Some schools even offer GED prep courses if you want to brush up on your knowledge beforehand. Online programs allow students to take classes at their own pace, so if you’re working full-time while studying for your career change this might be a good option for you!
Get certified as a professional dog trainer.
If you want to be a professional dog trainer, you’ll need to get certified. Certification is required in many states, and it’s a great way to show potential clients that you’re qualified. But certification is also an important part of getting hired by an organization—many employers require their staff members to have certain certifications before they can begin working there.
Earn an associate’s degree in behavioral science.
In order to become a dog trainer, you should earn an associate’s degree in behavioral science. A behavioral science degree will not only teach you how to help people and animals live together in harmony, but it will also teach you how to help animals overcome behavioral problems. Since many dogs have behavioral problems that need solving as soon as possible after being adopted by families, having this kind of skill set is extremely valuable for those looking for work as dog trainers.
In addition to earning an associate’s degree in behavioral science and learning about the different species of dogs (including breeds), there are plenty of other things that aspiring trainers can do before trying their hand at training dogs professionally:
- Volunteer at local shelters or rescue organizations where there are plenty of adoptable pets available without any prior training experience required on your part; this may seem like grunt work initially but will give rise to far greater opportunities later on down the road once people recognize what good work ethic means!
Start a dog training business.
You can also choose to start your own business as a dog trainer. The first step is to put together a business plan, which will outline how you’ll handle clients, what services you’ll offer, and how much money you expect to make in the first year. Even if it’s just for fun or part-time work at first, this is an important step that will help keep things organized and reduce stress when the time comes for you to be responsible for paying bills.
Once your business plan is complete, set out with determination on starting small by finding one client who needs help with their pet and being patient as that small base grows over time. Don’t be afraid of asking people if they have any dogs (or cats!) who might need training; everyone has at least one friend or family member who owns an animal!
Becoming a dog trainer doesn’t require a college degree, but earning one may make you more competitive in the job market. If you already have experience with dogs, start by getting certified as a professional dog trainer. Then, keep gaining experience by volunteering at your local animal shelter or starting your own pet-sitting business. When you’re ready to work professionally with dogs, consider starting your own dog training business or applying for jobs with established companies.