Home > Ask Our Experts > What's the Best Way to Become a Dog Trainer?

What's the Best Way to Become a Dog Trainer?

By: Margaret Paxton - Updated: 7 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Dog Trainer Dog Behaviour Trainer Animal

Q.I have an honours degree in animal behaviour but would like to know how to now become a dog trainer or behaviourist?

(Miss Stacey Reed, 1 June 2009)

A.

Hello and congratulations on your achievement of an Honours Degree in Animal Behaviour-a great start to any career with animals!The best way to become a dog trainer is the way that suits you and your circumstances. Think about why you want to be a dog trainer and what form of training interests you the most, then, pursue it.

You don’t mention your age, location, experience or personal fitness, so I hope these general pointers will help you to find the direction you seek. Current personal circumstances will obviously influence which option is best for you, as will long-term career plans and required income.

It is advisable, but not compulsory, to hold membership of a relevant professional body, such as the Association of Pet Dog Trainers or the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers, to enhance your career prospects. Most civilian, domestic, trainers are self-employed and must have appropriate insurance.

Depending on your personal circumstances and views, there are several ways you could approach this new direction. I recommend that you select what most appeals to you from the following and make contact:

  • RSPCA
  • National Search and Rescue Dog Association
  • Police/Armed Forces
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Guide Dogs for the Blind
  • Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
  • Kennel Club
  • Lantra
I am assuming that you have experience of working with dogs. If not, or your experience is limited, I would recommend that you spend as much time as possible with different breeds of dogs.Work as a volunteer at a dog rescue centre or RSPCA unit, as an observer/assistant with a local small animal veterinary surgeon/reputable dog trainer.

Look through magazines such as Dog World, Dogs Monthly and Teaching Dogs for training and career opportunities. Use any local contacts you have! A few telephone calls to trainers in your area may be time well spent. Check out the qualifications/experience and reputation of any trainers you choose to talk to first. (Whatever the reason for training, be it domestic pet, military duty or personal protection, all dog training should be based on kindness, patience, trust and the advancement of canine/human bonds in working relationships.)You may choose to study further in areas specific to dogs. For example, there are available certificate/diploma courses in Canine Behaviour and Psychology, Canine Behaviour Management and Canine First Aid. Hope this helps-good luck!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • CareerWithAnimals
    Re: General Work Experience with Animals
    kimberley - Your Question:Hi my name is Kim. I'm 15 years old and im based in Liverpool , England. I am currently…
    17 September 2018
  • kimberley
    Re: General Work Experience with Animals
    hi my name is Kim. I'm 15 years old and im based in Liverpool , England . I am currently looking for any work experience…
    15 September 2018
  • johnsmith_pd
    Re: A Day in the Life of Professional Dog Walker
    Hello, such a great post, I walk dogs from individual households its just safer that way as I have that very…
    3 August 2018
  • Kelz
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    I'm running a business already and am already struggling to get it off the ground but I also work with troubled young people at a…
    19 July 2018
  • Rani158
    Re: What Does a Horse Whisperer Do?
    Which qualifications from college/university do you need to be a horse whisperer? Also is there another name for the same job?
    27 June 2018
  • Amylp
    Re: Run your own Animal Shelter
    Hello I’m wanting to open my own shelter to help all these lovely animals as I’ve wanted to since I can remember has any one got…
    14 June 2018
  • Lauryn
    Re: General Work Experience with Animals
    I'm a 14 year old looking for work experience next year in some sort of zoology particularly marine zoology. I'm based…
    11 June 2018
  • CareerWithAnimals
    Re: What You Need to Become a Vet
    Caitlin - Your Question:Hi I’m in year 8 picking my options for GCSE next year. I’ve always want s to be a vet it’s a dream so I…
    5 June 2018
  • Caitlin
    Re: What You Need to Become a Vet
    Hi I’m in year 8 picking my options for GCSE next year . I’ve always want s to be a vet it’s a dream so I know for sure I’m…
    4 June 2018
  • Rache
    Re: Work at Boarding Kennels & Catteries
    @Kiahn - you normally have to be a minimum of 16 years of age to apply to work in a kennels.
    14 May 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the CareerWithAnimals website. Please read our Disclaimer.