If you decide to pursue a career in dog training, you’d probably be searching for “how to become a certified dog trainer.”
Although “love of dogs” is commonly listed as the key incentive for entering the sector, there are numerous other advantages to the job besides spending a lot of time with gorgeous canines.
First and foremost, dog training provides versatility. You can start as a part-time employee, work your way up to full-time, be your boss, or work for an animal rescue, pet store, or training center. You can also be certain that there will always be a demand for dog trainers.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, a sector catering to an expanding number of pet owners willing to spend record amounts of money is predicted to grow at a consistent, above-average rate.
Working with dogs is never boring, which is why trainers have a lot of variety in their lives. Dogs, like people, learn differently, so you’ll need to keep your problem-solving skills keen to figure out what works best for each animal.
Stay with us as we explain how to become a certified dog trainer.
Table of contents
- How To Become A Certified Dog Trainer In 2023 | Full Step Guide
- How Much Do Certified Dog Trainers Get Paid?
- What Does a Certified Dog Trainer Do?
- What are the Types of Dog Training?
- FAQs on How To Become A Certified Dog Trainer In 2023 | Full Step Guide
How To Become A Certified Dog Trainer In 2023 | Full Step Guide
While working toward certification as a dog trainer, you should focus on the following:
These are the skills every certified dog trainer must have to aid a fruitful career path;
Patience: You’ll have to deal with difficult and uncooperative animals (or pet parents). Patience is the key to remaining composed throughout training sessions and supporting your customer in acquiring tolerance while training and educating their pet.
Communication skills: A certified dog trainer must be able to communicate effectively. This involves the capacity to read body language and convey information about the work at hand. If you’re going to teach your customer about their pet’s behavior and instruct them on training methods, you must be able to convey your goals and instructions clearly and respectfully.
Interpersonal skills: Loving dogs isn’t enough; you’ll also need to engage with dog owners. You need to be approachable, kind, and personable.
Positivity: Your love of animals and positive personality will allure you to customers and help your business grow.
High energy: Working with dogs necessitates physical activity. Thus, fitness is essential.
This is the key step to how to become a certified dog trainer.
Hard talents are acquired through education. You can learn about canine ethology, animal behavior, and canine body language by reading articles or studies.
Attending seminars, webinars, online courses, or apprenticeship training can help you improve your self-taught training skills. Enroll in offline or online courses that grant certification to broaden the scope of your professional knowledge and skills.
The following is a list of universities that provide professional dog trainer courses for advanced canine handling.
- The Karen Pryor Academy
- Animal Behavior College
- CATCH – Canine Trainers Academy
- School for Dog Trainers
- Starmark Academy
Veterinarians, breeders, and dog walkers are more likely to recommend you if you have certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
The CCPDT® is the world’s only unbiased testing and certification body for dog trainers and dog behavior experts. The following credentials should be researched:
- CPDT-KA® test (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed)
- CPDT-KSA® system (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Skills Assessed)
- CBCC-KA® certification (Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed)
Keep in mind that obtaining these credentials takes time because trainers must first meet a number of requirements, including a certain number of hours in the field.
Use the following methods to gain experience in dog training:
Volunteering your time and newly acquired skills at your local shelter or with rescue groups is an excellent way to become acquainted with various dog breeds.
You may also come across pets that require animal care and behavior modification as a result of trauma.
Your grasp of canine behavior can help canines become more adaptable.
When it comes to learning, a mentor is an invaluable resource. You may be presented with new training techniques or advice that you would not have learned in your online classes. A dog trainer’s responsibilities include problem-solving, a skill that can only be learned through practice.
You can approach trainers and ask for an internship, or several dog-training schools offer formal apprenticeships.
Starting a Dog Training Business
To become a self-employed certified dog trainer, you must devote time, energy, and resources to your new passion and vocation. Here are some measures you may take to get your organization started and on the right track:
Begin training your dog for neighbors and friends.
You can advance your professional skills by instructing your dog or other people’s dogs. As a result, your ability to detect subtle body language cues will improve.
After learning the training techniques, practice with different dog breeds and personalities to hone your skills. Working with dogs of all ages will help you better understand canines as you teach young and old dogs new tricks. Although some training methods may not always be effective, experimenting with others will help the work become second nature.
Building a reputation and reviews in your neighborhood may be beneficial when starting your own business.
Promote Your Services at Pet Stores, Veterinary Clinics, and Pet Expos.
Establishing your dog training school may take some time, so use every available marketing tool to increase your chances of getting hired. Here are some ideas for advertising your services:
- Place a classified ad on Craigslist.
- Distribute flyers or business cards to local kennels.
- Request that your information be included in the weekly newsletter of the local veterinarian.
- Create a social media page that will appeal to all clients.
- Online directories of pet-related businesses.
- Keep business cards on hand in case you run into potential customers.
Don’t be afraid to promote and emphasize your qualification to potential clients. Your certification validates your expertise in your field.
Become a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers today.
Work toward getting certified by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers to advance your career, knowledge, and contacts.
Your education and certification are an investment in your APDT membership.
Joining provides the following advantages:
- Exposure to job opportunities.
- Access to the most recent trends, methods, recommendations, and business news.
- Setting and maintaining high standards and ethics for the sector.
- The ability to continue professional development and maintain qualification standards.
- Exclusive member discounts on retail pet items, nutrition and health items, office supplies, business services, software, and more!
- You’ll be featured on their Trainer Search website, which helps pet owners find dog trainers who can meet their specific needs.
- Peer-to-peer networking and community.
- Credibility and use of the APDT logo in your company’s marketing and website content.
- Attendance at the APDT’s Annual Conference and Trade Show.
- Ongoing support from APDT.
How Much Do Certified Dog Trainers Get Paid?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for animal trainers in May 2021 was $31,280.
The average yearly wage for dog trainers is $49,500 ($23.8/hour), according to a Climb the Ladder statement from 2022.
The dog training industry is expected to grow at a healthy 11% annual rate by 2024.
Your dog trainer’s salary is determined by various factors, including training style, education, and experience. You can work in the dog training industry full-time or part-time.
What Does a Certified Dog Trainer Do?
A certified dog trainer is a skilled dog handler who is well-versed in canine behavior. They use their experience to train a variety of dogs.
Dog owners can learn how to manage their pets during training sessions, which can also teach them the basics of obedience or deal with behavioral issues.
Specialized trainers offer programs to educate and train dogs for specific jobs such as service, protection, or therapy dogs.
What are the Types of Dog Training?
A licensed and experienced dog trainer can give private lessons or lead group lessons. The three primary fundamental training methods are listed below.
Operant conditioning or positive reinforcement techniques are commonly used in dog obedience classes. This strategy rewards good behavior rather than punishing it.
Obedience training is available for puppies or energetic dogs who need to develop good behaviors with their owners to compensate for the lack of acceptable social skills.
They will also pick up on signals and instructions from their owner.
Courses in dog training with a focus on behavior modification attempt to change specific habits in dogs. The goal is to replace inappropriate behaviors with pleasant ones.
Because anxiety or trauma is frequently linked to undesirable behavior in dogs, experienced trainers must be knowledgeable in animal care and canine behavior.
Some of the behaviors that will be addressed include leash pulling, leaping up on people, anxiety, excessive barking, biting, chewing, hostility, antisocial behavior, and soiling the home.
Through sports training, dogs can learn tricks and skills for athletic events.
Dog owners who want to compete with their dogs will seek assistance from a certified dog trainer that specializes in sports.
Pets may learn skills such as confidence and awareness, jump work, recalls and fronts, handling skills, dog agility, herding, lure coursing, ralley, treibball (push ball), scent work, and more during sports training.
FAQs on How To Become A Certified Dog Trainer In 2023 | Full Step Guide
Surprisingly, there is no requirement for a license or any specific qualification to work as a dog trainer right now, but—and this is a big but—you should definitely consider getting certified.
Prospective clients and employers can see that you have the knowledge and hours of experience required to call yourself a professional if you have completed the rigorous requirements set by an accreditation body such as the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) by becoming a certified dog trainer.
Working with your own dog should be prioritized. Check that your pet can follow more complex commands in addition to the basics.
If you are unsure where to begin, there is no shortage of educational resources available to you. There are numerous videos and reading lists available online for aspiring trainers.
If you have dog-owning friends, they might be willing to let you practice on them. Such hands-on experience is essential. It’s fantastic if you can find a mentor to shadow or a volunteer opportunity, such as at an animal shelter.
WHY NOT RIGHT NOW? Because Animal Behavior College is an online school, you can enroll at any time. Call an admissions counselor at 800-795-3294 to get started.
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