Min menu


Becoming a Professional Dog Trainer

 Becoming a Professional Dog Trainer

How To Become A Dog Trainer
So You Want to be a Dog Trainer

If interested in becoming a professional dog trainer, you will need to start by determining the type of training you want to offer.  In addition, you might narrow down the breed or breeds with which you want to work, although you could work with all of them in some instances.  Becoming a trainer is exciting and very rewarding.  You are providing a much-needed service.  Then, depending on the type of training you want to offer, you could make a nice income or build a very, lucrative business.

One of the best ways to get involved with dog training is to attend workshops, seminars, and conferences for people wanting to do this.  In most cases, these courses are affordable, allowing you the opportunity to learn about all areas of training to include breed personalities, behaviors, tools, and so on.  The best option is to take one to four-day seminars, each based on a different subject related to dog training.

Although you would not need to learn everything, some of the courses recommended include:

History of breeds 

Developmental stages 


Competitive Obedience 

Handling techniques  

Reading a dog

Health, nutrition, and meds 

Aggressive dogs 


Tracking and Trailing 

Protection training  

Dog ownership

Detection training  

Search and Rescue

Service dogs

Laws and regulations 

Trick training   

Training games

Safety tips   

TV and film training  

As you can see, you have tremendous opportunities for becoming a professional dog handler.  You might be interested in working with rescue dogs, those that go out and find lost or deceased people.  Perhaps working with sports and activity dogs would be more up your alley to include retrieving, hunting, and Frisbee.  You will need to check out all the possibilities and then choosing the courses accordingly.

Becoming a professional trainer is a great career, one that is growing.  While some courses are very affordable, you will also find those that cost as much as $12,000, which are typically for the more difficult training such as drug sniffing, bomb or explosive training, rescue, and service.  Therefore, be sure you ask yourself questions so you know the direction in which you want to go.

As an example, do you want to work with a dog training school that is owned and operated by other professional dog trainers?  Do you want a program that will help you with placement for working with a reputable school or are you more interested in being a freelance trainer?  Then, do you want to become a trainer as a hobby, decent paying job, or are you interested in earning serious money?  Answering each of these questions will help guide you to the right decision.

Many schools today respect the fact that people attend school while working full-time.  Therefore, if this is your situation, you would need a dog training school that offers flexible hours, allowing you to study when time is convenient for you.  Checking references of owners who have had their dogs trained, as well as students that have graduated from the school is also important, giving you valuable information when choosing the school you wish to attend.