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What do you do as a dog trainer?
A dog trainer is someone who teaches a dog to be more obedient, whether it be training them to obey commands or to decrease their aggression or other inappropriate behaviours.
They often work every day with the same dog, their training methods often consisting of working with them in small time increments for maximum results. A professional trainer will often specialise in a particular area, like animal behaviour modification or obedience.
Who hires dog trainers?
Dog trainers can work in various areas, such as:
Do you have to be certified?
It depends on which area you decide to work in. If you’re working for the police force, then yes, it is mandatory to get certification to be part of the canine handler team.
However, other than that, certification is optional, though taking the time to get it would certainly be appreciated by potential employers and clients as it will show your commitment to ethical conduct and dog training as a whole.
How to become a dog trainer
While you don’t need a degree to become a dog trainer, you will need to at least complete high school and have experience working with dogs.
Fortunately, there are plenty of positions you can get that can make your transition into dog training more smoothly, such as becoming a dog walker, a groomer, pet sitter or dog show handler.
After this, you will need to apply for an apprenticeship, preferably after you take a course in dog training. Volunteering at an animal shelter is also a great way to get experience if you want to bulk up your resume and to have more practical experience with dogs.
For this type of job, experience is the most important step in becoming a dog trainer, since this will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t in a job setting.
Starting up your own dog training business in Australia
If you don’t want to be an employee for someone, you can always start your own business. In fact, most dog trainers are self-employed, often holding group or private lessons at boarding facilities or at their client’s house.
You will need to know how to market your business through social media, know the ins and outs of website design, accounting, bookkeeping, and how to price your services competitively.
You will also have to check with your local government to understand the exact process needed to register your business. The good thing about dog training businesses, in general, is that the cost of running it is low compared to others since most of the training will happen in your client’s home or a boarding kennel.
Boarding kennels, in particular, are very useful to work at, since you can negotiate a contract with them for regular training programs, which can cut your travel costs substantially.
Dog training courses online
You can become a dog trainer through experience and doing a course A course can teach you about the various techniques used in training classes and animal care in general. If you’re after some online dog training courses, then you can find some here.
Skills and qualities you need to become a dog trainer
Things to keep in mind
Since you’ll be working with animals, you are more likely to be injured than say, if you worked at an office job.
However, the more experience you have and the better your understanding when it comes to reducing aggression in dogs, the less of a chance you and the dog you’re training will get injured.
Also, keep in mind that you’re going to get dirty at your workplace, obviously because you’re going to be working with dogs.
If you like to keep clean, then this is probably not the job for you. However, if you’re passionate about taking care of dogs and just enjoy being around them, then this could be the right job for you.
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