If you love dogs, you should know that you can spend your career working with them every day. With close to 100 million dogs in the U.S. and a continually growing population, the demand for dog trainers is very high and expected to increase. If you’d like to train dogs, you might consider helping people with pets, service animals, or even military and police dogs. You have options to train dogs for individuals, businesses, and government organizations.
Career Alternatives For Dog Trainers
Dog trainers all work with dogs to get them to obey verbal commands or hand signals. They may also help rid dogs of bad habits like toileting, where they are not supposed to or jumping on people. In some cases, trainers may teach dogs to detect certain substances or rescue people.
While some dog trainers help pet owners make their dogs more manageable and obedient, other dog trainers may help teach working dogs to perform complex and even dangerous tasks. Of course, most dog trainers start by teaching dogs basic commands and tasks, then progress in their skills as they advance in their career.
Some dog trainers are self-employed, and they may or may not be associated with a dog breeding, grooming, or health facility. Typically, self-employed dog trainers work with pets or personal hunting dogs. Other dog trainers may work for the police department, fire department, military, forest service, or service agencies that help train all kinds of service dogs.
Indeed, people interested in dog training can find employment with their own business, non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, and government organizations. This kind of career gives dog trainers the chance to explore various options to see which one suits them well.
What To Expect From A Dog Training Career?
People who are interested in learning about dog training don’t need to have a formal education, though many have at least a high school diploma. You can also find training courses at community and vocational colleges that may prove helpful. Many dog trainers begin their careers by working for another trainer who serves as their mentor until they have mastered the skills they need.
Of course, most dog trainers began learning to train dogs by training their pets. Many good books and videos can help teach people how to teach dogs.
Of course, other dog trainers need to teach dogs to obey more complex and vital commands. These could include trainers who work with the policy or military, and it also includes trainers who work for organizations that train service dogs for blind or disabled people. Very often, the organization that these trainers work for will offer them the skills they need for this more difficult job, but it helps to already enter the field with some knowledge of dogs and dog training.
How Much Does A Dog Training Career Pay?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average salary for a dog trainer is about $30,000 a year. Of course, some trainers may earn much more because they have more skills or an excellent reputation. Self-employed dog trainers may also hire and train additional trainers to work for them and increase their potential to make a higher income.
They may also add additional products or services to their business to improve their income. Some examples could include selling collars, harnesses, and even dog boarding.
Who Usually Succeeds At Dog Training As A Career?
What kind of people enjoy working as dog trainers? Of course, good dog trainers like dogs and understand their behavior very well. Besides having an interest in dogs, good trainers should also take an interest in people because the job requires a lot of communication with dog owners and handlers. People who train different kinds of service dogs for disabled people, the military, or the police and fire departments also usually have a strong interest in serving their communities through their work with dogs.
Anybody who enjoys working with animals and people may find that dog training offers them good careers. Dog trainers have many different options for places to work, and they all get a chance to help both people and animals.