How to become a dog trainer?

In the article we propose here, we will explain the qualities you need to become a good dog trainer. Then we will talk about the time as well as the steps necessary to become professional canine. Finally, we will present some more tips on this topic.
To become a good dog trainer, you must know that it is not enough to love dogs, you must also have knowledge in human relations, sales and marketing.

What are the necessary conditions to become a good dog trainer?

Required conditions

To become a professional dog trainer, the following conditions are recommended:

  • You must of course love dogs. If you hate this animal, look for another job!
  • You have to be passionate about working with dogs all the time. It’s essential to be a happy trainer.
  • You must also have good interpersonal skills. As a dog trainer, you will work with dogs, but especially with humans. It is therefore necessary to be comfortable and to be able to maintain good human relations with the owners of the dogs, otherwise it does not work!
  • Three qualities are essential to have a good behavior with the dogs, but also with the humans: the respect, the kindness and the confidence. Do not be arrogant with people who have no perception of the dog world.
  • To be able to transmit his knowledge to others. Do not forget that the end goal of your job is that the dog obey his master and not you.
  • Have patience and be aware that violence and abuse are prohibited in the animal world.
  • Have fun and be always smiling.
  • Have a sense of ethics.
  • Be calm and adopt the « positive attitude ». Negative thoughts should never be allowed to take over. Relativize very quickly and think of all that is positive.
  • Never underestimate the skills and knowledge of other trainers, even if their techniques do not suit you, do not judge them!

Desirable conditions

In addition to these conditions, you must be able to develop other knowledge and skills that you will acquire over time:

  • Know a maximum of dog training techniques even if you do not adopt them all. This will allow you to better understand the usefulness of the techniques you use.
  • Always have the desire and thirst to learn new techniques and new knowledge, even when you are already a professional trainer.
  • Make sure the animal learning theories you have learned are solid.
  • Have knowledge in ethology.
  • Have a critical mind to choose what suits you and what is not right. Read a lot but always have a clean thought.
  • Adopt a creative mind. Do not hesitate to solve a problem with a new solution never adopted before.
  • Have basic knowledge of marketing, advertising and finance to better sell and present your services to your customers.
  • Know how to create and maintain a schedule.

What is the time needed to become a professional dog trainer?

If, after having learned the necessary and desirable conditions to be a good dog trainer, you are always confident, you must also show perseverance as regards the time necessary to become a trainer.

On average, 3 to 5 years of experience is required to become a beginner trainer. However, you can consider yourself an expert after 10 years of experience. To become a « grand master » of dog training, it takes 20 years of experience or more.

The steps to follow to become a trainer

First, to deepen your knowledge of dog training, do not hesitate to search for books, magazines and videos. Once you have assimilated the theory, you have to explore the world of practice. For this, we advise you to follow seminars and conferences on dog training.

Once you are familiar with the subject, you must enroll in a full course in a dressage school. This is the best choice to make if there is a school in your city of course.

What if there are no dog clubs in your area?

In this case, the options are:

  • Become a volunteer in a dog shelter and learn by yourself.
  • Become an apprentice to a professional dog trainer. This choice can sometimes be more effective than accessing a training school.
  • Hire a professional trainer to share his knowledge. If your means allow it, it is a very beneficial option too.
  • Take remote dog training courses.

Whatever your choice to become a dog trainer, make sure your knowledge in the field is always on the agenda.

Additional advice to become a dog trainer

To achieve your goal of becoming a dog trainer, we advise you to get in touch and get closer to people who are involved in the dog world in general. Do not hesitate to contact breeders, trainers, veterinarians, etc. You will find that you will learn a lot in their company.

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