What Does It Take to Become a Certified Dog Trainer?

Dog trainers are a popular choice among dog enthusiasts searching for a change of pace. Working as a dog trainer can be pretty rewarding. You get to spend your days surrounded by dogs while also assisting people and their pets in living happily and amicably together.

People, on the other hand, frequently contact a dog trainer when they have a problem. This could entail working with hyperactive dogs and those suffering from separation anxiety or other concerns. Helping owners work through such challenges can be stressful and challenging, and happy endings are never guaranteed. So, if you want to be a dog trainer, but your only experience is owning or teaching your dog, you’ll need to put in some effort.

You Can Train Your Dog

The training of your dog should be the initial step in your trip. If you don’t already have a dog, look for one with whom you can spend a lot of time establishing a regular training schedule. Don’t only teach the fundamentals like “sit” and “down.” Teach advanced skills as well, such as staying still in the face of distractions and distance.

Finally, your dog does not need to be perfect. However, because your potential future clients may require assistance with a wide range of behaviors, you’ll need hands-on experience with whatever you’re expected to teach. All of that experience will aid in honing your skills. Because training is a mechanical skill, you must first establish a high degree of expertise by practicing on your dog before demonstrating it to pupils.

Work With Other Dogs As An Apprentice

Although it is beneficial to train your dog, keep in mind that your dog loves you and will forgive your mistakes. Your canine buddy will not be bothered if you make a mistake with treats or reward the wrong conduct. Your clients, on the other hand, might not be so patient. A skilled dog trainer also knows how to learn a behavior using multiple methods. For example, your dog may have learned to sit with ease using the lure-and-reward method, but another dog may require a whole different approach.

Working with dogs who aren’t your own is the best way to hone your skills and gain experience with different methods. You might offer to train your friends and family’s dogs. You might also inquire about working with dogs at local shelters or rescue organizations. Apprenticeship with a successful dog trainer is an even better idea. Not only will you have contact with additional dogs, but you’ll also have someone watching over your technique and mentoring your progress. Check with local dog trainers to see whether they’d be interested in hiring you as an apprentice or helper.

People Should be Taught How to Train Their Dogs

A little-known fact regarding dog training is that the majority of dog trainers do not train dogs. They educate people. As a trainer, your primary responsibility will be to teach your clients how to conduct their training. As a result, dog trainers must be able to communicate with people. Even if you prefer dogs to people, you must motivate, mold, and reinforce your clients’ abilities and triumphs.

As a result, no matter how many dogs you’ve taught, you’re only halfway there until you’ve worked with human clients. You can once again work with friends and family to help them train their canines. Alternatively, you might work as an apprentice for a professional trainer and acquire experience working with their clients.


Although there are many misunderstandings about dogs and their motivations, contemporary dog training is based on animal behavior and learning research. As a result, educating yourself in those areas is an essential element of being a dog trainer. It’s crucial to comprehend the four quadrants of operant conditioning, or how classical conditioning works, for example. If you don’t understand the ideas behind your tactics, you won’t solve problems for your clients or adjust your techniques to a given situation.

Obtaining a Certification as a Dog Trainer

You’re ready to start dog training now that you’ve worked with dogs and people and completed the courses. To begin, become a member of a professional organization such as the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Your clients will notice that you are serious about your new job if you join groups like these. In addition, as part of your membership, you’ll have access to information and courses that will keep you up to date on the most recent training developments. Being listed in the organization’s trainer locator database is an added plus, making it easier for potential clients to locate you.

The next step is to look into certification. To call oneself a dog trainer, you don’t need any professional schooling or certification. However, if you’ve put in the effort, why not show it to your customers? For example, the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers requires a minimum of 300 hours of practice training dogs in the last three years and passing a 180-question multiple-choice exam to receive the designation of Certified Professional Dog Trainer — Knowledge Assessed. With such high criteria, accreditation ensures that potential clients will trust your abilities and choose you over other dog trainers.

To become a certified dog trainer, we advised a . It is an innovative way to train your dog, with “a wealth of practical tips, tricks, and fun games about Listen and Come secrets that will enrich the lives of many dogs and their human companions.”
This six-step puppy training secret booklet includes:

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Always fond of pets with a keen interest in small dogs. My articles will center around training your small dog to become a well-behaved citizen.