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Canine Training Careers

What is Canine Training all about?

Canine training emphasizes the shaping of desired behaviors through positive reinforcement. Training can greatly improve the quality of life for both dog and owner while creating a wonderful bond between them. Behavioral enrichment refers to the structuring of an animal’s environment to provide choices and promote natural behaviors. Enrichment enhances the quality of life by reducing stress and encouraging a range of healthy, natural behaviors. Together they constitute a comprehensive set of management tools; these tools are used by a wide variety of animal professionals.

Dog Trainers; Behavioral Consultants

Trainers working with dogs need to have a detailed knowledge of their behavior. They also need a deep toolbox of techniques that can be used to modify behaviors. Dealing with problem behaviors often requires changes to the environment or providing new outlets for natural behaviors being performed in inappropriate ways. Dog trainers usually run their own business although some work for a large employers, such as pet store chains.

Positions Overview

The outlook for professional dog trainers and others working in animal care and service is excellent. Employment in these areas is expected to grow 15 percent over the next decade (source: US Department of Labor). Salaries vary greatly based on the specific field or employer. For example, independent dog trainers may work for $25-50/hour or more. Workers in other areas may earn significantly less. 

Who hires dog trainers and behaviorists? They may be self-employed as trainers or behavioral consultants. Dog trainers may also work for veterinarians, the pet industry, animal shelters, kennels, animal control and the retail pet trade. Trainers may ultimately work training seeing eye or assistance dogs, show dogs, hunting dogs, personal protection dogs, or any number of specialized training programs. Sample positions include:

  • Professional dog trainer

  • Behavioral consultant

  • Shelter workers

  • Veterinary technicians

  • Service dog trainer

  • Kennel technician

  • Dog day care staff

  • Groomer

Groomers; Pet Sitters; Kennel and Dog Daycare Staff

Anyone working with dogs needs to recognize and interpret their body language correctly. A solid understanding of canine behavior will allow them to anticipate problems before they develop, actively managing the environment to minimize fears & phobias. Good behavioral management allows us to gain our dogs trust, facilitating cooperation in grooming, nail trimming or other procedures without struggling. Furthermore, training can be offered to clients at your facility, providing an opportunity to provide new services or launch your own dog training business as well. 

Professional Associations

If you have a professional interest in Canine Training & Behavior, you may want to explore one or more of these associations for additional information.

  • Animal Shelter Professionals (American Humane Association)

  • Animal Welfare Information Center

  • Association of Professional Dog Trainers

  • Association of Professional Dog Walkers (U.K.)

  • Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

  • Daycare for Dogs (ASPCA)

  • Dog Walker

  • Humane Society – Dog Training Tips

  • International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants

  • National Association of Professional Pet Sitters

  • National Dog Groomers Association

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