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Dog Trainer Schools

Becoming a Certified Dog Trainer

Dog trainer schools help in becoming a certified dog trainer. You need a love of dogs, good communication skills and the ability to run your own business in becoming a dog trainer. Get dog trainer insurance before you start in this business.





Dog Trainer Schools

Training schools can provide you with the necessary skills to train dogs and run your own dog training business. These schools will offer courses in a variety of topics, including:

  • Group and private instruction techniques
  • Business and kennel management
  • Working with aggressive dogs
  • Work with law enforcement programs, tracking and protection
  • Pet obedience

Almost all dog training schools follow a specific dog training philosophy. Research on the kind of training philosophy used in a particular school can help you determine if the school is the one you need.

For example, some philosophies are more focused on discipline, some on rewards for obedience or behavior modification over long periods of time. Select a school, and a program, that closely matches how you approach dog training.

In addition to a training philosophy, dog trainer schools need to cover the history of dog training, how animals learn, dog behavior, dog physiology, how to develop your own classes and programs (and adapt them to the dogs and the clients attending), and how to run your own business.

The courses should come with a variety of reading, research, lectures and a great deal of hands-on experience with a variety of breeds. Most programs take several weeks or months to complete. While your formal education may be completed all at once, a good dog trainer will continue to learn and upgrade their skills throughout their career.



Becoming a Certified Dog Trainer

Becoming a dog trainer can be a worthwhile adventure for animal lovers, but the work is sometimes physically demanding and stressful. Often this stress comes from dealing with sick or abused animals, seeing difficult situations or being unable to help a particular dog.

To understand the stresses of working with animals, try volunteering at a local shelter or rescue group. This will help introduce you to a range of canine personalities and breeds and will help you decide whether or not you can handle the stresses.

In addition to the challenges of working with dogs, working with people can sometimes present bigger challenges. You need to be highly capable of excellent communications and be able to work to re-train dog owners when necessary. Good dog trainer schools need to offer instruction on how to work with dog owners as well as the dogs. You will be providing service for people and their pets.

Becoming a certified dog trainer requires finding a qualified school. Each school can offer training in their particular program, but not all programs are equal.

There is no universal standard for dog trainer certification, so your certification will rely on the reputation of the school and its students. Look for schools which offer state or national recognition from groups like the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the British Kennel Club.



Dog Trainer Insurance

Once you are certified, you need to get dog trainer insurance. Reputable dog trainers can carry insurance for animals in their care or control, to cover groomers and dog trainers, and for accidents that might occur while training with clients.

Professional groups like the U.S. Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors and the International Association of Canine Professionals can provide you with information on what insurance is needed and possible insurance carriers.

Becoming a certified dog trainer requires that you complete courses for certification through a school. Check with professional organizations like the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers to gain a thorough understanding of what certification will mean from specific dog trainer schools.


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