- Work with dogs and their owners to improve behaviour and create happier pets
- Some of the animals you work with might be aggressive or have other challenging behaviours
- Most dog trainers work for themselves so this can be an excellent flexible working option
Training assistance dogs is a specialist area, so please see the separate role information for this job: 'Assistance dog trainer'. As a general dog trainer you'll normally work with members of the public and their pets, offering puppy training classes, group training, or one-to-one sessions to improve a dog's behaviour.
Dog trainers develop a specialist set of skills to enable them to train dogs or work with their owners to train dogs to manage their behaviour or help them complete specific duties.
Visit people in their homes to help you understand the dog's behaviour, or you might base your work out of your own training centre, or hire spaces like community halls to run your group sessions.
Most dog trainers are self employed and run their own classes and sessions, sometimes travelling around a number of different areas offering classes or one-to-one sessions.
You'll need to be comfortable working with animals, and in particular with animals who are showing challenging behaviour. You'll also need to be able to work well with their owners and be tactful about explaining how to work on their animal's behaviour.
To become a dog trainer it's recommended that you complete an accredited course recommended by an organisation like the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. There are a range of courses available with options to study online or face-to-face.
You could also build up your knowledge by working with a wide range of dogs by volunteering in a kennels or for a dog rescue organisation.
You might also benefit from building up your business skills as most dog trainers are self-employed - you'll need to be able to market your services effectively, and manage your finances - so a business course designed for self-employed people may help you gain the knowledge you need.
You could also set up your own business and provide services like dog behaviour classes or private dog training.