How To Become a Certified Dog Trainer

As a pet lover, you might be interested in becoming a certified dog trainer; not only will it help you take care of your pet, but it may also lead to your dream job. There are many benefits of becoming a certified dog trainer. You can make money by taking on clients or teaching classes, and you’ll have the opportunity to work with many different dogs and people every day. You would also enjoy flexibility, variety, and a short learning curve.

As you can see, there are many reasons why people choose to become certified dog trainers. However, this career path is not for everyone — it takes a particular skillset and determination to handle the pressures of this job, including long hours and constant exposure to dogs. But there are also characteristics that you need to satisfy to become a dog trainer. They include:

  • A deep and genuine respect for dogs.
  • An enquiring mind.
  • Good observational skills.
  • A “can do” attitude.

How Do I Get Certified?     


Before you decide to become certified, you need to educate yourself about dog training. Start with a basic textbook on animal behavior, and look up dog training videos online. You can also try reading an online forum.  It may help to find a local dog trainer in your area who can teach you about dog training. For example, Georgia Pine K9 LLC announced that it offers k9 seminars and active training in dog sports competitions. You can get basic dog-training knowledge from such workshops.

However, dog training certification programs are a new field; many schools and community colleges are now creating programs for dog trainers. Many of these programs are short, but they usually offer lots of hands-on experience.

The program is intense and includes information about canine behavior, nutrition, and socialization. It helps you understand the importance of dog sport and how it teaches dogs and their owners important social skills. Once you have completed this course, you will have a thorough knowledge of dog behavior and canine nutrition and will be able to use this information to train dogs and their owners. You will also understand better the emotional, mental, and physical side of dog training.


After you’ve completed your education, get some practical experience! Working with dogs is a respected profession, and your training certificate won’t mean much if you don’t have experience working with animals. One of the best ways to get started is volunteering at a local shelter or pet rescue group. Don’t forget to get the okay from your employer first, and double-check that your employer doesn’t mind you volunteering on company time. Many companies are happy to give their employees paid time off to do charitable work in their community. To find a volunteer opportunity near you, visit Petfinder or Idealist.

The benefits to volunteering at shelters are:

  • More experience interacting with dogs.
  • You can build your skill sets by learning about dog behavior and body language.
  • You learn even more about dog care which translates into better interactions with your pets.
  • You may even qualify for certification opportunities at the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) or other dog-related organizations.


Certified professionals go the extra mile to ensure that their students understand the basics and become experts on all the latest dog care and behavior techniques. There are many certifications that people can enroll. Some include certification through The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and through AAAB to become either a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) or Certified Professional Dog Trainer-In-Training (CPDT-I). Once you have one of these certifications, you can call or email clients describing or recommending your services. Additionally, you will also get a level of respect in your field. And you will build confidence in your ability to teach dogs and dog owners.

Choosing to pursue a dog training career can be very rewarding and financially satisfying. However, you need proper training and certifications before enrolling in a class or investing in supplies to open your dog training school. The truth is that the more educated and involved you become in this field, the better you will be at interacting with dogs. You learn more about working with dogs and about dogs as social animals.

Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you obtain the proper training and certifications when looking into dog care careers. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for experienced dog owners or beginners who love working with dogs to find classes within their community or online today.

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