Animal Training Colleges, Schools and Universities in the U.S.

Animal trainers may find themselves teaching canine obedience classes or helping wild animals adjust to captivity. Education requirements also vary depending on the type of animal training involved but typically call for a specialized certificate or degree.

How to Select an Animal Training School

Some schools offer associate's degrees in overall pet care, grooming and training. Completing this type of degree is a good option for individuals who would like to work as dog trainers. Individuals who want to work with exotic wildlife or marine animals typically need a bachelor's degree and need to look for schools that provide 4-year programs in animal science or animal behavior. Exotic animal training and management degrees are also available. These programs are often associated with teaching zoos where students can gain hands-on experience training exotic animals to interact with their human caregivers, whether for general care, veterinary or research purposes.

Consider the following when looking for animal training schools:

  • When choosing an animal trainer college, prospective students should select a curriculum that matches their career goals.
  • Choosing an animal trainer college that provides hands-on experiences or internship opportunities is ideal, as most employers look for candidates who have experience working with animals; these internships may also be available at humane societies, national zoos or veterinary offices.
  • Certification is an important part of some animal training programs: for example, dog training students need to look for programs that offer credentials from professional associations, such as the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors, and prospective marine mammal trainers might want to look for a degree program that includes SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) certification.

10 Schools with Animal Training Programs

College/University Institution Type
Ohio State University 4-year, Public
University of Florida 4-year, Public
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities 4-year, Public
Texas A & M University 4-year, Public
Michigan State University 4-year, Public
Pennsylvania State University 4-year, Public
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign 4-year, Public
University of Wisconsin - Madison 4-year, Public
Purdue University 4-year, Public
University of Arizona 4-year, Public

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