Online dog obedience trainer programs are rare, since students typically must train with dogs under the supervision of instructors. However, online diploma and certificate programs, as well as individual courses, can be found at select schools. Even if the program is offered entirely online, students are expected to practice the techniques covered in the curriculum with a dog on their own time.
Some online dog obedience programs require an externship of several weeks where students work with a mentor. Programs may be completed in under one year, since no general education is included. Courses cover dog and owner safety, applied dog behavior, house training, canine equipment, and starting a dog training business.
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Dog Obedience Trainer Diploma
Online diploma programs in dog obedience training include courses on how puppies through adult dogs learn, as well as teach owners how to train them. Students learn how to safely work with aggressive dogs and understand basic veterinary issues.
Online dog obedience trainer diploma programs are rare; most schools offer on-campus programs that feature hands-on training. Prior to starting an online dog obedience trainer diploma program, students may want to find out if the program recommends that they conduct training exercises with actual dogs.
Program Information and Requirements
While students may take all of their courses online on their own time, they might be required to complete an on-site externship to practice what they've learned. Students must have access to the Internet to download course materials and take exams. Some programs incorporate instructional DVDs and reference books, which they mail to students' homes.
List of Common Dog Obedience Training Courses
Courses in an online diploma program for dog obedience trainers emphasize basic commands for everything from sitting to competing in dog shows. Students may also learn the fundamentals of starting and running a dog obedience business, leading group classes and training service dogs.
Introduction to Dogs
Students learn basic canine behavioral patterns, characteristics of different breeds and communication methods. Other possible topics include interaction and socialization among dogs and stages of canine development.
Dog Obedience Cues
In this step-by-step instructional course, students learn basic commands and cues and how to teach them to others. They learn how to train dogs using positive reinforcement to stay, come, fetch and walk on a loose lead, among other things.
Solving Behavioral Problems
Students learn how to handle common behavior issues, such as refusing to be housebroken, chewing, jumping and excessive barking. They also learn how to teach owners to reverse these behaviors in their dogs.
Career Information for Graduates
Those who earn an online diploma in dog obedience training may decide to start their own dog-training business, work with homeless shelter dogs, or train search and rescue dogs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts excellent job opportunities for animal care and service workers, with employment expected to grow 11% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the BLS reported that the average annual salary for animal trainers was $33,600.
Students who decide to become dog obedience trainers may want to consider becoming certified members of the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (www.nadoi.org). Certification requires five years of dog obedience training experience and a minimum number of hours teaching classes or providing private instruction. No exam is required, and students may submit their application materials electronically.
Online diploma and certificate programs for aspiring dog obedience trainers are available, though they can be difficult to find. Students in these programs study behavioral problems, obedience cues and more to prepare for a career as a dog trainer or voluntary professional certification in this area.