Salary and Career Info for a Dog Obedience Trainer

Dog obedience trainers require little formal education. Learn about the training, job duties and certification options to see if this is the right career for you.

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A dog obedience trainer utilizes various techniques to make canines subservient and composed. Education is not mandatory, though dog trainers can choose to complete some college coursework on general animal management. Certification is also available.

Essential Information

Dog obedience trainers work with animals to teach proper behavior skills by using voice commands and different body cues. Most employers prefer candidates with a high school diploma, but many professionals seek formal training through vocational schools or community colleges.

Required Education Postsecondary training
Other Requirements Voluntary professional certification
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 11% for animal trainers
Average Annual Salary (2015)* $33,600 for animal trainers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2015, the mean annual salary for animal trainers--including dog obedience trainers--was $33,600. The highest paid animal trainers earned more than $57,170, and the lowest paid trainers earned less than $18,160 (www.bls.gov).

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Career Information

Dog obedience trainers use different techniques to teach dogs basic skills and tricks. They might even teach tasks intended to assist people living with disabilities. Obedience trainers teach dogs to respond to vocal and movement commands as well as follow orders during a show or performance. Trainers observe the behavior of dogs and record the learning progress of each animal.

Dog trainers work closely with people and need to have strong listening and communication skills. They also have to be able to research and implement new techniques that might be effective for dogs. Thinking creatively, making decisions and solving problems are also important skills for trainers to possess.

Education Requirements

Although there is not a college degree requirement to be a dog obedience trainer, many prospective trainers receive some form of college training either through vocational schools or community colleges. Courses teach trainers to use commands and obedience cues, the basic study of dogs, safety procedures, animal learning theory and problem solving techniques. Core courses might include:

  • Management of animal care
  • Obedience training
  • Behavior of domestic animals
  • Animal science and nutrition
  • Biology
  • Business management

Certification

While seeking certification as a dog obedience trainer is not required, it might be helpful in showing a trainer's level of skills to potential clients. There are many certifying agencies and vocational schools that offer certifications for aspiring dog obedience trainers.

Career Outlook

The BLS predicts there will be strong growth in career opportunities for animal care and service workers, including dog obedience trainers, because of a high number of employees who leave these professions each year and a projected increase in pet ownership.

Dog obedience trainers use vocal and visual commands to teach the animal to act docile. Formal training isn't necessary, but, like certification, it can be advantageous to job prospects. Animals trainers in general earn an average $33,600 per year.

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