How to become a Certified Dog Trainer

By | August 27, 2023
How to become a dog trainer
As a dog trainer, you should have good skills in dog communication and behavior.

How to become a Certified Dog Trainer

If you love been around dogs, learn how to handle and train them, and pass the knowledge to other people, then you may consider becoming a dog trainer.

If you are interested in becoming a certified dog trainer, this post will show you how to become one, including the training programs and the certification exams you will have to complete.

Read on …

Who is a Dog Trainer?

Dog trainers are professionals who teach dogs how to interact with humans in a friendly manner, using signals and voice approach to effectuate the move.

Dog trainers are to monitor health condition of dogs they train and provide medical attention when needed. Food is also provided for the dog they train.

Dog trainers learn to interact with people on a daily basis. Only a few of them actually train dogs: others train people on how they can train their dogs.

Since their job entails human relation, they must learn how to use patience and tolerance to handle people.

Educational Requirements and Career Pathway for Dog Trainers

Dog trainers should have at least high school education and some postsecondary dog education.

For further educational qualification such as Bachelor’s degrees, university four-year degree study in zoology or veterinary science might be a good start for dog trainers.

For guide dog mobility instructors, a minimum of five G.C.S.C. grades are required with science, English and math included.

There might be need for further educational qualification, experience, and morale with dogs.

Training Requirements for Dog Trainers

Getting trained as a dog trainer is really essential for accumulating the necessary experience.

You can get trained by becoming an apprentice to a professional dog trainer or instructor.

You will learn dog behavior and communication, puppy training, and dog biology.

Early stage experience is necessary, as the yet-to-become-dog-trainers start playing and working with dogs, getting used to being around them, and taking to dog responses.

A high school diploma or equivalent is necessary in becoming a dog trainer.

Professional Dog Trainer Course (PDTC):

The three sections of PDTC include online, text books, and phone call. The online portion comprises lectures, assignments and quizzes.

Textbooks and DVDs come together to be read for quiz questions, and phone call consists of questions and answers made for students to discuss anything relevant to the course.

Students should look up to answering at least two phone calls per month. There is a one-time application fee of $50.00.

The duration and costs of the course are as follows:

  • The full course takes 18 months to complete and costs $2,500.00 with phone calls
  • How Animals Learn requires 3 months to complete and costs $615.00 with phone calls
  • Dog Behavior takes 2 months to complete and costs $575.00 with phone calls
  • The Humans requires 2 months to complete and costs $575.00 with phone calls
  • Training requires 3 months to complete and costs $615.00 with phone calls
  • Business takes 2 months to complete and costs $575.00 with phone calls
  • Ethics takes 1 month to complete and costs $575.00 with phone calls.

By purchasing the complete Dog Trainer course, two months are added up to your whole time and you have FREE phone call services, saving up 29 percent, which is a total sum of $1,030.00.

It is recommended that you begin this course with ‘How Animals Learn’, which is the foundation, and then afterwards you begin the hands-on training.

While working on training module you can begin studying other modules; that should be ‘Dog Behavior’ module before Humans module.

Advanced training module takes your dog training skills to a higher level and places you in the position of a Professional Dog Trainer.

The Professional Dog Training Course uses web cams, videos, and phone calls to facilitate the course routine.

Upon enrolling, an email with a list of materials will be sent to you requiring that you send an ID and password before accessing the course.

How to Obtain Dog Training Certification

Certification distinguishes one dog trainer from the crowd, but it is not a necessary requirement to practice or get a job.

Certification is necessary for dog trainers who seek to specialize in various dog activities.

It is good to choose certification organization with reputation in the dog-training profession, like accredited institutions of higher learning and organizations.

For certified dog trainers to renew their certification, they need to go for continuing education.

CCPDT: Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) is a leading independent organization established in 2001 for granting certification to those in dog training career. They teach humane and science-based dog training courses, issuing certification to thousands of dog training professionals worldwide at the rate of $400. The program requires education, testing, and experience before issuing certification. After certification, you are required to take part in continuing education and certain classes and seminars.

Licensing in Dog Training Career

Licensing in dog training profession varies conditionally according to the state where you want to work.

For instance, licensing in California requires passing some exams and completing 3 years of apprenticeship.

To maintain your California license as a dog trainer you need to take continuing education courses.

Duties and Responsibilities of Certified Dog Trainers

Dog trainers must know their duties and responsibilities, how they can use them for effective services.

They have to perform their tasks at the most appropriate time, solving the needs of the people or dogs they train.

The duties and tasks of certified dog trainers include:

  • Teaching dogs to help disabled or blind people in some functions
  • Impacting obedience skills on dogs
  • Teaching dogs human interactions
  • Teaching dogs physical and mental exercises
  • Teaching dog owners how to control their dogs
  • Studying dog behaviors to understand how best to train them.

Where can certified dog trainers find jobs?

Certified dog trainers can look for jobs at community organizations like local recreational centers, pet shops, animal shelters, vets, dog breeders, and private dog-training facilities.

For trainers who want to gain experience while working, it is advised to find job with a professional trainer and mentor.

The U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted the employment opportunities of canine trainers from 2012 to 2022 to be fifteen percent.

What are the Salaries of certified dog trainers?

The U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the annual median salary of animal trainers in 2014 to be $25,770.

According to Payscale’s estimation, a dog trainer makes an average wage of $10.85 per hour.


Dogs are undoubtedly one of the most loved animals that many people cherish being around with.

The need for training to learn how to relate with them and have them to do a number of things that we desire will always be there.

Therefore, to become a dog trainer provides opportunities to help lots of dog owners and professional handlers the skills they need to be effective in dealing with dogs.

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