How to Become a Dog Trainer

How to Become a Dog Trainer: Simple Steps For Beginners

So you want to learn how to become a dog trainer? The fact that there are no formal paths to learning how to become a dog trainer makes pursuing your interest as a dog trainer more of a personal walk. This means that the full weight of the responsibility of becoming a dog trainer rest fully on your shoulders, therefore you have to find out the necessary steps that you need to follow in order to arrive at your destination as a professional dog trainer.

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Becoming a professional dog trainer

Dog training is a pretty rewarding business but most dog trainers are self employed people or they work for other dog trainers. Dog trainers are also hired by pet related businesses like pet stores, shelters, groomers and vets.

My intention is to help you answer this question: how do you become a dog trainer?

Before you start out in your desire to become a dog trainer, you should bear in mind that the work of a dog trainer is not just about training dogs but also teaching people how to train their dogs.

Those that train dogs are the dog trainers and those that train people how to train their dogs are dog training instructors.

So the first question you need to answer is: Do I want to be a dog trainer or a dog training instructor? If you don’t want to work with people then you should be thinking of becoming a dog trainer.

What is popularly understood as a dog trainer is an instructor who runs classes for dog owners. He teaches the owners and not the dogs.

In actual fact most dog trainers end up interacting more with people, by teaching them how to train their dogs, than training dogs.

So you must be prepared to interact with people of all shades, both the good and the ugly, if you will succeed as a professional dog training instructor.

Essential steps on how to become a dog trainer:

You need to train your self

Your starting point in becoming a professional dog trainer is to educate yourself, you need to lay your hands on book, videos and articles about dog training, dog behavior and even the business of becoming a professional dog trainer.

It is very essential that you also read widely about the profession itself from people who are successful dog trainers.

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It is a lot easier to achieve success in life if we learn from those who have walked the path we desire to walk rather than trying to rework the wheels.


After you have educated yourself well enough the next natural path to follow in your pursuit to become a dog trainer is to enroll yourself as an apprentice with an establish dog trainer.

It is important to state once again that self education comes before internship because the knowledge you have acquired during the time when you were educating yourself in dog training and about dogs will greatly help you during your apprenticeship.

As an apprentice you get a firsthand experience of how to become a dog trainer beyond the books and the videos. You experience in practice what you have already read in books and seen in videos and then you learn more by acquiring experience.

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