How To Become a Professional Dog Trainer

Are you passionate about dogs and find it easy and fun to train your dog? You probably have gotten tired of just being a dog mum or dad, you can as well become a dog trainer. Dog trainers have a great knowledge of animal behavior and they use this to train dogs.

As a professional dog trainer, you are 98% likely to be working with people. Dog owners will always bring their dogs to you to help train and also teach them how to train and control their dogs.

How To Become a Professional Dog Trainer

You would teach dog owners the basic obedience skills they can teach their dogs or skills to correct their behaviors among other things.

Qualities Needed to Become a Professional Dog Trainer

Before you can become a professional dog trainer you need to possess the following 5 must-have qualities:

Must have a strong likeness for Dogs:

Before you decide to venture into Dog training, you must ensure you have a strong affinity for Dogs. The love and likeness would overcome any challenge you might face along the line and most likely produce the best results. A person who works with passion succeeds more than a person who doesn’t.

Must have a high level of Patience:

Dogs differ in breed, age, size, ability to learn and adapt to new things, environments and people, so you would need to be patient enough to train a dog. Also, patience is required when teaching dog mums and dads, even as dogs differ, people differ too. Not everyone grabs things easily, some people learn slowly.

You should be patient enough to teach them over and over again till they understand. You wouldnโ€™t want to make it feel like you are annoyed with the dog. Remember, as a dog trainer, you are a teacher, and teachers usually patient with their students.

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Must possess great Communication Skills:

Good communication skill is paramount to a person who wants to become a professional dog trainer. You should be able to fine-tune your communication tone, speak politely to your client, and donโ€™t make use of harsh words on both your clients and dogs.

Pay attention to details:

Every dog trainer should have great attention to detail. You are most likely to know more about a dog than its owner and be able to observe changes in behavior in a dog.

Be compassionate:

Some dogs are reactive, aggressive, or may have separation anxiety which might make them react harshly to you, all you might need is an empathetic approach in training and communicating with these types of dogs. You are to train a dog with compassion, at one pace at a time, this is a quality of a professional dog trainer.

Now that you have examined yourself and ensured you possess the qualities stated above, you are on a good start to becoming a professional dog trainer.

How To Become a Professional Dog Trainer

Below are steps on how to become a professional dog trainer. There are 5 easy steps to becoming a professional dog trainer.

1. Get Educated

There is more to dog training than having a great passion and love for dogs. The very first step to take in your journey of becoming a professional dog trainer is gathering knowledge. You do not require a college degree to become a dog trainer, but you need to get educated about it. You can decide to:

Self-educate yourself by reading articles, watching videos, or any resource on the Internet. You can as well enroll in online training courses.

Get a formal education by attending seminars, workshops, a physical dog training program, or a dog training school if there is one.

2. Practice with your dog

After gaining a good amount of knowledge about dogs and their behaviors, it is only wise to implement what you have learned and what other way to practice than with your dog. If you do not have a dog, you might need to reconsider getting yourself a dog you can spend time with and train with.

The main aim behind this is to learn the basics like come, stay, sit, lay down, etc., and also some advanced skills, this way you would have hands-on experience before teaching others.

3. Train with other dogs

Now that you have gained a level of experience with your dog, you can now practice with other dogs, after all, you would be training dogs you are not familiar with. You can ask family and friends to give you their dogs so you can train them, you can volunteer in an animal shelter/rescue in your community or you enroll as an apprentice in a dog training firm.

This would help you have a wide knowledge of dogs and their behaviors since no two dogs are the same. It would help you know different methods that can be applied in various situations.

4. Train people, not dogs

This time you are no longer training dogs but training dog mum and dads. You are to pass on the knowledge you have acquired through your training to your clients. You can teach your family and friends or people around you how to take charge and control of their dogs. Teach them to interact with their dogs effectively.

5. Get Certified

You have gotten an education, skills, and experience, all that is left is to get a certificate. As a dog trainer, having a certificate is not a requirement to sell your skill but it is an added advantage. Certificates make you appear as a professional, build credibility, easily convince clients and prove to the world that you have been measured against standards.


Is Dog training limited to one gender?

A dog trainer can be a male and also a female. Although they train differently, it isn’t limited to one gender.

What is the duration to become a professional dog trainer?

The duration of takes to become a dog trainer all depends on the path of education you choose to follow and your speed of learning. For self-education it might take a few weeks, for formal training it might take a few weeks to a month, it all depends.

Is it costly to become a dog trainer?

Everything depends on the form of education you are willing to take. If you are learning from free resources online, it may cost little or nothing but if you have to purchase courses, or enroll in training and certification programs it may cost much more but the skill gained is worth whatever price.


Now that you have become a professional dog trainer, you can go out and sell your skills to the world putting smiles on the faces of dog mums and dads. Build your client base, apply at grooming facilities, animal shelters, training centers, etc or you can decide to start your own business.

Read Also: How to Stop a Dog From Digging Under a Fence

In all you do, never forget to keep learning, perform research and keep to trends as dog training continues to evolve.

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