Easy Step on How To Become A Certified Dog Trainer In 2023

If you want to work as a dog trainer, you’ll undoubtedly look for “how to become a certified dog trainer.”

Although “love of dogs” is frequently cited as the primary motivation for entering the industry, there are various other benefits to the work besides spending a lot of time with adorable pups.

Dog training, first and foremost, provides adaptability.

You can begin as a part-time job, progress to full-time, be your own employer, or work for an animal rescue, pet store, or training facility. You can also be guaranteed that dog trainers will always be in demand.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that a sector catering to an increasing number of pet owners willing to spend record amounts of money would develop at a consistent, above-average rate.

Working with dogs is never boring, which is why trainers enjoy a varied life.

Dogs, like people, learn in different ways, so keep your problem-solving abilities sharp to discover out what works best for each animal.

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Easy Steps on How To Become A Certified Dog Trainer In 2023

In studying to become a dog trainer, you should concentrate on the following:


These are the abilities that a certified dog trainer must possess in order to pursue a rewarding career.

Patience is required because you will be dealing with challenging and uncooperative creatures (or pet parents).

Patience is essential for maintaining calm throughout training sessions and assisting your customer in developing tolerance while training and educating their pet.

Communication abilities: A qualified dog trainer must be able to effectively communicate.

This requires the ability to read body language and communicate information about the job at hand.

You must be able to communicate your aims and instructions effectively and respectfully if you are going to teach your customer about their pet’s behavior and instruct them on training methods.

Interpersonal skills: Just loving dogs will not suffice; you will also need to interact with dog owners. You must be approachable, friendly, and personable.

Positivity: Your love of animals and upbeat personality will entice customers and help your business thrive.

Working with dogs requires a lot of physical exertion. As a result, physical fitness is critical.


This is the most important stage in learning how to become a certified dog trainer.

Education is the means by which hard skills are gained. Reading articles or research on canine ethology, animal behavior, and canine body language will help you learn more.

You can increase your self-taught training skills by attending seminars, webinars, online courses, or apprenticeship training. Participate in offline or online certification courses to increase the scope of your professional knowledge and skills.

The universities listed below provide professional dog trainer courses for advanced canine handling.

  • The Karen Pryor Academy
  • Animal Behavior College
  • CATCH – Canine Trainers Academy
  • School for Dog Trainers
  • Starmark Academy
  • Certification

If you have certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, veterinarians, breeders, and dog walkers are more likely to suggest you.

The CCPDT® is the only unbiased testing and certification body for dog trainers and dog behavior experts in the world.

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The following credentials should be looked into:

CPDT-KA® examination (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed)
System of CPDT-KSA® (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Skills Assessed)
CBCC-KA® accreditation (Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed)

Remember that earning these qualifications takes time because trainers must first fulfill a variety of standards, including a set amount of hours in the field.

Acquire Experience

To get experience in dog training, use the following methods:


Volunteering your time and newly gained talents at your local shelter or with rescue groups is a great way to get to know different dog breeds.

As a result of trauma, you may come across pets who require animal care and behavior modification.

Your understanding of canine behavior can assist canines in becoming more adaptive.


A mentor is an excellent resource when it comes to learning.

You might be given fresh training approaches or guidance that you would not have gotten through your online classes.

Problem-solving is one of a dog trainer’s tasks, which can only be taught via practice.

You might approach trainers and ask for an internship, or you can enroll in one of numerous dog-training institutes that provide formal apprenticeships.

Starting a Dog Training Business

You must invest time, attention, and resources to your new passion and vocation in order to become a self-employed certified dog trainer.

Here are some steps you may take to get your organization off to a good start:

Begin teaching your dog in front of your neighbors and friends.
You can improve your professional skills by instructing your dog or the dogs of others. Your capacity to recognize subtle body language cues will improve as a result.

Practice with different dog types and personalities after understanding the training strategies. Dealing with dogs of all ages will help you better understand canines as you teach new tricks to both young and senior dogs. Although some training methods may not always be helpful, experimenting with others will assist in making the work second nature.

Establishing a reputation and evaluations in your community may be advantageous when beginning your own business.

Advertise Your Products and Services at Pet Shops, Veterinarian Clinics, and Pet Expos.

It may take some time to establish a dog training school, so use every possible marketing method to increase your chances of being employed.

Here are some suggestions for marketing your services:

  • Create a Craigslist classified ad.
  • Deliver brochures or business cards to kennels in your area.
  • Request that your information be published in the local veterinarian’s weekly newsletter.
  • Build a social media page that will appeal to all clients.
  • Pet-related business directories on the internet.
  • Have business cards on available in case you come across potential clients.

Don’t be scared to market and stress your credentials to prospective clients. Your certification confirms your knowledge in your field.

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Join the Association of Professional Dog Trainers right now.

To develop your profession, expertise, and contacts, work toward becoming certified by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

Your APDT membership is an investment in your education and certification.

Membership offers the following benefits:

  • Exposure to potential work chances.
  • Access to the most latest business trends, strategies, tips, and news.
  • Establishing and upholding high standards and ethics for the industry.
  • The ability to maintain qualification standards and continue professional development.
  • Member-only discounts on retail pet products, nutrition and wellness products, office supplies, business services, software, and more!
  • You’ll be highlighted on their Trainer Search website, which assists pet owners in finding dog trainers who can match their individual needs.
  • Community and peer-to-peer networking.
  • The APDT logo’s credibility and use in your company’s marketing and website content.
  • Participation in the APDT Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition.
  • APDT provides ongoing assistance.
  • How Much Do Certified Dog Trainers Get Paid?

The median annual wage for animal trainers in May 2021 was $31,280, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to a Climb the Ladder report from 2022, the average annual pay for dog trainers is $49,500 ($23.8/hour).

By 2024, the dog training business is predicted to increase at a robust 11% annual rate.

The salary of your dog trainer is influenced by a variety of factors, including training style, education, and experience.

You can work full-time or part-time in the dog training profession.

What Does a Certified Dog Trainer Do?

A certified dog trainer is an experienced dog handler who understands canine behavior.

They apply their knowledge to teach a variety of dogs.

During training classes, dog owners can learn how to handle their pets while also learning the fundamentals of obedience or dealing with behavioral concerns.

Programs designed by specialized trainers educate and train dogs for specific jobs such as service, protection, or therapy dogs.

What Are the Different Kinds of Dog Training?

Private or group classes can be given by a licensed and experienced dog trainer.

The following are the three basic fundamental training approaches.


In dog obedience classes, operant conditioning or positive reinforcement techniques are frequently employed.

Instead of punishing bad conduct, this technique promotes it.

For puppies or enthusiastic dogs who need to establish excellent manners with their owners to compensate for a lack of acceptable social skills, obedience training is available.

They will also pick up on their owner’s signals and directions.

Behavior modification

Dog training courses with an emphasis on behavior modification aim to improve certain tendencies in dogs.

The idea is to replace negative behaviors with positive ones.

Because worry or trauma is commonly associated with unwanted dog behavior, professional trainers must be well-versed in animal care and canine behavior.

Leash tugging, springing up on humans, anxiousness, excessive barking, biting, chewing, antagonism, antisocial behavior, and soiling the home are some of the behaviors that will be addressed.


Dogs can learn tricks and skills for athletic events through sports training.

Owners who want to compete with their dogs will seek the help of a certified dog trainer who specializes in sports.

Pets may develop skills such as confidence and awareness, jump work, recalls and fronts, handling skills, dog agility, herding, lure coursing, ralley, treibball (push ball), scent work, and more during sports training.

Is it required that I be a licensed or certified dog trainer?

Interestingly, no license or special qualification is required to practice as a dog trainer right now, but—and this is a huge but—you should absolutely consider being certified.
Potential clients and employers can see that you have passed the tough requirements set by an accreditation authority such as the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) by becoming a certified dog trainer.

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What Should I Do to Become a Dog Trainer?

Working with your own dog should take precedence.

Verify that your pet can follow commands that are more complex than the fundamentals.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of instructional resources accessible.

For potential trainers, there are countless videos and reading lists available online.

If you have friends who own dogs, they might be willing to let you practice on them.

This kind of hands-on experience is crucial.

If you can locate a mentor to shadow or a volunteer opportunity, such as at an animal shelter, that’s excellent.

When should I begin my training to become a certified dog trainer?


You can enroll at any time because Animal Behavior College is an online institution.

Contact an admissions counselor at 800-795-3294 to get started.

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