How To Become A K9 Trainer

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How To Become A K9 Trainer

June 25, 2023 6 min read

How To Become A K9 Trainer

Changing dog behaviors can be tricky, especially if you are not sure of the underlying causes of the behavior. For example, if your dog is chewing on something, it could be because he is trying to chew off a nail or cut his paws down due to nervousness around other dogs.

If you notice that his tail is between his legs when he comes in the house, it may be because he was exposed to another dog who growled at him. If this is the case, he will need some time to feel comfortable around others.

When training your canine companion, make sure you use the correct techniques and tools for the job. A fundamental tool used in many types of training is reward-based learning.

By using rewards, the dog learns what is needed to get the desired result. For example, if you want your puppy to sit, give him treats while he sits and then tell him “Good boy!”

You can also do this with commands such as coming back, rolling over, etc. By adding rewards, the dog learns how to perform the behavior without being punished by the trainer.

Find a trainer that you think would be a good fit

how to become a k9 trainer

As we mentioned before, being a dog trainer does not mean having your own canine student waiting for you to teach them tricks. There are many ways to find a quality training professional who will help you develop your skills as a leader of pack!

Finding a qualified instructor is an important first step in learning how to train dogs. The best way to do this is by talking to people around you about the professionals they have worked with in the past or currently work with. You can also visit their classrooms or facilities where they teach classes, speak with other students they know, and compare prices to determine which one seems most affordable and effective.

Research the market to determine the demand for training

Belgian Malinois Running on Snow


As mentioned before, finding a job as a dog trainer is not easy, but it is possible! Before you start looking into how to become a police canine trainer, make sure there are at least three people that require their services.

You do not need to have your own dog to be a successful professional dog trainer, however having a furry friend of your own will definitely help in your career growth.

Many trainers gain experience by working with other dogs or staff members’ canines first, so see if anyone around you may need some help. You could also visit local shelters and departments to see whether they have any openings.

Once you find an opening, show interest and send off your application using proper etiquette.

Research your own interest in training

police dog


Before you even begin looking into becoming a dog trainer, you have to determine if this is something you really want to do. Becoming a professional dog trainer requires at least two years of schooling and lots of applications. Plus, there are many other jobs that require certification as a dog trainer, so being a professional canine educator is not as easy as some may make it seem!

Making sure that you’re passionate about dogs is an important first step towards becoming a dog trainer. If you love animals then chances are you would enjoy working with them, especially puppies!

Research different types of trainers and what they teach before deciding whether or not to become one yourself. There are several ways to learn how to be a good dog trainer, from educational institutions to online courses and blogs.

There is no wrong way to learn how to be a dog trainer unless you feel that you can’t afford to take lessons nor you don’t like the style of teaching that others use. You should never hesitate to try new things as long as you don’t lose confidence in yourself and your skills after doing so.

Build a website

Jumping dog with ball near crop ethnic owner in park


After you have gathered some of your materials and resources, it is time to start building your kennel! You will need to create an online presence for yourself as a dog trainer. This can be done by creating a website or starting a social media account like Instagram or Facebook where people can view your work and lessons.

By having this accessible resource, people can look up how to train their dogs or find new training tips from you!

Your website should contain profiles, tutorials, and even chat rooms so that people can connect with each other and you directly. Make sure to update your pages regularly so that users do not confuse you with out-of-date information or poor quality content.

Making connections with others who are interested in improving their skills is one of the most powerful things you can do to grow as a professional. By offering help to others, you will gain more knowledge and followers which both improve your career as a dog trainer.

Create a marketing plan

A Man with a Dog


After you have determined that your life meets the requirements for being an active trainer, you will next need to create a marketing plan. This is creating awareness of your training business and how people can find you!

You will start by putting up flyers and posters at local businesses and trainings around the area. You can also put up signs in your home or office stating “K9 Training Certified” and listing some examples of yourself as a trainer. These are our exposure tools so people can see who we are and what we do.

Next, begin networking with other dog trainers in your area. Ask if they know of any opportunities to spread your message and help increase their client base. Many professional dogsled teams have trained certified professionals that work with them during races or events.

These coaches will be able to tell you about their organization and maybe even offer you a job! The same goes for organizations such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) and The International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP). Both of these have national networks that could help promote your career too.

Practice training techniques

Smiling Asian boy training purebred dog on sports ground


Once you have determined that your passion for dogs takes you in this direction, you can begin looking into certification as a professional dog trainer. There are two main certifications from The American Kennel Club (AKC) that look into educating people about dog behaviors and skills: Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) and Professional Dog Trainers-Associate (PDT-A).

The CGC is an entry level certificate that looks at fundamental needs of living with a canine companion. This includes things such as basic commands, housetraining, socialization, etc. An individual must be able to prove they know these four areas before being awarded the CGC!

The PDT-A exam focuses more on teaching practical applications of animal behavior and how to develop effective dog trainers. These professionals work with owners who find it difficult to train their pets or need help figuring out what types of modifications need to be made.

Both of these AKC certificates require a few months to achieve so there isn’t too much rushing into it. Both take place at a test center where trained professionals administer the examinations, so aside from time spent studying, there is little risk involved in seeking this knowledge.

Compensate your trainer

Unrecognizable ethnic man training purebred dog sitting on floor


As mentioned earlier, being a dog trainer is not easy. Working with dogs can be expensive! Luckily, you do not need to train your own dog as a professional canine educator unless you really want to.

Most professionals have other people hire them for their services so they make money while others bear the cost of training their pooch. This is called compensating your trainer.

By offering to pay or contribute towards the costs of training your dog, you help ensure that your puppy gets the best possible care from someone with experience. It also helps promote more education and opportunities for other aspiring trainers!

Since there are sometimes large expenses involved in educating your dog (for example, veterinary bills), it is important to know what things are reimbursable. The standard practice is to not include any non-reimbursed items such as food, treats, toys, etc. when asking about the budget. Make sure to factor this into your decision whether or not to compensate your trainer.

Invest in training equipment

Photo of Person Holding Black And White Dog


The next step in becoming a kennel owner is investing in some good training equipment. You do not need fancy or expensive toys, but you should make sure your dog has adequate shelter and food while practicing training exercises.

There are many different types of trainers available these days. Some cost less than others, but all work by using motivating rewards to get your dog to perform certain behaviors.

Rewards can be treats, such as food-product drops, or simply doing something fun for the both of you!

The most common type of trainer is called an interactive reward system. These use tactile cues to tell if your dog has performed the correct behavior. For example, if your dog sits when touched over their back, then they receive a treat. Or if your dog walks up to someone and licks them, they will be taught how to walk off leash soon!

Interactive reward systems are great because no special tools are needed – anyone can train with one! However, there are few that offer more advanced features, so look out for those before buying one.

Cindy PetsForLife
Cindy PetsForLife

Hello, I'm Cindy, the founder of PetsForLife. I am a true animal lover with 3 cats and 1 dog of my own. My passion for all things pets has led me to create a unique collection of personalized pet gifts. Check out our personalized pet gifts on our website.

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