If you love animals and like working with dogs, you could find a rewarding career as a professional dog trainer.  Many people who want to train dogs professionally fail to realize that the majority of the work involved is with people who own pets.  Your main interaction, if you choose to train animals, is going to be with the owners themselves.  While you may be perfectly comfortable training a puppy, it is a different thing to help teach the owners how to handle their pets.  In a sense, when you choose to work with domestic animals, you also choose to become a teacher for their owners.

Is Certification Necessary?

There are schools you can go to [dog school] to get certification to become a trainer.  There are many people out there who work with puppies who are not certified, but have studied dog behavior modification, have attended seminars, and worked under other trainers.  While you can become successful at guard dog training without certification, it always helps you to start your career if you have a certificate that states you are qualified for the job.  People pay a lot of money to ensure their dogs are well trained, and they will want to know that you can do the job you say you can do.  In conclusion, while it is not necessary to have certification, it can give you a jump start on other trainers who do not have it.

Dog SchoolCredit: HotFieldCredit: HotField

What Will a Good Dog School Training Program Teach?

A good curriculum will cover four foundational aspects of a career in animal training:

1) The history of dog training

2) Dog Behavior

3) Animal learning

4) How to design your own classes.

The course you take should teach you about the history of training dogs from the 19th century all the way till present and the various techniques utilized from then up to the present time. It should also cover the behavior of dogs extensively, including development, learning habits, body language, hormonal influences, social signals, and breeding characteristics. 

Animal learning is a complex field of study.  It takes time and on the job experience to truly understand how to train dogs in the most effective way.  That is why you should learn about conditioning, positive and negative reinforcement, motivation, and establishing learning patterns with the animal you are training.  Your curriculum should include private study, lectures, as well as on the job training to prepare you for real world training problem trouble shooting. With a strong background in dog school training, you will be on your way to training dogs professionally.