Josh Billings, aka the humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw from the 19th century, was quoted as saying, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” That statement is so true. Dogs are really man’s best friend, as they say. If you own or have ever had a dog in your life, you can tell that they truly love their owners; the one who feeds them, provides them with a warm home and a scratch behind the ear. Once you show them attention, you have a friend for life.
If you are passionate about dogs, you should consider a career in dog training. As a good obedience dog trainer or instructor, your responsibilities will include correcting a dog’s behavioral issues, as well as, teaching the dog owner proper techniques in handling a well-behaved canine, typically using positive reinforcement techniques. The salary for this position will depend on experience and what type of training you are hired to do, however, the average is around $34,760 annually, as of May 2017. The highest paid animal trainers earned $57,170 or more per year according to the BLS.
Excellent job opportunities in this field are expected to increase exponentially by 22% between 2016 and 2026, although the best job vacancies will be filled by those with the proper career diploma training and additional certifications that prove skill levels, so, postsecondary training is advisable. You can choose to work for dog obedience training organizations, pet stores, kennels, doggie daycares or homeless dog shelters. If you so desire, you may want to consider opening your own business.
You have several options to consider in this field. You can choose to train with domestic/pet dogs, law enforcement police dogs or those trained to assist in search, rescue and cadaver missions, in addition to, contraband detection. Other types of training include those who are used as therapy dogs in nursing homes, schools or hospitals, as well as, those needed to assist in the mobility of the hearing and visually impaired. Therapy dogs are also used for balance support and for those with other disabilities, in addition to, the detection of potential seizures in their owners. Dogs are also trained for entertainment shows and some canines are destined to be in the show ring. If you are an avid hunter, perhaps training hunting dogs, such as coon, duck, rabbit or bird dogs is of interest to you.
If you are interested in becoming a dog obedience trainer or instructor, you may choose to work solely with dogs on a one-on-one basis or perhaps, you had rather instruct dog owners on the proper way to handle their dogs. Some trainers do both, depending on their interests, job requirements and time constraints.
With training in this field, you can also consider other careers in the future. Your dog obedience training course will help you as a veterinary assistant, marine mammal trainer, laboratory animal keeper, horse trainer, in the field of farm or ranching agriculture or perhaps, as a zookeeper’s assistant.
If you are interested in this career field, please see our choices for the best Online Schools for Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor programs.