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How to Prepare for a Career in Dog Obedience Training

Are you a dog lover?  Do you have experience training dogs?  If so, you should consider a career in dog obedience training.   A dog obedience trainer specializes in teaching dogs to listen to commands and respond appropriately.


If this sounds like a job you'd enjoy, we've put together the following career guide to help you on your way (adapted from the article How To Become A Dog Obedience Trainer)


1. Individuals who wish to become dog obedience trainers can prepare before and during high school. Students who have an innate, compassionate sympathy for canines combined with insight and the desire to learn fair well as dog obedience trainers. Additionally, students who are patient, communicate well, and detail oriented often find future success as professional dog obedience trainers. High school students may prepare for future dog obedience trainer programs by participating in courses like: biology, psychology, business mathematics, English, and physical education allow students the ability to advance to certificate or college level educational programs. Volunteering within or gaining part time/summer employment within boarding kennels, animal shelters, animal hospitals or private veterinary clinics offer an added advantage to future acceptance into dog obedience training instructor programs.



2. Certificate programs within trade or technical schools or community colleges offer individuals educational opportunities to base future professional goals upon to becoming dog obedience trainers. Certificate programs generally require a 6 month time investment combining classroom training and clinical experience to educate individuals on dog obedience basics, canine care, and general veterinary basics. Students participate in courses like: canine health, veterinary science, dog breed characteristics, canine development, disease prevention, canine behavior, canine husbandry, training basics, public speaking, and canine communication. Students who successfully complete certificate programs may advance studies to higher degrees or gain employment as entry level dog obedience trainers upon completing clinical experiences and licensing examinations.



3. An internship, externship, or clinical experience within a boarding kennel, private veterinary practice, zoo, animal shelter, animal hospital, or rescue organization. Clinical experience programs offer students and canines learning advantages, as most dogs who learn obedience skills may be more highly adoptable. Students within a clinical training program gain hands on experiences to apply skills learned during formal certificate or degree programs. Completion of clinical experiences also allows students to advance to licensing examinations.



4. Students who wish to advance educational goals may attain an associates or bachelor degree in animal training with a specialization in dog obedience instruction. A two year associates degree program opens career and educational possibilities by participating in courses like: canine behavior management, canine care and handling, record keeping, canine health, veterinary science, dog breed characteristics, canine development, disease prevention, canine behavior, canine husbandry, training basics, canine communication, and public speaking. Students who attain a two year associates degree may sit for licensing exams upon completion of course work and clinical experiences or advance to a bachelor degree program. A bachelor degree program in animal training with a specialization in dog obedience training instructor allows individuals to propel their career and educational opportunities. Students within a four year animal training major participate in courses like: canine anatomy and development, disease prevention, canine training basics, canine communication, canine health, veterinary science, record keeping, business mathematics, canine behavior, canine behavior management, disease prevention, canine husbandry, and public speaking. Most traditional and online college degree programs in animal training with a specialization in dog obedience require students to fulfill clinical experience programs and licensing requirements as determined by state or facility regulations, before gaining employment.



5. Licensing through the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors is the final step to prepare for a future profession as a dog obedience training. Individuals demonstrate proficiencies learned through classroom instruction and clinical experiences through licensing exams. Licensing exams are often comprised of an extensive written test, personal interview, observation period, and often a video taped training exercise. Successfully completing licensing examinations allows individuals to work as dog obedience trainers within many different settings, including: animal shelters, humane societies, rescue organizations, zoos, laboratories, boarding kennels, or even privately owned dog obedience practices.

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