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5 Steps To Becoming A Certified Dog Trainer

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Not every job has to involve sitting behind a desk all day. In fact, there are many opportunities for satisfying careers that don't involve going to an office every day. If you love animals but have zero desire to go to veterinary school, consider a career as a dog trainer. 

1. Start with your own dog

The easiest way to determine if a career as a dog trainer is right for you is to start with your own dog. If you have already taught your dog basic hand signals and verbal commands, try more complicated tasks, like 'wait' or 'spin'. In fact, one of the harder tricks to teach a dog is to turn off the lights because it involves several commands. 

2. Ask friends, family, and neighbors

If you have exhausted all training techniques with your own dog or don't have one, ask your friends, family, and neighbors if you can train their dogs. By training dogs of different breeds, ages, and temperaments, you will gain experience and improve your skills. 

3. Become a certified dog trainer

When you are ready to take your skills to the next level, enroll in a certified dog trainer school. The Certified Council for Professional Dog Trainers offers certification exams for both dog trainers and canine behavior consultants. Taking certified dog trainer courses at a reputable school will help you pass those exams and become a certified dog trainer. 

4. Market your services

While some dog trainers may work for an established organization, most are self-employed and need to market their services. You can market your services in a number of ways, from offering social skills courses for puppies in a local park to volunteering at a local animal shelter. Networking with people you meet is a way to constantly bring in new business. 

5. Continue learning

Like most professionals, dog trainers should take additional courses throughout their careers. Continuing education is important in order to keep abreast of new training techniques and best practices in the field. Certified dog trainer courses are also available for those interested in advanced study in areas like aggression, agility training, and therapy dog training. You can even take courses that give you the skills necessary to train dogs for K-9 duties with police and military operations. 

Becoming a certified dog training starts with gaining experience and taking certified dog trainer courses and ends with a rewarding career that you can be proud of.