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How to Become a Dog Trainer

In the UK, dog trainers provide a variety of services, including puppy classes, basic life skills training, general behaviour modification, agility, and other specialised classes. They also offer one-on-one consultations to work with owners on specific issues their dogs may have. Dog trainers in the UK are self-regulated but the excellent ones self-regulate well. How can you get into the filed of dog training or behaviour as a profession?


Start by doing extensive research into the field of dog training and behaviour. Read up on the latest trends and techniques, as well as any certifications or qualifications that may be required. Read research papers, books, and articles related to the field. Additionally, research into any ethical organisations that have a code of practice in the field, such as the National Institute for Canine Ethics or The Professional Association of Canine Trainers.


Next, pursue formal education in the field. This could include completing courses or programmes at a college or university, or even taking online classes. Consider enrolling in specialised classes or seminars to gain additional information and expertise, such as canine behaviour and learning, canine psychology, and canine nutrition. When considering an online dog training course, it is important to look at the quality of the course. A good quality course will include content which is up-to-date and comprehensive in its approach. It should also provide clear instructions on how to complete the course. The course should also be taught by experienced and qualified professionals who have a good understanding of dog behaviour and training. Finally, there should be a clear way for you to get in touch with the trainer or course provider if you have any questions or queries. Taking all of these factors into consideration will help you to ensure you are choosing a good quality online dog training course.


Gain experience by volunteering in an animal shelter or working with a professional dog trainer or behaviourist. This will allow you to gain hands-on experience in the field and make valuable connections with professionals. If possible, find a mentor or shadow a professional in the field to learn from their experience.


Once you have the required experience and education, seek out an ethical membership organisation in the field. This will demonstrate to potential employers that you are qualified to work as a dog trainer or behaviourist. An ethical membership is important for UK dog trainers because it provides a set of standards to which they must adhere in order to be a responsible and reputable business. An ethical membership helps ensure that trainers are using humane and effective methods, providing quality services to their clients, and maintaining the welfare of the dogs they work with. It also helps to ensure that trainers are meeting the legal requirements for their profession, and that they are up to date with the latest research and best practices. Ethical membership also helps to promote the public image of the profession and is an important step in professionalising the dog training industry.


Finally, create a portfolio or website to showcase your skills and experience. Network and market yourself to potential employers or clients. Consider joining professional organisations in the field to further build your network and gain recognition, such as the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Additionally, join an ethical organisation that has a code of practice and can provide additional support and resources.

To summarise, becoming a professional dog trainer or behaviourist requires a dedication to learning, experience, and skill. With the right education and training, it’s possible to become an expert in the field. To become a successful dog trainer or behaviourist, start by doing research into the field to become familiar with techniques, certifications, and ethical practices. Pursue formal education in the field and gain hands-on experience working with a professional. Once you have the required experience and education, seek out ethical membership in the field. Finally, create a portfolio or website and market yourself to potential employers or clients. With the right dedication and hard work, you can become a successful dog trainer or behaviourist.

NICE can help you through all of these steps, just join us as a CPD member today.

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