Dog Obedience Trainer Career Profile

Do you want to work as a dog obedience trainer?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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16 June 2023


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What is a Dog Obedience Trainer?

A Dog Obedience Trainer uses various techniques to train dogs to do things on command, or to act in specific ways within the home or around other people and animals.

Animal Trainer

Career Categories

The Dog Obedience Trainer career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Business
  • Law & Enforcement

Most trained animals?

The animals that are the most trained and produce the most jobs, are dogs.

Only training dogs

Trainers actually work just as much with the owners, than with their dogs

What does a Dog Obedience Trainer do?

Groups of animals a Dog Obedience Trainer works with

Dogs List Icon OZT

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With who does a Dog Obedience Trainer work?

Besides working with all of the animals, Dog Obedience Trainers will need to interact with other people while doing their daily tasks. The people might include fellow staff members (if they are employed by a training company) or the public.

Fellow staff might include:

  • Supervisors/Managers
  • Operational staff, such as Human Resources, Finance and Maintenance

What does a Dog Obedience Trainer focus on?

Dog obedience trainers focus on teaching dogs how to behave, whether it’s while the dog is at home (such as potty training, to stop jumping against their owners) or while outside of the home between people and other animals. They also help owners understand their dogs and how to manage them.

What are the daily tasks of a Dog Obedience Trainer?

  • discuss the brief with the dog owner
  • study the dog for behavioral problems
  • train the dogs in the specific tasks required
  • monitor the dogs to ensure they learn
  • ensure the safety of the dogs while training (such as when they are in a group)
  • create habitats that will help with training
  • mentally stimulate some species with toys, treats or challenges
  • communicate with animal owners and discuss how the owner needs to learn
  • run business effectively

Work Environment of a Dog Obedience Trainer?

Where does a Dog Obedience Trainer work?

Environment –

Animal trainers mainly work outdoors, and this is more so with dogs.

Places of Employment –

​They are employed by kennels, animal shelters, private dog schools. They may also decide to start their own businesses.

What is the average annual salary of a Dog Obedience Trainer?

The average yearly salary of dog obedience trainers is US$35,000.

Can a Dog Obedience Trainer be promoted?

Advancement in the field typically depends on work experience, and whether you are employed (not self employed). First year practitioners often begin on a part-time basis, fitting their training commitments around those of a mentor. The following levels are known:

Intern > Junior Trainer > Senior Trainer > Supervisor

What kind of difficulties can a Dog Obedience Trainer face?

​Animal training careers often experience difficulties associated with aggressive or frightened animals that may bite, kick or scratch, causing injuries. You may also be required to work irregular hours including evenings, weekends, and holidays.

​Future Growth and Possibilities

The prospects of future growth in this industry is extremely good, as the amount of people with pets continue to rise, and the owners are more specific on the “manners” of their dogs.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills are required by a Dog Obedience Trainer?

The skills required for a career as a dog obedience trainer can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills

Career Skills

  • ​Basic animal handling and care techniques
  • Basic instructing techniques
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Basic computer literacy
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to help prepare for this career?

These subjects are the ones recognized around the world. The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Dog Obedience Trainer?

Minimum Requirements

The minimum requirements for training careers is a High School Certificate, but the best have furthered their studies with a College Diploma, or excellent Short Courses.

Study Focus

Your main focus should be on completing a Dog Obedience Training Program, with additional courses in animal behaviour, animal physiology, or a closely related area.

Study Duration

The duration of most diplomas are between 3 and 4 years full time. The duration of short courses differ, but can range from a few days to a few months.

​Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternative(s):

Stepping Stone Career

Being an animal trainer can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc). You can begin as an intern animal trainer after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and apprenticeship

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal caregiver careers, most of the skills you will need will be acquired through on-the-job training. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions (or junior positions) require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior person or expert. The more hands on careers, such as animal trainers might require apprenticeship.

Join the Dog Obedience Trainers Group inthe OZT Community to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of those entering the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Dog obedience training is one of those careers where you DO have to be certified and licensed to practice the career.

Learn more about requirements by joining the OZT Community.

Professional Associations

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards animal care and training.

Do you want to Contribute?

Do you have information that you would like to contribute to this career?

My Story




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Join the OZT community and career Group

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a dog obedience trainer.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Dog Obedience Trainer, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu.

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