Although training therapy dogs requires a lot of work, the benefits are well worth the sacrifice. What you should know about training service dogs is provided below.

You will enjoy the satisfaction of seeing people’s quality of life improve thanks to a dependable dog as a therapy dog trainer. It can be extremely rewarding, but it takes a lot of work to become a dog trainer (or service dog trainer).

The most seasoned dog trainers know that working with people is frequently the most challenging aspect of the job, so having a love for animals is just the beginning! How to train service dogs is provided here.

How to Become a Service Dog Trainer?

Decide Which Training Path You Want to Take

Decide which service dog training route you want to go down first.

  • Do you wish to train canines for a business that sells or rents them to those in need?
  • Do you want to buy potential therapy dogs, train them, and then sell them to someone else?
  • Are you interested in collaborating with dog owners who want to train their pets to be service animals?

There are advantages and disadvantages to each option that should be taken into account.

How to Become a Service Dog Trainer? A Beginner's Guide

Enroll in a Service Dog Training Certification Program

It’s critical to acquire the skills and training required to train therapy dogs effectively.

Although certification isn’t necessary to work as a dog therapy trainer, doing so will give prospective employers and clients confidence and help ensure that you’re ready to successfully train happy, healthy service dogs for clients and customers.

There are a few certification programs available, such as the CCPDT, through which you can demonstrate your suitability to work as a therapy dog trainer.

Additionally, you can enroll in a variety of training courses, such as CATCH Canine Trainers Academy, to gain the knowledge you need and get ready for certification. Once certified, you are prepared to launch your career in therapy dog training.

Take on An Apprenticeship

By signing up for an apprenticeship, you can learn from professionals in the service dog training industry while earning money. You’ll gain practical knowledge that you can use to launch your own company or attract the interest of well-established dog training businesses all over the world.

You can spend years as an apprentice honing your skills and ensuring that you are prepared to take on the training of dogs without the support or assistance of teachers or mentors because you will be paid to learn.

Gather Necessary Tools and Resources

Before beginning your career as a service dog trainer, make sure you have the fundamental tools and materials on hand. If you choose to work for yourself and launch your own service or business, this will demonstrate initiative to potential employers and enable you to perform your job well.

How to Become a Service Dog Trainer? A Beginner's Guide

Purchase training manuals to use as a starting point when tackling unfamiliar situations and challenges.

You ought to be given books and manuals for future reference in any training or apprenticeship program you choose to join. To get started as a therapy dog trainer, you will need a few pieces of equipment in addition to reference books. Take the time to collect the following options:

  • A variety of harnesses, leashes, and collars
  • Learning toys
  • Clickers and treats
  • Props for use in retrieval and interactive training activities

To start, all you need are the essentials. Once you begin working with dogs, you will have a good idea of what other supplies you will require to make therapy training successful for any dog you end up working with.

Top Online Service Dog Training Programs

An online program can help you obtain some of the training you require. The knowledge you can acquire from these programs will support you in pursuing a career as a service dog trainer. The top options include:

  • Animal Behavior Institute
  • E-Training for Dogs
  • Service Dog Academy
  • USA Service Dogs
  • Doggy U
  • My Service Dog and Me
  • Compass Key
How to Become a Service Dog Trainer? A Beginner's Guide

It is possible to learn how to train your own dog online with the right training course. This is an excellent place to begin. It will enable you to train your own dog.

What Do Service Dog Trainers Do?

Trainers of service dogs impart more than just sit and stay commands to their charges.’ They put dogs through a protracted and demanding training process that teaches them how to help people with disabilities.

To meet each person’s needs, training is customized. The trainer might teach the dog to alert the owner to noises, for instance, if they have hearing loss.

Alternatively, if the owner has trouble moving around, the trainer might teach the dog how to get things, press buttons, and guide their companion around a room.

How Much Do Service Dog Trainers Make?

The median pay for a dog trainer in 2021 was $13.25 per hour, according to “” That amounted to a median yearly wage of $41,252.

According to Payscale, the top 10% of dog trainers made $27.22 or more per hour, while the bottom 10% made $10.15 or less. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for all animal trainers was $31,520 in 2020.

How to Become a Service Dog Trainer? A Beginner's Guide

What’s the Job Outlook for Service Dog Trainers?

Between 2020 and 2030, the total number of workers employed in the animal care and service sector is expected to grow at a much faster-than-average 33% rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The expected growth rate for animal trainers over the same time frame is 28%, which is still significantly higher than the average for all other occupations.

Do You Need Certification Or Licensure?

There are numerous certification bodies, and some states demand that service dog trainers obtain licenses. Although it’s not required, many professionals obtain this certification to give their company the legitimacy it needs to succeed. Different certifications have different requirements.

For instance, the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) Service Dog Committee (IACP) requires certification candidates to have dog training certification, to be a member of the IACP, and to have five years of experience matching service dogs with disabled people.

Conclusion: Become a Service Dog Trainer

Becoming a service dog trainer takes time and dedication, but it can be a rewarding career that allows you to help dogs and people in need.

By gaining experience, education, and certification, and building a network in the industry, you can set yourself up for success in this field.

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