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How To Become a Professional Dog Trainer

dog trainer with dogs sitting on grass

If you love being around dogs and love teaching them how to be obedient, then dog training is likely your passion. Dog trainers also teach advanced performance activities, potty training, and other skills that help a dog behave in a home. Dog training is a rewarding job because you can see the difference you make in your clients’ lives. If you’re wanting to take your passion to the next level and turn it into your profession, there are a few steps you’ll need to take.

Pet Care Insurance provides pet care professionals with highly-rated and affordable insurance—pet groomers included. Today we’ll share with you how to become a professional dog trainer and love your career.

Train Your Own Dog

Most professional dog trainers recommend training your own dog as the first step in your dog trainer career. If you don’t own a dog, you can offer to train a family member or friend’s dog. Whatever the case, you need to establish a regular training schedule and routine. Set some goals and work toward them as you work together with your dog.

The American Kennel Club offers a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program, which is a two-part course that helps dog trainers and the dogs master ten basic skills. You could set this as your goal with your dog as you train it so you can teach it good manners and instill confidence in yourself.

Keep in mind that your dog training doesn’t have to be perfect. However, you should plan on using your dog as an example to clients to show how well-behaved and trained it is. Your potential future clients will need help with a myriad of behaviors, so don’t expect to be able to learn how to deal with every behavior with your dog, but it is an excellent starting point.

Learn All About Dogs

Dog training not only requires you to know how to train dogs’ behaviors and manners, but you’ll also need to know about health conditions, allergies, and more. This will be very important with each new client as you understand each dog’s behaviors and anything out of the ordinary that you need to know, so you can properly care for the dog when it is with you. Having a pet contract reviewed and signed by your client beforehand will come in handy for things like these.

You’ll also need to educate yourself about all kinds of different breeds and how they act. If you like, you can specialize in a few specific breeds, or just one. For example, you can educate yourself to know everything there is to know about goldendoodles, and offer training for just that breed. The choice is yours.

Become a Certified Dog Trainer

There are several dog training associations you can join so you can take specific courses and have access to additional resources. For example, you can look into The Association of Professional Dog Trainers or the International Association of Canine Professionals. Do some research and see what their courses and resources look like, and if you want to become a member of an organization.

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) can help you get certified so you can show your clients you take your dog training career seriously. Having a certification will show that you’re credible and professional. For the CCPDT certification, you’ll need to complete a minimum of 300 hours of experience training dogs in the last three years. You will also need to pass a multiple choice exam with 180 questions. This step will require a lot of time and effort on your part, but it will be beneficial to you, your clients, and your career.

Purchase Dog Trainer Insurance

The last step to becoming a successful dog trainer is to purchase dog trainer insurance. Dog trainer insurance from PCI starts at $259 per year, and includes both general and professional liability insurance. You can pay the cost upfront, or you can pay in monthly increments of $21.58. All our policies include veterinarian expenses reimbursement, animal bailee, and lost key liability coverage.

Each pet care professional, including dog trainers, faces a unique set of liability risks, and having insurance in place provides a financial safety net should an accident occur. Get insured today so you can do what you love with peace of mind.

Do What You Do Best

We hope this article was helpful in understanding how to become a professional dog trainer. Start with training your own dog, educate yourself about dogs and their needs, become a certified dog trainer, and purchase insurance. These steps will put you on the road to a successful dog trainer career. We wish you the best of luck with your dog training business!

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Comparing Employee Dishonesty Coverage & Bonding

PCI’s employee dishonesty coverage is similar to a bond, but there may be some key differences to consider.

Employee dishonesty coverage:

  • Can be purchased in the same transaction
  • Doesn’t run credit checks
  • Provides $10,000 per occurrence and $25,000 aggregate coverage

Bonds may differ from our dishonesty coverage by:

  • Checking your credit during the application process
  • Having a “Conviction Claus;” Often bonds won’t pay on claims unless there is a conviction
  • Many require you to reimbursement the bonding company after a claim is paid