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Career in Dog Training

If you love dogs, and I mean really love dogs, then you may want to consider a career in dog training. There are about 65 million "owned" dogs in the United States. Approximately 39 percent of households in America own at least one dog. This represents a huge market and great opportunity for a competent professional dog trainer.

A career in dog training offers independence, a good income, and escape from the cut-back and down-sizing threat. On average, dog trainers currently earn about $20 per hour, but professional dog trainers can earn as much as $150 per hour, depending on their experience and location. One advantage to a career in dog training is that there is relatively no overhead cost associated with starting to work. Once you have the training, your success is determined by your knowledge and skill.

A career in dog training is not only about helping pet owners with behavioral problems. There is also a great need for those who can train working dogs such as police dogs, narcotics search dogs, search and rescue dogs and dogs for the handicapped.

There are several options available to help you prepare for a career in dog training. One way you can get started preparing for a career in dog training is by attending seminars, workshops or conferences on dog training and behavior. These meetings are usually short and relatively inexpensive, so it's a great way to test the waters and confirm your own interest in a career in dog training.

Think about volunteering at an animal shelter. You'll be providing a great service to your local shelter and picking up priceless experience that you can use to decide if you're really cut out for a career in dog training. If you go ahead and begin a career in dog training, your animal shelter volunteer experience will become even more valuable.

Get more information from organizations that are associated with professional dog training, like the American Dog Trainers Network, the Animal Behavior Society, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, or the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors.

You can pick up some more great information to prepare for a career in dog training with some reading and video watching at home. Even experienced dog trainers continue to read about new methods and techniques. But just because something is in print doesn't necessarily mean it's true. Filter what you read with common sense and your convictions about dog training. There is also a variety of magazines available with information about a career in dog training, including Dog Fancy, Dog World, the AKC Gazette, and others.

There are stand-alone schools you can attend to start preparing for a career in dog training. These trainers' schools usually last a few months and give hands-on training. Some, like Animal Behavior College, provide at-home study combined with shelter work and a mentor program. Simply attending a trainers' school won't automatically make you a master trainer. You'll need to continue your education through seminars, reading, and above all, years of experience.

You should check with your local college, university, or community college to see if they offer courses or programs in dog training or animal behavior. There are also pure home-study courses that claim to prepare you for a career in dog training, but if you want any long term success, you better make sure to add in plenty of hands-on experience of your own.

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