becoming a certified dog trainer

How To Become A Certified Dog Trainer

If you’re a people person who love dogs, you might be considering a career in dog training. It’s a fulfilling and rewarding job that allows you to interact with furry friends, helping them to enrich their lives and those of their owners. Discover what it takes to become a certified dog trainer!

What does a dog trainer certification cover?

Typically, becoming a certified dog trainer requires study of the following courses:

  • History of Dog Training. To understand how dog training has evolved over the years, you must first understand the origins of dog training.

  • Animal Learning. This discusses how animals learn, including how they respond to positive and negative reinforcement/punishment, habituation, motivation, and other training methods.

  • Dog Behavior. Understanding why dogs act the way that they do in each and every situation is an important part of becoming a trainer. This course will typically include breed characteristics, hormonal influences, and social development patterns.

  • Class Design. You'll learn how to create a curriculum for each and every dog you train depending on their specific needs.

Do you need a certification to become a dog trainer?

While a certification isn't necessary to officially become a dog trainer, it does imply that you take your profession seriously and are dedicated to educating canines and their human counterparts on the safest, most effective training methods.

What are the benefits of becoming a dog trainer?

  • Personal Satisfaction. Dog-lovers who become trainers experience something many people long to have – job satisfaction! There aren’t many people who wake up excited to start their day, but people who are passionate about enriching the lives of canines do.

  • Each Day Is Different. If you’re looking for a career that will consistently present new challenges every day, dog training is for you. Becoming a trainer opens you to variety each day so you’re always experiencing something new and ultimately, learning.

  • No Degree Required. You don't need a formal degree to become a dog trainer. While that means you don't have to spend hours working towards a degree, you will have to put time into earning your certification(s), including apprenticeships and/or internships to gain experience.

  • Flexible Schedule. As a dog trainer, you're able to work full- or part-time as your own boss, which means you get to make your own schedule! You can make your job work for you, scheduling appointments as your life sees fit. of experiences, from new locations to new breeds and personality types.

Types of Dog Trainer Certifications:

  • CPDT-KA (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers). This certification measures a broad range of skills in the areas of ethology, learning theory, training technique, and overall instruction.

  • CPDT-KSA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge and Skills Assessed). This certification serves as proof that you've passed a comprehensive exam and the objective skills assessment in addition to 300 hours of training experience.

  • CBCC-KA (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants). This certification signifies that you have passed the necessary exams on behavior modification along with 300 hours of dog behavior consulting.

At StayDog, we believe a well-mannered, well-trained, respectful dog is proud family member and that just doesn’t happen on its own. It’s never too late or too early to being training to create the relationship you always wanted. To learn more about our dog training or schedule a private in-home session,  call (610) 644-1334 or email