How to Get A Dog Training License
Dog trainers help people to train their dogs through the knowledge of animal behavior.
Many people take their dogs to a trainer or seek their services in their homes to help them establish a behavior or correct a behavioral problem.
Some trainers also help dogs to specialize in roles such as therapy, detection, hunts, or guards. Becoming a dog trainer requires rigorous training and a license.
Training in psychology and the understanding of animal anatomy and behavior is essential.
This training and more can be acquired by the study of books or attending institutes where they are taught.
VIDEO: How To Become A Professional Dog Trainer
This video gives a detailed explanation of what you can do to become a professional dog trainer.
How to Become A Licensed Dog Trainer
A dog trainer is a compassionate and patient person who has strong physical stamina and communication skills.
The trainer should also understand the behavior, safety, care, government laws and the different training techniques of dogs.
The steps that can be taken to get a dog training license are:
Start with Training Your Dog
If you have a passion to become a dog trainer, the first move is to get yourself a dog that is if you do not already have one. Spend time with the dog, study and understand its behavioral patterns.
Train the dog starting from basic skills and progress to advanced behavior and skills. Always increase the complexity of the skills and distractions.
You can also try involving your dog in a dog sport so that other technical sides of dog training such as reward placement, timing, and reinforcement rates can be fully understood.
It is also particularly important to pay attention to details and discover unwanted behavior then take necessary measures to modify them.
Even though your dog might not end up perfect, it is a means to get you physically and mentally prepared for the stress and technicalities of training other dogs.
It is also a means of gaining experience and practicing the steps and strategies you read in books.
Training a dog is a skill that is both mechanical and psychological. It will require several practices by yourself before you venture into training other dogs.
Attend A Dog Training School
Although formal education is not needed to become a dog trainer, it is a clever idea to obtain a high school diploma or an equivalent. This will make the dog training program easier to understand and apply.
There are so many dog training programs that teach the fundamentals of dog training and certification can be obtained thereafter. These training can be acquired through private organizations, schools, and associations.
The potential dog trainers are taught how to train puppies and dogs and help them manage a variety of situations.
There are also bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that provide advanced training and offer courses in dog-human relationships.
You can start off with acquiring experience from unpaid internships and apprenticeships. This will give you real-life experiences of the training obtained.
Although apprenticeship will expose you to more work with dogs and better experience, it might require quite a number of travels and work with diverse types of dogs.
Obtain License and Certificates
While certification might be always demanded, most states and employers require a license and certificate before training dogs. Certifications are seen as the determination of professionalism in the dog training field.
It is proof that a dog trainer has met the set standards for training a dog. It requires passing some tests and working for some number of hours.
Most states even require a certificate showing the experiences and number of dogs trained and a commitment to adhere to state animal laws.
As a dog trainer, recertification is required after every 4-5 years and this can only be achieved by continuing education.
This is done by attending a seminar or course at an approved dog training school and publishing an article thereafter.
The purpose of renewing certificates after some years of practice is to make sure that dog trainers are abreast of the latest standards of the industry.
Train Other People
Sometimes, dog trainers do not train dogs. Surprising, isn’t it?
Some clients have dogs with a complex behavioral issue that will take time, commitment, patience, and love to correct. It then becomes imperative that the dog trainer will train the dog parent instead.
Being a professional dog trainer does not only imply that you possess the knowledge to train dogs. You should also possess the skills to train people.
Sometimes, after training a dog, it is also important to train the dog owner so that they can reinforce the training you gave and establish the behavior to avoid relapse.
Sometimes, dog owners want to possess the training skills before they even get a dog.
Even though you have trained so many dogs as a dog trainer, you are not a professional dog trainer if you haven’t trained humans too.
If you don’t have clients who demand or agree to be trained yet, start off with family and friends. Train them for free and get experience on how demanding training a human can also be.
Alternatively, you can become an apprentice with a professional and learn how they train their human clients before trying it out yourself.
Dog Training Certifications
Although certifications in a necessary requirement before becoming a dog trainer, it is a plus. There are some internship and training programs that can boost the credentials of a dog trainer. The popular ones are:
The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers® (CCPDC)
This independent organization was established in 2001 and is the leading independent organization that certifies the dog trainers.
The organization develops detailed exercises to demonstrate the mastery of science-based and humane dog training processes.
The organization offers two types of certification, the CPDT-KA, and the CPDT-KSA. The CPDT-KA is the Council for Professional Dog Trainers – Knowledge assessed. The CPDT-KSA is the Council for Professional Dog Trainers – Knowledge and Skills Assessed.
The CPDT-KA can be awarded after 300 hours of practicing dog training in three years, an attestation from a vet of a member of the CPDT, passing an exam of 250 multi-choice questions, and signing the ethical code.
The CPDT-KSA requires a CPDT- KA certificate, 4 videos of training sessions with different dogs, a passport photograph, renewed certifications, a video showing the training session of dog owners.
Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI)
This is believed to be the best choice if a dog requires training for behavioral issues like aggression, socialization, fear, and frustration.
The BAT was developed to create a level of freedom for dogs during training. The specific skills taught to a BAT instructor are the understanding of canine behavior, leash skills, dog handling skills, and real-life case scenarios.
The requirements for obtaining a BAT certificate is an experience with training dog owners, using the BAT training method to successfully train a dog, signing an ethical code and evidence of continuing education. This certification is renewed every 3 years.
International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)
The two certificates that can be offered by this organization are the Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and the Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (ACDBC).
The requirements for CDBC are 500 hours of dog and dog parents training in the past 3 years, 3 written study projects, discussing 4 dog training cases, 400 education hours, letters of recommendation and skill and knowledge assessments.
The requirements for the ACDBC are 300 hours of dog and client training, two study thesis, knowledge and skills assessment, letter of recommendation and 150 education hours.
Karen Pryor Academy
This academy offers a 6-month program that leads to the Karen Pryor Academy – Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) certification.
The course offers online and offline training. Online courses are done for ten hours per week while an offline internship with a professional is done for 4 weekends.
Certificates of continuing education from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) are a plus for this program.
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP)
This association offers an Association of Animal Behavior Professionals-Certified Dog Trainer (AABP-CDT) certificate and consultant certifications.
It takes thirty hours of skill development, 300 training hours with a professional within the past 5 years, insurance proof, an exam of proficiency, two referees.
International Association of Canine Professionals
This association offers an International Association of Canine Professionals-Certified Dog Trainer (IACP-CDT) certificate.
The requirements are 2 years of dog training experience, 6 months of association membership. The advanced certificate which is the Certified Dog Trainer Advanced (CDTA) requires passing an exam.
National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI)
This association found in 1965 is the oldest dog trainers’ certification organization. Membership certificate required at least 5-years’ experience in dog obedience training, passing a written exam, video of above 100 hours of group client training, training of above 100 dogs, more than 290 hours of private training of dogs and dog owners.
Additional specialty certificates can be offered in areas like basic agility, tracking, open, puppy, novice, and utility.