Day in the life of
Dog Trainer – Michael Shikashio, CDBC
A dog trainer may work in a variety of settings, or choose to specialize in one area including helping pet owners resolve problem behaviors; training service dogs; training police or military dogs; training for competition in activities such as agility or obedience; or training for certain tasks such as herding or livestock guarding.
Most dog trainers will be contacted to help resolve undesirable behaviors in pet dogs. These problematic behaviors can include house training; destructive behaviors; pulling on-leash; excessive barking; jumping on guests; separation anxiety; or even aggression.
The trainer may spend their day responding to potential client inquiries; following up with existing clients; meeting new clients and developing training plans; discussing cases with pertinent parties such as the client’s veterinarian, and working with clients on training plans either in-person or remotely.
A dog trainer may also work with the dog on their own by visiting the client’s home (day training) or work with the dog at their own facility (board and train).
Dog trainers who establish their own business will also engage in marketing, accounting, and managing the daily operations of their company.
- A rewarding career as you can help dogs stay in their home and avoid owner surrender or euthanasia
- Flexible scheduling as you can determine your work hours if self-employed
- Enjoyment of working hands-on with dogs and puppies
- Dog training involves working mostly with people, which should be considered, as many trainers new to the profession pursue dog training in an effort to “be around fewer people”
- There is a potential for burnout and compassion fatigue in this industry when cases do not work out well
- It can take time to establish a full-time dog training business with a consistent stream of income
Dog Trainers use a variety of techniques to help owners teach their dogs new or improved behaviors. They may also work individually with dogs to train them for specialized activities such as herding sheep or assisting blind people.