Pet Trainer or Therapist

Trainers often deal with just one type of animal (e.g. dog trainer or horse trainer); but may deal with different types.

A dog trainer helps owners to work with their dogs to achieve a basic level of obedience which is a vital part of responsible dog ownership. They also teach puppy owners/handlers about bite inhibition, natural dog behaviours, socialisation/habituation and the needs of their dog. They also help owners to understand how their dog learns so they can teach their dog anything they would like it to understand. 

A therapist may address behavioural problems that dogs may develop often as a result of lack of training. These may include separation anxiety and destructive behaviour, excessive barking and aggression

It is advisable to have a good understanding of dog behaviour and a real empathy with the dogs and their owners.
With pet ownership on the increase there is a great demand for pet trainers and therapists. They may find employment with private training companies, for animal welfare organisations in behaviour accessing and rehabilitation, for animal security companies and in training animals for the entertainment industry. There are many opportunities with various kinds of animals and purposes. 

How to become a Pet Trainer or Therapist

The best way to get involved in this industry is to contact a local dog training group (details of which can be found on the internet) and ask if you can observe their sessions. There are many courses and books on the market to help learn about dog training but there is no substitute for actually becoming involved with a dog training club to get the practical experience. Pet therapist would also need specific training specifically in animal psychology and behaviour.

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