How To Make Money Working With Dogs

dog training career Sep 17, 2020

You have always loved dogs and you just have a natural way with them. Now you are considering a career that allows you to make money by helping dogs and their families as a professional pet dog trainer. Naturally, you have some questions about how to make money working with pets and dogs and maybe you are not certain what services you could offer as a dog trainer. 

To start with, it is good to know that dog training has proven itself to be a recession-proof career that will put you in a position to make money regardless of the world situation. Folks are bringing dogs into their homes more than ever before and they need a professional to help them train their new family member. They need help to ensure their dog is well adjusted in the home and in public. 

There is no shortage of work available within the pet dog industry to make money for qualified professionals and dog training is a flexible career choice. You can work for an established company or you may decide to start your own business to make money in the pet dog industry. Will you choose to continue to work a full-time job and train on evenings and weekends or will you train dogs full time? It’s really up to you! 

Let’s take a look at some of the services a certified professional pet dog trainer can offer that will put you in a position to make money. Once you have had a chance to review the services below we recommend that you Google some local dog training companies to find out what they are charging. This will give you have a general idea of what you can expect to charge and make money.

Group Pet Dog Training Classes: 

These classes are generally made up of 3-8 people depending on the training space and are geared towards teaching basic skills and manners for dogs. They are also a wonderful way to offer puppy socialization. If you go on and get advanced education you can teach a specialty such as a scent work or trick training. Group classes are generally an hour in length and are offered in packages of 6-8 sessions. 

Depending on your location and experience, certified professional pet dog trainers can make money charging between $100 - $165 per spot in a group obedience class.

Private Pet Dog Coaching Sessions:

These one-on-one private sessions are perfect for folks who are dealing with specific behaviour issues their dogs may have and are generally one to one and a half hours in length. Private coaching is also a popular option for busy owners who cannot attend scheduled classes for their dogs every week.

Private sessions to help make money as a pet dog trainer can be held in person or online. It is recommended that you offer online sessions only after you have successfully trained in-person for around 300 hours. 

To start, you could charge between $50 - $100 per hour for private one-on-one coaching.

Seminars: 

Seminars can be an hour or two long. You might decide to tackle a common behaviour issue such as separation anxiety, mouthing or jumping up. Seminars usually cover helpful tips and techniques, demonstrations and a Q&A to help answer specific questions.  Some dog trainers also offer seminars for staff at both animal shelters and vet offices to help team members better understand dog body language and best handling practices. 

Walk and Train Pet Dogs:

This is a popular training option for people who work full time and whose dogs may not be appropriate for daycare. Walk and trains generally entail that you work as both the dog walker and trainer. Usually you will pick up the dog for an hour and take them for a ‘working walk’. On the walk, you can tackle behaviour or obedience issues that the owner is having with the dog. Combining your skill as a professional pet dog trainer and dog walking will make you money!

Board and Train Pet Dogs: 

This service is wonderful for people who are going on vacation or who may have limited time to train. During board and train, the dog comes to live with the trainer for a predetermined time and is immersed in the trainer’s world. The trainer sets a specific number of one-on-one training sessions per day. Further, as they are living together, the dog learns skills and manners in the day to day routines. 

New Pet Dog Coaching: 

This option allows people who are looking to purchase a puppy or adopt a dog to sit down with a pet dog professional before they bring home their new family member. The pet owner and trainer can go over many things that the family will need to know to get prepared for bringing a new dog into their household. Recommendations will be based on family dynamics and other considerations. These sessions help set the family up for success when they bring their new addition home while you get paid and make money. 

Pet Doggie Daycare:

One of the more popular ways to make money for dog trainers is to choose to open doggie daycares or dog boarding facilities that specialize in dogs who have behaviour issues or offer enrichment services rather than the normal services offered by regular daycares and boarding facilities. 

Pet Sitting:

One of the more lucrative ways to make money as a professional pet dog trainer is to offer in-home pet sitting for dogs with behaviour issues. We recommend researching some companies in your area that offer regular pet sitting for rates and then add on a training fee to the regular rate. 

Animal Shelter Support:

A great way to generate some business and ways to make money for new dog trainers is to offer some services to animal shelters and local dog rescue groups. This may be pro bono work you offer to help make dogs more adoptable or discounted group classes or private sessions for folks that have recently adopted a dog from the organization. 

Unique Specialties:

There is also a growing need for qualified trainers who have a unique specialty that can be used for ways to make money. These can include trainers with expertise in one of the following areas for pet dogs:

Therapy, Support and Companion Dogs

    • for children
    • for seniors
    • for those suffering from PTSD
    • for those with anxiety
    • for those with phobias

Search and Rescue Dogs

    • local support for SAR teams
    • international disaster response

Guide Dogs for the Blind or Visually Impaired

Canine First Aid Instructor

Bio-medical Dog Handler

    • C. diff detection
    • Cancer detection
    • COVID detection - possibilities

If these areas interest you we recommend that you research groups in your area that offer the services and volunteer some time with them to find out what they require. 

These are just a few of the services you may decide to offer as a professional pet dog trainer. The possibilities are endless once you have earned your certification.

We hope that this information is helpful. If you are ready to get started on the path towards the career of your dreams as a pet dog trainer then click here to learn more about Good Dog Academy’s Professional Pet Dog Trainer Certificate Program. The pet dog training program is comprehensive and is the best education you can receive. This program will be your first step to success on your journey to becoming a professional pet dog trainer.

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