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5 of the Highest Paying Dog Trainer Jobs in 2023

The best Dog Trainer jobs can pay up to $78,000 per year.

A dog trainer teaches dogs how to obey common canine commands and exhibit positive behaviors. In this role, you meet with the dog owner to discuss negative behavioral issues and explain your techniques to reduce or eliminate that behavior. Your job duties include designing lessons, employing positive behavioral methods, and updating the owner or breeder with feedback about the dog’s progress. Dog trainers may work with a dog and their owner or breeder from the time they are a puppy until they grow into adulthood. You may work for a pet training company and offer basic and advanced canine training classes, or you may choose to become an independent contractor and find clients on your own.

To become a dog trainer, consider completing a certificate program through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) or taking breeder education courses. These courses provide the tools and techniques that many professional dog trainers use in their work. Employers often prefer candidates who are certified. Post-secondary degrees are not required. Get a job as a dog groomer or dog sitter to spend time with dogs of different breeds, temperaments, and backgrounds. You also need to learn how to communicate effectively with pet owners; listen to their concerns about negative behaviors their dog is exhibiting, discuss steps they have taken to try to reduce that behavior, and develop ways to help them resolve their problem. Once you are comfortable working with dogs, seek dog trainer positions at local pet stores and other animal training organizations.

High Paying Dog Trainer Jobs

  • Dog Behaviorist

    A dog behaviorist works to change or improve various patterns of behavior in dogs. Pet owners often seek out a dog behaviorist or animal trainer to assess aggressive tendencies in their dogs. They may also need a dog behaviorist’s help if their dog has been through abuse or trauma. Job duties include evaluating the animal’s behavior, performing training sessions, and recommending changes regarding how the owner handles the animal at home. Some dog behaviorists undergo formal training experience to become a certified professional, using a variety of techniques to modify unwanted dog behavior over time.

  • Animal Behaviorist

    An animal behaviorist studies the causes, motivations, and influences of the actions of animals. As an animal behaviorist, you may focus on domesticated animals and pets, such as horses, dogs, or cats, or you may choose to study wild animals, including primates, big cats, birds, elephants, or whales. Your job duties involve observing animals in captivity and their natural habitats, recording and documenting observational data about the animals’ behavior and health, and analyzing your research to figure out why animals behave in certain ways. This job requires excellent research and analytical skills.

  • Dog Obedience Trainer

    Salary range: $29,500-$38,500 per year

    The majority of Dog Obedience Trainer salaries across the United States currently range between $29,500 (25th percentile) and $38,500 (75th percentile) annually. This moderate range of salaries suggests pay in this role will be consistent, regardless skill level, location and years of experience, though some advancement is possible. Based on recent job posting activity on ZipRecruiter, the Dog Obedience Trainer job market in the United States is not very active as few companies are currently hiring for this role. You can try exploring related titles to find jobs with more active opportunities.

  • Dog Handler

    A dog handler is a professional who provides training and care for dogs. A dog handler sometimes doubles as a dog walker, promoting physical activity for the dog. Dog handlers replenish food and water, conduct training to reinforce learning, and communicate with the client about changes in their dog’s health, behavior, or training needs. Dog handlers play an integral role in the dog’s overall health, spending many hours each week cleaning, training, walking, and bonding with the dog.

  • Pet Trainer

    As a pet trainer, you help teach an animal how to behave in certain ways. Dog trainers are the most popular job in this field, but trainers can also work with animals like horses to prepare them for races, jumping, or performing tricks. Fulfilling the responsibilities and duties of a pet trainer requires communication skills, the ability to gain the trust of various pets, and the ability to adjust your teaching methods based on the unique personality of each pet. Many pet trainers focus on specific types of training, such as general obedience training or teaching dogs how to work as service animals.