The profession of dog trainer: what functions? What training? What salary?

Do you love dogs, do you have good contact with them and would like to devote as much of your time to them as possible, while earning a living? Then the profession of dog trainer may be for you. Functions, training, salary, let’s take a look at this fascinating and extremely rewarding profession.

The functions of the dog trainer

The dog trainer accompanies the master and his dog in order to allow to have a harmonious relationship. His in-depth knowledge of the animal, his behavior and his expectations, allow him to educate the dog (and his master) in order to learn to live in society, but it does not replace the master. His advice, his lessons, are intended for masters, like dogs.

Unlike the trainer, who teaches the dog to perform utilitarian tasks (hunting dog, avalanche dog, herding dog, etc.), the educator teaches the rules of life, guide the master so that he understands his animal. It can intervene in obedience problems, of cleanliness, aggression, trauma

The dog trainer is involved in the dog’s socialization process, but he is not a behaviorist, although some educators also practice this specialty in addition to their initial training.

The qualities of the dog trainer

The main qualities required to be a good dog trainer are patience, benevolence, rigor, a sense of observation, strength of persuasion, a great capacity for adaptation and of course, love of dogs.

It is also necessary to be equipped witha good physical condition in order to be able to set up and follow many exercises essential to the education of the dog.

To have a good relationship and a good foundation in pedagogy and in human psychology is obviously a plus, since the dog trainer will of course have to educate the dog, but also teach his owner the right gestures and how to behave in different situations.

The training of the dog trainer

Even if you think you are particularly gifted with dogs, dog training cannot be improvised. The dog trainer is a professional who engages his responsibility and improvisation can have serious consequences and lead to serious accidents or great suffering for dogs or their owners.

A compulsory certificate of capacity for all commercial activities (ACACED)

While it is not compulsory to have an “official” diploma to exercise this profession, it is nevertheless regulated and supervised by obtaining a Certificate of Knowledge for Pets of Domestic Species (ACACED).

This certificate allows you to acquire essential knowledge the welfare of domestic animals and the regulatory bases of applicable legislation. She is compulsory for dog trainers, as for trainers, pet-sitters, the sale of animals …

The certificate is issued by the Departmental Directorate for the Protection of the Populations (DDPP) or the Departmental Directorate for Social Cohesion and the Protection of the Populations (DDCSPP).

The professional dog trainer’s certificate (state diploma)

The profession of dog trainer has, since 2003, a state diploma, the Professional dog trainer certificate. It is only issued by a few schools approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, after a 2-year course, alternately.

This diploma is obligatory for professionals who carry out a “agricultural” nature such as the training of working dogs, truffle dogs, the opening of dog clubs …

Private training

From private organizations also offer certifying training (not recognized by the state), but they can be relatively expensive (between 5,000 and 12,000 euros). These trainings are sometimes specialized according to the method of education towards which you wish to orient yourself (natural, positive, traditional education …), but all these centers are not equal in matters of seriousness.

It is therefore recommended to find out about the practices and training provided, before choosing a private organization.

Essential knowledge

Most of serious training will offer courses in ethology, animal biology, will provide notions on the main pathologies, current care, food, reproduction, behavior, housing, transport, regulations and professional educational practices according to the different existing methods.

Salary and legal formalities

The salary of the dog trainer is generally 1500 euros (at the start of a career) and can reach 2000 or 2500 euros, according to his competence and his “notoriety”, at the end of his career.

And depending on whether the chosen activity is in the agricultural (training of working dogs), artisanal (behaviorist) or liberal (advice, coaching…) field, the formalities differ.

For activities that fall within the agricultural domain, in addition to having the Canine Educator’s Certificate, the professional must obtain agricultural status near Chamber of Agriculture and in the craft sector, the educator should register with the Chamber of Trades.

Work conditions

The profession of dog trainer is a demanding job. In full swing, the competetion is there important and opportunities to get paid employment are scarce.

The educator will have to be able to adapt to weather conditions, to the schedules of his clients, to be available on weekends, to be able to move around, to know how to adapt to different personalities (masters, like dogs) and he will have to build his reputation. through word of mouth.

Salaried employment is rather rare and nearly 90% of dog trainers are self-employed, which implies that the professional also knows how to manage his own business, that he has notions in accounting (simplified in the case of a microenterprise), legal notions and that he carries out the formalities and the mandatory declarations.

If all this does not put you off and your passion for dogs wins, you are ready to embark on this fascinating profession, for your happiness and that of the dogs that cross your path!