To achieve a successful dog training career you will need loads of patience, compassion and relevant training. As the Dog training sector is not regulated, anyone can set themselves up as a dog trainer. However to gain credibility and in the interest of dog welfare it is advisable for anyone wishing to be a dog trainer to gain some sort of recognition by undertaking an accredited dog training or behaviour course. Although there are many training methods and courses available to anyone eager to get started, ranging from videos, books and college courses, we advise you to choose the course carefully: some are good, some not so good and definitely avoid any course that uses punishment as a method of training. If this is suggested then they are not good courses! The dog training procedure should be an enjoyable and stimulating experience for the dog, not a punishment. As well as being useful for a dog training career, the training can be useful for other careers with dogs and related jobs with dogs within the animal care industry such as a dog handler. The Ofqual regulated Level 6 Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour Management is a highly sought after qualification for working as a Canine Behaviourist. This qualification consists of 3 parts and is split into 30 theory units. This comprehensive qualification includes 10 intensive practical training and assessment days. This qualification meets the Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) Higher Standard requirements. This qualification is equivalent to a degree with honours - for example, Bachelor of the Arts (BA) Hons, bachelor of science (BSc) Hons.
Dog handlers are recruited by the armed forces and private security firms. Before becoming a dog handler for the armed forces individuals are required to join the organisation where they intend to work. For example, police handlers have to spend two years in regular police training before transferring to the dog section. Having relevant experience will ensure you have the best chance of being offered a trainee position.
Dog Walking is becoming an increasingly popular career choice for those wanting a career with dogs. It is an attractive career choice for people who are physically fit, don't want a desk job and want to work from home. Dog walking services are increasing in popularity in the UK. The number of people setting up their own dog walking businesses has grown considerably in the last couple of years. Dog walkers are in particularly high demand in urban areas where dogs are confined in smaller properties and owners are at work all day. To really enjoy this type of career, it is essential that you enjoy walking and exercise. Typically dog walkers offer walks of one hour or more and most take several dogs on each walk. Some local authorities have introduced regulations and bye-laws that state the maximum number of dogs that may be taken out at any one time.
The Level 3 Certificate in Dog Walking is relevant for this career, as is the Level 3 Diploma in Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Business.
Pet sitting and Dog Home Boarding:
This is another career with dogs that offers a chance of a good income. Dog Home Boarders are in high demand as more pet owners become aware that boarding their animal can be a traumatic experience. Many people now recognise that employing a pet sitter is preferable than boarding kennels.
Kennels and catteries can be a frightening and stressful and very boring experience for most animals. Although there are many reputable kennels and stricter guidelines for running a kennels, owners are now beginning to see kennels and catteries as a rather inhumane way of boarding animals when they go away and are turning to pet sitters to look after their animals. The idea of pet sitting is simply that pets stay in a home environment, either in their own home or with the pet sitter, where they receive individual care and are treated like one of the family. Pet sitting is a fast growing industry and for many a thoroughly rewarding and satisfying business opportunity for anyone wanting a career with dogs. As part of the Animal Activity Licensing Requirements, it is mandatory for those running Pet Sitting and Dog Home Boarding Businesses to complete an Ofqual regulated qualification.
If you're looking for a career with dogs that offers a good income then dog grooming as a career choice can be very rewarding. Regular grooming can prevent problems such as matting and shedding as well as help identify other problems, such as; fleas, rashes, abrasions, sores, cuts, tooth problems etc - all only noticed through hands-on attention such as grooming. Experienced, qualified dog groomers are in demand and a good dog groomer should never be unemployed. To work as a dog groomer you will need to have a love and understanding of dogs and an interest in learning about hair cutting and styling techniques. If you are trained and qualified as a groomer, there are a variety of job opportunities available to you, varying from being self employed to working for private business. The Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming consists of theory as well as 2 weeks practical training; this course is relevant for working as a dog groomer or setting up your own dog grooming business.
Animal Welfare Inspector:
The Level 3 Animal Welfare Officer Diploma is the Ofqual regulated qualification that is relevant for careers working as a Local Authority Animal Welfare Inspector working for Councils inspecting and licensing Animal Activity businesses. The qualification is also suitable for careers as an Animal Welfare Officer or RSPCA Inspector - involving a practical approach to the prevention of animal cruelty and licensing of animal related premises. This Ofqual regulated qualification meets the new Animal Activity Licensing (AAL) Regulations Higher Standard requirements.
Assistance Dog Trainers:
Assistance Dog Trainers train dogs to assist people with hearing or sight difficulties, physical disabilities, and those prone to seizures, to lead independent lives. If you want a rewarding career with dogs and people this would be a good career opportunity and the Level 3 Assistance Dog Trainer Diploma is considered to be relevant training for this career working with dogs. There are six types of assistance dogs: Diabetes Hypo-alert Dogs are trained to identify and alert when their owners' blood sugar drops to a level that results in a hypoglycaemic episode. Cancer Detection Dogs are trained to identify cancer and disease. Guide Dogs for the Blind are trained to assist the visually impaired. Hearing Dogs alert severely and profoundly deaf people to routine sounds. Disability dogs carry out tasks such as pushing the emergency button on a telephone and opening and closing doors. Seizure alert dogs recognise seizure signs in their owner and thereby prevent a seizure from occurring.
Dog transport/pet taxi businesses:
This is a growing industry and a rewarding career if you enjoy driving, are happy working flexible hours and would like to run your own pet related business. The Companion Animal Transportation Course should be considered for this career.
This rewarding career involves assisting dogs and other animals who are recovering from injury or chronic conditions. The Level 3 Diploma in Hydrotherapy for Small Animals is a recognised qualification for this type of career. It involves theory and practical training.