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Careers with Dogs

Dogs are regarded as man's best friend. They are highly social animals, and many cultures consider them to be members of the family.

This has resulted in a growing dog care sector offering many career and job opportunities working with dogs.

Want a career working with dogs? Scroll down for information on a variety of roles in the Dog Care and Welfare Sector.

Careers with Dogs: Dogs are highly social animals and many cultures consider them to be important members of the family, regarding them to be man’s best friend; this, in turn, means there are many different careers and job opportunities working with dogs.

There are many jobs and dog career opportunities in the veterinary, pet care, dog training and animal charity sectors. Working with dogs is a highly rewarding and popular career choice, and each vacancy attracts many applicants. This means it is essential to gain relevant training before applying for vacancies.

Not sure where to start? Give us a ring on 0208 4324075  we will assist you in putting a career path together.

Career Path to Working with Dogs and All Canine Courses

We have mapped out a training path with the canine courses we offer that will enable students to gain extensive knowledge and progress right up to Level 6.

Step 1

For those new to the subject, we suggest starting with the Level 2 Award in Canine Care and Behaviour, this is an Ofqual regulated qualification that consists of 2 units exploring natural canine behaviours and their purpose. This is an excellent introduction qualification to the subject of canine behaviour and it meets the Basic Standard Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) requirements. Alternatively, if you want to meet the Higher Standard AAL requirements, then we suggest the Ofqual regulated Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare.

Step 2

The next course is the Level 3 Diploma in Canine Care Behaviour and Welfare. It is an Ofqual regulated qualification that consists of 7 units. This qualification will broaden career options for working with dogs. It is an ideal foundation for behaviour, training and welfare careers with dogs. 2 units in this course also feature in the Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare and they do not need to be repeated if you have already completed the Level 3 Award qualification.

Step 3

Next we suggest the Level 4 Diploma in Canine Welfare, Training and Behaviour. This Ofqual regulated qualification is for those wanting to work in the areas of canine psychology, behaviour and training. Successful completion of this course enables students to enrol on the highly sought after Level 6 Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour Management.

Step 4

The final step is the Canine Behaviour Practitioner Diploma Level 5 The Ofqual regulated Level 5 Diploma Canine Behaviour Practitioner has been designed to provide learners with in-depth knowledge and understanding of canine welfare, behaviour and training. It provides the underpinning knowledge and practical skills to develop a career as a Canine Behaviour Practitioner.

Step 5

The final step is the highly sought after Level 6 Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour Management. This qualification is specifically for careers working as a Canine Behaviourist and the training consists of 3 parts, split into 30 theory units. This qualification is equivalent to a degree with honours – for example, Bachelor of the Arts (BA) Hons, bachelor of science (BSc) Hons.


Dog Grasping With Love
Dog Grasping With Love


Careers with Dogs

Dogs are one of, if not the most, loving animals in the world. For as long as we can remember they have been man’s loyal sidekick and are, rightly, considered to be as much a part of the family as any two-legged member.

Because of this devotion to our furry friends, there are numerous career opportunities in the dog care sector. Families want to ensure that they leave their dogs in the hands of someone they can trust to offer as good care, or better than they would expect to receive themselves should they ever have a need to be looked after.

There are many jobs and dog career opportunities in the veterinary, pet care, dog training, and animal charity sectors. Working with dogs is a highly rewarding and popular career choice, and each vacancy attracts many applicants. This means it is essential to gain relevant training before applying.

hugging dogs

New Animal Activity Licensing Requirements

As of 1st October 2018, any listed member of staff working in settings such as kennels, catteries, pet shops, dog daycares and dog home boarding must be able to demonstrate clear knowledge and experience, or a Level 2 Ofqual qualification. To meet Higher Standards, at least one member of staff with a Level 3 Ofqual qualification must be present during working hours.

If you would like some information on where to start, please give a member of our team a call on 01202 006 040 and we will be more than happy to help. Our canine courses page also lists step-by-step what is required to achieve your dream of working with dogs.

rubbing dog neck with love

Kennel Assistant

One of the most popular careers with animals is working as a kennel assistant. In this job role, you will be responsible for the welfare of numerous dogs, such as feeding, cleaning, grooming and exercise. As you will be in a job working with dogs of a variety of breeds and temperament, you will be challenged to adapt to the specific needs of the dog you are working with. In many ways, this is no different to working with humans – everyone is different!

Owners who leave dogs in kennels will want to know that they have been left in the best hands possible. Some pooches may be nervous about being left in a strange place in the care of people they do not know, so anyone who is considering a role as a kennel assistant must be patient and of a calm and cheerful disposition to put the dog at ease. Although the expected rate of pay for these types of dog daycare jobs is basic, there is real opportunity to move into more senior positions such as a kennel supervisor or manager. The Level 3 Diploma in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare will provide you with the relevant skills and qualifications for this line of work.

Kennel Managers and Supervisors

These represent the steps up from a kennel assistant and are employed by charities and private boarding establishments. Kennel managers and supervisors are responsible for the operations of the kennels and ensuring that the kennel meets Defra Animal Activity Licensing standards. Those looking to progress into these senior job roles should consider the Level 3 Diploma in Kennel and Cattery Management.

In private boarding kennels, as well as ensuring that all daily operations are conducted correctly, the kennel manager may also be expected to chip in with physical work as and when it is required.

Animal Charity Rescue and Rehoming Centres:

Animal rescue jobs in centres run by either private individuals or charities differ greatly from working for a private boarding company. You will find out how animal rescue centres differ from centre to centre. This makes defining animal welfare job roles such as care managers working for an animal rescue charity so difficult. One of the few things that all positions have in common from centre to centre is that they are responsible for the health and welfare of abandoned animals and working to find them a new, loving home.

This is one of the most rewarding careers with dogs and other animals and, as such, requires the correct qualification and experience. The Level 3 Award in Small Animal Care and Welfare is recommended for those interested in this line of work.

Animal Licensing Inspector

An Animal Licensing Inspectors role is to inspect and report on animal-related businesses and their premises to ensure that they meet the latest Defra animal licensing requirements.

A trained animal licensing inspector will usually be employed by a local authority who have a responsibility to report and inspect animal businesses operating in the UK. They will investigate and inspect animal businesses of all shapes and sizes including dog kennels, dog boarding, dog breeding and pet stores. The training recommended for this role is the Level 3 Award for Animal Licensing Inspectors which is an Ofqual regulated qualification. This is also suitable for similar roles such as Animal Licensing Enforcement Officer.

Animal Welfare Inspector

Animal welfare inspectors are one of the most important positions when it comes to looking out for the care and wellbeing of animals. Working for local authorities, such as councils, animal welfare inspectors work to protect animals from cruelty. Level 3 Diploma Animal Welfare Officer is a relevant qualification for anyone considering this career.

sitting with pup

Dog Trainer

Many who consider applying for the animal courses on our website do so with a dream of finding dog training jobs. This is one of the jobs with animals you can start with no experience as the sector is not regulated, however, if you do not know what you are doing you will not last very long, which is why we highly recommend completing the relevant training.

Here at Animal Courses Direct, we have everything you could ever need and more. Our courses and resources are designed with both yours and the dogs’ welfare interests at heart, and our advisers will be able to recommend the most relevant course for you.

Before beginning any work as a dog trainer, you must ensure that the dog has an enjoyable experience that stimulates them and, thus, reacts in the way that you desire. Dog training jobs should never be an excuse to shout at dogs, making for an unpleasant experience for you, the dog and their owner. Ultimately, no progress will be made and you will lose any credibility that you had beforehand.

Dog Behaviourist

A dog behaviourist's role is to become an expert in reading dogs physical, emotional and mental signals and how to respond to them. This enables qualified behaviourists to work within several canine care businesses including kennels, dog boarding, and animal welfare organisation.

As this is one of the most popular canine career choices, there is a minimum requirement to become qualified in the UK. You must be able to demonstrate clear evidence of knowledge and experience by completing at least one Level 2 Ofqual regulated qualification in Canine studies.

We recommend that our students start with the Level 2 Award in Canine Care and Welfare and then look to complete the comprehensive Level 3 Diploma in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare.

An alternative option is to study a combined canine management course and gain expert-level training. Our combined Canine behaviour management diploma for level 3, 4, 5 and 6 is the desired number of qualifications for an aspiring Canine Behaviour expert.

Or as a standalone course, and for existing canine professionals, the most popular advanced course is the Level 6 Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour Management, regulated by Ofqual. This course is a comprehensive qualification, inclusive of 10 assessment and intensive practical training days, meeting Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) standards and is the equivalent of a degree with honours.

Dog Handler

Dog handlers are primarily employed by security firms and the armed forces and are required to work at the organisation in another capacity before they can become a dog handler. Anyone interested in working in this role should be open to accepting positions in organisations where the opportunity to work as a dog handler may present itself in the future. Your employer will help to provide the relevant training should you move into a dog handler position. If you are already a professional and need to learn more about handling Canines we recommend looking at our short webinar in Canine Handling for Professionals.

Dog Walker

Over the last few years, dog walking has become one of the most popular career choices for people who either enjoy working with animals and/or simply want to earn some extra money. Bye-laws have been introduced by some local councils that limit the number of dogs that can be taken out. A recommended qualification is the Level 3 Award in Dog Walking and Pet Sitting for Professionals, particularly for those who are considering this as a full-time venture. Or to get a brief overview of setting up a successful dog walking business you can study our certified short Dog Walking Certificate.

Pet Sitting and Dog Home Boarding

As well as dog walking, the Level 3 Award in Dog Walking and Pet Sitting for Professionals is a suitable qualification for those interested in setting up a pet sitting business. Numerous people dream of working at home with dogs in the UK, but many do not consider that looking after other peoples’ dogs is much different from sitting at home with your own pets walking around. There is a lot to consider.

Firstly, it is a requirement that anyone who starts a pet sitting or dog home boarding business must obtain a qualification regulated by Ofqual. This is in line with AAL standards. The setting must also be suitable for dogs (and other animals).

Pet sitting is proving to be a popular career with dogs as many dog owners are beginning to opt for home settings above kennels as they believe their pets will be more comfortable and receive better one-to-one care and attention.

washing dog

Dog Groomer

Dog grooming is another career that is proving to be a popular choice for many wanting to work with dogs. This is a flexible line of work, especially for those who choose to be self-employed as they can work from home and around their own responsibilities. If you build up a good reputation in your area and are able to secure regular work, there is the potential to earn a comfortable living.

We recommend anyone looking to become a dog groomer to complete the Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming and Salon Management, Level 3 Award in an Introduction to Dog Grooming, Level 3 Certificate in Dog Grooming and Introduction to Styling, which consists of both theory-based and practical learning.

Assistance Dog Trainers

It is the responsibility of an assistance dog trainer to teach dogs to fulfil highly important roles that help to support those who are disabled (guide dogs, hearing dogs, disability dogs and diabetes hypo-alert dogs) as well as to assist in the detection and diagnosis of cancer. This is a rewarding career and, if this is of interest to you, the Level 3 Diploma in Assistance Dog Training is for you.

Dog Transportation

If you would consider a career with dogs that sees you responsible for their transportation, which can offer flexible working hours, ask us about the Level 3 Award in Companion Animal Transportation.

Dog swimming training

Canine Hydrotherapist

A canine Hydrotherapist helps dogs (and other animals) recovering from chronic conditions and injury. It is one of the most active and physically demanding jobs in the canine sector, so you must have good physical mobility to practice effectively and provide the animals with the most optimal care and treatment. You must have a regulated qualification to work as a registered animal Hydrotherapist in the UK.

Those with an interest in this role should consider the Level 3 Diploma in Small Animal Hydrotherapy.

For more information on working towards a career with animals, especially those who are unsure which qualification is for them, please get in touch with a member of the Animal Courses Direct team through our contact us page today.

New Animal Activity Licensing Requirements

Under the new regulations, as from 1st October 2018, staff working for Dog Boarding Kennels, Boarding Cattery, Day Care for Dogs, Dog Home Boarding, Dog Breeding and Pet Shops, must have clear evidence of knowledge & experience or a minimum of an OFQUAL regulated Level 2 qualification in a relevant subject. Or, to meet the Higher Standard, a member of staff with a relevant Ofqual regulated Level 3 qualification must be present during the working day.

Many of the qualifications that we offer are regulated & officially recognised by Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation). All of the Ofqual regulated qualifications that we offer meet the new Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) requirements.

There are many training providers who claim that their courses are Ofqual regulated and therefore meet the new AAL requirements – this is not always the case – to check whether a qualification is Ofqual regulated, search the Ofqual Register of Regulated Qualifications to find out if a qualification is regulated (officially recognised), and what level it is on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

Put simply, if it isn’t on the Ofqual Register, it isn’t Ofqual regulated.

Our Ofqual regulated qualifications meet the new Animal Activities Licensing requirements


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