Career 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.
Career 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.
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
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.
Next we suggest the Level 4 Diploma in Canine Behaviour and Training Management. 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.
The final step is the Canine Behaviour Practitioner Diploma Level 5 The Ofqual regulated Level 5 Canine Behaviour Practitioner Diploma 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.
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 and includes 10 intensive practical training and assessment days. This qualification is equivalent to a degree with honours – for example, Bachelor of the Arts (BA) Hons, bachelor of science (BSc) Hons.
Under the new Animal Activity Licensing 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 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.
If you have decided that a career with dogs is for you, then working with dogs in kennels is an invaluable experience. Dogs in boarding or welfare kennels are entirely reliant on the kennel staff for cleaning, exercise, grooming, feeding and stimulation. The importance of dedicated, compassionate and hard-working kennel staff is often underestimated, and it is a very much undervalued profession. Having caring people doing this sort of work really makes a difference to the quality of life for the dogs in kennels. A calm and cheerful disposition is also essential for this type of work as dogs will pick up on and respond to your mood. Most dogs confined to kennels will be experiencing emotional stress many suffer severely as a result of confinement, separation anxiety and lack of stimulation. They will rely on the skills and patience of the kennel staff to alleviate this stress.
Hands-on time, walking and playing with the dogs is the best part of this job, so make sure you get a chance to interact with each dog every day! The pay is not good, but if you show commitment and work well, there is a chance of promotion to kennel manager or supervisor. The Level 3 Diploma in Kennel and Cattery Management is a good example of relevant training for this career. The Level 3 Diploma in Canine Care, Behaviour and Welfare is relevant for many different careers with dogs and provides good foundation knowledge on canine behaviour, welfare, nutrition, grooming, bite avoidance and welfare.
Kennel Managers and Supervisors
Managers and Supervisors are employed by private boarding establishments and charitable organisations to manage every aspect of the smooth running of the kennels. The Level 3 Diploma in Kennel and Cattery Management covers all aspects of managing kennels and catteries and meets the Defra Animal Activity Licensing requirements.
Private Boarding Kennels:
The manager has the overall responsibility for ensuring that all the daily routines are carried out correctly. They may also be required to do some of the physical work in the kennels. Good organisational or management skills and some animal care related qualification combined with some practical experience working with animals is essential. The Level 3 Diploma in Kennel and Cattery Management is suitable for working in a private and charity boarding kennels.
Animal Charity Rescue and Rehoming Centres:
Animal rescue centres are set up by individuals or charitable organisations; Working for an animal charity is very different to the work of a private boarding or breeding organisation and no two animal rescue centres are run in the same way so it is difficult to clearly define the role of an animal care manager in an animal rescue charity. They vary in just about every way, including location, size, layout, facilities, types of animals catered for, policies and ethos.
However, one thing they all do is to take in, care for and re-home unwanted animals. If you’re looking for a rewarding career with dogs working for a dog rescue charity could be for you. The Level 4 Diploma in Animal Shelter Management is relevant for this type of career.
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.
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 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