Dog Trainer Payscale


The need for dog trainers comes from pet owners who desire to improve the behavior of their canine friends as well as help them become better adjusted members of their families. Dog training can help pets learn commands, overcome fear, and build confidence which are essential skills when living in close proximity to people and other animals. Furthermore, properly trained dogs will learn to respond better to certain commands and instructions, making it easier for owners to care for them on a daily basis. Professional dog trainers are a critical component of achieving this balance between pet and owner in terms of overall satisfaction and safety.

Payscale: How Much do Dog Trainers Make?

Dog trainers have the potential to make incredibly satisfying salaries depending on the level of experience and specialization they possess. The entry level salary for a dog trainer is typically around $19-23 per hour, with highly experienced trainers commanding fees ranging from $45-60 an hour. Dog trainers who specialize in working with police or military personnel fetch salaries much higher than what is attainable through simple pet obedience teaching. Additionally, many experts offer subscription services or remote advisory support that provides additional income streams outside of one-on-one teaching sessions. There is no doubt that professional dog training can be a lucrative profession with ample work options at virtually any stage of development in one’s career trajectory.

Overview of the Different Types of Dog Training

Dog training is a growing profession that can involve working with both pet and service dogs. Professionals can work with new puppies to teach general obedience, or train more complex behaviors for competition, production work, or other service-related activities. Specialty trainers often focus on a particular breed or class of dog, honing in on specific skills and traits which will be specifically beneficial to the breed or class of companion animal.

Dog trainers may also specialize in behavior modification and behavioral therapy, helping dogs with anxiety, aggression, and other Fearful personality types cope with their environment. There are also those trained in canine first aid and even sports-related disciplines, such as agility competitions and dock diving events. Additionally, many trainers provide special services to assist pet owners who have difficulty dealing with difficult issues such as housetraining or destructive behavior. Dog trainers may choose to pursue professional certification as well as specializations offered through organizations such as the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).

The payscale of a dog trainer varies based upon the number of years of experience they have had in either the field of veterinary medicine or through their own experience with animals. Generally speaking entry level dog trainers earn a minimum hourly wage whereas those with more years of experience tend to earn significantly more per hour than those at entry level positions. Individuals who choose to pursue certification by organizations such as the CCPDT may receive additional pay due to the fact that certification provides an increased area of expertise from which potential employers are likely to find attractive. Other factors that affect personal salary scale include geographic location and availability in relation to demand for services. Ultimately pay rate varies widely among professional dog trainers according to experience level but can range anywhere from $10-$50 dollars per hour depending on the type of services performed and certification acquired by an individual hired in this field.

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Certifications and Credentials for Dog Trainers

Successful dog trainers must have a wide range of certifications and credentials to ensure they can provide the highest quality training services possible. Dog trainer pay scales will vary depending on their experience, skill level, type of certification, and geographic location. Some of the most common certifications and credentials include certifications from the American Kennel Club (AKC), Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), Pet Professional Guild (PPG), National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) and the International Positive Dog Trainers Association (IPDTA). Each organization has its own set of criteria that must be met in order to obtain certification, such as passing an exam or meeting specific experience requirements. Becoming certified can also give trainers access to a variety of resources to further their knowledge, access networking opportunities with other professionals, and attract more clients. Additionally, general business qualifications are often necessary for dog trainers in order to attract reputable work and get better pay scales. This might include having a degree in animal behavior or specialties such as canine nutrition or emergency response techniques. It is important for dog trainers to stay up-to-date on current best practices – attending seminars, workshops, or conferences—so that they may offer cutting edge methods for helping dogs and their owners have positive relationships with each other.

Average Salary Ranges for Dog Trainers

The salary range for a dog trainer will vary depending on experience and the type of institution they are employed with. Generally speaking, dog trainers will earn an average annual salary of between $25,000-$60,000. Professional dog trainers who work on their own typically have higher earning potential than those who work in larger organization settings. Experienced pet trainers may make anywhere from $40,000 to upwards of $95,000 per year. The most successful dog trainers usually set their own rates and can charge anywhere from $100-400 per hour for their services. Additionally, private dog training instruction can earn trainers upwards of $100 per lesson depending on the complexity of the specific task being taught. Dog Trainers that specialize in obedience or agility courses may get paid more than those who offer other forms of training- as these require patience and careful attention to detail in order to execute properly. Other lucrative areas for experienced dog trainers include working at pet stores or becoming certified by animal behaviorists organizations such as the Association for Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). Those with advanced qualifications will naturally command higher pay rates due to their expertise in the field.

How to Find Job Opportunities and Increase Your Earning Potential

As a dog trainer, there are several ways to increase your earning potential. The first step is to determine the types of services you want to offer and if it’s possible to become certified in that area. Doing so will help demonstrate your expertise and credibility in the field, which will eventually lead to higher-paying jobs. Additionally, networking through social media, conferences, seminars and workshops can help you secure more job opportunities or get referrals from existing clients. You may also consider marketing yourself directly by creating a website or blog featuring tips, advice and videos of you working with dogs. Finally, staying up-to-date on industry trends and news will ensure you remain competitive as a dog trainer. By demonstrating your expertise and marketability through these means, clients are likely to pay more for your services along with giving favorable reviews on job websites like Glassdoor or Indeed.

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Benefits of Being a Dog Trainer

The benefits of being a Dog Trainer are varied and plentiful. Not only will you be able to help make a positive impact on dog owners’ lives, but you can also make a good wage. According to PayScale, the median pay for Dog Trainers is between $18,000 and $43,000 per year – with higher salaries possible for highly experienced professionals. The average hourly rate tends to range from $11 to $21 an hour, depending on location and experience level. Thus, those who dedicate the time and effort into becoming certified professional Dog Trainers can expect to make more than their peers who do not hold qualifications in this field. Additionally, you can enjoy the flexibility that comes with having your own business; as well as satisfaction of helping people and their pets form strong bonds. While there may be long hours and hard work involved in being a Dog Trainer, it can certainly be rewarding both professionally and personally if it is something that you are passionate about.


When considering becoming a dog trainer, it’s important to think about the type of training you would like to specialize in, if any. Dog trainers can offer a wide variety of services, from basic obedience classes to advanced agility and protection training. You also need to consider the local demand for these services – do your research to find out which types of trainings are most in-demand in your area. Furthermore, when researching the pay scale for dog trainers, think about how many hours per week you are willing to dedicate to teaching classes and whether you are comfortable working out of your home or renting workspace. Finally, review your budget and determine how much money you could be expecting for each session as well as what additional costs (such as expenses for materials) will be necessary for you to operate successfully. By taking all of these factors into account, you can choose an area and profession best suited to both your interests and financial situation.

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