Dog Behavior and Career Training

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Dog Behavior and Career Training?

Dog Trainers and Behaviorists are professionals who work with clients to help manage, modify, and prevent problem behavior in pets. They’re specially trained experts in the principles of animal behavior and animal learning with a set of science-backed tools, such as behavior modification.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Dog Behavior and Career Training courses in the following subject areas:

  • Dog Trainer – The Dog Trainer course is comprehensive and features the best advice and guidance on expanding your career in animal care.
  • Diploma in Dog Socialization and Obedience – Comprehensive training covering fundamental topics such as how to use your voice effectively, how to correct domestic behaviors, how to handle hyperactivity in dogs, and obedience.
  • Dog Training to Business Pathway – In this course you will learn how to care for pet dogs, the theories behind training them, and the basics of starting your own business.
  • Dog Aggression – The Dog Aggression course will provide an introduction to dog training including learning about dominant and submissive, understanding body language, lead and dog aggression, and who’s walking who.
  • Diploma in Dog Behavior and Training – Cover fundamental topics such as dog psychology, reward-based training, training theory, how to correct the problem behavior, and advanced training.
  • Advanced Diploma in Dog Behavior and Career Training – A practical course that will educate individuals on what it takes to have a well-behaved and happy pet.
  • Dog Psychology, Behavior, and Training – The study of canine psychology, senses and behavior, and basic dog and obedience training techniques.

Studying Dog Behavior and Career Training in college

There are many Dog Behavior and Career Training courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and taught modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve a qualification. You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Most animal care charities take on volunteers year-round, so if you’re looking to enter the animal care professionals and gain some experience working with animals while you study, visit the websites of organizations you’re most passionate about to find opportunities.

Work Experience will not only allow you to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, but it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a course in Dog Behaviors and Career Training you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of animal behaviors and training methods.

Your career prospects and progression will depend largely on your own choices. It is likely that you will be self-employed and may start your own business. It’s essential to establish good relationships with local veterinary practices, as you will often have clients referred to you by a veterinarian or their staff.

Once you have acquired sufficient practical and research experience in your chosen field you may wish to work as a lecturer or a consultant. Working hours will depend on whether you are self-employed, employed by a company with set business hours, or if you are contracted to various facilities or companies. The hours are usually full time, but you are likely to work after hours and over weekends to meet with your client’s availability.

If you decide to open your practice, be prepared to travel often and over large distances. A driving license will be essential. Exercising animals and carrying equipment can be physically challenging and therefore the job requires a good level of fitness.

Related jobs include:

  • Dog Trainer
  • Service Dog Trainer
  • Animal behaviorist
  • Animal physiotherapist
  • Animal nutritionist
  • Dog Groomer
  • Dog Sitter
  • K9 Police Officer
  • Veterinarian
  • Vet Tech
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Zoologist

Further study

After completing a course in Dog Behaviour and Career Training you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as veterinary services, zoology, animal nutrition, or animal physiotherapy.


Why should I get my dog professionally trained?

A good obedience school does more than teach your dog to follow commands. It improves your pup’s manners so they can get along with other dogs and humans in a variety of situations. Over a few weeks of training, you can watch your wild puppy transform into a well-mannered dog that feels at home in the world.

Having your dog professionally trained is rewarding for you, your dog, and anyone who interacts with your dog. Training is important and continues throughout the dogs’ life – just like children, they have to learn how to learn.

What is the difference between a Trainer and a Dog Behaviorist?

The term “Dog Behaviorist” is often used loosely to encompass a range of professionals, including dog trainers, certified applied animal behaviorists, and veterinary behaviorists. But there are differences in the credentials for each and who you call will depend largely on the dog’s behavior and the current situation.

A dog trainer handles problems that may be aggravating but not dangerous; this could include things like dogs jumping up on people, pulling on the leash, or barking until you serve them food.

More serious behavioral problems in dogs that can be attributed to anxiety, fear, and aggression may require the services of a Behaviour professional. Any type of aggression, including, but not limited to, resource-guarding, growling, biting in the home and at other dogs or any people, especially children, should be referred to a behaviorist.

When in doubt about the type of professional you should work with, speak to your veterinarian for a recommendation.

Where can I study Dog Behavior and Career Training?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· The area of cells in the brain that detect different smells is around 40 times larger in dogs than humans. This means that a dog can pick up on way more smells than we ever could. This is why dogs are often used to sniff out people, drugs, and even money.
· The fastest breed of dog by far is the Greyhound. These speedy sighthounds can reach a top speed of 45mph within seconds of starting to run.
· Dogs have around 18 muscles responsible for moving their ears. These help them to change the direction of their ears slightly to hear noises around them better and play a really big part in telling us how our dogs are feeling. A lot of a dog’s body language is expressed through what their ears are doing so a dog’s ears are vital in helping them communicate both with us and other dogs.
· Studies have shown that dogs can learn over 100 words and gestures, which puts their intelligence and understanding of us on a par with a two-year-old human child.

Mariza Halliday

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  1. George Mc Grath 10th October 2022 at 11:12 am

    Interested in a training course in my area, I live in Cashel County Tipperary.

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