Become a Dog Trainer

Get certified in dog training through in-person or online dog training programs

designed to help you fast track your dreams of becoming a dog trainer


Earn a nationally recognized, professional dog training certification


Personalized mentorship and 1-on-1 time with certified instructors


Master reward-based, force-free methodology of dog training


Job placement assistance and resources to start your own business

About our programs and certifications

Become a dog trainer in Missouri at the APC's in-person dog training school.

In-Person Dog Training Programs

Become a dog trainer in just a few months with
in-person training and earn a nationally-recognized
dog training certification.

  • Hands-on learning
  • Facility specialized for pet education
  • Learn service dog training
  • Explore dog sport training
  • Job placement assistance
Woman working with dog at home to become a dog trainer online

Online Dog Training Program

Learn the essential skills needed to start a career in the
pet industry. This hands-on, online program is the perfect
starting point towards becoming a dog trainer online.

  • Online and self-paced
  • Full access to a dedicated instructor
  • Access to resources after graduation
  • Community for support and collab
  • Job placement assistance
Photo of graduate of APC's dog training school

I have my own successful pet business now,
and part of that is because of APC!

I use the skills I learned at APC every single day. The training portion of the school is well worth the money. The instructors are the best kind of people. They are patient and kind and make sure you truly understand how to train, the process of how they learn, different techniques, etc. If you are considering a career in this field this is a good place to see if dog training is your passion. I sure found mine! Also, administrative people are great! Very helpful and made everything as easy as possible. I made a lot of friends here, and it has opened a lot of doors for me, and my business Medlin Pet Company.

Taylor Rose Medlin

Photo of graduate of APC's dog training school

Pet companies that hire our students

Dog training student training dog to high five at the academy of pet careers

Dog trainer requirements & qualifications

When it comes to becoming a dog trainer, the pathway isn't universally defined. However, certain prerequisites and personal traits can make the journey smoother and more successful. Here's a brief look at the dog trainer requirements and qualifications:

Dog training student training dog to high five at the academy of pet careers

How much do dog trainers make?

There are several factors that go into how much you can make as a dog trainer, and your pay can vary throughout your career.

  • Your work environment
  • Your specialization
  • Your education
  • Your experience
  • Your location

It is important to note that results may vary depending on the state in which you reside. This guide will help you understand the factors in how salaries are determined so you can make the most educated career decision. Learn more.


Why attend a dog training school?

We know you have many options for dog training education. It is important for you to understand and appreciate the benefits of each option. An online education can offer a speedy education and the convenience of learning from home. Finding a mentor is a cheap alternative to a formal education. But a hands-on dog trainer school will always be the most comprehensive education you can find. Learn more.


Do you have to have a license to train dogs?

In the United States, there are currently no formal licensing requirements to become a dog trainer. This means that anyone can technically claim to be a professional dog trainer without any standard oversight or regulation. However, this could change in the near future. Some states are starting to pursue regulations and licensing requirements for dog trainers, aiming to elevate the profession's standards and ensure that trainers have a fundamental understanding of dog behavior and training techniques. Learn More


Learn to train service dogs

We offer a service dog training program for those student who wish to take their training to the next level. Bundled with other advanced skills such as scent detection training, we offer a Specialized Trainer Program. This program allows students the option of providing niche services to their clients upon graduation. Learn more.

What Is Positive Reinforcement Dog Training

What is Positive Reinforcement training?

When talking about training dogs, there are a handful of methodologies out there, and they have varying degrees of success when measuring desired results and side effects. Positive reinforcement training is the primary methodology taught at The Academy of Pet Careers. Not only do we believe it is the most effective method of training, but results have shown that it helps to create a longer lasting positive relationship with your pet. Learn More.

Learn Dog Sports Agility Dock Diving Trebball Disc Dog

Learn to train dog sports

In our Specialized Dog Training Program, students will be introduced to the world of dog sports. Whether you wish to pursue a career in competitive obedience or hosting public sport classes for enrichment, dog sports are a great tool to keep training fun and add income potential. Our program will introduce students to 10+ dog sports, with a heavy focus in agility and nose work. Other sports include canine freestyle, dock diving, trebball, disc dog, rally obedience, and more.

Learn Dog Sports Agility Dock Diving Trebball Disc Dog
Starting a dog training Business

Want to start a dog training business?

Building a dog training business from the ground up is no small task, but with careful planning, hard work, and a relentless passion for helping dogs and their owners, you'll set the stage for a successful venture. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Your first step could be right here, right now! Embarking on a journey to become a dog trainer is exciting and fulfilling. Though the path may require dedication and patience, the reward of helping dogs and their owners live harmoniously is immeasurable. So, take that first step towards your dream career today, and soon, you could be making a significant difference in the lives of dogs and their human companions.

Dog Trainer Classes

Job placement to help you find a job as a trainer

Securing your first dog training job is a crucial milestone in your career journey. Our dedicated job placement specialists will guide you through the process of building your resume, applying for jobs, and preparing you for your interviews. We will even help you prospect for hiring businesses if you are having trouble finding a job in your area. The pet care industry is in need of qualified dog trainers, so don't let your fear of not getting a job stop you from pursuing your dreams.

Dog Trainer Classes

Frequently Asked Questions

Dog training school is an educational institution that offers structured in-person or online programs to teach individuals how to become professional dog trainers. Attending one can provide you with the knowledge, skills, and certification needed to pursue a career in dog training.

Dog training schools typically offer in-person or online programs focused on training pet dogs. Some will even include specialty skills such as service animal training or dog sports. In-person programs provide a more hands-on experience, while online programs offer flexibility for self-paced learning.

Most dog training schools have minimal prerequisites, such as a high school diploma or equivalent. To attend a dog training program at the APC, you must be 18 years of age for an in-person program or 16 years of age for an online program. No other experience is necessary.

The duration of dog training programs can vary by school. Most schools will have programs ranging from 12-weeks to 6 months, with a few exceptions. Length can be an important deciding factor, but shorter programs will not provide the same level of proficiency as longer ones. At the APC, in-person programs range from 3 to 6 months long while online is a 1-year program.

Certified dog trainers can work in various settings, including pet training centers, animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and as independent trainers. The demand for qualified dog trainers is generally high and the skills required to be a professional dog trainer translate well into any animal career.

While certification is not always required, it can significantly enhance your credibility and job prospects as a dog trainer. Many clients prefer to work with certified trainers.

There are currently no licensing requirements in the U.S. for professional dog trainers. Learn more about licensing versus certification.

The cost of dog training programs can vary widely depending on the school, program type, location, and format. For in-person dog training programs focused on pet training, you should expect to pay between $5,000 and $10,000, but specialty skill classes can be as high as $20,000 to attend. Online programs will range between $3,000 and $6,000 for a comprehensive pet training program.

Hands-on programs provide practical experience working with dogs in real-life situations, while online programs offer flexibility and self-paced learning. The choice depends on your learning style, goals, funds for education, and availability.

As a graduate of The Academy of Pet Careers, you will earn a nationally recognized credential that proves that you met the high standard of proficiency set forth by the APC. Graduates will receive a badge and letters to represent your accomplishments and make you more marketable to clients.

Service Dog Requirements, The Academy of Pet Careers

Service Dog Requirements: What You Need to Know

Navigating the world of service dog requirements can be confusing. This guide will help you understand what it takes to own a well-trained, reliable service dog.   Legal Definitions and Requirements Federal Laws First things first, let’s get the legal jargon out of the way. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets the gold standard…

Read More
Service Dog Training Guide

Service Dog Training: A Guide to Canine Assistance

Service dog training is a remarkable journey of dedication and teamwork. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of service dogs, their training requirements, and how to get a service dog. Quick Links What is a service dog? Service dog requirements How to make your dog a service dog How to get a service…

Read More
Glossary of Canine Communication Terminology

Glossary of Canine Communication Terminology

Welcome to our comprehensive glossary of canine communication and body language terminology. Understanding how dogs communicate is essential for building strong, positive relationships between humans and our four-legged companions. This compilation aims to unravel the intricacies of canine expressions, gestures, and vocalizations, providing invaluable insights into their emotions, intentions, and needs. Whether you’re a dog…

Read More