How to become a dog trainer?


To exercise this profession, it is preferable to follow a course which allows you to obtain a Professional Canine Educator Certificate. It is the only diploma recognized by the branch in our country. Let's see together what are the essential qualities that we expect from a dog trainer and what this training consists of.

How to become a dog trainer

What is the role of the dog trainer?

This professional must like to teach other people the principles of dog training because the primary role of a dog trainer is to help owners train their dogs and not make mistakes that could lead to behavioral problems in these dogs. animals. The essential qualities to become a dog trainer are very numerous. In addition to loving dogs of course and not being afraid of them, it is essential to have the following skills:
  • A perfect knowledge of the dog: anatomy, behavior, mode of communication, breeds,
  • Patience: essential to obtain good results with animals, it is just as necessary with dog owners who can be very demanding,
  • Rigor: the education of canines requiring firmness,
  • Consistency: it is essential for dogs to understand what is expected of them,
  • Pedagogy: this professional must have the ability to pass on all his knowledge to dog owners so that they can subsequently apply the best training technique themselves,
  • Personal investment: it is a profession which requires tenacity, availability and endurance. The dog trainer exercises a lot outdoors, in all weathers, and the working conditions are not always easy.
  • Enjoying human contact and demonstrating a high level of listening skills: dog owners who approach a dog trainer are faced with various issues that this professional must be able to perfectly identify in order to find the best suited solutions.

We therefore understand that the dog trainer must be completely at ease with animals but also with their owners and that this job is reserved for passionate people . It is necessary to respect the integrity of the dog, to be benevolent and to be able to adopt the method of the positive reinforcement in order to educate each dog in the rules of the art.

Becoming a dog trainer: what training?

To become a dog trainer it is essential to follow a qualifying training , which integrates theoretical courses and practical courses with simulation. The Ministry of Agriculture recognizes only one diploma, the Professional Brevet (BP) Canine Educator , national level 4 diploma. It is certainly possible to exercise this profession without having this BP, but following this training is strongly recommended. .

Anyway, with or without this diploma, it is compulsory to follow the ACACED training (formerly CCAD) to practice this profession. ACACED means Certificate of knowledge for pets of domestic species (dogs, cats, NAC).

In France, many CFA and CFPPA offer training to obtain the Professional Canine Educator Certificate , among which:
The Family House of Education and Guidance in Semur-en-Auxois (21 - Côte-d'Or),
  • The Pézenas CFPPA (34 - Hérault),
  • The CFA Agricole de Blois (41 - Loir-et-Cher),
  • The CFA de Gramat (46 - Lot),
  • The CFA EPL Agro in Bar-le-Duc (55 - Meuse),
  • The CFPPA of Bougainville (77 - Seine-et-Marne),
  • The CFPPA of Montmorillon (86 - Vienne).

This list is not exhaustive.

How does the dog trainer training work?

The dog trainer BP is prepared over two years , ie 1,200 hours . The training breaks down as follows:
  • 800 hours of lessons in CFA or CFPPA,
  • 400 hours of training spread over ten weeks: these courses are followed in various structures and establishments such as for example a guide dog school, a training center, with a qualified and experienced dog trainer, in a refuge or in a center of the Society for the Protection of Animals with a dog trainer on site ...

Candidates take theoretical courses . A part is reserved for general education (mathematics, economics, business management, insurance and administrative declarations, expression, communication) and another for specific education (ethology, obedience, canine education methods, behavioral disorders, dog science, regulation of the activity, legal obligations, etc.).

The internships begin when the trainer validates the theoretical knowledge by the student. They are supervised and take place in real conditions.

Note that people aged 16 to 25 must have an apprenticeship contract with a professional to access initial training. As for candidates over the age of 26, they must either be able to prove at least one year of professional activity, or be in possession of the Brevet des Collèges, a CAP or diploma of the same level to follow continuing education.

The profession of dog trainer allows you at the start of your career to receive a monthly salary of around $ 1,500 gross. But career developments are possible such as, for example, the education of companion dogs for disabled people, the management of a dog breeding or the specialization in the education of guide dogs for the blind.