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Assistance dog trainer

Alternative titles for this job include Dog training and behaviour adviser

Assistance dog trainers and instructors train dogs that help people to maintain their independence.

Average salary (a year)

£13,500 Starter

to

£27,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become

How to become an assistance dog trainer

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly

Apprenticeship

You may be able to start by doing an intermediate apprenticeship as an animal care and welfare assistant.

With experience, you could move onto an animal trainer higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You could get into this job by starting as a kennel worker, then move on to train dogs and work with their owners.

Volunteering

You'll have an advantage if you've got experience of working with dogs. This might include:

  • volunteering at a kennels
  • helping at a dog rescue centre
  • working for an animal welfare organisation

Do-it has more information on voluntary opportunities in your area.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got some experience of working with dogs. Employers will look for:

  • knowledge of basic dog handling and behaviour management
  • understanding of the issues faced by disabled people

Each organisation sets its own entry requirements for job vacancies.

Some employers may ask for sign language skills and experience of working with deaf people.

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an assistance dog trainer from:

What it takes

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work on your own
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this job, you'll:

  • work with volunteers who foster puppies and young dogs
  • assess dogs to go forward for training
  • train dogs to the standards required
  • match dogs to new owners
  • train dogs and owners together
  • provide aftercare and support for owners and their dogs
  • keep accurate records

Working environment

You could work at a client's business or at a client's home.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and you'll travel often.

Career path and progression

Career path and progression

With experience you could become an area team supervisor, training manager or regional manager.

You could move into related jobs like veterinary nurse or RSPCA inspector.

You could also set up your own business and provide services like dog behaviour classes or private dog training.

Current opportunities

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Animal Care Apprentice

  • Wage: £136.50 Weekly
  • Location: Launceston

Courses In England

Animal Care

  • Provider: HAVANT AND SOUTH DOWNS COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: Waterlooville

Animal Care

  • Provider: UNIFIED SEEVIC PALMER'S COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: BENFLEET

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