1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Assistance dog trainer

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, like guide dogs.

Average salary (a year)

£16,000 Starter


£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

35 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Assistance dog trainer

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


You could do a course at college which may give you some of the skills and knowledge needed to do this job.

Courses include:

  • Level 1 or 2 Diploma in Animal Care
  • T Level in Animal Care and Management

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T Level

More Information


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


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


You could gain experience of working with dogs and using positive training techniques through volunteering.

This might include:

  • volunteering at 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.

You'll need:

  • knowledge of basic dog handling and positive training techniques
  • understanding of the issues faced by disabled people

Depending on the people they support, some employers may also ask for more specific skills like:

  • sign language when working with deaf people
  • experience of teaching or instructing people
  • knowledge of specific conditions like epilepsy, dementia, sight loss or autism

More Information

Further information

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

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 2 Animal Care Apprentice - Pack Leader

  • Wage: £12,480 a year Annually

Apprentice Dog Care Assistant

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually

Courses In England

Dog Behaviour and Training

  • Start date: 06 May 2025
  • Location: WITNEY

Level 2 Animal Care

  • Provider: THE SMB GROUP
  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Melton Mowbray

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.