Dog Trainer


Dog trainers teach dogs to obey commands and perform specific tasks.

Duties & Tasks

Dog trainers may perform the following tasks:

  • train dogs to obey commands such as sitting and lying down, staying in one place and coming when called
  • teach dogs to wear a leash and collar
  • discourage bad habits such as chasing cars, being aggressive with children, excessive barking and digging holes
  • conduct instruction classes for owners and their dogs
  • teach owners to manage and train dogs in the behaviour they require
  • teach the owner how to handle their dog so that it will obey commands and not return to bad habits
  • give advice to owners on how to train, manage and take the best care of their dog, and how to solve problematic behaviour.


Detection/Defence Dog Trainer

A detection/defence dog trainer trains dogs to perform functions useful in police work, customs work and defence force work, such as attacking aggressors, tracking missing people or finding drugs and food items that are illegal or not allowed across borders.

Working Conditions

Dogs are usually in training for six to eight weeks. In intensive training programmes, dogs can be kept in the full-time care of the trainer. To train dogs so intensively, the dog trainer must work with them every day. As dogs can only be taught for about 10 or 15 minutes at a time, trainers usually work with them once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Trainers need to be knowledgeable in dog behaviour, learning theory, practical training of dogs and instructing owners.

Personal Requirements

  • interested in dogs
  • calm, confident demeanour with dogs
  • patience with dogs and owners
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • able to persevere
  • observant
  • alert to changes in dogs' behaviour.
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