Sunday, 19th May 2019


Animal training is a broad and specialist field and every type of job within training requires its own methods, qualifications and skills. There are many different types of animals that can be trained, and many different reasons for their training. Animal trainers can choose to specialise in a particular area of animal training - obedience training, show training or training animals for work.

Most animal training focuses on the training of pets, especially dogs. Other animal training usually involves show animals, such as horses, bird or zoo animals such as lions, dolphins, monkeys and sealions.

Obedience training is the most common type of work for dog trainers, hired by pet owners to domesticate their dogs from a young age. Other common areas of dog training involve the training of working dogs for the police, search and rescue service, prison service, agriculture or guide dogs for people with disabilities.

Domestic animal trainers will use a variety of techniques, teaching owners and animals, which include:

  • Sociability classes and training the animals from a young age on how to interact with others
  • Coaching owners on how to handle and groom animals
  • Teaching obedience and control techniques
  • House-training
  • Competitive obedience training for show animals
  • Assessing progress and giving care and handling advice to clients

Working dog or assistance dog trainers are more advanced and have more individual techniques as the focus is on forming strong partnerships with either the police handler or the owner with a disability. In these cases, these animal trainers have far more focused skills, teaching at a more advanced level, so that the animals gain the relevant skills required for their future purpose.

Animal trainers working with wild or exotic animals, in zoos or wildlife parks also have very unique tasks and responsibilities, but still use the basic premise of general animal obedience training. Animal trainers can work for a number of different companies, including private companies and consultancies, zoos, charities or the police force. They could also work self-employed.