How To Become A Dog Trainer In Ontario (2024)

Dog training is an interesting and sociable field that sees practitioners care about the wellbeing of both people and animals. In Ontario today, a large percentage of people own dogs, and many find it hard due to time constraints to properly train their pets.

Though you can start your career in this field without any course, as it is currently unregulated in Ontario, it is largely advised that you take the Dog Obedience Trainer/Instructor Career Diploma course at ICS Canada, to learn the necessary dog training skills to begin your career as a handler.

The program takes about 7 months to be completed by most students, and you will also need to practice with your dog during this period, to sharpen your skills and develop a high level of proficiency.

After completing the course, you either start a training business of your own or work for a training facility. Most dog obedience trainers also prepare dogs for law enforcement or security, so you can see the opportunities in this field are limitless.

How to become a dog trainer in Ontario?

Your goal should be to become a certified dog trainer, and not just work based on experience. Though a lot of people can develop the skill from personal experiences, if you are looking to go into a professional career then you will need to take the course and get a certification.

Though you can complete the diploma course in just 7 months, getting the professional certification would require a lot of commitment and can take you three years.

To earn the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer in Ontario, you need to complete a minimum of 300 hours of experience training dogs in the last three years, while also passing the certification examination.

By the end of the course, you will agree that the wait was worth it, as you will be fully equipped with industry knowledge, and a reputation for success.

Most dog trainers are also people person’s as their job is not only limited to training the animals but also teaching pet owners how to train their dogs.

Teaching a dog to obey commands would be your main job, as you train the animal to obey and understand human words, sounds, and signals.

1. Practice with your dog

This should be your first step before becoming a certified dog trainer in Ontario, as this gives you an avenue to dig into some technical aspects of dog obedience.

You might not want to be comfortable with basic commands like “sit” or “down”, as you can make use of various online resources to sharpen your skill.

The difficulties and challenges you face while training your dog will surely prepare you for your professional career and give you much-needed confidence.

2. Try out other dogs

Now that you have perfected the art of training your dog, and you fully understand their behavioral patterns, it is time for you to move out of your comfort zone and try out other dogs.

Being your dog, the both of you have learned to accommodate each other, and your mistakes might have been forgiven.

There are so many breeds of dogs out there, and most that you will be facing during your career might be the difficult ones.

This is why you need to try out training multiple dogs before fully kick-starting your career.

You can find options from people around you, a local shelter, or working as an apprentice under an expert.

3. Gain Professional knowledge

Modern dog training is based on the science of animal behavior and learning, which is why educating yourself on the core principles of this field is necessary.

In the previous phases, you have relented more on personal experiences, but to fully become the problem solver your clients want, you will need to learn the fundamentals and principles behind every technic.

Taking online courses, and also watching tutorials on YouTube can help you grow daily in this field.

You will also need to take professional courses to gain certification and membership in Ontario. During the courses, you will learn topics like canine biology and behavior, communication with dog owners, and proper equipment and voice commands for different breeds.

Contacting the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers is a great way to get additional information about the profession and eventual certification.

What are the requirements to be a dog trainer in Ontario?

The dog obedience industry in Ontario is unregulated and you would not be needing any formal qualification to become an instructor.

You can look to pursue a career in animal care or animal science to horn your skills and learn more about the behavioral patterns of dogs.

An apprenticeship is usually enough to kick start your career in most cases, as you can go on looking for local training schools, shelters, or small training businesses that are hiring trainers.

There are various certifications in this industry that can help boost your reputation and build credibility among potential clients.

For instance, the title of Certified Professional Dog Trainer from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainer will ensure potential clients have faith in your skills and choose you over other dog trainers.


How much do dog trainers make in Ontario?

The global pandemic led to mass adoptions of pets and in turn led to a shortage of dog trainers in the country. Most instructors today are busy so much, they are having difficulty handling their clients.

You should expect to make more than the national average of $13 in Ontario, as dog trainers reportedly earn as high as $94 per hour in this city. Some high-end dog obedience trainers make up to $53,000 per annum and up to $150 per hour.

If you have the experience and looking to take a more advanced role, you can expect to earn as high as $58,000 training a law enforcement dog.

The career opportunities for dog obedience trainers in Ontario are limitless, as many pet stores also need their services to teach classes at their stores.

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