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Dog Training Tip of the Month

Animal Career Information
  • Looking for an Animal Career? - February 2009

    Animal Careers

    Working With Animals Can Be Very Rewarding

    Have you ever wanted to train dogs, spending your work days romping around with cuddly canines instead of sitting behind a desk, staring at a computer screen? If you, like countless other animal lovers across the world, desire to re-assess your current career choice and embark into an exciting and fulfilling career such as dog training, kennel management, veterinary assisting, etc., you should put serious thought and consideration into your search for your new career. Here, we will discuss some career options.

    In Louise Miller’s informative book, Careers for Animal Lovers and Other Zoological Types, she poses the following questions regarding choosing an animal career. According to Miller, if you can answer “yes” to all or most of these questions, then you have the necessary qualities to succeed.

    • Do I genuinely care about the welfare of animals?

    • Am I willing to work long hours doing stressful work?

    • Will I be happy living on a modest income?

    • Can I show empathy with people in times of grief?

    • Do I have physical and mental strength and energy?

    • Can I exercise good judgment and solve problems under difficult circumstances?

    • Am I reliable and compassionate?

    Now we will explore just a few of the many options available to animal lovers.

    Animal Trainer – A certified trainer has a myriad of career options open to him or her. These professionals have the unique option of being an entrepreneur and servicing private clients. A dog trainer can be employed with major pet stores or county programs; he or she can collaborate with shelters and/or rescues to provide training programs at their facilities. An individual who desires this type of training career does not necessarily need to attend a vocational program or pursue certification; however, it is highly recommended. ABC offers a Dog Obedience Instructor Certification program, certifying dog trainers across the United States and in Canada.

    Pet Care Specialist – The pet care specialist can perform many different duties. Pet care specialists can seek employment at specialty and major pet supply stores, grooming salons, dog walking businesses, doggie daycares, pet hotels, and more. A pet care specialist may also choose to continue his or her education to become a dog trainer.

    Kennel Attendant – A kennel attendant may be employed with a veterinary hospital, boarding kennel, pet hotel, or any place where animals are boarded. The duties of the kennel attendant usually involve maintaining cleanliness within the facility. He/she may also be tasked to groom, feed, and care for patients, and he/she may even get the opportunity to train dogs. It is the kennel attendant’s responsibility to optimize each animal’s comfort and care.

    Doggie Daycare or Pet Hotel Operator/Attendant – Doggie daycares and pet hotels are meant to serve pet owners with busy lives who do not want to leave their dogs/pets alone at home. In a career as a doggie daycare owner or operator, you would take care of owners’ dogs while they were at work or away from home (depending on whether you or your facility offers overnight boarding). A doggie daycare attendant walks, exercises, feeds, medicates, and plays with pets, and may even provide dog training (if he or she is certified).

    Animal Shelter or Animal Rescue Worker – There are thousands of animal shelters and rescues in existence that serve the purpose of temporarily housing homeless animals until they can be placed with new owners. Rescues also accommodate homeless dogs, and are usually non-profit organizations. Both shelters and rescues are always seeking assistance from both paid staff and volunteers. An individual who has knowledge and experience in animal training is an asset to a shelter or rescue. This career can be both emotionally difficult and immensely rewarding.

    Veterinary Assistant – The primary job of the veterinary assistant is to assist the veterinarian and veterinary technician(s) in completing vital tasks. While this position does not necessarily require certification, completing a vocational veterinary assistant program can provide immensely helpful training and preparation for this dynamic animal career. The veterinary assistant is an essential part of the veterinary team. If you are interested in becoming a Certified Veterinary Assistant, learn more about ABC’s Certified Veterinary Assistant program at

    These are only a few of the numerous career options available to you as an animal lover. With dedication, persistence, and creativity, you could very possibly have a career that you truly love. Whether you want to train dogs or just play with them, there is a job out there perfectly suited for you. Simply be proactive and do your research, and consider completing a certification program such as ABC’s Certified Dog Obedience Instructor Training and Certified Veterinary Assistant programs. Remember that certification gets you noticed. Good luck!
  • What Can I do with my Certification? - August 2010

    Animal Career Certifications

    If you are an animal lover, having a career that allows you to work with animals is probably a dream come true. However, many are unable to determine what type of job they would be able pursue after completing an animal-related program, and find themselves asking the same question, “What can I do with my certification?”

    Why Get Certified?

    First and foremost, why become certified? Any certification acknowledges that you are a serious professional in your chosen field who has obtained a certain level of expertise through your personal study and education. ABC assists you with entering into your field of study by providing you with a comprehensive education. We also provide a foundation for any type of career path that you might want to pursue. An understanding of the basics will be required no matter what you plan to do with your education. Although some industries do not require that you are certified, it is highly recommended that you become certified in order to optimize your potential success.

    Entering any industry for the first time is always a little bit daunting. Yet, one of the benefits of choosing an animal career – aside from being able to spend time doing what you love – is how versatile the industry is. There are a variety of career options available to those who become certified as Dog Trainers, Vet Assistants, and Groomers.

    As an ABC Certified Dog Trainer, there are a plethora of specialty training careers that you can choose, and many of them may not cost you any additional money. Dog Trainers are often self-employed business owners, while others work for large-scale companies, or for other dog trainers.

    Some of the most popular fields of training are:

    • Agility Training
    • Police Dog Training
    • Therapy Dog Training
    • Search and Rescue Dog Training
    • Shelter Dog Training
    • Animal Behavior Specialist
    • AKC Handling
    • Doggie Daycare
    • Hunting Dog Training
    • Rally Training
    • Trick Training
    • CGC Training
    • Movie Dog Training
    • Private In-Home Training
    • Herding Dogs

    As an ABC Certified Veterinary Assistant, your opportunities in the veterinary field are endless. Careers in veterinary medicine are lucrative, and extremely rewarding to those who enjoy caring for animals. Vet Assistants are often employed by veterinary hospitals, mobile vet units, and animal clinics.

    Some interesting career options that you can choose to pursue are:

    • Surgical Technician
    • Circus Animal Caretaker
    • Wildlife Rehabilitation
    • Zoo Keeping
    • Animal Clinic Assistant
    • Kennel Assistant

    As an ABC Certified Dog Groomer, you can apply your vast knowledge of grooming with a touch of your own personal creativity to your work. Groomers can become business owners, work for other groomers, or even be employed at vet hospitals or boarding kennels to provide grooming services to the clients.

    A few specialty fields that a groomer can choose from are:

    • Pet Store Grooming
    • Doggie Daycare Grooming
    • Entertainment Industry Grooming
    • Show Dog Grooming
    • Competition Grooming
    • Kennel Assistant

    No matter what type of animal career that you choose to pursue, there are many different specialty fields to explore and look into. Most importantly, as an animal lover, you will always be satisfied with your career choice.
  • How to Properly Plan For Your New Animal Business - September 2011

    Starting An Animal Business - Planning

    You’ve completed your course of study to become a dog trainer. You’ve learned many tricks of the dog training trade and even had hands on experience. You love your new chosen profession and can’t wait to share your new education with the world. You want to open your own business and start training dogs professionally in order to enrich the lives of pets and their owners. Now the only question is: “How?”

    Basics To Succeeding In Business

    Anyone can set out to start their own business, but it takes more than just an idea to make a successful enterprise. It takes hard work, determination, and most of all, a real life plan on how to break away from the pack! One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is trying to operate their new company without a long term action plan. You cannot simply fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best.

    Here are some tips to help get your new animal business off to a solid start:

    Clearly Define Your Company

    • What products or services do you offer?

    • What kind of competition is in your area?

    • What can you offer your customers that the competition can’t? For example: In addition to dog training skills, you also offer cat training.

    Define Your Customer Base

    • Who would be interested in your product or service?

    • Who should you advertise to and how will you successfully (but economically) achieve this?

    • What qualities would your target demographic most value? Varied selection? Lower pricing? Convenience? What’s going to make your company more appealing to them?

    Action Plan and Business Plan

    • Do you have a business plan for your company for the following year?

    • In this business plan, have you clearly laid out a budget for your company?

    • Have you set goals and reasonable deadlines by which to accomplish certain plateaus for your company in a formal Action plan?

    • Does your business and/or action plan include a marketing strategy that includes methods of advertising your company? (Remember, you have to spend money to make money!)

    Logo & Branding

    • Have you come up with a logo to represent your company? While a logo does not “make” a business, it certainly helps to reflect the image of the business and helps customers to remember your company easier. A picture is worth a thousand words! Simple and easy to remember is usually the way to go!

    • Have you come up with company branded tactile items? (E.g. Pens, magnets, key chains, stickers, brochures, etc.) Any little thing that a customer can hold in their hands or take from your business will help them to remember your company when they are at home. Having branded materials out there will also encourage friends and acquaintances of your customers to possibly learn about your company.


    • Do you have a website that is prominent on the internet and represents your company well? Most consumers now turn to the internet to research something before they go and spend their money anywhere!

    • Do you have social media interaction? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social networking sites are now very viable ways to reach a community of potential customers! Have you listed ABC (and its thousands of participants) as a friend?

    There is no magic formula to having a successful business. Part of it is, truthfully, offering the right product or service at the right time. However, if you are persistent and have a good business plan when you start out, you are already ahead of the game!

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