Posted in Career Insights
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Dog Trainer

If you’re interested in becoming a dog trainer, it’s likely that you’ve been researching how much it costs to receive training and certification.

With the number of options available, the cost to become a dog trainer varies widely.

This is because there are many courses and certifications out there, along with a variety of dog training equipment.

So how much does it cost to become a dog trainer with all these things in mind?

Let’s go into more detail about these costs and their typical ranges.

Factors That Affect the Cost of Becoming a Dog Trainer

The total cost of becoming a dog trainer depends on several key factors, including the type of education and certification you pursue, the equipment and materials required for training, and ongoing business expenses once you’re established. 

1. Education

To become a dog trainer, you’ll need foundational knowledge about canine behavior, training techniques, and client communication. Educational programs can range from intensive, hands-on training with experienced professionals to comprehensive online courses that provide flexibility and structured study. 

For example, our online Canine Specialist course covers several aspects of dog training, including:

  • Boundaries,
  • Sitting,
  • Feeding,
  • Verbal cues,
  • Hand cues,
  • Directional cues,
  • Tricks, and
  • Tethering.

So how much is dog training school if it includes a comprehensive curriculum? Ultimately, it depends on how much of the course is hands-on. However, the typical range is somewhere from $500-$3,000. Classes that are cheaper than this tend to cover only a smaller amount of information. Study guides and hands-on workshops add to the overall expense but are crucial for building credibility and expertise in the field.

2. Certification

If you want to become a top dog trainer, it’s usually a good idea to seek certification after taking a course and getting some entry-level experience. There are several organizations that offer certification tests, but their requirements aren’t all the same.

For example, the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) offers certification tests for $400. However, to take the test, you need to have 300 hours of experience and a signed statement from a veterinarian or a CCPDT certificant. 

Keep in mind that this is just one example from one organization. There are a number of certifications out there, but most entry-level dog trainers don’t have them. Generally, most trainers will pursue a certification after they already have a year or more of experience under their belt.

3. Equipment

Since many dog trainers are self-employed, many of their costs come from their training equipment. 

While you don’t need a lot of equipment to get started, there are a few essential things you’ll need, including:

  • Leashes,
  • Long lines,
  • Clickers,
  • Collars,
  • Treats, and
  • Training mats.

These are some very basic things that almost all dog trainers use from the beginning. While there are more products out there, these are generally enough to do a basic level of training and usually cost $200-$400 total.

Equipment to avoid

Something important to keep in mind is that most dog trainers follow a positive reinforcement model. This form of training is more ethical than training that focuses on punishment and is more widely accepted in the industry. As such, it’s best to avoid equipment such as prong collars or e-collars. 

4. Business Expenses

Let’s say you’re interested in starting your own dog training business. If so, how much does it cost to become a dog trainer when you have additional expenses? While the cost of starting a business also varies, there are a couple of things that you may need to get started. 

As a professional dog trainer, liability insurance is crucial to protect against potential claims. Costs depend on the coverage amount, your region, and your client base, starting at around $200 annually.

Marketing and operational expenses like website creation, business cards, and advertising are also necessary for building a client base. You can start with a basic website and social media accounts or invest more significantly in professional design and local ads. What you choose will determine your cost. 

Start Your Journey Toward Becoming a Dog Trainer with Stratford Career Institute

Are you eager to work with dogs and wondering how much it costs to become a dog trainer? Stratford Career Institute’s Canine Specialist course is an affordable way to develop the knowledge and skills you need.

This comprehensive program covers canine behavior, training techniques, and practical strategies to help you make a positive impact on dogs’ lives. You can learn at your own pace and from the comfort of your home, making it easier than ever to fit your studies into a busy schedule. Enroll online today or contact us to request more information.


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