Thinking of starting a dog training business? Wondering do you need a license to train dogs? In this article we’ll cover what license you need and how to get it so you can launch your dog training business fast.
So Do You Need a License?
According to the Animal Humane Society, currently no Federal or State laws require dog training licensing. There are private and non-profit training options that can get you certified.
How Do I get Certified to Train Dogs?
Getting certified may help with your skills and credibility. There are many places to get certified such as the Association of Pet Dog Trainers or the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).
Note that the CCPDT requires continuing education training to maintain your certification. This is the same as needing continuing education to maintain your medical, law, or engineering license in your state.
How Much Does it Cost to Be a Certified Dog Trainer?
The cost to take the certification exam from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers is $385. The cost to take the practice exam is $99. CCPDT exams are proctored by a professional testing center.
Apprenticeship programs also exist. These range from $3000 to $7,000 for the program. Apprenticeship programs involve in person work with you and a dog.
There are also free apprenticeship programs where you are hired and paid by a non-profit. Examples include Guide Dogs for the Blind or Guide Dogs of America.
You can also get a job for a local dog training business and learn there. It’s unlikely they will train you to train dogs only to have you leave quickly though. Expect to do a lot of grunt work for 1-2 years before you get into direct training.
Still, that route could get you making money today and give you great credentials. I’d rather have my dog trained by someone who worked for a local dog training company rather than someone who just signed up for an online exam.
The Best Credentials
In the end though having a dog training business is about making the dog owner happy and giving them what they want. If I was just starting out with dog training I would ask your current and potential clients what they prefer.
Do they want credentials? In the end credentials are proof that you can do what you say.
Even with credentials is that true? Maybe yes and maybe no.
Even better credentials will always be past happy clients.
The cheaper, faster way to getting the proof you need to show potential clients is having a growing backlist of successfully trained dogs.
How do you start that fast? Train your friends and familys dogs for free. Get them to make a video testimonial for you. Post those to youtube or your website. Then share those with your prospective future clients.
Even just putting those videos on youtube and having your clients mention your name and website will bring you tons of new leads. People love sharing dog videos on Youtube.
Make sure to ask your clients to include their dog in the testimonial video they make for you!