Canine Trainer

Canine trainers work with dogs to train them for obedience, security, performance, search and rescue or assisting persons with disabilities. Trainers help teach people how to live with their pets so that they are not surrendered to shelters or euthanized. They teach pet owners how to have a happy, productive life with their pet.

Many canine trainers are self-employed, or work for a small business, often owned by a head trainer. Other pet-related businesses may also hire dog trainers, such as vets, shelters, groomers and pet stores. Canine trainers may be utilized by local government, law enforcement, and other organizations that employ service dogs. Trainers may also volunteer at shelters to make pets more adoptable.


Special Requirements

You must be at least age 18 and have a high school diploma or GED® to attend the training.


Information Unique to the Training

Research and writing assignments are due outside of class time.


Courses to Complete

  • Prerequisites
  • Courses - View the Schedule
    VOC-500 About Dogs
    VOC-501 Communicating with the Dog’s Owner and Beyond
    VOC-502 Training Methodologies
    VOC-519 Creating Your Personal Business Plan
    VOC-520 Teaching the Basics Obedience Program
    VOC-521 Furs and Feathers
    VOC-522 Canine Sports vs. the Working Dog
    VOC-523 Services for the Client
    VOC-524 Basic Counseling Techniques
    VOC-525 Pet First Aid and Natural Solutions
    VOC-526 Obedience Practicum 1*
    VOC-527 Obedience Practicum 2*
    VOC-528 Puppy Kindergarten
    VOC-529 Training and Behavior Issues Part I
    VOC-530 Training and Behavior Issues Part II
    VOC-531 Comparative Psychology
    VOC-532 Student Evaluation

Courses can also be taken individually to enhance specific competencies, except those noted, which have prerequisites. See course schedule for complete details. All courses may not be offered in each schedule.

*The following courses must be completed prior to Obedience Practicum 1 and Obedience Practicum 2:

  • VOC-500
  • VOC-502
  • VOC-520

VOC-526 Obedience Practicum 1 must be take before VOC-527 Obedience Practicum 2


Approximate Number of Hours

113 hours


Approximate Training Cost*



Licensure/Certification Earned



Related Continuing Education Courses

Veterinary Assistant Training
Pet Massage


Estimated Hourly Wage**

$9 - $19


*Unless noted, cost does not include any required textbooks and related materials, applicable licensing fees, background check fees, testing fees or prerequisite courses.
**Wages are based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are estimates only. 

For information about advancing your career in Business Administration with an A.A. degree call the Admissions office at 410-386-8430.


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