Every time you see a cute dog or a terrifying tiger on TV, know that you are reaping the results of an Animal Trainer’s hard work. Animal Trainers help enable communication between our furry, or not-so-furry, friends and us by training animals to respond to commands and educating people on the proper way to engage with animals.
Similar Job Titles
- Animal Tamer
- Animal Handler
- Pet Therapist
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Animal trainers do?
An Animal Trainer would typically need to:
- Conduct training programmes to affect, modify, or reinforce an animal’s behaviour; teach them to respond to commands for competitive, obedience, security, and entertainment purposes.
- Train animals for show business or animal competitions to obey directions, grasp essential communication, perform tricks, find things or people, and entertain an audience.
- Train and rehearse animals for television shows, films, music videos and contests.
- Educate pet owners and carers on their pets’ requirements; train them to command, interact with, and care for them. Animals can be trained to break harmful habits.
- Assess animal temperaments, talents, and aptitude to determine what type of training an animal requires; evaluate the progress and change in an animal’s behaviour while training continues
- Provide adequate exercise, keep the animals clean and healthy, and feed them, and maintain the holding and performing locations under their supervision.
- Maintain records for the animals in their care; observe the animals in their care to see whether they have any physical or mental disorders that make them unsafe or inappropriate for a family or the entertainment industry.
- To train animals, employ a number of instruments, such as reins, spurs, and muzzles, as well as a variety of approaches; use cues or signals during a performance or competition to control an animal.
Standard Work Environment
The work environment varies depending on the type of animal and the employer. Animal Trainer typically works outside, but they may sometimes operate indoors; they may need to confine themselves to specified places, such as arenas, barns, kennels, racetracks, corrals, or a customer’s home.
Animal Trainers may be exposed to hot or cold weather, as well as loud and distracting noises from the animal, such as barking, braying, or roaring, depending on the animal and the surroundings.
You may work alone or in a group of individuals, including other Animal Trainers, and you must travel with the animals in a truck or van. When working with particular clients, you may be required to travel frequently between film sets or locations.
There is no established routine for animal trainers. It varies according to the animal, the employer, and the situation in which they labour. For example, an Animal Trainer in the entertainment industry would have to follow the schedule established by the directors, producers, and actors. The Animal Trainer’s timetable will most likely begin before the shooting begins and end after the shooting concludes.
A dog trainer, for example, may have to travel between clients’ homes with their pets. An Animal Trainer may also be required to travel with animals in a van or truck.
Finding a new job may appear difficult. Asking your network for referrals, contacting firms directly, using job search sites, attending job fairs, leveraging social media, and inquiring at staffing agencies can all help your job hunt.
Employers typically include:
- Animal Shelters
- Entertainment Industry
- Animal Rescue Agencies
- Animal Training Schools
- Pet Daycare Centers
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional groups and organisations vary depending on the species in which an Animal Trainer focuses. Membership in organisations like as the International Association of Canine Professionals or the International Marine Animal Trainers Association, on the other hand, is essential for pursuing professional growth. Membership allows you to remain up to speed on new job possibilities and network with like-minded people.
- High potential for injury when working with frightened or aggressive animals which might kick, bite, scratch, or cause other injuries
- Dealing with pet owners who have unrealistic expectations; working with intrusive or overly-involved pet owners
- Engaging in repetitive activities and commands with animals requires patience and self-discipline
- Working with unrealistic expectations in the entertainment industry, where animals are expected to act like people
Suggested Work Experience
Most businesses anticipate that Animal Trainers will have prior experience working with animals. Volunteering or interning in a rescue shelter, veterinary practice, local zoo, or working with an experienced Animal Trainer are all excellent ways to gain professional experience.
Animal Trainers typically do not need any academic schooling beyond a high school diploma. Employers are more inclined to hire individuals with credentials and diplomas, particularly if the programmes teach you unique abilities such as how to train exotic pets or a specific species such as dogs.
However, precise credentials vary according to the species with which trainers deal. An Animal Trainer, for example, must have a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, animal science, biology, or a similar discipline when training marine animals.
Certifications, Licenses and Registration
For crucial criteria, check with your local licencing and regulating organisations. Certification criteria for Animal Trainers may differ depending on the species. Those working with marine animals, for example, may require SCUBA certification or a lifeguard certification. CPR certification is required by the majority of zoos and aquariums.
In general, all Animal Trainers will need a driver’s licence, especially if their employment entails frequent road travel. Those who want to teach horses and dogs will almost certainly need a particular licence to demonstrate their professional expertise and stand out in a crowded field.
Projected Career Map
An Animal Trainer can progress from working with individual customers or under an experienced trainer to having their own business with more training, certification, experience, and networking.
Some Animal Trainers progress to working with animals in competitions, such as horse jumping or dog racing shows. Animal Trainers can also become well-known and renowned in the entertainment industry.
Beneficial Professional Development
Animal Trainers entering the labour market typically acquire on-the-job training from shadowing established trainers.
National and international animal training groups and organisations provide continuing professional development (CPD) courses on certain species or exotic pets, as well as certification and certificate programmes to assist trainers to stand out from the crowd.
To demonstrate your passion, you should strive to become proficient in numerous areas relevant to animal training, such as animal conduct, animal food and nutritional care, and animal behaviour.
Animal trainers are vital in allowing pet owners and humans to interact securely with their cherished animals. If you love animals and want to help create a society where pets and their owners, as well as people and animals, have a better understanding, becoming an Animal Trainer could be a satisfying job for you.
Advice from the Wise
Make an effort to communicate with each client on an individual basis, and adjust your teaching pace to the rate at which a pet owner and their pet are comfortable learning.
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