What Qualities Do I Need To Become A Dog Trainer?

Dog trainers can focus on instilling a wide array of different trainings for dogs such as basic command training, agility training, hunting training, and more. No matter the dog training niche you choose, demand for dog trainers is not looking like it will diminish any time soon. This is great news for those interested in becoming dog trainers, but prospective dog trainers may wonder what sort of qualities they may need in order to get into dog training. Let’s examine the characteristics that make a good dog trainer. 


First and foremost, a dog trainer should obviously be passionate about working with dogs. For those who love dogs, being a dog trainer is an immensely rewarding occupation where you get to work with animals that you love while you watch them develop in front of your eyes. Those who are not passionate about dogs will quickly tire of this work. 


Those who want to be dog trainers have to have a calm, relaxed demeanor during their work. Dogs will not respond well to trainers who are anxious or stressed out during training sessions, while trainers who are calm during training efforts are more likely to make progress with training a dog. There will be instances in which you may want to scold a dog who is acting up, but dog trainers must resist the temptation to do so. Reprimanding a dog may backfire and discourage a dog from wanting to learn. Therefore, patience is an imperative quality for a dog trainer to have. 

Knowledge of Dog Behavior

Of course, anyone who hopes to be a dog trainer should have a thorough knowledge of dog behavior. More specifically, they should have knowledge of the typical behavior of specific dog breeds. 

Knowing the tendencies of particular breeds of dogs can help a dog trainer to adapt their training to tailor their training for each dog with which they work. 

Good People Skills

Interacting with people is often an overlooked component of being a dog trainer, but it is nonetheless important. Yes, most of the work that dog trainers do revolves around our canine companions, but this job certainly involves working with people as well. Dog trainers will have to communicate with hundreds—perhaps thousands—dog owners during their career, so they will have to be capable of conveying information about their services to people. Moreover, dog trainers will likely have to deal with some tough customers over the years, so they will have to be able to maintain a calm presence during conversations.


Perhaps the most important quality for a prospective dog trainer is patience. Regardless of your other qualities, someone who is not patient will be frustrated as a professional dog trainer. Dogs are obedient creatures, and many thrive on the feeling of pleasing people. However, just like people, dogs have their off days. There are some days where dogs will be perfect and listen to your every command, but there are other days where they seemingly ignore you entirely. To deal with the highs and lows of training an individual dog, dog trainers will have to have plenty of patience. 

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