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How To Start A Dog Trainer Business

A low-risk start-up idea which can be run from home, it has very obvious appeal to animal lovers How To Start A Dog Trainer Business

If you love dogs and enjoy getting them to mind their manners, a dog trainer business could be for you. Dogs have recently overtaken cats as the most popular pet in the UK, with around nine million people in the UK now owning one, spending up to £10.6 billion per year on their beloved furry friends. Better still, a recent survey found that over a quarter of dog owners said they spent more on their pets than they did five years ago, including on puppy socialising classes and dog training sessions.

A low-risk start-up idea which can be run from home it has very obvious appeal to animal lovers – but be certain too that your people skills are also up to scratch. To be successful, you need to get on not just with dogs, but also with their owners. In fact, teaching them how to treat their dogs will be one of the most important ways to influence a dog’s behaviour.


Basic dog training, including teaching a puppy how to obey basic commands, is the work of a dog trainer, while working with dogs to change inappropriate or aggressive behaviour is the role of a dog behaviourist. There are no legal requirements to have any formal qualifications to work in either of these fields, but going on a relevant course will still teach you important skills and will be useful to help you drum up business. Make sure any course you do is accredited by a recognised body such as the Kennel Club. Ideally, you’ll already have lots of experience looking after dogs, perhaps as a dog sitter or dog walker. Even so, it might be a good idea to volunteer at a dog rescue centre or alongside an established dog trainer. This will give you lots of experience of different kinds of dogs and their problems, as well as how best to help.

Rates of pay

A dog training business is ideal to run along side a dog walking or pet sitting business. Expect too to work weekends and evenings. You can also run clubs where you train dogs (and their owners!) where you charge a lower rate but increase your hourly turnover. Google around dog trainers or behaviourists in your local area to get an idea of the rates you can set, which will usually be by the hour or half-hour for a certain number of weeks.

Market research

Next step is to ensure there is demand in your area – densely populated areas are likely to offer up more business. It goes without saying that wealthier pet owners should be your target market. Customers may include private individuals or dog kennels. You’ll also need to be able to access you customers easily – most likely you will go to them, rather than them come to you.


Marketing is crucial to the success of your business. Word of mouth will eventually be the main way you attract clients, but to start, you need to get yourself out there. Come up with a catchy name and an attractive logo and use this across all your branding. A website is a must, but leaflet drops can also work well. Be sure to network dog and animal professionals such as vets and rescue centres too. Read more like this

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