Best Way to Start a Dog Training Business

small business

Start a dog training business

Dog training business is a specialized field perfect for people who love dogs. It requires a certain set of skill, certification and training. The business requires lots of patience, repetitive commands, interacting with canines. Some are easier to train than others based on intelligence, sentiment, breed or behavior.

Dog Training Industry

Dog training industry requires knowledge of dog behavior. It involves training experience, high level of fitness, patience and endurance. The million dollar industry is open for new investors and moderately challenging.

Things needed to start a dog training business

The first step is to formulate a business plan, determine startup cost and expenses. Others are develop a strategy focused on target market, purchase training tools, use appropriate pricing. More include business name registration, incorporation, insurance and tax identification number.

Things to Consider

ServicesPrivate trainingDoggie daycareGroup classesboarding
LegalBusiness nameincorporationtaxinsurance
Business endmarketingaccountingequipmentLabor
Dog trainingObedienceAgilityBite historyBehavioral modification
Start a Dog Training Business

How to start a dog training business

Dog training

There are different types of dog training for behavioral modification. A trainer needs to focus on a niche and specialize. Types of dog training to offer clients are agility training, puppy training, and obedience training. Others are bite history, aggression, separation anxiety, troubleshooting. Puppy training involves teaching the dog’s obedience, socialization.

Obedience training teach dogs new skills and responsiveness to owners commands. There is also advanced training for career dogs, around town training, off-leash obedience, brewery training.

Some owners require dog sport training for competitive performance such as herding, protection sports, and obedience. Dogs with fear issues are helped to overcome abuse, fear, phobia or neglect.

Aggressive dog training is a challenging field with moderate success rate. This is because some aggressive dogs tend to have bite history.

Types of Dog Training

  1. Behavioral modification
  2. Agility training
  3. Puppy training
  4. Obedience training
  5. Bite history
  6. Aggression
  7. Separation anxiety
  8. Troubleshooting
  9. Socialization
  10. Command
  11. Advanced training
  12. Career dogs
  13. Around town training
  14. off-leash obedience
  15. brewery training
  16. competitive performance
  17. Dogs with fear, abuse, fear, phobia or neglect issues.

Learn the trade

Dog training business requires basic business knowledge and training skill.  A typical day involves working with dogs. Interacting with owners, dog training and marketing. General activities include walking the animals, learning basic skills like seating on command, retrieving objects, nonviolence training.

Skills to run a successful training program are familiarity with dog breeds and certain commands. To obtain credentials or certification from training programs use online training or local centers.

Ways to become a dog trainer

There are many ways to get certified as a dog trainer. Ways include becoming an assistant trainer at a school or animal shelter, enroll in training school or find a trainer mentor. Other ways to gain knowledge are through books, practical experience, and online courses.

  • Becoming an assistant trainer
  • Enroll in training school
  • Find a trainer mentor
  • Gain knowledge through books
  • Practical experience
  • Online courses

Dog training School

One way is to enroll in a dog training program or school. Dog training schools are rather expensive with 6 months – 2 years training programs. Cost implications run from $1500 to $7000 dollars.

Some dog training schools are Academy of dog trainers, CATCH Canine Trainers Academy, Karen Pryor Academy. Others are Peacable Paws, Companion Animal Science Institution and Victoria Stilwell Academy of Dog Training.


Form a business name and register the dog training business. Incorporate as a sole proprietorship or limited liability company. A sole proprietorship is perfect for one man businesses however liability is borne by the proprietor. Next apply for an EIN to register for tax and open a business account.

It is better to separate the business money from personal funds or assets. It is important to setup business accounting to track expenses/income and ideal for tax purposes. Before operating a dog training facility obtain training license, certification and permit. Most licenses are state specific for local businesses.

Licensing and Certification

  1. Form a business name
  2. Register the dog training business
  3. Incorporate as a sole proprietorship or LLC
  4. Apply for an EIN to register for tax
  5. Open a business account
  6. Obtain training license
  7. Get certification and permit
  8. State operational licenses

Dog training Business name

What is in a business name you may ask “everything”? A memorable business name will attract patronage therefore it is important to find a unique identity. Print business card, flyers, poster, billboards or sign board to attract patronage. Uses local newspaper publications or radio programs.

Dog training equipment

Equipment needed depends on type of training service offered. Common equipment are Dog bite tube, artisan collars, solid rubber ball, roller feeder dog ball, nuzzles. More are bite protection sleeve, fot pro wear, harnesses, collars, dog bite training suit for k-9 training for all dogs. Don’t forget to stock up on dog treats.

How to start dog treats business

List of dog training equipment

  • Dog bite tube
  • clicker
  • Artisan collars
  • Solid rubber ball
  • Roller feeder dog ball
  • Nuzzles
  • Bite protection sleeve
  • Fot pro wear
  • Harnesses
  • Collars
  • Dog bite training

Dog training certification

The industry is generally unregulated and open to all comers in most countries. However having professional certification will deferential the business. Different certifications or membership to consider are Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers CCPDT, Associate for Professional Dog Trainers. Others are Pet Professional Guild or International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

More training certification to consider are Canine Good Citizen Evaluation, Fear Free Certification Trainers. We have the Certified Nose Work Instructor, Certified Canine Fitness Trainer, Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer program.


  • Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers CCPDT
  • Associate for Professional Dog Trainers
  • Pet Professional Guild or International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
  • Canine Good Citizen Evaluation
  • Fear Free Certification Trainers
  • Certified Nose Work Instructor
  • Certified Canine Fitness Trainer
  • Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer program


There are a number of services to offer based on the experience or skill level. Services include board in-house training, day training services, doggie daycare facility, private training and group classes.

  • Board in-house training
  • Day training services
  • Doggie daycare facility
  • Private training
  • Group classes

Business insurance

Dogs are generally wild animals and sometimes unpredictable. Get different insurance for business like liability insurance, workers compensation or general insurance. Visit an insurance firm to find the best premiums for the business.

Types of Marketing

  • Print business card
  • Flyers
  • Poster
  • Billboards
  • Signboard
  • Local newspaper publications
  • Radio programs
  • Promotions
  • Referral bonuses
  • Social media marketing
  • Build a website
  • Yellow pages


The most important aspect of the business is marketing. Others include referrals from happy clients, demonstrations, promotions. Marketing strategies include referral bonuses, grow community based Facebook group.

Setup a Google business account, use Thumbtack to find locals or setup a Yelp account. Another effective marketing tool is a dedicated website or blog. Make sure the blog has contact address, telephone number, email address, add pictures of training sessions, certification, testimonials. It is important to target locals in the same geographical location.

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