How to Make Money as a Dog Trainer: Here are 10 Surefire Ways

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I’ve been a dog trainer for over 3 years and not only has it helped me to be a better trainer and handler, but it has also helped me to make money and meet new people.

A dog trainer’s work life is far more complicated than one would like to admit. People will do just about anything for their dogs. And that includes training them. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out, there’s no shortage of work in the dog training industry.

The growth in popularity of this career actually means dog owners are seeking out professional dog trainers more than ever before. Are you a dog trainer who wants to make more money and have fun at the same time? This article will show you the best ideas to implement.

1. Offer Private Dog Coaching Lessons

Do you have a knack for helping out dogs that are having some behavior issues? Maybe someday you’ll be able to build a career training dogs for movies or even open your own dog training school. For now, private lessons are the best way to make money as a dog trainer.

Dog coaching sessions allow you to focus the training session on the dog’s specific needs while sitting one-on-one with them at their home or in a park. Because you’ll be working directly with the dog, the owner will learn best from watching your technique from start to finish. 

Private lessons are also more time-consuming and tend to have a higher cost per session. But if the owner is interested they tend to be excellent customers that pay well and continue with future classes.

For private coaching, you could charge between $50 to $100 per hour. 

2. Offer Dog Shelter Support

Many people feel guilty about not being able to give a dog a forever home. This is a big problem that you can solve as a dog trainer and make money at the same time. As a gesture of goodwill, offer to take the pet into your home and educate the owner about what you will offer in exchange.

I have found that many people offer dog shelter support to help the animals in the shelters. In addition, people donate money for this purpose, others buy food or other supplies for the dogs there. 

If you want to make money as a dog trainer, this is a great opportunity to build your network of rescue organizations and animal shelters. There are many volunteer opportunities at local animal shelters. 

You can make money with fundraisers, maintenance projects, or other tasks. There may even be opportunities for pet insurance

SEE: Best pet insurance companies

3. Offer Pet Sitting Services

It’s no secret that people are busy, and are often forced to leave their pets home alone each weekend. Many times, owners find themselves working late throughout the week, as well. As a dog trainer, you can make some money by offering pet sitting services to people with furry friends.

With this home-based business, you can provide pet sitting services on a part-time or full-time basis. A large number of people will be willing to pay you for your services, particularly if you put together an ad that shows how passionate you are about animals.

4. Sell Dog Treats and Toys

Want to make money and take your career as a dog trainer to the next level? If you’re already giving your dog’s training a boost, then why not give his nutrition an upgrade too. With nice food and good treats to help motivate him, you can make dogs even happier and more cooperative.

Dog trainers should be well versed in dog toys and treats. They should sell a variety of treats and toys for dogs because hey, a dog must have a treat after good behavior.

If you’re a dog owner yourself, you probably have an idea about the kinds of treats and toys your dog likes best. Bottling these products can be a great way to sell your services as a trainer. Furthermore, you can also sell dog clothing and sweaters that match the dog’s fur color.

Another option to make money with this as a dog trainer is to have a kind of eCommerce store. With this dog owners can simply place orders for toys and treats online. 

SEE: Best eCommerce platforms to start your online store

5. Get Found Online By Having a Website

Whether you are a dog trainer or other dog-related business or non-profit organization, you need to have a website so that potential clients and donors can find you online. This is one of the most passive ways to make money as a dog trainer.

As a dog trainer, it is important to show the world your skills. A website is a valuable tool for any dog trainer. Besides, a website is about more than getting found online. You can use it to attract clients, establish your expertise and credibility, sell products, build a community, and promote your business.

If you’re trained, reputable, and offer good service, then people will be able to find your site and book lessons with you. Creating a website has been made simple with the help of website builders. You can now create a website without having to write a single code. 

SEE: How to choose your ideal website builder

6. Offer Grooming Services

Let people know that you offer grooming services and grooming supplies and you’ll never be without customers. Knock out some extra cash by grooming dogs. Many of your clients will need this service once or twice a year. You can either set up a site or have clients call you directly for more information.

This is a great side business idea for anyone who loves dogs and is good with them. Start by talking to dog owners in your neighborhood or at the dog park. Offer basic grooming services for their pets, such as brushing out the coat, trimming the nails, cleaning ears, etc.

Dog owners know they need to find someone to do the job, but don’t always want to take the time for it. If you can offer a convenient service as a dog trainer at a reasonable price, you stand a good chance of making money.

7. Become a Dog Photographer 

As a dog photographer, you will be taking pictures of dogs. Even though you wouldn’t make any money right off the bat, there are ways to make some money. 

You can post some pictures onto a blog or a social network and let people know that you’re a dog photographer. From there, they can recommend where they need their dogs photographed and while you’re at it you can get a few more dogs on the site.

Additionally, dog pictures and portraits can be far more than just a cute keepsake. They can be sold as art, on cards, printed on mousepads and mugs, and used as the basis for calendars and Facebook covers. 

Becoming a professional dog photographer and trainer will make you a ton of money. The basic idea is simple: take pictures of dogs and edit them. A little know-how could lead you to becoming a dog photographer or to getting into events where you can photograph dogs.

SEE: Best photo editing software for newbie photographers 

8. Train Dogs for Movies and T.V Shows

Hollywood has long used dogs in film and television, seeking to enhance the storytelling with the help of man’s best friend. You gain valuable business experience while sharing your training skills with the crew, cast, handlers, and dogs.

With a handful of standout television shows and movies such as The Artist, I am a legend, Love and monsters, having featured dogs, dog trainers are in high demand. As a dog trainer, this is a great way to break into this growing field that has many opportunities to make serious money.

Watch the video below to hear what Zelie Bullen who trained Boy in Love and monsters has to say.

9. Provide Training Classes at a Local Pet Store or Vet Office

A successful dog trainer can teach classes in local pet shops and vet offices. Due to the lack of in-house trainers in most pet stores and veterinarian offices, they will welcome you provided you can prove you are an expert.

Contact local pet stores and vet offices to see if they’d be interested in hosting training sessions or even adding a fixed fee training class. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of teaching others, then utilizing this strategy for advertisement would be great.

Dog trainers are always in high demand. Many pet stores and vet offices offer classes for puppies, but they need a trainer to teach the lesson. You can provide your services as a dog trainer and make about $25 – $40 per hour.  

10. Organize Dog-Friendly Shows and Parties 

Dog parties are a great way to make money as a dog trainer, while simultaneously providing entertainment for you and your dog. Organize dog-friendly shows where you can exhibit the dogs to people. 

Invite television crews to film your show and put it on live TV. Use the event as an opportunity to showcase good dog training skills. Hold dog parties where dog owners come together to socialize with one another and their pets. 

Charge a small fee for people to attend these events and get other dog owners to show their dogs, and charge admission. Ever heard of Zak George? He’s a renowned dog trainer that hosts shows. Aside from being a dog trainer by passion, he makes money from it 😉. 

How Much Money Can You Make as a Dog Trainer?

Some dog obedience trainers make up to $53,000 annually or $150 an hour. According to their experience, the facility they work at, and the skills they’re able to imprint on their animals, dog trainers have a high earning potential.


What does a dog trainer do exactly? 

Dog trainers train dogs and owners in all stages of dog development — socialization, obedience, and competitive tasks such as agility, hunting, working, tracking, and herding. 

They also teach owners how to modify their behaviors so they can better communicate with their pets.  A trainer also calculates a dog’s age in human years and assists owners in caring for their four-legged friends.

Will a dog trainer business be a good business for me? 

The short answer is yes. Dog trainer businesses are always in demand, and if you have a love for dogs, this will be a business that you can be proud of for many years to come.

Do you need certifications to become and make money as a dog trainer?

You do not need to be certified or licensed to be a dog trainer. Although in theory, neither of these things is required for working in this industry, it will be much harder to find a job or start a business without experience and certification.

It is worthwhile to become a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. They offer various seminars, newsletters, courses, and training tips. This Association is the largest group of professional dog trainers in the world.

Final Thoughts 

There are tons of people out there who make dog training their job. These dog lovers train canines daily in exchange for cash. But is it possible to make money as a professional dog trainer? This article has highlighted the top ways you can make money doing what you love.

While a lot of dog trainers make money from this business as a full-time career, others do it as a side gig or business. If you’re into dog training as a side gig, you might also be interested in some other business idea that will make you money.

If you would like to run an eCommerce store for your business, you need to handle deliveries of orders. One way to make money doing deliveries is to run a logistics business alongside. See the article on how to make money with logistics business for more information.

Also, if you’re on the lookout for other businesses you can run, there’s something for you on the blog. See creative business ideas you can implement with little money for more information.

Lastly, Tosinajy is a blog that offers guides on how to make money and offers several business ideas with low start-up costs to help supplement your income. Feel free to explore the blog. 

Thanks for reading.