Animal trainers train animals for many different purposes including obedience, performance, disability assistance, security, and riding. Some animal trainers work with domestic animals like dogs, while others work with large and potentially dangerous animals like lions, elephants, and tigers. Regardless of the type of animal that a trainer works with, a lot of repetition and patience is required to reinforce the desired behavior. Depending on the behavior that a trainer is trying to reinforce, training can last anywhere from a few days to many months. Animal trainers are often required to provide care to the animals they're training. Feeding, cleaning, and maintaining animals is an important part their job. For people who love animals, this can be a very rewarding occupation. The work environment for animal trainers varies greatly depending on the employer they work for as well as the type of training they're doing. For example, dog trainers sometimes work in pet stores, parks, people's homes, and dedicated training facilities. Other types of animal trainers may work at stables, race tracks, or marine facilities. When working with aggressive animals, this can be a dangerous occupation. Some animals are very slow to develop trust with their trainers. To do their jobs well and reduce the risk of injury, animal trainers have to be very patient and cautious around the animals they're working with. Many animal trainers work full time, but there are also many opportunities for part time work. It's common for animal trainers to work irregular hours. For example, trainers who work with pets normally have to work around their clients' schedules, which may mean working on nights and weekends
The role and title of animal trainers varies according to the type of animals they are working with. Besides the major duty performed, i.e training animals for different purposes, there are several other responsibilities like keeping animals on a strict diet, maintaining records of their health and keeping an eye on identifying minor injuries or changes in animal behavior. In addition to these their job outline also includes cleaning cages, feeding, watering, bathing, exercising, providing healthy environment for the animals etc.
The areas of specialty available in the field of animal training are :
1. Animal Caretakers
3. Pet Groomer
4. Horse Trainers / Handlers
5. Dog Handlers / Dog Trainers
6. Marine Mammal Trainers
7. Exotic Animal Trainers
8. Animal actor training
9. Animal Behaviour counsellor
Most animal trainers work with dogs and horses, but some work with marine mammals, such as dolphins. In metropolitan areas, there are ample opportunities for dog trainers. Dog trainers teach dogs to do tricks, to hunt and track, to obey spoken commands or signals, to protect life and property, to search for missing persons and to detect drugs. Dogs are also trained for television shows and films.
Stable caretakers known as grooms/ horse trainers take care of horses and train them to perform in commercial sports, circus acts, movie and television shows, polo teams and other activities. Training wild animals are dangerous than working with domestic animals. Those who are adventurous and willing to take risks can take up career as exotic animal trainers.
Animal caretakers who specialize in grooming or maintaining a pet's appearance are called Pet Groomers. They maintain the appearance of pets by bathing them, cutting nails, brushing and clipping their hair or fur.
Animal trainers can find job openings at places like kennels, police force, animal shelters, zoos, stables, aquariums, zoological parks, marine parks, horse farms, horse riding clubs or private homes. They can also work in veterinary hospitals or clinics, laboratories, pet stores and research facilities. Most animal trainers are self-employed and have their own businesses and gain private clients. Some animal trainers work primarily in feature films, while others specialize in working with animals for commercials or print ads
No college or university in India is offering a graduate or postgraduate degree in dog training. But there are several training institutes, clubs and organisations that offers voluntary certification for aspiring candidates. So to start a career in dog training, search for an institute that is accredited with the right Dog association or organization in the country.
Remuneration of an animal trainer varies according to the location and the type of animal that is being trained. An animal trainer can start up his career with an average salary of about Rs.10,000 or more per month. In this field experience determines the earning potential. An experienced person can earn a lump sum amount and they are paid on an hourly basis that varies from Rs.100/- to Rs.200/- or more. A horse trainer is paid a much different scale than a dog trainer. Horse trainers can attain excellent compensation at the high levels of their profession. Dog trainers are usually self-employed so they can set their own salary goals. The income of the self-employed dog trainers depend on the success of their business. Self-employed trainers tend to earn more than those employed by other trainers or pet businesses. Animal trainers who are working in the film and entertainment industry, government organizations and research facilities can earn better salary as compared to the animal trainers employed in any other industry. Trainers who care for exotic animals have a higher pay rate, but the jobs are comparatively rare