How to Become a Dog Trainer in California

Dogs fill our lives with joy, but dogs can be a great business opportunity.

Besides love for animals, you need to have a set of skills to become a dog trainer.

In general, it is very easy to become a dog trainer, but you need to know the main steps to achieve it.

Stay with us, and we will also discover some dog training schools in California!

How to Become a Dog Trainer in California?

There are no required certifications for dog trainers in California.

Follow these simple steps and become a dog trainer.

Step 1: Reconsider your skills

Before you dive into this process, see if you have what it takes to become a dog trainer.

You need to love dogs, but not just your dog.

You need love and patience for all dogs because training dogs can be a very frustrating process.

Step 2: Prepare for the dog owners

Being a dog trainer is not just cute work with dogs.

It demands great skills for communication with clients.

Dog owners might be the toughest part of this job since they can be overprotective and not open to collaborating with you.

So, besides being patient with dogs, you need to be patient with their humans as well.

Step 3: Invest in yourself

There are no required certifications to work in this field, but investing in some good academy or school is a very wise choice.

Even online courses are great for your start.

Learning while working as a dog trainer should never stop.

If you feel comfortable about your skills, that is great.

But remember to put more effort and constantly invest in education.

Step 4: Stay up-to-date

To stay up-to-date, you should join some dog training organizations.

You will connect with many professionals from this field.

Also, you will be informed about the latest dog training trends.

Step 5: Don’t be afraid to try

You will never feel fully ready, and that is totally okay.

You should prepare your resume and start applying.

By working as a dog trainer, you will significantly improve your skills.

Dog Training Schools in California

You can become certified by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, but the choice is yours.

There are many academies and schools that will help you expand your knowledge.

Inception K9 Academy

If you want to expand your knowledge about dog obedience, you can take this course where you can practice with your dog.

The course lasts 8 weeks, and it is a one-on-one training.

Its intensity is balanced because you meet with professional dog trainers once per week.

You will even get homework to ensure progress with the commands, and each week, you will get tested.

This course costs $750.

K-9 Companions Dog Training

This academy offers 2 courses, Certified Dog Trainer (C.T.) and Certified Master Dog Trainer (C.M.T.).

The Certified Dog Trainer Course is online and on-site.

The online option allows you to work at your own pace.

You will learn a lot about all areas of dog training, and you will also take written tests and skill assessments.

The main goals are for you to learn dog psychology, behavior, temperament, and communication.

To start the C.M.T. course, you need to complete the C.T. course and one year of practical experience under supervision.

School Name Address
Inception K9 Academy P.O. Box 882105 San Diego, CA 92168
K-9 Companions Dog Training 13703 J J Ln, Perris, CA 92570


The average salary for professional dog trainers in California is $38,390.

The lowest salary that you can earn as a dog trainer in California is $34,867, and the highest is $42,020.

There are a few benefits for professional dog trainers, including social security, healthcare, pension, disability, and time off days.

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Los Angeles $39,075
San Diego $37,560
San Jose $43,680
San Francisco $43,506
Long Beach $38,807
Fresno $34,874
Sacramento $37,690
Oakland $42,462
Santa Ana $38,842
Anaheim $38,894

Regional Salary in California

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA690$45,440$21.85$65,430$31,480
Modesto, CA30$50,200$24.13$86,230$30,460
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA160$39,160$18.83$49,720$30,110
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA140$38,810$18.66$48,700$31,460
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA290$47,350$22.76$67,640$31,730
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA320$57,030$27.42$86,310$37,410
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA80$47,620$22.89$73,220$36,270
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA30$44,340$21.32$65,150$31,520
Santa Rosa, CA60$45,980$22.11$63,850$34,260
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Animal Trainers, OCC Code 39-2011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make good money by working as a dog trainer in California?

Yes, indeed.

But, your salary will depend on your location, skills, and experience.

Do dog trainers need a license in California?

There are no state requirements for dog trainers in the USA.

However, you can get a certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).

Is it expensive to train a dog in California?

It depends on the chosen school or academy.

But there are packages of different session numbers.

Usually, packages start from $160.

USA How to Become a Dog Trainer by State