How to Become a Dog Trainer in Iowa

Are you dreaming about working with furry companions?

Then, look no further – the dog training profession is the right choice for you.

Of course, there are other professions that include work with animals such as veterinarians and veterinary technicians, but these professions require diplomas from universities.

Becoming a dog trainer in Iowa might be easy since there are a few dog training schools that offer detailed classes, but there is always the possibility of getting a certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

Let’s explain to you in more detail what you need to become a dog trainer in Iowa!

How to Become a Dog Trainer in Iowa?

Follow these simple steps, and start working on developing a career as a dog trainer in Iowa!

Step 1: Determine your passion

Working with animals can be a very challenging and demanding job, so you need to reconsider one more time if this is the right choice for you.

You might love animals and have a huge empathy for them, but the line between empathy and patience is very tiny.

So, ask yourself if you are ready for every obstacle that this profession brings.

If you can handle everything that this profession brings, move on to the second step.

Step 2: Work with your dog

Working with your dog can boost your confidence and improve your skills.

Until you start practicing with other dogs, practice only with your dog.

Some people find it easier to work with their pets, however, some report bad results from practicing with their dogs.

You will determine whether this is the proper method for improving your skills.

Step 3: Start practicing with other dogs

Here comes the right challenge!

There are many non-obedient dogs and your main task might be to teach them obedience and good behavior.

You will need to combine your skills, methods, and techniques to get the best possible results.

In the beginning, don’t expect too much from yourself.

As time passes by, you will progress a lot.

Step 4: Build your CV and start applying

Don’t expect immediate employment in the beginning.

Even a volunteer position might be great for you.

This will leave you the needed space and time to learn more skills.

Step 5: Start networking

Your progress shouldn’t stop with your employment and finding your comfort job.

You need to work on yourself constantly.

Therefore, we suggest you find some organizations and associations that offer networking with other professionals.

You will stay up-to-date with the news from your job.

Also, you can get some great advice from other professionals.

Dog Training Schools in Iowa

The dog training profession is not regulated in the United States.

So, you can take any course, school, or academy that offers dog training classes, improve your skills, and start applying.

Let’s take a look!

Animal Rescue League of Iowa

This rescue organization offers many classes for dogs and pet owners, including classes for puppies, and adult dogs, specialty and advanced classes, and private training.

The specialty and advanced class costs $125 and last 4 weeks.

You can join this class if your dog is 5 months or older.

The best thing is that the classes are small and there are up to 5 people.

Classes for adult dogs include classes for good manners and drop-in training.

During the classes, you will use positive reinforcement methods for 4 weeks.

These classes will help you understand canine behavior and communication better.

Also, you will practice the basic manners such as sit, down, come, stay, loose leash walking, etc.

Most importantly, you will work on problem-solving and prevention during training.

Prices for each course vary, so you can contact the organization and get more information.

For example, classes for drop-in training cost $40 and other classes can go up to $125.

Use your knowledge from this course, and start working on your career as a dog trainer.

CATCH Canine Trainers Academy

After the course, you will earn a personalized diploma.

The Basic Pro and Master Class courses include a local trainer mentor who will help you with practice work.

You will get video and printed materials and additionally, you have a financing option that includes paying small and affordable amounts.

Also, there is a possibility for flexible terms for your loan.

These courses cost from $1,212 to $5,025.

School Name Address
Animal Rescue League of Iowa 5452 NE 22nd St., Des Moines, IA 50313
CATCH Canine Trainers Academy 24 Newark Pompton Turnpike Suite 206 Little Falls, NJ


The average salary for dog trainers in Iowa is $33,308.

You can earn between $30,252 and $36,458.

Your salary will depend on your city, experience, and skills.

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Des Moines $33,612
Cedar Rapids $33,301
Davenport $33,032
Sioux City $30,214
Waterloo $31,648
Iowa City $33,029
Council Bluffs $32,906
Dubuque $32,854
Ames $33,298
West Des Moines $33,612

Regional Salary in Iowa

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA80$46,680$22.44$77,590$22,310
* 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 I work as a dog trainer in Iowa without any certification or school?

In general, you can start working as a dog trainer only with your high school diploma if you have enough skills.

However, some companies might require certification or at least a course during the employment process.

Is it stressful to work as a dog trainer in Iowa?

It depends on your work environment, schedules, and most of all, your time management skills.

You can handle the stress very easily if you enter this job prepared.

Prepare yourself for the obstacles that you might face, different dog characters, and requirements from the dog owners.

What is the highest salary that I can get as a dog trainer in Iowa?

The highest reported annual salary for Iowa is $36,458 but this might vary depending on your position.

Therefore it is very important to have an open conversation with the employer before you enter this job.

USA How to Become a Dog Trainer by State