How to Become a Dog Trainer in Pennsylvania

Being a dog trainer might sound like a fun job.

And it is!

But it’s not as easy as most people think.

You have to understand that the clients do not understand us directly, so dog trainers have to come up with creative ways to communicate with them for both parties to reach the same goal.

Do you have what it takes?

Let’s see how you can become Pennsylvania’s best professional dog trainer.

How to Become a Dog Trainer in Pennsylvania?

As with any start, having guidance at the beginning of your journey is good.

Here are some steps to help you launch your career as a professional dog trainer!

Step 1: Develop a Strong Understanding of Canine Behavior:

Start by reading books on dog behavior and psychology.

Watching documentaries and online courses about dog behavior and training can also be very helpful.

You will share experiences and be able to ask questions and get quick answers from professionals with experience.

Understanding the psychology of dogs is essential for practical training.

Step 2: Learn About Different Training Methods:

Familiarize yourself with various dog training methods, such as positive reinforcement, clicker training, and obedience training.

Understanding different approaches will help you tailor your methods to individual dogs and their needs.

You can gain this knowledge and use these methods by working with the dogs.

It can be as an intern or as a volunteer; it doesn’t matter as long as you gain the touch for it!

Step 3: Obtain Certification:

Formal education is not crucial to becoming a dog trainer, but certification can be a determining factor for many owners.

Consider obtaining a dog training certification from a recognized organization.

Some well-known certifying bodies include the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).

Many courses you can take also provide you with individual certificates and diplomas!

Step 4: Gain Client Experience:

Work with dog owners and their pets to build a diverse client base.

Excellent communication and customer service skills are crucial in this profession.

You can be sure you will learn better through contact with many dogs and dog breeds.

The owners will see this progress and tell their friends about their experience, bringing you more clients!

Don’t be afraid to promote your work in other ways as well!

Dog Training Schools in Pennsylvania

Although formal education is not necessary in the dog training field, it’s good for you and your clients that you have some certificate.

It shows your dedication to the job and your professionalism.

Here are some courses you can take to gain some certificates.

CATCH Canine Trainers Academy

The CATCH Academy for Dog Trainers has a certified program.

It is an online program that can cost as little as $54.

This means you can listen to it whenever and wherever you like after purchase.

At the end, you receive a certificate.

They are also open for internships.


This 18-class certified program costs $499.

Their written courses are designed to take you through a multitude of dog training topics, from breeds and characteristics to unraveling various behavioral issues.

They also provide video materials as a visual guide through your learning process.

You will also get video and written assignments as homework.

At the end of the course, you receive a certificate.

School Name Address
CATCH Canine Trainers Academy 24 Newark Pompton Turnpike Suite 206 Little Falls, NJ
ISCDT Online


The annual salary for dog trainers in Pennsylvania ranges from $31,639 to $38,129, depending on your city.

The average annual income is $34,835.

The highest-paid dog trainers are in Bensalem.

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Philadelphia $37,041
Pittsburgh $34,381
Allentown $35,177
Erie $32,242
Upper Darby $37,041
Reading $34,722
Scranton $32,400
Bethlehem $35,177
York $34,217
Bensalem $38,048

Regional Salary in Pennsylvania

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ50$40,110$19.28$54,690$27,560
Lancaster, PA40$39,550$19.02$54,370$28,050
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD550$41,840$20.12$58,040$29,120
Pittsburgh, PA120$35,900$17.26$44,710$28,120
Reading, PA40$40,430$19.44$53,280$28,120
* 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

What do I need to become a professional dog trainer in Pennsylvania?

Although formal education is unnecessary, you can be certified by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) to be called a professional.

Besides that, you need a lot of patience, love, and understanding for your clients and their owners.

How do I become a successful dog trainer in Pennsylvania?

Use online marketing, social media, and word-of-mouth referrals to build your client base, and consider creating a professional website to advertise your services.

How much does dog training in Pennsylvania cost?

Basic obedience classes can cost around $150 to $250, while more specialized or one-on-one training may be more expensive.

The cost of dog training varies widely depending on the trainer’s experience, location, and the type of training needed.

USA How to Become a Dog Trainer by State