How to Become a Dog Trainer in Washington

Dog training is a fun and rewarding job at the end of the day.

However, never underestimate a job related to animals.

You will have to learn how to deal with every scared, hyperactive, aggressive, and shy pup and make them a first-grade trained dog by the end of the training.

This can be an exhausting job and requires a lot of patience and confidence.

Do you think you’re up for the task of becoming a professional dog trainer in Washington?

Let’s find out together!

How to Become a Dog Trainer in Washington?

In order to become a successful dog trainer there are a few steps you can take to ensure that.

Step 1: Try volunteering

What better way to see what the job is than through observing and trying hands-on?

Volunteering may seem like a waste of time but think of it as an investment into your future job.

It’s just not monetary, but time-consuming instead.

You will likely work with professionals and experienced people who can guide you and help you establish your foundation, as well as take your first baby steps as a professional dog trainer.

Experienced and good professionals will always be happy to give you tips and tell you their mistakes so you can avoid them.

Step 2: Educate yourself

After you gain the field experience you’ll be sure if you want to continue to pursue this career or not.

If you are, congratulations, you arrive at the next step!

Even though formal education is not needed in this field, you can attend free and paid online and offline classes organized by many schools and organizations.

You can also read up on dog psychology to understand how a dog’s thinking process happens as well as how to deal with different behaviors in the most practical way.

There are also plenty of videos on the Internet where you can visually learn many tricks!

Step 3: Learn the basics

Through the last two steps, you will have a foundation to step on.

By learning and practicing you will find out that dog training is not just a plain field.

There are many types of dog training categories, from military dogs, to show dogs to service dogs!

The world is your oyster, you just have to pick what you’re interested in and repeat the steps when you decide which field is most to your liking!

Step 4: Get a job in the field

In what will either seem like no time or a long time depending on your whole experience you will be ready for a job.

You can choose to either start your own business or start working with other trainers in your area.

Either way, try to promote your business through a website, social media, and passively through your clientele.

Dog Training Schools in Washington

Even though no formal education is needed when it comes to becoming a professional dog trainer if you want to gain more knowledge on the topic it’s recommended to visit some courses and classes.

Here are a few of the best schools that provide those services in Washington!

Penn Foster

You can complete their Dog Obedience Trainer Program in as little as 7 months.

With this program, you can take your first steps in your career as a dog trainer.

The program is affordable and accredited.

It is also online which means you can study whenever and wherever you please.


Their training curriculum is designed to provide you with the structure you need to get started and then advance as you move along through the program leading to the certification at the end of the course.

The curriculum consists of 18 detailed lessons that prepare you to work in the field of dog training.

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.

The tuition for the course is $499.

CATCH Canine Trainers Academy

This academy has a state-licensed dog trainer school with many levels of certification.

You can take each course at your own pace.

It is available in multiple locations around Wisconsin, and around all the states as well.

The tuition starts from as low as $54.

You receive a diploma after graduation from the course.

They are also open for internships.

School Name Address
Penn Foster 925 Oak Street Scranton, PA 18515 USA
ISCDT Online
CATCH Canine Trainers Academy 24 Newark Pompton Turnpike Suite 206 Little Falls, NJ


The average salary a dog trainer makes in a year in Washington is $37,450.

This can range from $34,014 to $40,991 depending on the location and clientele, which is also based on your experience.

The best-paid dog trainers in Washington are in Seattle, Bellevue, and Everett.

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Seattle $38,514
Spokane $34,361
Tacoma $37,538
Vancouver $36,272
Bellevue $38,514
Everett $37,823
Federal Way $37,538
Kent $37,463
Yakima $35,219
Bellingham $35,875

Regional Salary in Washington

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA180$46,730$22.47$53,610$35,760
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA30$41,950$20.17$47,250$32,600
* 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

How can I become a professional dog trainer in Washington?

You have to know how to work with dogs.

You also have to be aware that you’re working with an animal that doesn’t understand your language.

You will need to have patience, confidence, and professionalism when it comes to working with all the types of personalities that your doggie clients will have.

Do I need formal education to become a professional trainer in Washington?

You do not need formal education to become a professional dog trainer in Washington.

However, you can attend certified classes and courses where you can gain knowledge and have proof of it with a certificate or diploma.

This can help you gain more clients in the long run.

Is being a dog trainer stressful?

Dog training is a fulfilling and rewarding career, but not everyone is suited for it.

Dog training can be stressful and overwhelming for people who aren’t prepared or don’t have the qualities to handle the day-to-day of the job.

USA How to Become a Dog Trainer by State