The science is clear. If you want to live a fulfilling life, it sure helps to love what you do for work. 

Working for a paycheck won’t cut it these days. Because most people’s personal and professional lives blend together, it’s important that your professional work is rewarding and something you’re happy doing. 

A study recently revealed the three things most people need from their job. People need a true career, a sense of community and to feel like they are part of a cause larger than themselves. When these three components are met, people take more pride in their work, make a larger impact and are overall happier. 

If you’re here, chances are you’re a dog person whose dream is to run your own dog training business. And we’re here to tell you—not only is dog training the BEST career, it’s ridiculously rewarding.  

What people really want from life — and their work

Work satisfaction boils down to these three things: a career, a community and a cause. The Harvard Business Review looked at a study done by Facebook, surveying the social media giant’s own employees, and discovered what really matters to them: 

  1. Career: Do work that motivates you to be your best. This means your work uses your strengths and challenges you to keep learning and growing.
  2. Community: Work needs to connect you to others. A sense of community helps fulfill the very human need to belong. It elicits the feeling that you’re respected, recognized and that you matter.  
  3. Cause: The importance of your work needs to be felt deeply in your soul. Having a cause that drives you – a mission you would give it all for – makes work meaningful. 

The Facebook study showed that these three things hold similar weight with none being more important than the other. All three work in harmony.  

When you strike the right balance, you are happy at work. And when you’re happy at work, that happiness spills out into other areas of your life. 

So if you’ve been dreaming about launching a dog training business, you can rest assured that all three of those components will be easily met. What could be better than helping people and dogs live their best lives together? 

Your career: Get great and stay great at what you love

Part of making a great career for yourself is truly doing what you love. Why? Because you’ll be fulfilled and more likely to succeed. And your innate motivation will help you push through tough times. 

You probably already have a strong bond with animals, are curious about the world and enjoy helping dogs and people. You probably have the entrepreneurial spirit and seek the freedom and flexibility that owning your own business can bring. And you’ve probably thought long and hard about becoming a dog trainer. 

Building your dream dog training business starts with getting the right education. 

Dog training is a largely unregulated profession, meaning there aren’t many governing bodies that say someone needs to have this credential or that license to be a dog trainer. That’s why getting proper training is so important. A great program will teach you:

  • The best science-led practices in dog training.
  • How to teach basic behaviors and solve common issues. 
  • How to communicate more effectively with owners. 
  • Setting up and managing a legal business.
  • Branding and marketing your services.
  • How to get clients. 

Essentially, in great trainer education you’ll not only learn how to train dogs and work with their humans but also how to run a successful business. We have even more information on what you need to know to be a dog trainer, here.

At the Victoria Stilwell Academy, we offer a fully virtual Dog Trainer Course. And for those who want to learn in-person, you can also enroll in an in-person track where we do a lot of hands-on learning during intensives and even match students with a mentor. 

Getting great at dog training is just the beginning, though. Staying great means keeping up with the latest advancements in the field.

Researchers are always discovering new things about how dogs interact with the environment, how they make decisions and how they solve problems. 

Once you’re in business, you’ll have lots of opportunity to satisfy your curiosity and learn the latest methods and tools. You’ll have many chances to improve your business skills, too. 

Your community: Build your network

The dog training world is a tight-knit community of professionals who are excited to meet, befriend and even mentor up-and-coming trainers! We host an annual Dog Behavior Conference where trainers, behavior geeks and pet pros can network and learn from world-class presenters. 

An investment in our programs is truly investing in your success. All of our programs (for both aspiring and experienced trainers) will immediately connect you with other students and our pro faculty trainers. This network of experts will become your source of support as you build your dream business. 

Community is more than connecting with other experts though. It’s also about the clients you connect with every day. A dog training business can be conducted totally online, fully in-person or it can be a combination of both — it’s up to you! You’ll also choose the niche your interests and skills match best, whether it’s puppy manners, behavioral challenges, obedience, dog sports… there are countless options. When you nail your target market and your ideal client, you’ll be working mainly with those people to serve them. You’ll become their go-to expert and a leader within that community. 

Imagine all the happy dogs and people you’ll reach, in your own neighborhood and beyond. Your community will grow wider with each dog and owner you help!

Your cause: Helping dogs and their owners live their very best lives

Honestly, what can be better than repairing dog-owner relationships, teaching new skills to dogs (and their humans) and making everyone happier? 

  • If you love dogs,
  • If you enjoy working with people,
  • If you believe every dog deserves to live a happy, fully enriched life,
  • If you know in your heart of hearts that starting a dog training career is for you…

Then it’s time to go for it! Doing work that sets your soul on fire, something that you feel deeply and innately passionate about, is what you need to spend your time doing. 

If you’re a dog person, you know it. You’re probably already very cause-driven to help dogs and their humans live in harmony. Maybe you’ve already worked with dogs as a sitter or walker or a vet tech. Perhaps you’ve already begun your journey as a dog trainer.

You’ve seen how amazing these animals are. And you’re inspired to help people understand dogs. And help dogs stay in their home or become more adoptable. 

Cause is already a big driver for us dog people. And it’s absolutely possible to turn your passion into a profitable business that creates lasting impact. 

It’s time to go for it! 

You spend much of your time working, so you may as well do something you find really rewarding. Finding a career (not a job) that connects you to a community and is cause-driven is critical to your life satisfaction. 

If you’ve been on the fence about becoming a dog trainer or want to dip your toes into this wonderful world of positive dog training, we’re here for you. Our experts are ready to take you through everything you need to build a successful business. Get started with the Fundamentals or jump right into our comprehensive Dog Trainer Course. If you thrive on face-to-face learning, we have an In-Person Track, too.

Now’s the perfect time to make your start.