Dog Trainer Resume Example

Perfect your resume with our tips and tricks for Dog Trainers

Katerina Frye
Written by Katerina Frye • Last updated on Mar 26, 2021
Dog Trainer Resume Example
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Dog Trainer Resume Example & Template

Who doesn’t love animals with their cute eyes and wiggly tails? 

Well, if you’re looking to be a Dog Trainer, you’re in the right hands -- or paws! The animal care industry is currently growing at 22%, and that number is only increasing as people are going back to work and need their quarantine pets cared for and trained. 

Without further ado, let’s get started!

In this article, we’ll discuss

  1. Which format is right for your resume
  2. How to write a resume summary 
  3. Describing your work experience
  4. Including your education 
  5. Listing your certifications
  6. Choosing the right template

Dog Trainer Sample Resume

Owner and Senior Trainer, Riverside Dog Training

  • Trained 25+ dogs for 20 clients
  • Worked out payment plans for each client
  • Instructed dogs on proper behavior in dog parks and in public
  • Helped dog owners and dogs decrease bad pet behaviors such as chewing, barking, biting, destroying property, and jumping on people
  • Taught dogs basic commands and pottrytraining
  • Coach dogs on trick commands if client wishes, including shaking and playing dead

Service Dog Trainer, Hearts & Paws

  • Trained 14 dogs for clients
  • Specialized in seeing-eye dogs and dogs for those with epilepsy
  • Personalized training programs for each dog and client
  • Maintained confidentiality surrounding clients' medical records
  • Checked on dogs monthly to refresh their training

Dog Trainer, PetSmart

  • Trained over 50 puppies, including breeds like Rottweilers and Poodles
  • Handled aggressive behavior with calmness and patience
  • Used positive reinforcement techniques to encourage desired behavior
  • Created a safe environment for dogs by monitoring their behavior for discomfort
  • Explained training processes to clients in a clear and coherent manner
  • Researched proper training programs pertinent to each dog
  • Taught dogs to perform basic commands like sit, stay, and lie down
  • Pottytrained dogs to reduce indoor accidents

1. Choose the Right Format for a Dog Trainer Resume

So what’s the best format?

The first step to drafting your resume is deciding which resume format to use. This depends on your career experience and skillset. 

You have 3 main options for resume:

  1. Reverse-Chronological -- this is the most commonly used resume format. With this structure, place your most recent jobs first, followed by the next most recent job, and ending with your oldest position. 
However, it’s important to include only jobs relevant to the position to which you’re applying, so leave out any former jobs that don’t fit. 
  1. Functional -- this format is best for people who have been out of the workforce for a while, perhaps because they had to care for children or an elderly parent. This format lists your specific skills and qualifications. 
Have headers like “Customer Service” and “Administrative Support” with their respective skills listed in bullet points below. At the very end, include a brief snapshot of your work experience.  
  1. Hybrid / Combination -- this format is a mix of both Functional and Reverse-Chronological. It provides more detailed work experience descriptions that would typically be seen in the latter, while still offering a bulleted list of skills.  
Tip: When in doubt, choose the Reverse-Chronological resume format. 

For a Dog Trainer, hiring managers want to glance at your resume and get a sense of the following:

  • Experience with dogs of all sizes and breeds
  • Patience 
  • Excellent communication skills, with both people and pets
  • Passion and a love for animals

The best format for a Dog Trainer is the Reverse-Chronological resume format. Whether you’re a self-employed Dog Trainer or you work in a pet store, this format will show clients your work history and skillset. 

2. Write a strong Dog Trainer resume summary

Did you know that resumes are looked at for less than 10 seconds?

While this is certainly an optional section, your resume summary is one of the best ways to succeed in that short glance.

But first --- what is a resume summary?

A resume summary is one or two sentences at the top of your paper that summarizes your entire resume. It’s the punch line that gets the resume reviewer wanting to know more.

For a Dog Training career, include the following points in your summary

  • Any specialties you have experience in, such as trick training or therapy dog training
  • The amount of time you’ve worked as a Dog Trainer
  • An adjective or two conveying your personality 

The best strategy in this section is to only include info that is relevant to the job.

Here is an example of a bad resume summary: Experienced Dog Trainer with a love of animals. 

Here is an example of a good resume summary: 7+ years of experience training dogs in obedience, behavioral modification, and aggression management. 4+ years experience training service dogs for the blind. Passionate about working with dogs of all sizes and breeds to fit client needs. 

For more information, checkout our guide on writing a killer resume summary.

3. Describe your work experience as a Dog Trainer

The next step to drafting your resume is to list your work experience. This includes the name of your position (e.g., Senior Dog Trainer, Apprentice), the name of the location at which you worked, and the time period in which you worked. 

Furthermore, write your resume experience in a way that anyone in your industry will understand. Don't use company-specific language.

For example, let’s say you worked at a place that called dog treats “oven-baked biscuits.” Not everyone is going to know what this means, so it’s best to stick with the common name, otherwise it may confuse the resume reader and throw them off track. 

Relevant Skills

  • Ability to handle stressful situations 
  • Operant Conditioning Training Techniques
  • Clicker Training Techniques
  • Enthusiasm 
  • Confidence 
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Observant
  • Patient

If you want to learn how to nail this section, read our guide on the proper way to include skills on your resume.

4. Include an Education Section 

Dog Trainers do not require a formal education like a high school diploma or college degree. Nevertheless, many employers expect some form of education or certification. You can learn from an experienced trainer, or pursue a structured program. 

There are several programs to choose from, but the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) is one of the most reputable organizations in the business, and offers two different types of certifications. The first certification is knowledge-based (KA), which requires at least 300 hours of dog training in three years, and a signed attestation from a veterinarian or another CCPDT certificate holder. The second certification is skills-based (KSA.) In order to acquire this certification, you must already hold the CCPDT-KA credentials. Lastly, the CCPDT requires continuing education credits to maintain your certification.

Additional Certification programs include:

  • The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC
  • The Association of Animal Behavior Professionals (AABP
  • The Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor (CBATI) program
  • The International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP)
  • The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI)
  • The Karen Pryor Academy (KPR

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) is the largest association of dog trainers. It has a “Professional Member” classification, which is available to those who have been certified by one of the aforementioned certifications. Having this on your resume can help show employers your competency and professionalism. 

5. Mention Certifications Relevant to the job

In addition to the certifications mentioned above, many Dog Trainers pursue other certifications in order to specialize in an area like service dog training or puppy training. 

Specialties include:

  • Obedience
  • Behavioral Modification
  • Aggression Management
  • Therapy or Service Dog Training
  • Agility
  • Show Dog Handling
  • Puppy Training
  • Trick Training
  • Dog Racing Training
  • Training dogs for movies
  • Specific Breeds

For more information on certifications, check out our guide on how to include certifications on your resume the right way.

6. Pick the right template

Now it’s time for the fun part -- picking the aesthetics of your resume! 

Here at EasyResume, we offer 4 different templates. 

  • Creative: these resumes are bold and colorful with eye-catching fonts to help you stand out from the crowd. This is best for those in creative fields like marketing and art. 
  • Simple: these resumes follow a clear, straightforward format that highlight you and your experiences. This is best for those in fields that prefer austerity, such as the healthcare and finance industries. 
  • Modern: these resumes have sleek designs that are fresh and bold with elegant fonts and clean lines. This is best for individuals applying to startups or to companies with a young audience or product.
  • Professional: these resumes have a clean, crisp look that incorporates only one or two accent colors. The focus is solely on the text, pulling the recruiter into your experiences and accomplishments. This is best for individuals applying to straight-laced companies that mandate a suit-and-tie dress code. 

Your resume template should reflect the job to which you’re applying. For Dog Trainers, try a Professional or Modern format to keep the focus on your skills while still creating a stylish resume.

7. Takeaways

We’ve done it! Almost. 

Now it’s time to get down to business -- actually creating the resume. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  • Research the job description to locate keywords
  • Use a Reverse-Chronological resume layout
  • Write your resume summary, including your accredited program, specialties, and years of experience
  • Include your education and relevant certifications
  • Write your experience section in a way that any outsider could understand. Talk more about the how and why of your responsibilities. Quantify your results.
  • Pick a resume template that fits the position to which you’re applying.

You’ll be training your next pup in no time!

Katerina Frye
With a background in Psychology and Marketing, Katerina devotes her time to understand people, their careers, and their goals to help them succeed. She also has experience in social media, science writing, and fiction. When she isn't writing, she's hitting the gym, playing with her cats, or eating chocolate.
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