Animal training is a broad field which can include working with different types of animals like dogs, horses, elephants, marine mammals, birds, cats, tigers, bears, lions etc. The type of training an animal receives will vary depending on the training method used and the purpose for training the animal. So if you consider to choose animal training as your career, first you must decide what type of animals you want to work with.
Animal trainers have the responsibility to maintain animals health and supervising dietary habits. They provide food and water, groom, bathe, disinfect, clean and repair their cages and exercise animals. They also play with the animals, provide companionship and monitor animals for signs of injury or illness and assist in restraining them for medical treatment or transport. The work of an animal trainer may be unpleasant, physically and emotionally demanding, and sometimes dangerous. When working with animals, there is always the risk of bites, scratches and other injuries.
Those who wish to become Marine Mammal Trainers or Exotic Animal Trainers, require a bachelors degree in zoology, biology, marine biology, animal science or psychology. After graduation, along with an animal training certificate, a candidate can apply for the concerned job.
What ever may be the qualification, to become a proficient animal trainer, one need to undergo animal training programs offered by experienced trainers or institutes. Several clubs and organisations offer training programs and voluntary certification for aspiring animal trainers that includes lectures, reading assignments and practical hands-on experience working with variety of animals. These programs will help animal trainers to establish their credentials and enhance their skills.
The training programs and workshops varies with the animal trained. Dog trainers course covers topics such as basic study of canines, learning theory of animals, obedience principles, problem solving methods, and safety. It include a history of dog training, a course on different theories and approaches to animal learning and behavior, how to design classes and how to manage your business. Horse training coursework includes horse health and first aid, horse handling, obedience training, grooming and horse assessment.
A horse trainer is paid a much different scale than a dog trainer. Horse trainers can attain excellent compensation at the high levels of their profession. Dog trainers are usually self-employed so they can set their own salary goals. The income of the self-employed dog trainers depend on the success of their business. Self-employed trainers tend to earn more than those employed by other trainers or pet businesses.
Animal trainers who are working in the film and entertainment industry, government organizations and research facilities can earn better salary as compared to the animal trainers employed in any other industry. Trainers who care for exotic animals have a higher pay rate, but the jobs are comparatively rare.
The major task of an animal trainer is to train animals according to their prescribed standards for show or competition. Training an animal involves familiarizing it with human contact, introducing voice commands or hand signals and encouraging a desired response. For this animal trainers normally use positive reinforcement in a variety of ways, which includes offering toys, food, rubdowns, play etc. Some trainers consider natural behaviors of the animal and intend to modify behaviors of animals by following the principle of reward and punishment.
Working with animals is an extremely rewarding and exciting career for those who genuinely love them. Animal training refers to teaching animals certain responses to specific conditions. It is a challenging and tough field that prepares an individual to teach and exercise animals for purposes such as companionship, detection, protection and entertainment.