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Also known as:
Animal Trainer, Dog Handler, Dog Trainer, Dolphin Trainer, Guide Dog Instructor, Guide Dog Mobility Instructor, Guide Dog Trainer, Horse Breaker, Licensed Guide Dog Instructor, Lion Trainer
People love animals, and animals are even more lovable when they're well-trained. Professional animal trainers teach animals new behaviors, whether it's a complicated routine at a live animal show, a search and rescue operation, or simply training a puppy not to jump up onto visitors.
such as dogs, birds, and monkeys have been trained to assist individuals who are deaf, blind, or mobility-impaired. Many types of animals can be conditioned to live and work with people, but dogs are by far the most common.
Trainers use a variety of techniques. The simplest is rewarding the correct action with food or praise. The type of animal and the purpose of the training dictate the working conditions. But every trainer must possess incredible patience and be able to maintain their composure when animals misbehave.
A love of animals may direct you to this field, but you need to love every aspect of their care and upkeep as well. Animal handling can be physically strenuous, especially with large animals. Some vocational schools and colleges offer coursework and degree programs, but apprenticeships to more experienced trainers are usually required too.
The pay is generally low - many trainers also find work at kennels, stables, and grooming services to make more money. The more exotic jobs, such as those in live animal shows, movie or T.V., zoos, and research facilities, tend to be difficult to find. Some of these, such as marine mammal trainer, may require a bachelor's degree and additional skills such as swimming and scuba diving.
Good communication skills - with owners and their furry or feathered friends - is a necessary asset to building a reputation and a career in managing animal behaviors.
Train animals for riding, harness, security, performance, or obedience, or assisting persons with disabilities. Accustom animals to human voice and contact; and condition animals to respond to commands. Train animals according to prescribed standards for show or competition. May train animals to carry pack loads or work as part of pack team.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Conduct training programs in order to develop and maintain desired animal behaviors for competition, entertainment, obedience, security, riding and related areas.
Advise animal owners regarding the purchase of specific animals.
Cue or signal animals during performances.
Observe animals' physical conditions to detect illness or unhealthy conditions requiring medical care.
Keep records documenting animal health, diet, or behavior.
Administer prescribed medications to animals.
Talk to or interact with animals to familiarize them to human voices or contact.
Feed or exercise animals or provide other general care, such as cleaning or maintaining holding or performance areas.
Evaluate animals to determine their temperaments, abilities, or aptitude for training.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People
Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Fluency of Ideas
The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Teaching others how to do something.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.