“So, You Say You Want to Work With Dogs…” – Part 1
Does This Sound Like You?
- I’ve been drawn to dogs from a young age
- I’m a lifelong dog lover
- I can’t stay away from dogs no matter where I encounter them
- I have had one or more family dogs
- I sometimes relate better to dogs than people
- I have a talent for getting dogs to communicate with me
Have you ever wanted to work with dogs for a living?
Every job has its pros and cons; however, a dog-related career can be rewarding and fun if you choose the one that’s right for you. There are six main categories of dog professions:
- Sport of Purebred Dogs – includes handlers, judges, show superintendents, American Kennel Club Staff
- Service – includes groomers, trainers, animal behaviorists, dog sitters, dog walkers, boarding kennel owners
- Health Care Professional – includes veterinarians, vet techs/assistants, veterinary scientists/researchers
- Retail – includes dog food and pet accessories, novelties and pet supplies
- Law Enforcement – includes animal control officers, humane officers, shelter staff, police/military K-9 units
- Artistic – includes writers, photographers, illustrators
The career paths are varied and there are many things to consider before you can start down any one of them. First of all, when you say you want to work with dogs, are you looking for a full time job, supplemental income, a hobby, a change of pace, a volunteer activity for community service or a little bit of everything? Making the right choice for you is complicated. There are practical matters such as aptitude for science or business, educational requirements and, of course, the cost and time involved to complete your training. But if you really love dogs and think you’d like to work with them, do some due diligence and remember the following:
- Keep an open mind
- Research all the possibilities
- Do not limit yourself
- Explore your interests
Return to our next blog post for some tips on how to start narrowing the field with practical experience.