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ASSISTANCE-DOG TRAINER

Education And Training

For now, anyway, formal education or certification is not required to become an assistance-dog trainer. The main qualifications are that you have to be good with dogs and you have to be good with people.

The best way to learn how to train assistance dogs is through hands-on experience. If there's a nonprofit dog-training business in your area—even if it's just a regular pet-training facility—see if you can volunteer your time or can work as an apprentice. Offer to help out on weekends or on weekdays after school. By spending time with professional trainers and learning from them, you'll be a step ahead of the game when it comes to starting your career.

Another good way to get into the field and to see if it's something you really want to do is by volunteering to work with disabled people. You'll learn to understand them and their needs and to have a better idea why assistance dogs are so important in their lives.

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