Dog-Related Careers

Opportunities galore!
By Karen B. London PhD, December 2018, Updated January 2019

I have worked in a number of dog-related careers. Right now, my professional work in the canine world consists of multiple jobs— behavioral consultations for dogs with serious behavioral issues, private training (general, service dogs, therapy dogs), writing (books, blogs, magazine articles, newspaper columns), dog sitting, plus giving talks and webinars. In the past, I have also taught group training classes, worked in shelters, taken pet photographic portraits, worked in a dog day care facility and groomed dogs. I’ve often thought that when it comes to dogs, my work has covered a large percentage of the possible careers. I no longer believe that to be true.

Recently, I was playing a game in which teams had to brainstorm items based on an assigned category. The goal was to generate a longer list than any other team. Subjects included ice cream flavors, countries by the equator, spices, things that are loud, people names in songs and college majors. Our team did well but did not stand out until the category was dog-related careers. Rarely have I been such an asset to my teammates in a game! We came up with over 3 dozen options, which was more than twice as many as any other team. In addition to the ones mentioned above that apply to my own work, our list included:

  • Canine adoption counselor
  • Leash/collar designer
  • Yard cleaner
  • Toy designer
  • Canine seminar coordinator
  • Sports competition organizer
  • Baker
  • Canine chiropractor
  • Bedding and furniture designer
  • Agility instructor
  • Canine massage therapist
  • Owner of pet friendly café or restaurant
  • Canine Ttouch specialist
  • Veterinarian
  • Veterinary technician
  • Dog fashion designer
  • Herding dog instructor
  • Animal communicator
  • Travel agent/coordinator for pet travel
  • Magazine editor
  • Scientist
  • Dog show handler
  • Portrait Painter
  • Children’s book author/illustrator
  • Dog show judge
  • Detection dog handler
  • Personalized tag engraver
  • Boarding kennel owner
  • Attorney for canine issues
  • Animal control officer
  • Marketing specialist for all of these

The careers available for people who want to work in the dog world have never been more numerous. How many of these interest you, and how many have you worked in? Plus check out our list of dog-friendly companies to work for.

Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral problems, including aggression. She is the author of five books on canine training and behavior.

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