Guide Dog Trainer

Turn dogs into able guides for blind people.
picture of Guide Dog Trainer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $54,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Guide Dog Trainers do?

Friend, Teacher, mentor — a Guide Dog Trainer takes on all these roles to train guide dogs and teach their future owners how to work with them. Through firm yet gentle guidance, and more than a few doggie treats, a Guide Dog Trainer creates a skilled animal guide for a person with visual impairment.

Training a guide dog occurs through a series of phases. When you’re a Guide Dog Trainer, that bouncing bundle of energy needs to be reined in and taught how to walk at your side without darting off after a cat, dragging you helplessly along for the ride. First lessons start with the basic commands any dog learns, including how to walk on a leash and how to heel.

Once your pooch friend has mastered the art of tuning out distractions, then it’s time to start incorporating more advanced commands. Walking beside a person is one thing, but leading them through crowded streets is a different story. To help its owner out, the dog needs to alert him of obstacles in his path, whether it’s the curb of a sidewalk or an oncoming car.

When the dog graduates, it’s time to train the owner to work with it. It may feel like starting all over again, but soon both dog and owner will fall into a comfortable routine and can take walks through the busiest cities without incident. It’s a rewarding endeavor, knowing your work gives the gift of mobility to others.

Should I be a Guide Dog Trainer?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Guide Dog Instructor, Guide Dog Mobility Instructor, Licensed Guide Dog Instructor, Trick Rodeo Rider

    How to become a Guide Dog Trainer

    Most Guide Dog Trainers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9baeaa&chl=no+college+%2865%25%29|certificate+%2829%25%29|associate%27s+%281%25%29|bachelor%27s+%285%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,65,65
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