Career summary

Details for Animal Trainers


Description

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.

Tasks

  • Cue or signal animals during performances.
  • Talk to or interact with animals to familiarize them to human voices or contact.
  • Conduct training programs to develop or maintain desired animal behaviors for competition, entertainment, obedience, security, riding, or related purposes.
  • Feed or exercise animals or provide other general care, such as cleaning or maintaining holding or performance areas.
  • Observe animals' physical conditions to detect illness or unhealthy conditions requiring medical care.
  • Evaluate animals to determine their temperaments, abilities, or aptitude for training.
  • Administer prescribed medications to animals.
  • Keep records documenting animal health, diet, or behavior.
  • Evaluate animals for trainability and ability to perform.
  • Advise animal owners regarding the purchase of specific animals.
  • Train horses or other equines for riding, harness, show, racing, or other work, using knowledge of breed characteristics, training methods, performance standards, and the peculiarities of each animal.
  • Use oral, spur, rein, or hand commands to condition horses to carry riders or to pull horse-drawn equipment.
  • Retrain horses to break bad habits, such as kicking, bolting, or resisting bridling or grooming.
  • Train dogs in human assistance or property protection duties.
  • Train dogs to work as guides for the visually impaired.
  • Place tack or harnesses on horses to accustom horses to the feel of equipment.
  • Train and rehearse animals, according to scripts, for motion picture, television, film, stage, or circus performances.
  • Organize or conduct animal shows.
  • Instruct jockeys in handling specific horses during races.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - 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.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Skills

  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Related careers

  • Animal Control Workers
  • Dietetic Technicians
  • Fish and Game Wardens
  • Floral Designers
  • Park Naturalists
  • Residential Advisors
  • Teacher Assistants