Become a Certified Assistance Dog Trainer in DBL’s Three-Year Paid Apprenticeship Program

Are you passionate about working with dogs and helping people? Do you dream of making a meaningful impact on the lives of those in need? Dogs for Better Lives invites you to embark on an exciting journey as an Apprentice Assistance Dog Trainer through our comprehensive three-year paid apprenticeship program.

Note that prior experience is always welcome, but not required. Individuals with experience may be placed anywhere along this path, thereby shortening the length of the apprenticeship for eligible individuals. We’re invested in our employees’ careers, offering extensive training and guidance with many opportunities for continued growth.

Becoming an Assistance Dog Trainer might be right for you if:

  • You have a strong interest in dog behavior and training, with an emphasis of positive reinforcement training techniques.
  • You have love and respect of both dogs and people
  • You are an excellent communicator
  • You are able to travel to our clients for Assistance Dog placements
  • You have a passion for Dogs for Better Lives’ mission

The Training Path:

Kennel Tech

Est. time in this position: About 6 months.

Begin your apprenticeship by mastering essential dog care techniques as a Kennel Tech. Learn how to maintain dogs’ general health, grooming, and proper procedures for medications and inoculations.

Training Assistant (TA)

Est. time in this position: Minimum 3 months.

Progress to the Training Assistant level by honing your training skills, utilizing positive reinforcement dog training methods. Participate in dog evaluation and learn how to identify potential Assistance Dogs. TA’s will continue Kennel Tech duties for about 6 hours per day, while expanding their skills 2 hours daily.

Apprentice Trainer 1

Est. time in this position: 6 months.

In this role, you’ll delve deeper into training methods and obedience skills, with a focus on preparing Assistance Dogs for their essential roles. You’ll learn to communicate with clients who may be Deaf or hard of hearing and continue to assist in the maintenance of the training facility through regular cleaning and feeding.

Apprentice Trainer 2

Est. time in position: About 18 months.

Build on your experience and expertise by assisting Certified Assistance Dog Trainers and working with clients in placements and follow-ups, learning how to provide training to clients. You’ll learn how to professionally demonstrate Assistance Dog techniques in public settings.

Apprentice Trainer 3

Est. time in position: About Est 12 months.

Refine your skills as you gain more independence in training and working with clients and their Assistance Dogs. You’ll learn how DBL places dogs with clients by traveling along with another trainer to participate in placements.  In this role, you may assist TA’s, Apprentice Trainers 1-2, with training techniques. You’ll also learn how to effectively work with the media to present a positive DBL image.

Time to Certified Trainer Status by Starting Level

Applicants may be placed at any starting level, based on the discretion of training leadership:

  •     From Kennel Tech – 45 to 54 months.
  •     From Training Assistant – 39 to 42 months.
  •     From Apprentice 1 – 36 months.
  •     From Apprentice 2 – 30 months.
  •     From Apprentice 3 – 12 months.

Will you join us?

We’re committed to developing the best trainers in the industry. Are you our next rockstar trainer? Start your journey with Dogs for Better Lives by sending us your resume today.