Becoming an Animal Trainer

Learn what animal trainers do, where they work, and how a person can become an animal trainer.

Teaching Objectives:

  • Students will be able to list several places where an animal trainer might work.
  • Students will be able to explain various jobs that animals are trained to do.
  • Students will understand that animal trainers work in different capacities and may train animals to work, perform or behave.
  • Students will be able to describe how and why animal trainers might work with people.
  • Students will be able to explain how a person can become an animal trainer.

Suggested Grade Level

5th – 8th Grade

Lesson Excerpt:

People and animals have worked together for thousands of years, and there have been animal trainers since the times when camels were trained to provide transportation and dogs were trained as hunters. Today, animal trainers teach animals to do many things. Some animals, known as service animals, help people who can’t see, hear or walk. Others work with police to find bombs or drugs. Animals are also entertainers. They appear in movies or on television, and they perform in circuses, aquariums and zoos.

Animal trainers might work on the set of a movie or for a police department. They may work for an independent company or for themselves, training animals for other people. Animal trainers who work for zoos, aquariums and circuses are usually known as exotic animal trainers. There are also animal trainers who work with people who want help training their pets. The person may simply need to learn how to house-train a pet, or the pet might be doing something that is a problem that needs to be corrected, like biting or scratching furniture.

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