Animal Trainers Job Description video

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People love animals -- and animals are even more lovable when they're well-trained. Professional animal trainers teach animals new behaviors… whether it's a complicated routine at a live animal show… a search and rescue operation… or simply training a puppy not to jump up onto visitors. Animals such as dogs, birds and monkeys have been trained to assist individuals who are deaf, blind or mobility-impaired. Many types of animals can be conditioned to live and work with people, but dogs are by far the most common. Trainers use a variety of techniques. The simplest is rewarding the correct action with food or praise. The type of animal and the purpose of the training dictate the working conditions. But every trainer must possess incredible patience and be able to maintain their composure when animals misbehave. A love of animals may direct you to this field, but you need to love every aspect of their care and upkeep as well. Animal handling can be physically strenuous, especially with large animals. Some vocational schools and colleges offer coursework and degree programs, but apprenticeships to more experienced trainers are usually required too. The pay is generally low -- many trainers also find work at kennels, stables and grooming services to make more money. The more exotic jobs, such as those in live-animal shows, movies or TV, zoos and research facilities tend to be difficult to find. Some of these, such as marine mammal trainer, may require a bachelor’s degree and additional skills such as swimming and SCUBA diving. Good communication skills -- with owners AND their furry or feathered friends -- is a necessary asset to building a reputation and a career in managing animal behaviors.

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