What does an Animal Trainer do?

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.

Jobs Roles

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