Best Colleges for Animal Training

Learn about the best animal training programs in the country, including what you might learn in them and what you might be able to do with a degree or certificate. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Animal training programs are available at both 2-year community colleges and 4-year universities, which means there are relevant degrees at the associate's and bachelor's levels, but there are also standalone training programs at schools that offer certificates or diplomas. These programs might teach students how to train pets to behave, mold a dog into a service animal for a disabled person or work in a zoo or marine park doing animal behavior work. Let's take a look at some of the best programs in this field at each educational level.

Which Schools Have Highly Regarded Animal Training Associate's Degrees?

Some community colleges offer associate's degrees in fields that include animal training as a part of the curriculum. These programs are typically two years in length and include general education coursework as well.

  • Linn-Benton Community College has an Associate of Applied Science in Animal Technology and an Associate of Applied Science in Animal Technology: Horse Management program, plus a seven-acre horse facility just a mile or so down the road.
  • Moorpark College has a program in exotic animal training and management and has such a wide-reaching collection of animals that it's been dubbed America's Teaching Zoo.
  • Santa Fe College also boasts its own zoo, the 10-acre Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, and it offers an Associate of Science in Zoo Animal Technology

What Are the Best Schools for Getting a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Training?

There aren't any schools that offer specific programs dedicated to animal training, but there are several that offer related programs for students interested in animal behavior and science. Some of the best and most unique in the country are these:

  • California State University - Chico earned the ninth spot on U.S. News and World Report's list of the best public schools in the country for 2019. CSU - Chico has a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science degree program
  • Friends University has a bachelor's degree program in zoo science and students have the opportunity for hands-on learning at the nearby Sedgwick County Zoo
  • Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, has the distinction of having the first undergraduate animal behavior program in the country, a program that's still producing graduates today

Are There Schools Dedicated to Animal Training?

One of the most common ways to get into animal training -- especially in the service animal industry -- is to attend a training academy. These academies offer relatively short (compared to 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities) certificate or diploma programs that prepare students to train animals or become certified.

  • The Bergin College of Canine Studies is a nationally recognized school for learning dog training; it offers professional certificates in service dog training as well as an Associate of Science in Assistance Dog Studies
  • CATCH Canine Trainers Academy has a certified dog trainer program that's recommended by top industry organizations
  • The Canine Training and Behavior Specialist Program at Starmark Academy offers 480 hours of advanced dog training

What Can You Do With an Education in Animal Training?

Your career options may depend to a great degree on what educational path you choose. A dog training program might help you become certified to be a teacher at a canine obedience school or to train service animals for disabled people. An associate's degree might prepare you to work with horses professionally or do entry-level work at a veterinary office. And a bachelor's degree might help you find work as an animal behaviorist at a zoo.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Bergin University of Canine Studies

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