Do you want to become a canine handler?

If you like dogs and have a hand with them, and enough patience, you can become a canine handler. Today I am going to tell you what you need to achieve your goal and launch yourself into a booming profession in our country.

What is a canine handler

The first thing you should know is what a canine handler is. The aim of the handler is to present the animal in contests, exhibitions and exhibitions . You don’t have to be a breeder, nor do you have to be a dog trainer ; but that does not mean that you do not have to have a previous preparation.

The handler must have knowledge of the breed to be prepared, but also of hairdressing, style and even training. Remember that the objective of this profession is to present (and accompany) the dog in competitions and exhibitions, so you must carry out previous work with him. Otherwise, you will not achieve the best results.

Canine handler functions

As we have already said, the handler has to develop a series of functions so that his work achieves success rates . And you will have to work on many aspects of the dog. We are going to see the most important thing if you want to stand out in the profession.


You must control the animal at all times, avoiding that it gets nervous in front of the public or that it shows erratic or aggressive behaviors. This entails knowing your dog perfectly to know how to mentally encourage him before and during the exhibition. But also to be able to anticipate any unexpected reaction .


Among your functions, there are also those of training the dog. But, of course, always with a view to its presentation to the public . Aspects such as socialization, position, walking correctly, … and other aspects related to the exhibition.


It is important that the dog looks perfectly, that is why you will have to have notions of dog grooming . Preventing it from appearing with tangles or that last minute dirt joins the design of the hairstyle (always according to the rules of the breed) of our dog.

Requirements to be a handler

You must bear in mind that the canine handler forms a team with his dog. Therefore, your presence on stage must also be taken care of , according to each event. You must act with agile and graceful movements since doing it awkwardly will cause your dog to act in a similar way.

It is also important to take into account aspects such as punctuality . You must be prepared in advance to avoid unnecessary delays. In turn, you must remain calm so as not to transfer nerves to the animal.

Although you can find courses on the market to prepare you as a canine handler, in practice there is no legal requirement to be one. But it is important that you see yourself qualified to carry out your work.

In addition, it is important that you are able to gain the trust of dog owners and that you have certain notions of dog training . What will facilitate your access to the world of handling. That way, together with the recognition of your work, you can increase your cache.

How much does a canine handler earn?

The salaries that you can obtain will vary depending on multiple aspects , such as your professional successes or the time you have been practicing. Of course, there is also no collective agreement that regulates the stipulated amounts, but the average for a handler who arrives new to the circuit is $30 / hour.

Divyesh Patel