How to become a cynologist

Cynologists are people who train dogs. Of course, when we think of cynologists, we imagine people who work in  military or policy field, but dogs help people in many areas, and they all need training. For example, cynologists can train guide dogs, guard dogs or just domestic dogs with behaviour issues. Dogs help patients to escape from coma, search for drugs in airports, save drowning people, looking for people under the rubble - and cynologists teach them to do all these incredible things.


The main requirement for a cynologist is love for dogs and willingness to work with them. A lot of people would say they love dogs, but not many people’s love is strong enough to spend a big part of their life on working with them.

Cynologists must have a strong character, so that any dog would take him for the leader of the pack and obey his orders.

A good physical form is very important in working with dogs, especially if they are large guard or hunting dogs.

Sometimes it is also required that cynologists should have their own dog - or gain experience of working with dogs in other ways, for example, by volunteering in a canine shelter.

Cynologists must understand the psychology of the dog, know its anatomy and physiology, and be able to provide veterinary first-aid.

Career options

Professional cynologists are welcome in various institutions - military, police, animal care, zoos, social work. Some career paths, for example, working with police dogs, require a degree in Animal Science or Veterinary Medicine, but many of them are available after completing special courses after graduating from high school. The rules are rather similar in all countries.

Many cynologists are self-employed and work on freelance.