New TAFE course addresses demand for qualified assistant dog trainers

New TAFE course addresses demand for qualified assistant dog trainers

The launch of TAFE NSW Orange’s Animal Behaviour and Learning course aims to help with the demand for qualified professionals in the animal behavior industry.

Initially launched to help address the post-COVID boom in dog ownership, the course has been taken up by dog owners from a broad range of groups from domestic dog owners, pet sitters, kennel workers, agility trainers, and assistance dog trainers, an area which is now covered by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Madi Namec, who studied a Certificate III in Animal Studies at TAFE Orange, said the course was essential for anyone who wants to own a well-trained dog.

“The course covered a range of different topics which will help anyone interested in working with animals, especially identifying and understanding an animal’s body language, conditioning techniques and the methods used to train animals in other people’s homes.”

As NSW now has more than 270,000 working farm dogs, up from 80,000 in 2018, the Animal Behaviour industry is seeing an emerging demand for qualified professionals with a projected growth rate of over 10 percent and a predicted 2,000 new jobs by 2024.

Michelle Bond, Head Teacher of Animal Services at TAFE NSW Orange, said animal attendants and trainers have been highlighted as the top occupation in demand within the animal services sector.

“There has never been a better time to join the animal services industry, especially with the expansion of assistance dogs into the fields covered by the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“We have seen considerable interest from people working in different areas such as animal care shelters and pounds, kennels, veterinary clinics, and training centers. It is a great entry-level qualification for those wanting to launch a career in the industry and provides an excellent foundation for work or further study.”

Bond said that the Statement of Attainment in Animal Behaviour and Learning is about teaching practical skills in maintaining and monitoring animal health and wellbeing, providing enrichment for animals, assisting with conditioning animals, and providing information on companion animals.

The TAFE NSW Certificate III in Animal Studies is fully subsidized by the NSW Government to help meet the growing demand for skilled workers and allows students to learn hands-on skills at TAFE NSW at no cost.

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