How to Make Money as a Dog Show Handler

Are you a dog lover and also up for competitions? Then the dog show industry might be the best career move for you. Dog show handling can be a successful career. In most states, dog shows attract competition, and like many competitions, they also attract sponsors and prizes.

The best dogs usually receive thousands of dollars in prize money. Depending on the state in which you reside, there are sometimes shows every weekend that you can join. Further, you can work your way into out-of-state competitions as well.


If you think you would be a great dog handler, continue reading this article. The dog show business requires a lot of specific knowledge and attention to detail. So, here are some steps you should take to ensure you are successful in your new venture.

Dog show handler

1. Choose the Breed You Want To Show

First, identify the kind of breed you want to work with; it is advisable to go with the type you like most. However, if you are still skeptical about which breed to go for, there is a lot of information online that you can utilize. As you choose the right breed, you might have to consider your personality. For instance, if you are not energetic, Yorkshire might be the right breed for you.


2. Learn From Other Dog Show Handlers

Check out the nearest kennel club and attend their shows. If you are in the U.S., The American Kennel Club sponsors dog shows throughout the year. Do not attend only to have fun, indulge with the veterans. Ask them how it goes, which breed is the best in the industry, how much they make on average, and so on. Before you go for your first show, spend as much time as possible researching and networking with other veterans.

3. Consider an Experienced Trainer

You might consider hiring a dog trainer to start, or if you can, train the dog yourself. Though, you can be the dog show handler and not be the trainer. Show dogs in most cases are usually exposed to people; as such, prepare yours to get acquainted with different faces and voices before you hit your first dog show. Training is necessary; your dog must learn to listen to commands such as “sit,” ‘come,” and so on. These skills are needed once you start the show.

How to Make Money as a Dog Show Handler 1


4. Commit to Your First Show

After the training, you are now ready to go for your first dog show. Check within your state and see if any upcoming dog shows that have space for more dog show handlers. You should also find the necessary information on the requirements for the same. If there are guidelines you haven’t met, call your dog groomer and make sure everything is in line with the set principles. Ideally, you should practice during this period within the ring with your dog to help them get used to the environment.

If you like, you can hire a professional to handle the dog for you, or you can do it yourself. Handlers are better equipped to keep your dogs grounded and make sure they behave throughout the show. On the other hand, an unfamiliar handler might scare your dog, so be sure to bring one that is used to your dog.


There is always pay for winners, so if you are lucky and your dog wins, you might go back several thousands of dollars richer. If you don’t win, don’t give up, keep practicing, and training your dog. Next time, you might be the one to get the prize. Becoming a dog show handler requires a lot of commitment and determination. However, once you have broken into the field, you may be surprised at just how profitable it can be.

Also read – Job Description: Dog Breeder