We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.
Roles

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What Does a Dolphin Trainer Do?

By C. Webb
Updated: Mar 03, 2024

A dolphin trainer typically works in an amusement park or water park setting. He or she teaches the dolphins new performances for shows and reinforces already learned performance tricks through positive reinforcement methods. In addition, a dolphin trainer is responsible for monitoring the dolphins' diet, overall health, and emotional well-being.

Behind the scenes, the trainer must feed the dolphins he or she is charged with training. This can involve handling hundreds of pounds of fish each morning. Dolphins are fed three times a day; their feeding is coordinated with rehearsing, medication needs, and habitat cleaning.

Alkalinity and water temperature of the dolphin habitat must be maintained at levels optimum to dolphin health. Checking these levels is the responsibility of the dolphin trainer. Cleaning is usually done by the trainer, who wears a scuba diving suit and gets into the habitat to scrape algae from the glass sides.

Dolphins in captivity are trained to cooperate with veterinarians and others involved in the dolphins' care. Training a dolphin to present itself to a veterinarian for blood work is an example of husbandry training expected of the dolphin trainer. Recordkeeping is an essential part of the dolphin trainer's day. How much food each dolphin consumed, what time medication was administered, and other important details are included in daily records.

Rehearsing the dolphins for shows is another responsibility of the trainer. Developing new routines, building steps for the dolphins to follow, and getting them to perform consistently are time-consuming tasks. Positive reinforcement is typically used to teach dolphins new tricks and rehearse tricks already learned. The dolphin trainer acts as part of the performance for park visitors by commanding the dolphins to perform. Following the show, most trainers remain with the audience to answer questions about dolphins.

Along with training dolphins in captivity, a dolphin trainer will typically be involved with the transportation of dolphins to and from the park. For example, if a new dolphin is coming to the park to live, the dolphin trainer will accompany the transportation team to pick the dolphin up. This helps ensure that the dolphin's stress level will be kept to a minimum as the trainer works on calming the mammal during the trip.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon997871 — On Mar 10, 2017

Is this all true?

By anon337063 — On Jun 02, 2013

This is very good information. Dolphin trainers, killer whale trainers and sea lion trainers all have similar responsibilities.

Share
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.