Pet owners from all walks of life find themselves in need of a dog trainer from time to time. An obedient dog can improve the owner's quality of life, and in some cases, it's a safety issue for the dog and owner. Good dog training can also make the difference between keeping the dog or finding another home for him. It's a good home business idea if you know how to work with dogs and have enough yard space to conduct training.
Education and Training
A pet owner is most likely not going to ask you whether you have a college degree, because it's not required. What an owner may be interested in is your certification. The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and other organizations like it tests and certifies dog trainers. Many dog trainers teach themselves, but a certification can help you compete better and improve your knowledge and skills at the same time.
A dog trainer salary ranges from $21,000 to $40,000. Don't forget to maximize your income potential by adding related services and products. Some ideas include:
- Dog walking
- Pet sitting
- Books on dog behavior
- Collars and leashes
- Dog food
If you enjoy answering questions, then you should consider launching a dog owners club online and charge membership fees. You can provide articles and other resources, a forum, and answer member questions by email.
Options for Dog Training
You can offer group training sessions for dogs. Some dog trainers prefer to make more money per hour with group sessions, and it creates a social atmosphere that makes it fun for the dog owners as well. You can also offer one-on-one sessions. It might be necessary to travel to the owner's home if there are specific problems that can only be addressed where the dog lives. You should include travel costs in your fee, and limit how much you travel so that you don't end up working away from home much. Some dog training will also take place via email and on the phone, when you consult with pet owners about how to problem solve on-going issues.
Marketing Your Business
Getting results for your customers is one of the most important aspects of marketing your business. You want to build up a customer base that can attest to the fact that you know how to turn a disobedient dog into an obedient one. The reason is two-fold. To begin, you can use success stories in your pitch to future customers. You'll also have customers doing the same thing, as people take notice of how well your customers' dogs behaves.
You'll also need business cards to hand out to pet owners as you meet them. If there are dog shows, state fairs and other opportunities to "show off" your dog or another dog that you work with, then you should enter them. If you win competitions, people will want to know more about you, and you can include awards on your marketing materials.
You need a business plan before you work as a dog trainer. It should forecast your expenses and a plan to pay for it as you get started.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.