If you’re a dog lover, starting a dog training business might be a great way to earn money doing something you enjoy. For this business, your main goal is to offer various levels of obedience classes to dogs and their owners. While it’s great to have a love for dogs, this alone isn’t enough to run a successful training business. You should also get the proper professional training, obtain certification, and learn how to advertise and market your business to attract clients.
Learn How to Be a Top-Rate Dog Trainer
Before you begin offering dog training services to the public, it’s a good idea to take one or more training courses. While there’s no official university degree for dog training, you can take college courses that focus on animal behaviour or zoology to get a basic foundation of knowledge. Many professional trainers get their start either by working as an apprentice to a professional trainer, or by taking dog training courses.
Be prepared to strike out on your own path. Look at various dog training programs, and decide which ones are right for you. Since this is an unregulated area of study, do your due diligence, and make sure trainers and facilities are legitimate and credible before plunking down course fees. Keep in mind you’re not going to learn absolutely everything about dog training in a few weeks, or even in a few months. Becoming a top-rated dog trainer can take years of dedication, trial, and error. However, if you’re eager to learn and truly love training dogs, your budding business may bloom faster than you imagine.
Since anyone can call themselves a dog trainer, a good way to elevate your standing as a professional is to join professional organizations and get certified. Worthy organizations include the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and the International Association of Canine Professionals. Membership in these organizations gives you instant access to an array of dog training resources, important information about the dog training profession, and networking events and opportunities. Being a member also gives your business the kind of credibility that can establish trust between you and potential clients. Membership can also boost your chances of getting your first clients.
Interested in getting certified as a professional dog trainer? The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers has an online application and study materials you can download.
Setting Up a Three-Step Marketing Plan
Drumming up business for your dog training services requires taking proactive measures. Remember, you’re competing with other trainers for the same pet owners. How do you stand out and get noticed? One way is to create a three-step marketing plan for your business.
Step 1: Create a Memorable Brand
Brand your business by creating a memorable business name and cool logo. Place your logo on print-on-demand T-shirts, pens, flyers, brochures, letterhead, and other items you can sell or give away for free. Wear your T-shirt to social and networking events, when running errands, and pretty much wherever you want people to notice you’re a dog trainer.
Step 2: Create and Distribute Branded Content
As part of a broad content marketing strategy, you can write blog articles, create an online newsletter, create a brochure, produce helpful tip sheets, and star in streaming training videos. Use your networking contacts and social media to distribute this content far and wide.
Step 3: Create Referral Sources
Once your business gets rolling, referrals can make up a significant portion of your clientele. Set up a system of mutual referrals with other dog trainers, local vets, pet sitters, and other pet-related businesses. You can also ask happy clients to refer their dog owner friends. By getting professional dog training and experience, you can build a successful dog training business that offers great rewards.