How to Start a Home-based Dog Training Business

How to Start a Home-based Dog Training Business

by Peggy O. Swager

Paperback(First Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


The demand for skilled dog trainers has never been greater. To succeed in one of this field, you'll need more than dog expertise you'll need business savvy as well. Written for the non-business person, this book provides the information you need to start,

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762780044
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 11/06/2012
Series: Home-Based Business Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 269,894
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Peggy O. Swager currently has a dog consultation business where she helps dog owners resolve unwanted and difficult behaviors. Peggy has written articles for Dog World, AKC Gazette, OffLead Magazines and many other magazines and is the author of two breed books on Jack Russell/Parson Russell Terriers and a breed book on Boston Terriers. Her dog training book, Training the Hard to Train Dog has received strong reviews.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

01 The Diverse World of Dog Training 1

Why Become a Dog Trainer? 1

Is This Job for You? 2

The Need for Dog Training 3

Finding Your Niche in a Diverse Dog Training World 4

Personal Journeys of Dog Training Success 5

02 Before You Begin 12

Training, Skills, and Knowledge Needed 12

Your Support System-Everyone in the Family Ends Up Involved 16

Friends Can Be Valuable Assistants 17

Reaching Out to Others in the Dog Community 18

Building Your Name in the Dog Community 21

Avoiding Negative Dog Politics 22

Mining Future Business-Treating All Dog Contacts as Potential Customers 23

03 Create Your Home Office and Work Space 24

Setting Up Your Home Office Area 24

Do You Really Need a Home Office? 25

Things You'll Need in Your Home Office 25

Dog Area That Is Specific and Separate 29

Convenances and Zoning 30

Licensing and Permits 31

Health Department and State Regulations 31

Being a Good Neighbor 31

04 Getting Down to Business 33

Your Business Plan 33

The Right Balance for Success 38

What's in a Name? 39

Your Logo and Business Image 40

Obtaining a Website Address 41

Business Structure Options 44

Why You Need an Attorney 47

05 Taxes and Record Keeping 49

The Difference between Bookkeeping and Accounting 49

What Is Cash Flow and What Is Accrual? 54

Record Keeping 55

Understanding Balance Sheets, Income Statements, and Cash Flow Reports 60

A Healthy Perspective 69

Expense Analysis 69

Educational Help Outside of College Courses 72

06 Insuring Your Success 73

Homeowner Insurance Extensions or Independent Policies 73

Automobile Insurance 75

Liability Insurance 75

Business Interruption Insurance 77

Workman's Compensation 78

Do You Need an Independent Insurance Agent? 79

07 Banking on Your Future 80

Checking and Savings Accounts 80

Checks as Receipts 81

Charge Cards and Credit Cards 82

08 Financing Your Training Business 86

What It Will Cost 86

Small Business Loans 89

Is Credit Card Financing Practical? 92

Are Investors a Solution? 92

Where to Buy Supplies 93

Guidelines about Selling Merchandise 94

Setting Your Prices 94

09 The Basics of Working at Home 96

Keeping Track of Paperwork for Your Clients' Dogs 96

Notes When Doing Private Consultations 96

Class Syllabus and a Contract for Training Classes 100

Using the Computer-and More-to Your Advantage 103

The Telephone-Fielding Potential Client Questions 106

The Great Information Exchange 108

Office Hours-Setting Parameters with Clients and Family 109

10 Constructing Your Training Business 111

Creating Training Areas at Your Residence 111

Getting an Idea of the Size You Need for a Class 113

Renting Facilities for Dog Training 114

Facility Considerations 115

Acquiring Needed Equipment 115

Dealing with the Doo-Doo 116

Building Your Reference Library 116

Dressing the Part When Meeting the Public 121

Dog Consultations 122

Creating a Training Contract 123

11 Marketing and Public Relations 125

Building Word of Mouth 125

Websites That Sell Your Business 126

Using Social Media 126

Business Cards and Brochures 132

Advertising through Veterinarians, Groomers, and Doggy Day Care Centers 134

Advertising through Print 135

Dog Booths at Shows or Events 136

Mailing Out Advertisements 136

Mining Future Customers from Current Customers 137

Gift Certificates 138

A Few Last Tips 139

12 Behind the Scenes 142

Qualifications for Teaching Classes 142

Other Education Needed in Trainers 147

Places to Learn Your Skills 147

What Is a Behaviorist? 148

Certifications for Dog Trainers 149

Organizations That Promote Specific Disciplines 150

Rally and Agility Organizations 151

Dog Training Schools 151

A Petsmart or Petco Education 152

E-Training 153

13 Growing Your Business 158

The Advantage of Starting Small 158

Selling Equipment 159

Offering Other Dog Services 160

Adding Staff 160

Hiring Employees Means Paperwork 164

Paying Employees 164

Hiring a Subcontractor or Independent Contractor 166

An Important Note about Insurance 167

The Family Factor with Small Business Employees 167

Motivating Your Employees to Do Their Best 168

Concluding Thoughts 170

Appendix A Roundtable Questions 171

Appendix B Dog Training Associations and Certifications 183

Appendix C Resources 185

Appendix D Sample Brochure 187

Index 188

About the Author 192

Customer Reviews