Being a Dog Trainer

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by CharlieDog, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    I'm not really sure how to start this off... but my mother has gotten several people asking her if I can come work with their dogs, and get them to do basic things, like sitting and not jumping on people, etc.

    I can do all that no problem, but these people are expecting to hire me, and expecting to pay something for me doing the work.

    I don't know what to charge them. I also don't know what to tell them in terms of how long it's going to take. Typically, it doesn't take me that long to teach most dogs something new or different, but every dog is different, obviously, so I don't really know what timeline I should give them, or how to tell the that THEY are going to have to do most of the work, and I'm just there to tell the what to do.

    Also, should I charge more the more stuff they want me to tech their dog?

    I've never done this before. I've trained dogs for money, but it was a set rate, for a friend, and it was mostly socialization and basic obedience. I didn't choose the price either, she paid me a 100 a week to take the dogs everywhere and work with them as much or as little as I wanted to, as long as they learned basic obedience etc.

    I just don't know what to do is the point. Does anyone have any advice?
     
  2. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Welll, around here the going rate for in-home private lessons seems to be about $75/hour. You can charge less, but I wouldn't go much lower than $50. You are providing a valuable service and deserve to be properly compensated for your time. :)
     
  3. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Find out what the going rate is... make up some 'lesson plans' with home work for the owners.

    I just tell people it takes as long as it takes. Some dogs and owners are very fast.. some struggle.
     
  4. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    It seems to be anywhere from 50 to 75 like Zoom said, but I think most of these are established businesses.
     
  5. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Then start with 50. I like offering package deals. So 50 a session or 4 for 175.
     
  6. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    That's sounds like the plan pretty much. Thanks guys!

    I'll have to figure out some "homework" as well.
     
  7. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    CD.
    Keep in mind that if clients are having you come to them and you are training their dog for the most part to keep the handouts short and simple. Maybe even printing off NILIF for them to post on the fridge lol.
    And if you are doing most of the homework, guaranteed most of them wont do any homework, so will especially if they start getting results and their having fun lol.
     
  8. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Okay, I will definitely keep that in mind.
    Thank you again!
     
  9. Lizmo

    Lizmo Water Junkie

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    Not to take away from Kim's original post. But would this go for minors, too? $50?

    I charged $5 a "time"...usually an hour. I feel cheated now. :p
     
  10. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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  11. Sch3Dana

    Sch3Dana Workin' Dog

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    I think on this kind of a service prices should vary considerably depending on the skill and experience of the trainer. If you are young and have only trained a few dogs, minimum wage might seem fair. It gives you a chance to get your hands on more dogs so that you can gain experience. Of course, the people are also expecting some sort of result. It may take you much longer to make those results if you are fairly "green". I think the best thing is to charge a small amount per hour and do all the training yourself (training the dog every day) so you do 1/2 hour to an hour per day with the dog. This way you control all the training and can learn as you go.

    Once you are more experienced with the training, you can start coaching the people better. Then you can charge more per hour doing private lessons and meet with the people weekly to teach them how to train the dog. When you are still learning, it is really too much to teach someone else how to do what you are just figuring out for yourself. When you are really good, you'll also be able to handle this in a group class setting and still do a good job. Teaching groups effectively is very difficult- I rarely see trainers who really do a good job at this. It's definitely a job that should be left to the most experienced trainers.

    Of course, if you are already really experienced (trained dozens of dogs through advanced obedience), then you should just see what your local competition is charging and use those rates as a guide. Jump in a start competing for the business. Of course, keep in mind that there are many skills as a dog trainer, one of them is sales ability. Your competition might be able to sell training at a higher rate than you can just based on that skill. If you are not comfortable selling, you might consider studying that end of the business, too.
     

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