What should I charge for my dog training? This can be a difficult dog training business problem to solve for some trainers, especially new trainers and people trying to decide if they want to be a dog trainer.
Not only can it be a difficult problem to solve, but most dog trainers and “want to be dog trainers” are going to the wrong sources for their answer.
There are many factors involved in helping you decide what to charge for your dog training.
Some of these are:
Geographical location and the “norm” for dog training in that area
What type of training do you want to do?
- Private lessons in the home
- Private lessons at a pet resort or kennel
- Group Obedience classes
- Private training for behavior or general dog and puppy issues
- Amount of experience you have
- Your own healthy sense of what you’re worth
Demographics of the area you live in will definitely play a part in how much you can charge. Generally speaking, a big bustling city like Houston where we live folks will pay a higher price for training. A small rural town or community is not as likely to pay a higher price. What part of the country can also determine the value placed on dog training. All things to consider as you figure out your price.
Where you want to train has a large impact on your fee also. The most customized your delivery method such as going to the clients home, demands a higher fee. Higher fees sound good, but you must remember that going to a client’s home requires you to figure in driving time to and from. Going into homes will decrease the number of clients you can see in a day.
Private lessons at a pet resort, is another revenue stream. Clients are coming to you so it’s not as customized but because they come to you, you can do more lessons in a day. You do not have the time constraints and expense of going to their home.
Group Obedience Classes. These are usually the most cost effective for dog owners who just need the basics. You won’t charge as much per client, but you will make revenue in the numbers. Instead of teaching one to one, you are using the one to many method which always is a higher return. You will though have to consider what you will pay for rent.
What type of training do you want to do.
The amount of experience you have will be an important element in this decision. Doing basic obedience and puppy training is not the same thing as working on behavior issues with a dog and its family. You must also decide what behaviors you’re willing to work on. Do you want to do aggression or not? You certainly don’t have to.
The amount of experience you have is also big part of determining your fee. It’s like anything else, the greener you are the less you charge. But you’ll only get to charge more with gained experience.
Here’s where people get off track with figuring out what to charge.
I see it all the time on Yahoo questions and from new trainers that call us. They have read on the internet or Yahoo answers that “until they get a lot of experience” they can’t charge anything.
This is a mindset issue. Yes, you can’t charge what a veteran dog trainer charges but you are bringing value to your training job. Do your research, find a fee that feels comfortable for you with the amount of experience you have and charge that fee.
Even when family members or friends ask you to train their dog – you are a professional, charge a fee.
Here’s something to think about:
The amount of money you charge is directly related to the experience and expertise you bring to the training. If you have studied dog training and worked with dogs you have a level or experience that you bring to the training. Make your fee appropriate for that experience.
If you do not place value on your knowledge, no matter how limited it might be at the time, then no one else will place value on it either. You are building a business.
Leila Martin, is the brains behind the success of petiquettedog.com on the marketing side. She has run our online and offline marketing system since 2006. Leila’s ability to grow our online presence using both a website and social media in the dog training world has been a critical part of petiquettedog.com success . She has tripled the number of visitors to our website and increased our revenue by 25% each year. Bottom line: Our appointment book is always filled.
In her spare time Leila can be seen in her office dancing with our black lab Sammy Burwell