10 Most Creative Dog Training Business Card Ideas

10 Most Creative Dog Training Business Card Ideas

Business cards should quickly show who you are, what services you provide, and legible contact information. You should include a phone number, an email address, and your website at the very least. Your brand should show clearly so that people have an idea of what they can expect from you. An outstanding business card can set you apart from other businesses in your area. The following dog training business cards go above and beyond the norm.

Dog Tag Mimic

The price tag tear off can easily be turned into a discount amount if someone sees your card and calls you for dog training help. The size and shape of this card can come in handy when determining where to leave it around town.

Kraftcuts

Kraftcuts

Oddly Shaped + Oddly Eye Catching

This cat tail business card idea can easily to altered into a dog’s tail to have the same effect. Its unusual size and shape can help you stand out, but might also cost a few extra dollars to produce.

Quick Sprout

Quick Sprout

Dog Behind Glass Card

This adorable card really captures your attention. It provides the viewer with a unique perspective while providing important contact information.

Design Crowd

Design Crowd

Clicker Business Card

While most pet owners won’t know what the clicker is for, this can be a unique way to grab their attention. Accomplish two tasks at once with this clicker business info idea!

Pet Expertise

Pet Expertise

Fun + Durable

This kind of card is sure to stand out from the crowd. They are a bit more expensive, but they really make a statement.

Plastic Card Online

Plastic Card Online

Clean + Informative

This card provides all the necessary information with a clean and colorful design that is pleasing to the eye.

Chelsea McKenna

Chelsea McKenna

Modern + Professional

Potential customers know they are getting someone who values professionalism when they call the contact info on this card.

Design Crowd

Design Crowd

Unique + Fun

While I don’t think most people would feed this one to their dog, they might pick it up to do so before they notice the information. This business “card” is a great way to get your information into someone’s hand.

dogcoach

Personality + Eye Catching

This card shows a lot of personality and brings out good emotions in the person looking at it. It also makes the person curious about what it might be about.

By JB Pictures

By JB Pictures

Folded Ears

dog training business cards

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This is my personal business card that I made recently. It has received lots of positive feedback and I’ve already had one client mention that they saw my card at a local coffee shop. I’m offering the dog face and ears design for free to anyone who wants them on their business cards and you can click here and here to download them.

When you’re designing business cards, don’t be afraid to go for a 3D design. They don’t necessarily cost more if you cut or fold them yourself!

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How To Start A Dogs and Babies Program

How To Start A Dogs and Babies Program

It can be daunting to coach others how to achieve a smooth transition for the dog in the house to a home with a baby, especially if you haven’t personally experienced it. It is more than encouraging the owner to bring home the baby blanket from the hospital for the dog to sniff.

image via Erin Bessey - Bessey's Positive Paws

image via Erin Bessey – Bessey’s Positive Paws

What Do You Cover?

As a trainer you already have more tools in your pocket to work with the parents than you might realize. When working with expectant parents that seek you out, often they are first time parents. They are being proactive in preparing their dog and home for the new addition. A lot of the preparation is looking to see where management will be effective, refreshing basic behaviors and dealing with the bad habits, understanding the level of exposure & socialization the dog has had to infants, babies & toddlers and recognizing stress signals in the dog and educating the owner about them.

 Programs That Help

If you are a trainer that has had little experience with the different developmental stages of babies it is important to become familiar with them. There is a large difference between the infant and the baby that crawls. There are some excellent resources out there to help you as a trainer with this. Family Paws Parent Education has an abundance of information for parents and a program available to you as a trainer, Dogs & Storks, preparing families with dogs that are expecting a baby, and Dogs & Toddlers which prepares dogs for a life with a toddler.

Collene Pellar has a great book available called Living with Kids and Dogs. It is about managing kid and dog interactions from birth until young adults. This can apply to a family with a new baby in it or even the home that only has visiting children like nieces and nephews. She also has a book available specifically for people who work with dogs.

Management is Essential

Starting a dogs and babies program is all about setting the dog and family up for success, as is most of our training. Encourage them to think about how their lifestyle is going to change. It is important to impress upon them that the dog should have its own safe place away from the baby and the possible chaos. Bring back the crates, dog beds, or pens and refresh going to place. While children are a blessing and the baby becomes the number 1 in the family, it is important to remind them to advocate for the dog. The dog shouldn’t have to tolerate or be subjected to tail and ear tugs, being climbed over and having toys constantly snatched away from him.

It is rewarding to work with expectant parents especially during their pregnancy. They are being proactive and diligent about preparing their dog for the change. They will likely be some of your most compliant clients. Encourage them to expose their dog early to all the changes coming, the new equipment, noises, strollers and car seats. The programs can work as a group settings without the dog or as private sessions.

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Guest Post: How to Build a Successful Dog Training Business

Guest Post: How to Build a Successful Dog Training Business

dog training business

All dog trainers want to build a healthy and successful dog training business. But as your dog training business grows, so does the stress of managing your expanding client list, schedule, and income stream.

The act of putting best practices in place to help you manage your growth sounds like both a daunting and tedious task. But the truth is it’s not. There are simple tips to follow and free technology available to make the act of building a successful and scalable training business a breeze.

Your Client List

To provide the quickest and highest quality service to prospective clients, you need to know who your client is, how to reach them, and what their needs are.

Keeping all this information in a single location will pay large dividends as your customer base grows. Mobile tools these days allow you to keep all your client contact information, notes, transaction history, and payment statuses in an easily accessible spot. Client data and access to information in the most convenient way possible will save you a tremendous amount of time, especially as your days start filling up with more and more client visits.

Schedule & Appointments

The days of pen and paper scheduling are over!

Keep an organized daily, weekly, and monthly calendar in place that’s easily accessible and able to be updated on the fly. Appointment details constantly change, so give yourself a digital tool that allows for easy edits and updates. Not to mention, new clients reach out to you at random times throughout the course of the day, so put convenient systems in place to efficiently field these appointment requests and add them to your calendar without having to play phone tag.

Make sure your clients stay organized too. That means automating and customizing notifications and reminders sent to clients about upcoming classes, sessions, or private lessons. This will ensure your clients are always on the same page, and will ‘professionally and politely’ remind them of upcoming appointments with you, so you never experience a no-show again.

pocketsuite3

Payments

Everyone likes getting paid. The trick is to ensure that no payment ever slips through the cracks.

Protect yourself before walking into any training session. Ask clients to put their card down to reserve appointments ahead of time. This will not only reduce flaky clients and last-minute cancellations, but will professionally demonstrate to your clients that your time is valuable. Not mention, your entire payment process is streamlined once your appointment is complete – say farewell to those awkward “How much do I owe you?” conversations…Simply charge your clients as you’re walking out the door, and move on to your next appointment.

If you still prefer to invoice, then make sure no invoices are ever left hanging. Part of this is setting up a simple monitoring system to enable you to get notified with each invoice that has been paid. Then give yourself an easy dashboard to keep yourself up to date on any invoices still outstanding. This will also give you a sense as to who your best clients are (and even who your worst ones are).

Putting These Ideas Into Practice

Pocket Suite - dog trainer screen shotThe question now becomes how to implement these tips in the easiest and least disruptive way possible.

Good news! There are now tools out there that help solo professionals run their business from their phone. The key is to find the tools that are simple, that are affordable, and that move with you wherever you go – mobile. The more a single app does, the easier your life becomes.

As you start growing and winning more business, you’ll be able to bring these clients on in the most efficient way possible, maintaining your ability to serve them well – all the while making your day-to-day a lot less stressful.

Ready to be more efficient and professional with your clients? PocketSuite is a free iPhone app that provides all of these services for free! Download and access it through the Modern Dog Trainer’s referral link here.

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About The Author

Entrepreneur.com HeadshotSam Madden is the co-founder of PocketSuite, the first mobile business tool for independent professionals and solopreneurs. Sam spent most of his career researching and investing in business technology for small and medium-sized businesses. He has since shifted all of his focus to build great technologies like PocketSuite to help eager and independent professionals succeed. You can read more about Sam’s mission on Entrepreneur Magazine.

PocketSuite is a new mobile app for dog trainers helping them run and build a better business. PocketSuite empowers pet professionals with the ability to schedule appointments, invoice customers, collect payment, track income, and communicate with clients…All from a single app. PocketSuite is a free iPhone app to download and can be accessed through the Modern Dog Trainer’s referral link.

How Dog Trainers Go Paperless: Introducing The Boogie Board Sync 9.7

How Dog Trainers Go Paperless: Introducing The Boogie Board Sync 9.7

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Boogie Board Sync 9.7 Can Help You Go Paperless

As a dog trainer, there are a lot of things we will need to take notes for, whether it is a new idea for a class or notes for each of our clients. Dog trainers can go through a lot of paper. A lot of modern dog trainers are now trying to go paperless in the new year, but still struggle with how to take their notes. Computers can be bulky, tablets can be expensive. Some trainers do not type well, but using a stylus on a tablet is not always accurate. What is a dog trainer supposed to do? Let me introduce you to the Boogie Board Sync 9.7.

The Boogie Board Sync is a 9.7″ ewriter that is less than 1/8″ thick. The screen is LCD that can be written on without power, however must be turned on to erase. The stylus is extremely accurate and is just like writing on paper. Now what makes the Boogie Board Sync 9.7 more than just a notepad?

The Boogie Board Sync 9.7 can be synced through Bluetooth to your phone or computer and the notes transferred instantly onto your computer or phone. Your pages can be saved into separate notebooks or they can be saved to your computer as a PDF. Pages can also be saved internally on the Boogie Board until you can transfer them to a computer or phone. Pages cannot, however, be brought back up on the e-writer once you have saved and erased them.

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The Boogie Board Sync 9.7 has an erase button, a save button, an on/off button, and a place to store your stylus. The internal battery is charged through a mini USB port. A charge under normal use will last about five days.

Writing on the Boogie Board is like writing with a pen, you cannot erase certain marks as the erase button erases the whole page. This is something to keep in mind before you purchase a Boogie Board. The app for the Boogie Board has recently updated so you can edit a Boogie Board page through the app. You can also create shortcuts to automatically sort your Boogie Board pages to certain notebooks in the Sync app.

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Some extra perks that people can utilize:

  • Boogie Board has a real-time function with a phone or computer, allowing whatever you write on the Boogie Board to instantly show up on the phone or computer screen. This can be good for presentations or projects. You can still see the writing on the Boogie Board so you are not having to look at one screen while writing on another.
  • Boogie Board can sync automatically to Evernote, which is a program growing in popularity with dog trainers.
  • The Boogie Board can also sync with e-mail and social media almost instantly to share your notes.

Some issues that people may have a problem with include:

  • The contrast of the screen. While I have not run into any issues with it, the screen is black and the writing is a green color. I could see this being an issue with someone who does not have good eye sight.
  • Some people do not realize before they purchase a Boogie Board that you cannot erase certain parts of the screen, it is all or nothing.
  • Some people do not realize before they purchase a Boogie Board that you cannot bring back a saved page on the actual Boogie Board, this would have to be done through the app.

The Boogie Board Sync 9.7 retails for around $80.99. The Boogie Board is available for purchase at local stores such as Best Buy, Costco, and Kohl’s, and also online at sites such as Amazon. If you’re interested in going paperless this year, but do not have the money to purchase an expensive tablet, the Boogie Board Sync 9.7 is a cost conscious alternative that you will not be disappointed in.

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Guest Post: Establishing a Working Relationship with a Local Veterinarian or Clinic

Guest Post: Establishing a Working Relationship with a Local Veterinarian or Clinic

Establishing a working relationship with a local veterinarian or clinic can be very lucrative. It can range anywhere from a small percentage of your total monthly or yearly clientele and income to one hundred percent of your entire business. One veterinarian, with whom I worked for many years, when asked what type of person she would look for in a dog trainer, had this to say:

Someone who is a certified professional and shows me commitment, is experienced, and gentle and patient with animals. I’m more comfortable if I’ve seen them with animals personally. [They should be] willing to travel for in-home visits and handle owners well. You have to learn how to get the owners to be compliant, even if they are know-it-alls or stupid, all of which are very common.”

Before you go out to your local vet’s office and just try to introduce yourself, there are a few things that you should think about…

Write A Concise Introduction Letter

go away image

Writing a letter of introduction is probably the most effective way to start a relationship with a veterinarian. Veterinarians are generally very busy people! Visiting them during business hours without an appointment or invitation can be like having an off-leash dog interrupt your training session and start humping your client’s dog. Nobody wants to see that!

Writing a letter is the best opportunity you will have to tell them exactly what you have to offer and why they should choose to send their clients to you for training. Send letters to all the veterinarians in your area, addressed directly to the doctors themselves. Call them back and follow-up. Offer to bring in lunch or refreshments and discuss your services.

You might even offer to pay for an office call in order to compensate them for listening to you.

Know And Embrace Your Limitations!

Be clear and concise about both your strengths and your limitations. Remember, limitations are not shortcomings or weaknesses, but rather the limits within which you are comfortable or qualified to operate. You never want to misrepresent your abilities or qualifications. Being comfortable with your own limitations will help allow you to project a more professional attitude. It also keeps you out of trouble. You never want to accept an aggression case if you are not comfortable or qualified, the same way that you would never diagnosis a medical problem in a client’s dog. Build a strong network of other trainers and behavior consultants and know when to refer up the ladder.

Join Dog Training Trade Organizations

Two of the main organizations that veterinarians search to find dog trainers are The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). Both of these organizations have trainer listings and searches that make it easy for you to be found. Other organizations, such as The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) have the same types of listings and searches. However, overall recognition of these organizations by veterinarians seems in my experience to be very limited.

Acquire Professional Credentials

You will find that most veterinarians will take you more seriously if you are a certified professional. Achieving certification in dog training shows that you have made a serious commitment to your trade as well as to your own personal growth. The certification that veterinarians are most familiar with is Certified Professional Dog Trainer, either Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) or Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA). Both of these are available through the CCPDT, the only independent body that exists for certification in dog training.

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Become Aware Of The Veterinary Trade Organizations

Spend some time, if you haven’t already, and become aware of some of the different veterinary trade organizations and their missions. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and The Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) are two good examples. Membership in these organizations is voluntary and standards and guidelines are above and beyond those set by the rest of the industry. Being aware of which organizations a veterinarian is or is not a member of will help you to tailor your conversation, once you’ve started it.

Now that you know how to establish a relationship with your local veterinarian(s), who are you going to contact first?

Special thanks to Dr. Rebecca Simmons-Resnick for her input, Dr. Amy White, Ashley Ford, and Poppy for modeling for the photos, and Terri Dickinson for taking them!

About The Author

John StawickiJohn Stawicki is a force-free dog behavior trainer living in Cape Fear, NC, with his lovely wife Paige, and their seven assorted mutts. Together, they contemplate dogdom and their place in the universe. He may be reached at Cape Fear Positive Dog Training.

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5 Signs You Should Turn Away A Dog Training Client

5 Signs You Should Turn Away A Dog Training Client

5 Signs You Should

In nature, there are many personalities in humans that clash. Just like dogs, we do not get along with every person we meet. This does not mean that you or the other person are wrong, it just happens. As the dog trainer, we need to realize when our clients are not getting the most out of our training sessions. It is our responsibility to lead these clients to someone more suited to their needs and personality, who will give the client what they are paying for. There are many signs that indicate you should turn away a client, here are five of them.

1. You Dread Your Sessions

While we will not always enjoy every one of our sessions for various reasons, if you find yourself counting down the minutes until your session begins in agony and then counting down the minutes until it’s over, this may not be the right client for you. We cannot give our very best to someone when we start to resent or despise them, and this can occur when we dread our sessions due to the client. I would suggest evaluating your sessions and your client and finding out what makes you dread your upcoming sessions. If you find that you cannot handle your sessions anymore, it may be an option to turn away your client.

2. You Feel Your Client Is Absorbing Nothing You Are Teaching

While we all want to be paid to do nothing, sometimes it just doesn’t feel right to take money when your clients are gaining absolutely nothing from you. If you feel that you are trying to teach your client and they are just not picking up on what you’re saying no matter how you try to teach them, they may be better off trying someone else who has a different teaching style. Maybe your teaching and learning methods clash. If you feel your client is not gaining the knowledge on purpose, maybe because they don’t agree with your style, then this can also be a hint that you just aren’t the right teacher for them.

3. You Feel Offended By Your Client After Every Meeting

Is your client fighting every word that comes out of your mouth? Maybe they don’t agree with your methods and they make that loud and clear. Maybe they outright call you ignorant or feel that they know better than you do. Sometimes people are so set in their ways that they do not want to learn or they don’t realize what they are saying is coming off as offensive. After trying your best to communicate, sometimes it is just easier to agree to disagree and go your separate ways.

4. You Feel Unsafe Meeting Your Client Due To Location Or Emotional Feelings

Being a trainer who does private, in-home sessions usually means that you don’t know where you’re walking into. And sometimes there are some downright unsafe places. There are also people out there who can come across as very inappropriate or just give you an unsafe feeling. If you feel unsafe at all due to either reason, I would highly urge you to find a way to make yourself feel safe or just turn away the client. If bringing another trainer or assistant along would make you feel comfortable, I would highly urge you to do so. Sometimes I get an awkward feeling before we even meet and my husband and I set up a system so he knows where I will be and exactly when I arrive and leave. Safety is always a priority.

5. You Feel You Cannot Offer Your Client The Training They Need

There are a wide variety of needs clients want met. If you have never done agility and your client is looking for agility training, it may not be in your best interest to take on that client. Another reason may be that you don’t feel comfortable training certain things that your clients are looking for. In order to gain experience with new sports or methods, you may find a local trainer who excels at that particular method and ask to shadow or attend their lessons together so eventually you can also help clients looking at that particular sport or method.

Turning away a client is not a bad thing. It shows that you are responsible, honest, and know your boundaries. It also means that you are being safe about where you are and who you are with. These are all things that successful trainers are good at doing. What are some other reasons you may want to turn away a client?

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