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OT...Private Obedience Training

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This is sorta off topic, but I hope it will be allowed.

I am a certified Pet Trainer and currently train at our local pet store. I always have people asking me if I do private training. Some dogs just don't do well in a group setting. I know of instructors who go to peoples homes, but don't know anyone personally, and hesitate to ask them as I would be possibly infringing on them. The area I live in has no local training instructors,it's over 25 miles to where I work and alot of people travel long distances for training due to no choice, so a local trainer would/should do well.

If anyone on the BC boards is a private trainer and can give me some advice on pricing, how to charge for mileage over a certain distance etc., or how to get started in general, I would appreciate your advice.

I am hoping to also offer breed specific training, with BC's, Aussies, Jack Russels etc. I currently have 3 BC's 1 yr old, 6 mos. and 13 wks... tooooooo cute as well as 2 Aussies and a JR (all with endless energy & ability). The word is out that I have BC's and experience training them personally and people are asking for my classes.

Anyway, I am convinced the need is out there, I just don't know how to get started.

Thanks for any help.

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Joe Anne -


If you are going to do this as a business you need to make sure you are on the up and up with taxes. Paying estimated tax, etc. You can also follow the IRS mileage allowances and pass those costs on to your clients. This way, they can't question it.


I pay $40 for an hour session in agility. I go to her place (which is 2 blocks down the road) because she has all the equipment in the back yard. I work 2 dogs in that hour and find that I only need that once every few weeks.


For obedience training, you could easily do 10 - 15 min with the dog and then another 15 minutes with the human only. I think anything over that just goes in one ear and out the other. At least, that's what I've found in the lessons I teach.


I'd say you could charge for your drive time to a degree - or allow them to come to you to save on that charge. If you are in the car for over 15 minutes, I would not questions a drive time fee. But it has to be based on miles. We don't have to deal with that too much here living on an island.


Other private trainers here charge $15 for 30 min. Some charge $20. Some do $10 if you come to them on a weekly basis and pay for 2+ months up front. Stuff like that. Some have consultation fee's (I come and look at your situation and then tell you how crappy a trainer you are. haha).


Hope this helps.



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Wow! only 40$ an hour??!! Maybe I should consider moving to Hawaii! lol


I've looked at several dog training places around here and at one I'm looking at $40 per half-hour!

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Denise, Thanks...that definately helps, gives me somewhere to start.

I did consider having people come to me, I have a nice size front yard (country setting) that I could easily fence in for training purposes. The deal with that is when I called my homeowners insurance they said they would not cover me for training dogs on my property, period. They did recommend another insurance company but as of yet I have not checked into that.

I guess there are pros and cons to going to someone elses house as opposed to mine or vice versa.

Anyway, I was thinking of just trying a few dogs to start with and see how that goes.

Thanks for your advice and info, I will check with IRS on mileage and taxes.

Hey, by the by...did I detect a little bit of a "rub it in", that you live in tropical paradise!!!! LOL ! Trust me our weather here in the metro Wash. DC area is tropical, but no palm trees or beautiful beaches, just darn hot and very humid! & getting ready to storm so I best get off my puter. We had lightening strike our house a couple of years ago and blew out several electrical appliances including my puter , phone and stereo.... sooooo off I goooooo! Later


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Hi Joe Anne -


Nonono...I didnt' mean to rub anything in...just pointing out that I don't have to drive that far to get anywhere here.


One other thing to ask your insurance co is if YOU will be covered if you go and train at someone's home.


You never know people these days...anything is possible and you could be on the end of a lawsuit you didn't even see coming. So make sure you are OK. My husband had to get insurance for art cosultations he did at other peoples' homes. Geez.


Anyway...sorry..didn't mean to rub anything in! I'm originally from Chicago so I feel for you on the humidity! I do miss the thunderstorms..but my dogs don't!



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My trainer charges ~$35 for an individual lesson for basic OB; up to $65 depending on special needs like dog aggression, people aggression, etc. For our classes it is $15 for an hour agility class. All of these lessons take place at her place.


If you do start your own business, definitely have insurance and if you do have lessons at your house, look into whether or not you may have zoning issues. Also, many states have a department/agencies that can answer many of your concerns about the business end of things - look into your state's version of the small business or women-owned/minority-owned business agency.

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