If you’re looking to start or grow a business as a dog trainer, you’re in luck! There are a number of great tools out there that can help you do just that. In this article, we’ll discuss 30 of the best tools to grow your dog training business and find success in this exciting industry.
In particular, we’ll look at software tools, business tools, and training products/supplies that can help you reach your goals. So, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the business for a while, these tools will help you take your career to the next level!
PRO TIP: Is dog training your DREAM job? Then make sure you check out our Ultimate Guide to becoming a dog trainer – even if you don’t have any experience!
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we delve in, let’s first answer some common questions about the professional world of dog training…
“How Can I Promote Myself As a Dog Trainer?”
There are a few key things you can do to promote yourself as a dog trainer. First, consider getting certified through a reputable dog training school, such as QC Pet Studies. From there, you can further your credibility by obtaining additional certification through an organization like the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. This will give you INSTANT credibility with potential clients!
Next, you should also create a strong online presence by setting up a website and/or social media accounts dedicated to your business. Be sure to populate these channels with high-quality content that’ll showcase your expertise and attract attention from prospective customers.
Last but not least, don’t forget the power of word-of-mouth marketing! Make sure you always deliver top-notch service to your clients. This way, they’ll be happy to recommend you to their friends and family.
Want to learn more about QC Pet Studies’ self-paced, online Dog Training certification course? Check out the full course outline here!
“What Is The Target Market for Dog Training?”
The great thing about dog training is that there is a HUGE potential market! After all, just about any dog owner can benefit from professional help in one way or another. Whether they’re struggling with obedience issues, behavioral problems, or simply want to socialize their pup, you have the opportunity to help them out!
That said, it’s important to remember that not all dog owners are created equal. There will always be those who are more willing and able to invest in your services than others. As such, it’s important to identify your target market and focus your efforts on reaching these individuals in particular.
Some factors you may want to consider when determining your target market include:
- Location: Are you looking to serve dog owners in a specific city, state/province, or country?
- Income level: What is the average income of your ideal client?
- Interests/needs: What are the specific needs of your target market? For example, are they looking for help with obedience training, behavioral issues, or socialization?
Once you’ve determined who your target market is, you can start to focus your marketing efforts on reaching these individuals. This will help you attract more clients and grow your business!
“How Do You Make a Dog Training Program for Clients?”
When it comes to creating a dog training program for clients, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, you should always tailor your programs to the individual needs of each client and their dog. After all, no two dogs are alike!
Second, you need to consider the different stages of dog development and design your programs accordingly. For example, puppies will require a very different type of training than adult dogs.
And third, you should always make sure your programs are fun for both the dogs and their owners! This way, everyone will be motivated to stick with it and see results.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating successful dog training programs that’ll help you grow your business and provide clients the best services possible!
“What Is The Most Effective Training Method for Dogs?”
There are a variety of different training methods out there, but not all of them are equally effective. If you want to get the best results with your clients, it’s important to use a method that has been proven to work.
One of the most popular and effective training methods is positive reinforcement. This involves rewarding dogs for good behavior in order to encourage them to continue doing it. For example, you might give a dog a treat after he sits on command.
Not only is this method highly effective – it’s also humane and doesn’t require the use of physical force or punishment. As such, it’s one of the best ways to train dogs!
If you’re looking for an effective training method that will help you grow your business, positive reinforcement is a great option to consider.
Essential Tools To Start a Dog Training Business
Okay, now it’s time to look at the various tools you’ll need to grow your dog training business. Let’s begin by breaking down the must-have tools in order to start this business in the first place!
1. A Dog Training Business Plan
The first and absolutely essential tool you need is a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving them. Without a business plan, it’ll be very difficult to make your dog training business successful.
Not to mention, if you plan to get financial assistance from a bank, they’re going to require this business plan as well.
Never written a business plan before? No worries! Just make sure that it covers the following key information:
- An executive summary
- A general description of your company
- Market analysis
- Your sales and marketing plan
- Your operational plan
- A brief overview of the management team
- Your financial plan and goals
2. Business Insurance
Another must-have for any business endeavor is insurance. This will protect you in the event of any accidents, injuries, or damages that occur during dog training sessions.
There are a variety of different policies you can choose from. So, be sure to do your research and find one that’s right for your business.
For example, general liability insurance will cover any third-party injuries that occur on your property. If you plan on doing a lot of off-site training, then you might also want to consider getting additional coverage like professional liability insurance.
Ultimately, no matter what type of policy you decide on, just make sure that it offers enough protection for your needs!
3. A Registered Name For Your Dog Training Business
Before you can start legally operating your dog training business, you first need to register it with the government. One major perk to registering your company name is that no one else will be able to use it for their business.
This process involves coming up with a registered name for your company and filing the appropriate paperwork. The good news is that this process is relatively simple and straightforward. Just be sure to check with your local government office for specific requirements in your area.
4. A Business Website
In today’s day and age, it’s absolutely essential to have a strong online presence for your business. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a professional website.
Your website doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated. However, it should include all the basic information about your company – such as your contact information, services offered, prices, online booking, etc.
If you’re not sure how to create a website on your own, there are plenty of resources and guides available online. For instance, we recommend this guide by Business News Daily.
Alternately, if you have the budget for it, you can also hire a web designer to create the website for you. Just be sure to set aside some time and money for this important task!
5. Your Professional Dog Training Portfolio
When you’re first starting out, it’s important to build up a strong portfolio of your work. This will show potential clients what you’re capable of and help them decide if you’re the right trainer for their needs.
Your portfolio can include things like before-and-after photos, client testimonials, videos of training sessions, etc. If you have any previous experience working with dogs, be sure to include that as well!
Building up a strong portfolio takes time and effort. But it’ll be worth it in the long run when you start landing clients left and right.
6. Business Cards
Another important marketing tool when starting up your dog training business are business cards. These can be handed out to potential clients, left at local businesses, or given to anyone who expresses interest in your services.
Your business card should include your name, title, company name, website, and contact information. You can also include a brief tagline or slogan on your card – something that succinctly sums up what you do and why you’re the best at it!
There are plenty of online printing companies that offer affordable business card printing services. Just be sure to order enough cards for all your marketing needs.
7. Social Media Accounts
In today’s digital age, it’s important to have a strong social media presence for your business. This will help you reach a wider audience and connect with potential clients from all over the world.
Some of the most popular social media platforms for businesses are Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Instagram. But there are plenty of other options out there as well! Just choose the ones that make the most sense for your business.
Also, be sure to populate your social media accounts with high-quality content – such as photos, videos, blog posts, etc. This’ll show potential clients that you’re serious about your business… And help you attract more followers!
Software To Grow Your Dog Training Business
Next, let’s talk about some software tools that can help you grow your dog training business. Keep in mind that everything we’re about to list are just some of the options at your disposal!
Asana is a project management software that can help you keep track of all your clients, appointments, and tasks in one place. This can be hugely helpful when you’re trying to stay organized and on top of your business.
Plus, Asana offers a free version that should be more than enough for most small businesses!
Easy Busy Pets is a software that helps you manage your appointments, clients, payments, and more. This can be a lifesaver when you’re trying to run your business smoothly. Easy Busy Pets is a great way to help dog trainers either launch their new business or scale their existing one.
They offer a free 14-day trial, so be sure to check it out and see if it’s a good fit for you!
An alternate option for a similar kind of software would be PetExec.
Mailchimp is a tool that helps you create and send newsletters, email campaigns, and other marketing materials. As a result, you can stay in touch with your clients and promote your business at the same time!
Mailchimp offers a free plan for small businesses, so be sure to take advantage of that.
QuickBooks is a software that helps you manage your finances, invoices, and expenses. This can be extremely helpful when it comes to tracking your income and expenses. It’s especially useful for small businesses that don’t necessary have the budget to hire a personal accountant to do this type of work for them.
QuickBooks offers a free trial, so be sure to check it out and see if it’s right for you!
Another option for accounting software would be FreshBooks.
PocketSuite is a software that helps you manage your appointments, clients, payments, and more – similar to Easy Busy Pets. However, PocketSuite also offers a built-in CRM (customer relationship management) system. This can be helpful for tracking your sales and marketing efforts.
Plus, PocketSuite offers a free plan for small businesses… And they even offer software specifically for dog trainers!
BONUS: Discounted Software for QC Pet Studies Students/Grads
6. DaySmart Pets (formerly 123Pet)
DaySmart Pet develops, delivers, and supports powerful business management software that runs thousands of pet businesses around the globe. With this software, you’ll be able to run your dog training business efficiently – and grow your company through DaySmart Pet’s unique features!
Students and graduates of QC Pet Studies will receive a 50% off discount for the first 2 months.
MyTime is the leading cloud-based scheduling and marketing application for local businesses. Through this software, you’ll have access to the following features:
- Online booking
- Automated email and SMS marketing
- Full point of sale
- Reputation management
- Reports and analytics
- Real time messaging with clients
Moreover, you can use MyTime to engage and retain customers, drive operational efficiency, and grow your dog training business!
Students and graduates of QC Pet Studies will receive 30% off their purchase.
Interested in checking out all of the other discounts you’ll receive as a QC student? Here’s the full list!
Must-Have Supplies and Tools To Grow Your Dog Training Business
Let’s begin this section by taking a look at the items you’ll need in order to do your job as a professional dog trainer. After all, you can’t train dogs without the proper supplies!
1. A Dog Whistle
When used properly, a dog whistle isn’t cruel, as it should not hurt the dog’s ears. Instead, the high-pitched sound is simply used to get your dog’s attention – and it works like a charm!
Plus, a dog whistle can be helpful when you’re trying to train more than one dog at a time, such as during group sessions.
There are all sorts of places where you can purchase a dog whistle for your training business. This article by DogLab, for example, lists their Top 5 best dog whistles for training and hunting. As you’ll see, the cost of a quality dog whistle will typically range anywhere from $15 to $45.
2. Training Treats
Treats are a great way to reward your dog for a job well done. And as you probably already know, dogs love food!
When it comes to choosing the right type of treats for your training business, it’s important to select something that’s healthy and nutritious, yet still appealing to your dog. You’ll also want to make sure the treats are small enough so that your dog can eat them quickly – without interrupting their training session.
Here are some of our favorite training treats:
As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from – and the price will vary depending on the brand, type, and quantity of treats you select.
In order to save money on training treats, we recommend checking out your local pet store’s sales and coupons. You can also make your own homemade dog treats! This article provides instructions and recipes for 7 easy, all-natural goodies you can safely feed your clients’ pooches.
Remember: the key is to find something that’s healthy, affordable, and appealing to the dog. With a little trial and error, you’ll be sure to find the perfect training treat for your business!
3. Treat Pouch/Bag
If you plan on doing any type of reward-based training with your clients’ dogs (and we highly recommend that you do), then you’ll need a treat pouch or bag to hold all of those delicious, high-value goodies!
Treat pouches and bags come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. Finding one that best suits your needs will be a breeze. In terms of where to buy them, you can purchase treat pouches and bags from most pet stores or online retailers. Of course, prices will vary depending on the size/type of pouch/bag you select.
4. Target Stick
A target stick is a great way to direct your dog’s attention to a specific object, person, or area. This can be helpful when you’re trying to teach your dog tricks, obedience commands, or even simple manners!
Target sticks are available in all sorts of sizes and styles. So, you’ll need to select one that’s appropriate for the type of training you do. For example, if you work with large dogs, you’ll want to choose a target stick that’s durable and sturdy enough to withstand their strength.
You can purchase a target stick from most pet stores or online retailers. Prices will vary depending on the size/type of target stick you select.
5. A Clicker
A clicker is a small, hand-held device that makes a clicking noise when pressed. This tool is often used in dog training, as it can be helpful in reinforcing desired behaviors.
When used correctly, the sound of the clicker will let your dog know they’ve done something you’ve asked of them – and that they’ll be rewarded with a treat! For this reason, we strongly recommend the use a clicker with immediate treat rewards (or some other type of positive reinforcement). Otherwise, the clicker itself might not be as effective.
Clickers are relatively inexpensive and can be found at most pet stores or online retailers. You may even be able to find one at your local dollar store!
6. Leashes and Harnesses
You’ll also need leashes and harnesses for your dog training business. Of course, the type of leash/harness you’ll need will depend on the size/breed of dog(s) you’re working with.
For example, a small breed dog will typically require a lighter-weight leash than a large breed dog. And if you’re working with a particularly strong or energetic dog, you may want to consider using a harness instead of (or in addition to) a traditional collar and leash.
There are all sorts of leashes and harnesses available on the market – so finding one that’s both comfortable and affordable shouldn’t be too difficult. Just be sure to do your research before making any purchase!
7. Collars with ID Tags
In addition to leashes and harnesses, your clients’ dogs should all be wearing collars. These collars should have ID tags with the dog’s name, their owner’s contact information, and any other relevant details (e.g., allergies, medical conditions, etc.).
Most clients will likely come with their dog already wearing its collar. To ensure of it, you can always make this a prerequisite for your training sessions. That said, if you don’t do this and a client shows up without their dog’s collar, you should have a backup collar on hand. At least then, the dog can be leashed, if necessary.
Since it’s always better to be safe than sorry, we recommend stocking up on a few different collars of different sizes and durability. The more backup options you have on-hand, the better prepared you’ll be – regardless of the size or breed of the dog.
You can purchase collars from most pet stores or online retailers. Prices will vary depending on the size/type of collar you select.
8. Portable Mat(s)
If you’re planning on doing any training sessions outside of your own home, you’ll need to have a portable mat (or two) on hand. These mats can be used to create a designated “training area” for your sessions – no matter where you are!
Mats also come in handy if you ever need to do an impromptu training session and there’s not a suitable surface available. For example, if you’re at the park and there’s no grassy area for your client’s dog to lay down on, you can simply place the mat on the ground and voila! You’ve got yourself a makeshift training space!
Portable mats are available in all sorts of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials. As such, finding one (or more) that fits your needs should be relatively easy. Just be sure to do your research before making any purchase!
Again, you can purchase portable mats from most pet stores or online retailers. Prices will vary depending on the size/type of mat you select.
9. A Long Line
A long line is a dog training tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, it can be used to help your clients’ dogs with recall (coming when called), leash walking, and staying in a designated area – just to name a few!
A long line is essentially a length of rope or fabric that’s attached to the dog’s collar. The other end of the line is then held by the trainer (or another person). This gives the trainer complete control over the dog while still allowing them some freedom to move around.
Long lines are available in all sorts of lengths, materials, and colors. As such, finding one that fits your needs should be relatively easy. As we’ve already mentioned a number of times in this article, just ensure that you do your research before making any purchase!
You can purchase long lines from most pet stores or online retailers. Prices will vary depending on the size/type of line you choose to get.
10. Containment Tools
If you’re going to be doing any training that involves containment (e.g., teaching a dog to stay in a designated area), then you’ll need the proper tools for the job. These supplies are also useful for keeping dogs away from hazardous or unwanted places.
The most common containment tool is a crate. Crates come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, colors, and materials – so, finding one that’s both comfortable and affordable shouldn’t be too difficult.
Other containment options include baby gates, exercise pens, and tie-outs. These can also be purchased from most pet stores or online retailers. Prices will vary depending on the size/type of containment tool you select.
As with everything else on this list, we recommend doing your research before making any purchase!
11. Poop Bags
Look, we know dealing with poop isn’t exactly the most glamorous part of being a dog trainer… But it’s still sometimes a part of the job, no less. As such, you’ll need to be prepared with the proper supplies!
Poop bags come in all sorts of sizes, colors, and materials. Some are even biodegradable or compostable! Finding a bag that fits your needs should be relatively easy. However, we recommend doing some research before making any purchase – just to be sure.
You can purchase poop bags from most pet stores or online retailers. Prices will vary depending on the size/type of bag you select.
12. A First Aid Kit
Next, we have the ever-important first aid kit. This is something every dog trainer should have on hand – just in case of an emergency.
According to the American Kennel Club, your First Aid Kit should include the following items:
- Non-stick bandages
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton balls
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Antibiotic spray/ointment
- Milk of Magnesia
- A digital thermometer
- A medicine pillbox
- A magnifying glass
- Plastic syringes
- An LED flashlight
- A soft muzzle
- A leash and collar
- Travel bowls for food and water
You can purchase a pre-made first aid kit from most pet stores or online retailers. Alternatively, you can put one together yourself. Prices will vary depending on where you choose to purchase your first aid kit.
However, we believe that peace of mind is priceless!
12. A Comfortable (Yet Sturdy) Pair of Shoes
As a dog trainer, you’ll be on your feet a lot – walking, running, kneeling, crouching, etc. As such, it’s important to have a good pair of shoes that can keep up with you!
There are all sorts of shoes out there that are designed for people who are constantly on the go. Finding a pair that fit your needs should be relatively easy. However, we recommend doing some research before making any purchase – just to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
You can purchase comfortable, reliable shoes from most retailers – both in-store and online. Prices will vary depending on the brand/type of shoe you select.
13. Patience – and A Good Sense of Humor
Patience and a good sense of humor are two things that’re absolutely ESSENTIAL for any dog trainer – especially those who are just starting out.
There’s no shame in admitting that training dogs can be tough work. It takes a lot of time, effort, and patience to really master the art of dog training. And even then, there will still be days – or even weeks – where everything seems to go wrong.
That’s why it’s so important to have a good sense of humor! Learning to laugh at yourself (and your mistakes) is an integral part of being a successful dog trainer.
14. Excellent Communication – and Listening – Skills
Training dogs is all about effective communication, as well as the ability to truly listen to what your clients’ needs and goals are. If you can’t communicate effectively with your clients – or worse, their dogs – then you’re not going to be very successful as a dog trainer. Similarly, if you don’t properly listen to what your clients are trying to achieve, you won’t know how to help them get there.
Excellent communication and listening skills can be learned through practice (and plenty of trial and error). However, if you feel like you need some help in this area, there are plenty of resources out there that can assist you (books, websites, seminars, etc.).
Of course, the best way to improve your communication and listening skills is to simply get out there and start talking to people – and listening to what they have to say!
15. A Positive Attitude
Last but not least, having a positive attitude is arguably THE most important trait for any dog trainer to have. After all, dogs are incredibly perceptive creatures – and they can sense when their trainer is feeling down or frustrated. Not to mention, clients won’t want to recommend or re-book with a trainer who makes a bad impression.
If you want to be successful as a dog trainer, you need to be able to maintain a positive attitude, even when things are tough. Remember: every day is a new opportunity to learn and grow – both as a trainer and as a person.
Well, there you have it! These are just some of the essential tools that every dog trainer needs in their arsenal. Of course, there are plenty of other important factors that contribute to success in this field (such as experience, knowledge, etc.).
However, we believe that the 30 tools discussed in this article are absolutely essential for any trainer who wants to build a successful business!
So, what do you think? Do YOU have what it takes to become a successful dog trainer?
Let us know in the comments below – and best of luck on your journey!