While the profession offers opportunities in numerous types of organizations, many animal trainers prefer to run their own businesses—both large and small. Data released in 2006 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that about 57% of animal trainers ran their own establishments. For some, this means running an animal training school. For others, this might mean providing dog training for a few clients each month from home. In any case, self-employment in this industry involves skills in handling animals, but it also requires some business and customer service know how. For that reason, candidates considering pursuing studies related to animal caretaking or training should check that the program provides basics about businesses.
What type of business training do you offer? Because the founders of our dog obedience school realize that many of our graduates will pursue self-employment, one component of our program focuses on business training for students pursuing an animal career. Our course on Business Building lasts 21 days, and it teaches candidates critical aspects of running a successful business, such as creating a business plan and budget, plus how to market and advertise pet training businesses.
How is your business training unique? Our business training curriculum is unique because it was written by an extraordinarily successful business professional and animal trainer, Mr. Steven Appelbaum, President of Animal Behavior College, Inc. (ABC). Mr. Appelbaum owned and built one of the nation’s largest independent dog training establishments– Animal Behavior and Training Associates, Inc.–for over 10 years. His endeavors at promoting his company included tasks from hanging flyers in local grocery stores to securing an exclusive arrangement with Petco Animal Supplies to supplying dog training services nationwide in over 500 Petco stores. Through this curriculum, students apply coursework on topics like business plans and marketing to real-world experiences and the business building secrets Mr. Appelbaum describes in detail. Students exit this stage of or program with practical knowledge that they can apply to their own endeavors to run a small or large animal training business.
What if I don’t want to start my own business right away? The founders of our program also recognize that those who own businesses often begin their career by working full-time to earn credentials and make contacts before moving on to train dogs and other animals as sole proprietors or business owners. For these individuals and others who prefer to seek employment rather than pursue self-employment, our program teaches valuable skills for job searching in the pet industry. Landing a job in this industry is like any other—candidates need strong resumes that present their training and skills clearly. We also provide valuable information on job searching and interviewing that help our candidates secure desirable jobs upon the completion of our program.
When students graduate from our program, we want to ensure their success. Some students move on to gain employment in the animal caretaking facility they have used for their own pets. Others start a business by agreeing to work as a dog trainer from home. Still others pursue employment in animal training in a variety of different organizations. Our curriculum supports candidates as they explore a variety of career options—and provides the background and tools they need to pursue the job or business they decide on.