If you’d love to start running a business you’re truly passionate about, and you also happen to love dogs, why not consider investing in a franchise business and becoming a dog trainer? Working with animals is fun, rewarding and profitable, and it could well be right up your street.
Franchising can be hard work, just as any job can be. But when you have a real passion that you’re ready to follow, it’s a safe, lower risk way of building a business. Compared to going it alone, you’re far more likely to come to profit as a franchisee, and what better sector than pet care? 59% of UK households have a pet, with dogs being the most popular option [Statista]. Here’s how you can become a dog trainer and start your franchising journey today.
What does a dog trainer do?
There are many types of dog training, and a trainer may choose to specialise in the areas that appeal to them, [including] obedience training, dog show training, agility training, sheepdog trial training, hunting dog training, and many additional types of training. Some trainers also specialize in working with a particular breed or group of breeds.
- Mary Hope Kramer, The Balance
As a dog trainer, you’ll work with dogs every single day. You’ll be responsible for teaching old dogs, young dogs and all the dogs in between new tricks, new commands and new behavioural habits. Depending on your specialism, you’ll host group classes, visit client homes to work with dogs one-on-one or do both. Your exact responsibilities will depend on the franchise you invest with, but generally speaking, professional dog trainers are in demand because:
- They make dogs easier to manage (especially when out in public)
- They make dogs and their owners safer
- They help owners to build a trusting, long-lasting relationship with their dogs
- They can solve behavioural issues like separation anxiety and aggression
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How to start a dog training franchise
Working with dogs and their owners can be hugely rewarding, allowing you to meet and help new people and pooches on a regular basis and really make a difference. If you’d love to start your own dog training franchise, set yourself up for success by completing the following three steps...
1. Assess your suitability for the sector based on your skills and qualifications
Most franchise opportunities in the dog training sub sector won’t require you to have any previous industry experience, but if you would like to look into a qualification so that you can feel fully prepared and get ahead of the competition, a Level 3 Dog Training Course (CPD Accredited) might be a good option. Otherwise, just take the time to ensure you have the transferable skills, abilities and traits that you’ll need to succeed in the industry. Skills, abilities and traits like:
- A passion for animals (especially dogs)
- An understanding of animals’ body language and behavioural signs (especially dogs)
- Customer service
- Physical strength (enough to handle larger dogs)
- Physical stamina (enough to keep up with faster dogs)
2. Understand the industry you’re about to enter
In 2021, competition among pet franchises is fiercer than ever. After all, 3.2 million pets were purchased in lockdown by UK households [BBC]. Before you enter the industry, you can put yourself a step above the competition by doing your research and getting to grips with the 2021 pet care climate. Here are some trends you’ll likely spot gaining traction right now:
- A focus on encouraging family dogs
- An increased emphasis on science
- Passive training
- Specialist trainers (and fewer crossover trainers)
3. Do your due diligence, and go into the investment with your eyes wide open
When you find a franchise opportunity that appeals to you, don’t sign on the dotted line of the franchise agreement until you’ve done your due diligence and asked all of the necessary questions. Be sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. By the time you invest, you should know the answer to all of the following questions:
- How long has the business been franchising?
- How well is the business doing financially?
- What is the franchise’s reputation among current franchisees?
- What is the franchise’s reputation among customers?
- How long is a franchise term?
- What training and support will you receive?
- What will your typical day look like as a franchisee?
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Franchise opportunities in the dog training sector
There are so many different franchise opportunities out there in dog training and care. Start your research by considering the following pet franchises, which both boast a quality franchisee training programme and a great customer reputation...
PetStay is a franchise that’s committed to delivering quality care to dogs across the UK. Established in 2005 by Carole Davy, the business has grown substantially since, and is now globally recognised and trusted as an alternative to kennels.
- Becoming a PetStay franchisee: You don’t need any prior experience in the pet industry, but you should have business acumen, strong customer service skills and a huge love of dogs.
- How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £9,995.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll receive a three day initial training programme, plus business training, technical training, marketing training and all the ongoing support that you need.
Dogknows is a dog walking business which has grown considerably since it was first founded in 2011 by Bobs Broadbent. It stands out from its competitors by incorporating training into all of its outings, creating a tailored programme for each and every furry friend.
- Becoming a Dogknows franchisee: You don’t need any industry experience, but you should be reliable, enthusiastic and well-organised, with strong communication skills, practical dog handling skills and a dedication to caring for every dog correctly.
- How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £7,500, with a total investment cost of £15,000.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll undergo an initial 10 day training course, followed by a full start-up package, Dogknows mentoring and all the ongoing support that you need.
Start running your own business working with dogs today
If you’d love to work with dogs, there are many opportunities out there - and not just in the sub sector of training. Before you make your decision and commit to an investment, be sure to look at all the options available to you. Consider becoming a dog groomer, or look into the range of dog walking franchise opportunities listed on Point Franchise.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©