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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Starting a New Training Center ?

Need some advise here - Where we live - its about a hour , closer to a hour and a half away from the closest training center- everyone is from 7 to 9 pm . It is so hard to find time for that time frame for us - along with lots of others around here to work this in threw the training period every week . The local fairgrounds has 2 large building that are heated and they rent out for meetings threw the winter . So yesterday I had one of my world famous Ideas ! Why not see If I can get the ball rolling and get one here ! I made a call to the local Ag educator that works along with the fair to pick his brain and throw out this idea - what it would cost to rent - you name it . After I told him my idea - he was all ears - as we have a 4-H dog show - OB and Agility show every year at our fair and it has really taken off over the years . He asked what classes would like to see there - Well the one building is pretty good size - you could really have 2 puppy or beginner , general OB classes going at the same time - Maybe a star puppy class - Good Citizens - FDC and of course rally OB - Nose work - Agility - you name it . He askes what night I would like it ? I replied Night ?? No, No, No ! It would be a Saturday day class - maybe start at 9 a.m. and then see how many different type classes had interest in it . He loved the idea - as he had said - everything here is to far and to late at night - kids have school and we have to go to work , Sat . would be great . He has to talk to another person in his office which this would really fall under and get back with me - things like the cost - which if we have the 4 Hers have there classes - then the cost to rent would be a lot cheaper + liability issues .

I Don't want to be in charge - I'm just doing a feasibility study on my own - if it looks promising - then really move forward . So my friends - How would be the best way to move forward ? How to line up trainers ? Dues ? And what ever needs to make this successful ?

There is a local trainer I have used over the year and have learned lots from her - I did ask her a few year ago about doing something like this - to me - she didn't want anything to do with it , Maybe it would be moving in on her turf ? She also didn't what anything to do with Rally .

Maybe I'm dreaming here - but like I said - there is no real training center around us and if this was to go forward it would pull in from as far a way as 20 to 40 miles .

Thoughts ??? Advise ? If a stupid idea - please say so ! Like I told my friend - If something is not availably - then start it up

Thanks

Doc
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Last edited by ECIN; 11-21-2019 at 12:54 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-21-2019, 04:49 PM
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Very interesting idea. I guess it would depend on who you can line up as a trainers. If you can't find one trainer willing to commit to a block of time over some weeks, is there a possibility it could be run basically as a sort of series of seminars?

Who would decide what trainers were good enough to participate?

Oh, one thing I thought of....insurance. Protection of participants from dog bites, or maybe for injuries to their dogs, for example, or injuries with equipment (that part might not be something what you're talking about would need, but I remember our agility person talking about it.)
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mel for your reply - This is what I need the what ifs and what I may or not need to do - the trainers is the biggie ! There are plenty around the Indy area - but to get them to do the drive is a different story . Maybe Greenie - G-Red - MC - Rosemary - Artie - this is just a short list will come here to show us what to do -- lol Was hoping for some replies from the ones that hit the road to show or what ever - to get there view
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 10:28 AM
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Yes, insurance is a huge part of setting up a dog training facility.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 12:02 PM
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Good luck getting it off the ground! I think many local trainers might be interested - but a lot of them are going to be busy on Saturdays if they show their own dogs. Finding decent space for trainers is always an issue - so having the building is always a good start!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 12:27 PM
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Insurance, but also filling classes with enough people to make it "worth it" for a trainer. It's hugely difficult for trainers to make enough money. I have lots of friends that are trainers. LOTS. It's an incredibly difficult job, for multiple reasons. Very, very few of them can do it as an "only" job - most have to do it in addition to a second job because it doesn't pay enough. Not only that, but the hard part isn't working with the dogs, it's working with the people. It ends up being a "customer service" type of job, depending on the clientele...especially if you aren't specialized in a particular sport. The trainers who deal with the general public...beginning obedience, etc., they can get burned out VERY quickly with the type of feedback (sometimes flat out abusive comments) they endure. It's frustrating. I did a bit of apprenticing for a while and quickly decided as much as I love training dogs...there was simply no way to make it work as a career. There were only certain types of classes I'd ever want to teach, and I'd never, ever make enough money to make it viable.

I think if you can find a trainer looking for space to use, you might be able to make it work, but...

I'm sorry to be a downer.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Now this is the input I looking for

Fitz - That has been a big concern of mine - doing a Sat deal - But that's what everybody is wanting here .

MC - Yes good points , but securing a building first and then see what happens

Now one idea it that there is a Pet Smart 20 miles to the North of us and they do have a limited amount of classes there - mu idea was if I could find the building and the cost was reasonable - then approach him and throw the idea to them - they would be in charge - put classes together and charges . But the big problem is there is a new Pet Valu in the same town as the building - we shop there - top of the line store ! Something that was needed in our area for a long , long time - but they don't offer any training that I know of - I really want them involved with this - IF it does go forward .

As far as trainers - When I asked about the rally OB offered in Anderson - it was other owners that do Rally OB - Have titled dogs and they would help us get threw the course - read the signs and understand them -

Like I said - just one of my brain storm ideas - Now MC and 79 could drive down and teach Nose work only about a 12 hour drive ! Fitz what do you do on Sat ?????? lol

One other thing MC - I'm not a good person to be working with the public -

Thanks everybody - keep the thoughts coming !
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECIN View Post
...One other thing MC - I'm not a good person to be working with the public -

Thanks everybody - keep the thoughts coming !

What about leasing a space to start off with for Obedience training, to see if you can draw interest in your area? Like others have said, you'll probably have to put up extra $$ for insurance for the sessions. Then if it takes off, look at a building purchase/ long term lease.

Another variant- Starting out with "real" Barn Hunt training/competition in one of those big barns you own already? You've got the buildings, the hay and maybe even the rats on hand! ("Kill two birds with one stone", so to speak?) Then, if that is popular, expand to Obedience training and finally, Lure Coursing, since you've also got plenty of space on the back lot.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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That's a good idea SD - I would like to see some kind of training like Eve and Spock are now doing . That would be icing on the cake - so to speak
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 10:27 AM
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If you can identify enough interested and (ideally) already involved people in your area, you might be able to start a volunteer club. I've been a member of a volunteer based club and it can be really great, depending on the membership (I've heard not so great stories about other all-volunteer clubs but my personal experience was excellent). In that type of club, you don't necessarily bring in "professional" trainers (which is just to say, trainers making a living doing it). Rather, its up to the more experienced members to mentor newer, less experienced members, through some kind of structured apprenticing type program. And the experienced members are the ones who lead classes.

For instance, in the club I was a member, each member paid dues of something like $80 per year for an individual ($125 or something similar for families, $35 for kids under 18) and each member was required to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours per year toward running the club. There were a variety of ways to contribute your time. If you were really inexperienced, maybe you'd sign up to ring steward some trials and assist in administrative duties - like copying and putting together packets for various classes - or you could help with inventory of equipment, spring cleaning of the building, etc.

Once you had some experience (verified by titles), you were allowed to contribute hours by apprenticing as an assistant trainer in puppy classes, then basic obedience / manners classes, and if you titled in the more advanced levels of sports, you could apprentice and eventually act as lead trainer in the sports classes. We also received a discount on classes as members, and once you're able to assist in training the classes, you could also earn free class vouchers for some classes. And because the trainers were volunteers, we could offer a schedule of classes based on the availability and preferences of the average person. So we had some day, evening, and weekend classes. We also had a wide variety of class offerings based on membership interest, since members are the trainers.

As the club grew, it was able to purchase land and a building. We hosted seminars and a variety of trials. Its actually grown to be a large and well-reputed training group in that area of the state.

So, it can be a great system because each member really can get out what they put in (or more). The more you contribute, the more opportunities you have to learn and grow in an all-volunteer club.

It can require a fairly large time commitment compared to a standard business model type training facility but that donation of time and energy by the membership can also keep financial costs down. You do need to have the insurance bit worked out. I would suggest discussing any and all plans with an attorney.
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