What dog training data should I gather?
December 15, 2010 12:43 PM   Subscribe

What kind of data do I need to be keeping track of as I go, so its easily available when I need to send out resumes? (dog training)

HR/resume experts filter:
(sorry for the long back story)
After some rough times, I decided to follow my heart and do what I've always wanted to do: be a dog trainer.
I found a professional school, visited it, and feel great about it.
I found a job at a large chain store, and am now teaching group and private classes every day, saving up money to go back to school and getting experience. I would like to stay at my current store for two years.
My plan is to save up money, go back to school (6 or 12 or 18 month course) and then find a real job. The school will help me find a job; many organizations go to them when they need to hire someone.
I am happy, really happy, for the first time in a long time. I am getting great feedback from my students. I am actually good at this.

Finally, my question: if you were looking to add an additional dog trainer to your facility, what kind of data would you want to see on a resume?

an aside: part of my 'resume' will be a dog or two that I have trained myself. I would assume that anyone who was interested in hiring me (or taking a class from me) would want to see what I can do with a dog. I will get that dog/dogs at school.

I am also gathering data to prove my eligibility for two certifications, the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors, and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (Knowledge Assessed).

The data I am gathering so far:
# of dogs I've taught
# of hours teaching group classes
# of hours teaching private classes
# of months experience teaching classes

I am going to start keeping track of sales goals. Every week, the corporate office tells us how many classes I should sell that week, based on projections and past sales. I usually make plan.

I am also going to start keeping track of how many dogs come back for the next series of classes (repeat customers). Right now, its virtually nil. I am lots of fun and people enjoy my classes, and I know I can get people to come back for more.

When I am not teaching classes, I walk around the retail floor, answering questions about supplements, dog food, leashes and collars, stopping unwanted behaviors... I eat, sleep, breathe, read about, dream about dogs. Its awesome.

Its going to be easier to keep track of things as I go - company policy is that we dont keep records after the classes are over (privacy policy perhaps). They are shredded by a professional company.
So, for the record, I am not keeping anyones personal info, no addresses, phone numbers, and certainly not any financial info. I am keeping ONLY raw data for my personal use. I am not taking home any copies of any paperwork. I am not breaking any company rules.

The method of data keeping is: when I get home, I write down '1 hr private, 3 hrs group classes, 18 dogs.' I am not removing anything from store property.

SO: what would YOU want to know about me? What would you want to see on a piece of paper; what would make you want to call me, so I can show up with my dogs and wow you with our friendliness, happiness, and knowledge?
Thank you so much for your feedback.
posted by saragoodman3 to Work & Money (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd be interested in the types of dogs you've taught or had experience with. I wouldn't bring my Rottie to someone who has only trained Chihuahuas.
posted by chaiwawa at 12:52 PM on December 15, 2010

Don’t hire trainers, nor do I even own a dog, but things that I would love to see in a potential trainer were I to consider hiring one at a large place
• Training/handling dogs with behavioral problems (e.g. anxiety and destroying the house, aggression) – if you could demonstrate that you could train such a dog, hired (for your data points, dog exhibited behavior X all the time before training, owner reports dog exhibited behavior X how often post training) – the more important thing – can you get the dog to stop this?
• Can you train people or provide training as to how to be on the lookout for potential problems at a dog shelter or if one was going to adopt a dog (e.g. how can you identify aggression before you take Bingo home and find out = Cujo). Actually, maybe if you had volunteer hours/sessions at a shelter, that may be a great way to get exposure to these dogs and problems that they may have
• Can you give guidance in other areas (e.g. appropriate behavior for a dog at a dog park? What is potentially problematic behavior?) I’ve heard horror stories of dogs being attacked/aggression not being controlled…actually, I think if you could eventually make an education type packet, I would really trust someone to know their stuff
posted by Wolfster at 12:59 PM on December 15, 2010

Response by poster: thanks chaiwawa, I will track breed info, tho a lot of dogs are rescues who are 'lab mixed with something, we think'.

Thanks wolfster, I will also be asking for reference letters from happy customers; I will aim to get letters explaining how Fido doesn't destroy the house anymore.

PS: ALL my happy students say their dogs are much better behaved after they've been thru a class.
ALL of the people who sign up for a class have at least one unwanted behavior they want to stop, and I make sure they can deal with it before class is over.
posted by saragoodman3 at 1:17 PM on December 15, 2010

One additional comment, saragoodman3 --if this comment helps, use it, if not ignore. I can see what yoru goal is for the immediate future (collect material to get hired at a dog training place), but is your eventual goal to ....have a dog training facility that you own?

If so, you may want to consider going to the next level with the information that you collect.

For example, if someone states, "Thank you, thank you, without you, Fido would have destroyed the house...compliment compliment compliment...ask if they would be able to write an endorsement of you training for you. A good place to collect that sort of material may be linkedin (okay it works for me, I dont know if it would also work for dog training), but you can keep people's recommendations and commetns there.

Also, I think that you could easily position yourself as someone who either cares about dogs or is knowledgeable about dogs. You could do anything from 1) write an informational article for a local humane society/dog rescue organization (probably free) to 2) write paid articles for a trade or for the dog training facility you work at now. The point for doing this is that your name will get out as someone who knows about dogs and/or really cares about dogs, and it is the human aspect that may get people to approach you and request that you train their dog.

Good luck, it sounds like a really fun, rewarding job.
posted by Wolfster at 3:17 PM on December 15, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks. I have some students who are more literate and pleased than others. I will ask them to write a short recommendation. I have some already, that I have prepared for the certifications I am trying to achieve.
posted by saragoodman3 at 8:32 PM on December 15, 2010

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