When you start to go down the slippery slope of who should do _________ for free, or give a break, you have to decide where to draw the line. My trainer, I bet she could find a reason to discount every single dog and owner she works with.
One couple were senior citizens and have adopted a high energy pup they were lied to about at the pound.
Some of us are unemployed.
A great many have rescues.
Some have dogs that have serious issues.
One lady just had a baby.
Several have had some nasty medical conditions.
And others are fighting with their dogs' serious health problems.
Yes trainers love dogs, and they pretty much have to be able to like people too, because I would probably be in jail for clobbering the people if I was out there training them to train their dogs.
These people deserve to make what money they do. They work hard, and are not making a killing off of training dogs. They have excellent credentials as well. And A LOT of dogs are currently great family pets/companions that would have probably been given up to a shelter or rescue if their owners had not put them through the training.
Trainers are probably responsible for a lot of dogs that don't land in shelters.
I think they are making a great contribution toward dogs in general without suggesting they should do it for free or for a serious cut in their fee.
If a trainer gets known for giving free lessons to rescues (or any other reason someone may want or need a break), they will be over-run with clients who don't want to pay. Trainers do give people breaks all the time, not because they should, but because they see a need that they can fill and are willing to do so out of the goodness of their hearts. Most aren't going to shout about it, and with good cause, but sometimes it does come out, and then people start feeling that they should give training for free or reduced rates.
Frankly, I think trainers do enough to get out there week after week teaching clueless dog owners how to manage their dogs, for a couple of crumby bucks. I mean figure it out, if you have a class for 6 weeks for $85, and you have 8 people in the class, that is roughly $100 for an hour's class.
$100/hour sounds ok, but then you have to factor in the overhead. Is that for one person, or is it a couple? Oh it's a couple, knock it down to $50/hour. Are they opening their home for this or do they have to rent premises? What did they have to provide to do this over the long term? What do they have to prepare for each session? Do they have to travel to get there, and bring dogs and equipment, etc. Do they need insurance? Do they have to pay to be qualified as an evaluator, judge, certifications, keeping certifications current? What types of information do they have to pay to copy and provide to people? How much time do they spend researching specific issues? How many classes can they support with paying entrants to cover the overall costs of what all they are putting into it? If you have to pay $500/month to rent a facillity, but you only have 30 people signing up for classes, $33 of your $85 is going to go for the building. It just isn't looking very lucrative anymore is it?
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