Dog Training Laws and the Demise of Small Business

Small Dog Business

Dog Training Laws and the Demise of Small Business

Why Meddling Lawmakers Might Be the Death of Good Business

Now, I do not normally get political.  I prefer to keep my ideas in that arena on the down low- it is more professional in my line of work. You will not find my publicly espousing viewpoints on either side of the political spectrum.  I stick with plain respect for all people and leave it at that.  It makes me and my clients a lot more comfortable.  HOWEVER,  It was just recently called to my attention that my county is debating becoming the first county in the nation to regulate dog trainers.  Their idea is to make them pay fees to register, get a background check, and instill rigid laws about training plans and of course, make small businesses pay a boatload for insurance.  There is a reason Hillsborough County, Florida, would be the first in the nation- IT IS A TERRIBLE IDEA.

Here is the Tampa Bay Time's article:

This is just one of many steps in a direction to take responsibility away from individuals for making their own decisions.  If there are harsh regulations, then owners cannot be blamed for not exercising good judgment.  We can all be held by the hand and not blame ourselves for our own lack of judiciousness.  It is one more step in coddling our society.

Camp Sammy, my dog training business, is so successful because it has no frills.  There are no sales pitches, marketing schemes, guarantees, highly pressured expensive packages, long term commitments, none of it.  There is just a lesson.  One at a time, and very reasonably priced.  If you do not like the lesson, you are not out a lot of money and you simply do not need to schedule another.  My business model is a breath of fresh air to my clients.  All my business comes from referrals.  My lessons are private, and my clients are present the whole time.  I never use methods they are not comfortable with, and my clients trust my judgement.  While most of my business is private lessons at my clients' homes, if they want to board with me, I ALWAYS encourage them to come check out my home so they feel comfortable leaving their dog here.

That being said, I CHOOSE, on my own, to do certain things to shore up my business.  I belong to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (actually won a scholarship last year from them See the Article Here )  and I adhere to their professional standards and safety protocol.  I also carry insurance for the dogs that stay with me because they are under my care solely when they are with me and their owners are not present.  Therefore it is my responsibility to insure them.  And I do.  I am a proctor for the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen Program (AKC's Canine Good Citizen Program)  I have had numerous background checks throughout my career.  I especially need them for my PhD dissertation research because it is on police K-9s.  Because I CHOOSE to do these things, it gives my name on paper more credentials.

Read my article on selecting a private dog trainer :
This will be covered more extensively in the book I am (attempting) to publish.  Coming soon.

The main idea is to use your judgment.  Be an adult.  Be a responsible dog owner.  If a trainer wants to swing your dog around by its neck or do some other kind of horrible, damaging thing to your dog SAY NO.  It is YOUR dog.  Protect your dog and make good decisions on hiring a dog trainer.  If you cannot take responsibility for protecting your dog, should you own a dog?  Probably not.  If you hire a trainer, and you tell them not to do harmful XYZ to your dog, and then they do it anyway- call the police.  
This new law will endanger my business livelihood.  I will not be able to keep my rates low, which is one of the reasons I have so many clients. Normal citizens do not have thousands to spend on their dogs for training.  The everyday person is going to lose their avenue to get help for their dogs.  I love helping people of all kinds, not just the affluent few.  This law will make is so only the bourgeoisie can have access to dog training.  And even then, they will only have access to the high pressure marketed dog training factories, not tailored, individual help like my business offers.

If this law goes into effect, and it has the impact I fear it might, Camp Sammy might have to close its doors and relocate.  

Please email your local commissioner to vote this law down:

Thanks for all your support,
Sammy the Dog Trainer

High Sierra


  1. This looks like it is about getting fees and not logically related to pet safety. The one case they cited must have connected friends or something. Busybodies who have to ruin stuff for other people. That one official is hellbent on moving forward regardless of the evidence and opposition. Hopefully it will fail but if it doesn't get ready for a lot of interference and more expense. Trainers will have to raise rates to cover it.


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