The Association of Professional Dog Trainers


2014 Making More Money as a Trainer! Offering Profitable and Ancillary Services

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Start Date: April 30, 2014
End Date: June 03, 2014
Cost: $300.00 for APDT Members
$399.00 for Non-APDT Members
$150.00 for APDT Members - AUDIT ONLY (what's this?)
$200.00 for Non-APDT Members - AUDIT ONLY (what's this?)
Subject(s): Business
Instructor(s): Amber Burckhalter, CNWI, CDBC
Registration: Purchase Online

Course Details

Course Schedule & Details

For all course details, including schedule, homework assignments, deadlines, and more View Full Course Syllabus

Description: In a time when budgets are tight and competition is high as new dog training businesses pop up around every corner, it can be difficult to make a comfortable living as a full-time dog trainer. Affording health insurance, a mortgage, vet bills, gas money, and – wait for it – FOOD seems to many like a silly fantasy. Most trainers work evenings, weekends, and in every spare minute dreaming of the day when they can quit their day job and take the leap into doing what they love full-time. While many full-time trainers struggle to make a living beyond the paycheck to paycheck lifestyle, much less (gasp) a vacation! The reliability of a steady, predictable income can be elusive, making a full-time business incredibly daunting. For many, the solution may lie in expanding the menu of available services.  However, there is a delicate balance somewhere between "multi-service" and "being all things to all people." This five week, in-depth course will walk part-time (or less than part-time) trainers through the ins and outs of adding ancillary services to their current dog training businesses. Learn tips for making the leap to a full-time, profitable business. Delve into various types of ancillary services, their pros and cons, tips for success, and culminate with a tangible and realistic game plan for becoming a successful career dog trainer.

Learning Outcomes: Attendees of this course can expect to:

  1. Assess whether their training business is ready to expand into offering ancillary services.
  2. Analyze which ancillary services are best suited for their current business.
  3. Develop a realistic strategy and timeline for inclusion of ancillary services.

Course Evaluation & Completion: will be determined based on but not limited to:

  • On-time completion of all required homework assignments.
  • Participation, attitude, enthusiasm, and productivity.
  • Grammar, punctuation, clarity, and efficacy of written discussions and assignments.
  • Meeting assignment guidelines or criteria provided by instructor.

Level of Knowledge: It is expected that attendees of this course:

  1. Currently work as an in-home dog trainer (full, part, or less than part-time).
  2. Already know the current financial picture of their business, including longevity, cash flow and overhead.
  3. Are interested in expanding the services they offer.
  4. May or may not own or have access to a physical "bricks and mortar" facility.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

  • CCPDT: 20 CEUs
  • IAABC: 20 CEUs
  • IACP: 20 CEUs
  • KPA: 20 CEUs

Instructor Biography

Amber Burckhalter, CNWI, CDBC

Certified Trainer and Animal Behavior Consultant, Amber Burckhalter has spent 20 years working with all types of dogs on pack mentality, behavior modification, sport training and all levels of obedience. Amber owns and operates K-9 Coach, a 25,000 sq foot full service dog facility with 32 employees, including 4 full time trainers and 4 part time trainers that was started in 2000 with only a $1500 cash investment. First classes were held in a parking lot at a local animal hospital with only a chalk board for advertisement. K-9 Coach has seen enormous growth and currently is operating with gross profits exceeding seven figures. K-9 Coach and Amber Burckhalter have received numerous awards including Small Business of the Year and Small Business Person by the SBDC.

Currently, Amber serves on the Board of Trustees for the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and carries several certifications. Sought out by local business owners and business development groups as well as other trainers and rescue groups for her expertise, Amber has been featured on CNN as a small business success story, as well as on NPR, Animal Planet, Women's Daily and has been published in multiple print features. She is pleased to begin offering her experience in business to other trainers.

In her personal life, Amber is a mom and wife and lives with own three rescue dogs who compete in dog sports and obedience.

Additional Information

APDT Chronicle of the Dog

Chronicile of the Dog

The quarterly APDT Chronicle of the Dog keeps APDT members abreast of contemporary pet dog training techniques and provides a lively forum for discussion of dog training and behavior issues.

Annual Conference

Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show


Date: Oct. 18-21, 2017
Location: Richmond, VA.

Richmond Marriott.
Richmond, VA.

APDT Foundation

The corporation is organized for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

The purpose of the foundation is to raise funds for scientific research and of education  of dog trainers.

Visit Foundation website

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