I wanted to write an article about why it is necessary for me to ask for a deposit from dog owners, rather than just have them pay on the day. I appreciate that from your perspective, you’ve never met me, and may feel a little uncertain about sending £50 to a relative stranger, so I hope this article can alleviate some of that concern.
Why a £50 deposit for dog training?
As a Dog Listener, I can only help a certain number of people per week. A session with me typically lasts 3-4 hours, and I often have to travel at least 30 minutes each way. So once someone has requested a slot with me, that means that I need to put aside at least 5 hours of my day for them (potentially more, depending on the distance and how long it will take me to get there). Depending on the location, and the timing of the appointment, by booking that session in with them, it can make me unavailable for any other paid work that day.
Often I am creating appointments for people on the basis of them being able to all get together, so often it can be challenging to find a time which works for everyone I am going to see, and fits in with my schedule too. Some clients have had to wait several weeks to have an agreed time slot, due to the nature of their lifestyles, and availability in my diary.
Sadly, not everyone is as motivated as each other to get help with their dogs, and in the past people booked me in, and then called to cancel the day of the appointment, because they’ve decided to re-home the dog, or it’s been “behaving a bit better lately” (although I have also had clients who’ve almost cancelled for that reason, then during the consultation repeated how pleased they were that they went ahead, as they didn’t realise how much they didn’t know). And on one occasion, someone booked, wasn’t there when I turned up, and their partner denied all knowledge of the booking and the lady who booked didn’t answer any calls or emails afterwards. Fortunately on this occasion, it was only around the corner, rather than after a long drive, but I learnt my lesson!
So because of this handful of isolated incidents over the years, to protect me from last minute cancellations, and the impact that has on me as a small business owner, as well as on clients who have been desperate for my help but had to wait for availability to come up, I charge a deposit which is a big enough amount of money for you to miss it. This confirms that you are as committed to this appointment as I am! If you won’t miss £50, feel free to offer to pay the full amount upfront 🙂
I want your commitment
As your dog listener, you have my commitment. My time on the phone and by email is available to you for life as part of your consultation fee. Ultimately it’s you that does the work! So I want to know that you are committed too, before we start. If you are shopping around for the best deal, then I’m probably not the person for you. I’m not the cheapest, but I don’t want to be. I’m not the most expensive either. What I can tell you is that I have helped hundreds of people, including those who have already had other behaviourists in, and taken their dog to various classes. There is more than one method, and the one I teach is the best. It makes total sense, to you and your dog. I will not try to baffle you with technical jargon, nor make myself the expert and you the one who has it all wrong (as so many owners I have helped have been made to feel by other trainers and behaviourists). For as long as you are committed to helping your dog, I will be committed to helping you. That commitment starts with a commitment to a time and a date!
I’m not the only one who wants your commitment. Your dog does too! Your dog needs to see and know that you mean business, so they can change their behaviour, confident in the knowledge that it is okay for them to do so… Committing to the appointment is a great starting point.
And just in case you are worried this is a big scam, I have a Facebook page, twitter profile and a Google+ page, so I can’t exactly hide…!
Google+ Vicky Kelly Dog Listener feel free to add me to your circles. I will add you back.
Facebook: Vicky Kelly Dog Listener please like, comment or ask questions
Twitter: @VKDogListener tweet me!