This phase is where I can really start making an impact. It’s also the most confusing and least fleshed out. This is the initial outline I mentioned for Phase 3 in the first post in this series, It’s All Dog Business: BFRB Dogs Launch Plan, Phase 1A:
PHASE 3: SCALE DOG PLACEMENT — NON-PROFIT
- $425 – create separate nonprofit entity (in New Hampshire) to certify other dog trainers, called BFRB Dogs Academy
- TBD – develop training program for established dog trainers to become certified in BFRB service dog training
- TBD – recruit additional dog trainers willing to specialize in this cause
Credibility to certify trainers with BFRB Dogs Academy
Certifying BFRB Dogs trainers isn’t just a matter of me smacking a label or credential on people. BFRB Dogs needs some level of credibility to do that, and a rigorous training program to begin with.
First though, BFRB Dogs, the for-profit (establishing) LLC, exists to train and place dogs. BFRB Dogs Academy will likely become a non-profit entity to get other dog trainers out into our community network to help train dogs, because I can’t personally train all the BFRB Dogs of the world!
Who can train BFRB Dogs?
There are a few potential models to use (I’ll figure that out a little later), and I’d like to start by recruiting humans that are already established dog trainers with at least a few years of experience. This makes it easier to create a curriculum that specializes in BFRB service dog training, because then I’m not teaching people to train dogs from scratch. That’s beyond the scope of BFRB Dogs Academy in this phase.
Think of BFRB Dogs Academy as like a masters level degree program: you already need a bachelors equivalent of experience and have somewhat of an idea of what you’re doing before you can learn extra specialized skills, including becoming competent in BFRB awareness and what that means for human clients of BFRB Dogs. No, I don’t mean you actually need a bachelors degree to be a dog trainer or to enroll in BFRB Dogs Academy once it exists. It’s just an analogy.
This entrance criterion (already being a dog trainer) could change of course, but I definitely need to start here to make this whole thing work. It’s also why I’m going to complete the Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer Program before truly fleshing out what an “advanced” service dog specialization certificate from BFRB Dogs Academy will look like. I’m the practice what I preach type, so you’ll just have to keep following my journey to see how it all plays out!
Missed the last post? Check out It’s All Dog Business: Letting the Dogs Out, Phase 2