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Using DoggieDashboard for Gun Dog Retriever Training

Last Updated: November 07, 2022


Most people think of DoggieDashboard as software that's only made for doggie daycare and pet boarding businesses. However, over the last few years, we've seen a major increase in the amount of gun dog training businesses that have signed up to use DoggieDashboard.

With that said, I thought it made sense to write up a quick blog post about how you can use DoggieDashboard to streamline your retriever training business. Below you'll find a quick outline of how you can set up the software to best work for your business and then below that you'll see a quick YouTube video tutorial showing the actual steps to using the software at your gun dog training business.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Save Pet and Client Details in the Dashboard

The first thing you're going to want to do is add your new client and their dog or dogs to your database. You can save all your client details in the client database and then save their pet information in the pet database. You can also upload any documents to their account like signed contracts, etc. You can even use the waiver e-Sign feature to send them waivers that they need to sign before training begins.

Step 2: Add a Custom Field for Training Notes

Once you've got your client and their pet(s) saved in your database, you're most likely going to want to add a custom field to the pet record so that you can save your training notes in one place. For this, you'll go to the Account Settings menu and click on the option to add a Custom Pet Field. You can name this something like "Gun Dog Training Notes" or whatever else you might want to call it. You get up to three custom fields per pet record, so you could even save one as Training Notes and another for Incident Reports, etc.

Step 3: Add Gun Dog to Your Training Calendar

Once you've got the custom field(s) saved, it's time to mark down your training client on your calendar. Most retriever training businesses tend to use kennels/crates for their training clients, so we'll go to the Kennel Calendar and add a few crates to our database. This will populate your Kennel Calendar with the crates. Now, select one whichever crate you want to house the dog in and add the starting date and ending date for their training appointment. If you need to move dogs between crates, you'll want to end one appointment in a certain crate and then start a new one in a different crate (so you can see which days you need to move them around).

Step 4: Add Training Notes after Each Lesson

Each gun dog training business does business a little bit differently. With that in mind, you can use the Training Notes custom field that you created and start saving daily or weekly progress notes. This way, you can always look back at your database and see how far along that certain retriever is in their training program.

Step 5: Send Progress Report Cards to your Client

Since there's a good chance that you're boarding dogs for at least a month, if not more, you're going to want to keep the dog's owner informed about how they're doing in their training program. Using the Report Card feature (there will also be a Progress Report Card added in 2023), you can keep the owner up to date with where their little fur baby duck hunting machine is at in their training program.

Step 6: Create an Invoice When Training is Nearly Complete

Now, you might be a business that wants to take payment before your training program starts. You might also prefer to take payment at the end of training school once the client comes to pick up their dog. Whichever way you prefer, you can use DoggieDashboard invoicing to do the job. Here you'll want to create an invoice line item for your training school and add any extra items that you sold/used during your training progress. You can also mark down a deposit on the invoice if they paid one before training started.

Step 7: Create a PDF Certificate of Achievement

This step isn't really necessary, but it adds a nice touch to your retriever training business and will help you set yourself apart from the competition. Head to the Marketing section of DoggieDashboard and print out a Certificate of Completion for the dog. If you don't have a color printer, I would suggest heading to Kinko's and printing the certificate on nice card stock in full color.

Step 8: Send a Follow-Up Email After Pet Returns Home

Last but not least, a week or two after your client picks up their dog, you're going to want to touch base with them about how their dog is doing. Using the Appointment Follow-Ups feature, you can quickly shoot off an email to your client to hear how their pup is doing.

Here's the video now!

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay (karisjo)

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