B2B ID: Stan Pollack, canine educator, Come, Sit, Stay Dog Obedience Training in Florence
NAME: Stan Pollack
JOB TITLE, COMPANY: Canine educator, Come, Sit, Stay Dog Obedience Training in Florence
WHEN THE BUSINESS STARTED: 2009
WHAT YOU DO: Train dogs, from simple commands such as “come,” “sit,” “stay,” “down,” “off,” etc. to dealing with behavior problems that include biting, food and toy aggression and jumping up on people
EXPERIENCE: Forty years training all breeds of dogs and dogs with varying behavior problems
THE MARKET: Dog owners
HOW YOU REACH OUT TO IT: The Internet, business cards, Valley Time Trade, Craigslist, word of mouth, ads and poems in Happy Valley Animals, Dog Scouts of America
WHAT FINANCING HURDLES HAVE YOU FACED AND HOW HAVE YOU HANDLED THEM? None so far because there is little overhead or capital costs
KEY TO SUCCESS: Loving dogs, learning as much as I can about all kinds of dog training, and being able to read the dog owner’s needs, expectations, fears and potential for improvement as a pack leader
CHALLENGES: Many dog owners are in denial about their dog’s problems and resist seeking help. For example, some owners will make excuses for their dog’s antisocial behavior: “Oh, he was a shelter dog and must have had a traumatic puppyhood, and that’s why he sometimes bites people.” I try to help people focus on the negative behavior and find positive ways to correct this behavior. Many of the dog owners I meet simply do not provide their dogs with enough exercise and leave them at home alone for eight hours or more. Dogs need lots of daily exercise. Other owners treat their dogs like little children and expect the dogs to act like kids. But they are dogs and need to be treated as dogs.
MISSTEP YOU LEARNED FROM: Not getting enough background information before my first visit. Now I make sure I collect enough information about the dog/owner relationship and environment by asking the owner to fill out a questionnaire prior to my first visit.
WHAT OTHERS COULD LEARN FROM YOU: Having a dog is a big commitment and requires as much dedication and patience as raising a child. Dogs are not expendable toys that can be discarded when you get tired of playing with them.
WHO HELPED MENTOR YOU PROFESSIONALLY? Dakin Animal Shelter, several local dog trainers and well-known trainers such as Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, author of “The Love That Dog Training Program,” and Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer”
TOP GOALS FOR 2013: Train more dogs and help keep the “dog park” in Northampton leash-free. The dog park is an excellent place for dogs to be dogs, i.e., to run free, socialize with other dogs, play and exercise. The more dogs I am able to train, and the more I can help dog owners be more responsible, the fewer dogs will end up in shelters.
ADVICE FOR OTHERS SEEKING BUSINESS SUCCESS: Be honest and friendly, communicate well, work hard and take time to enjoy yourself and your family.
PARTING THOUGHT: Our dogs are reflections of who we are.
B2B ID is compiled by Janice Beetle, owner of Beetle Press in Easthampton. Beetle Press offers writing, editing and graphic design services. www.beetlepress.com. To suggest a subject for B2B ID, email Beetle at firstname.lastname@example.org.