Hiring Dog Trainers for Your Company

This is a big topic. What personality fits your company? Are there special skills you’re looking for? A specific educational background? How much experience will you require? Part-time, full-time? These are all important questions – but not the ones we’ll be addressing in today’s blog. There is, however, one important consideration to address before you begin to even consider the dog trainer requirements for the trainer you will be hiring: independent contractor or employee.

You may not be aware that there are different legal relationships that you can have with dog trainers who work for your dog training company.  Be aware that you can hire either an independent contractor or an employee.  What specifically defines whether a person working for you is a contractor or an employee is determined by local law.  It is very important that you seek professional advice when making this decision, because you will be required to meet different state employment laws for employees and independent contractors.  

Why is it important to first consider the relationship you will have with your newly hired dog trainer? Because the relationship you have with this professional dog trainer dictates how much control you have over the methods and content of the courses and lessons they teach. It is likely that a person who holds skills that are unique for your business, who creates his own curriculum, and teaches independent of supervision could be considered an independent contractor. 

On the other hand, if you are supervising instruction, providing a curriculum, and offering training in your methods to your new trainer, it is unlikely that local law would allow you to designate your certified professional trainer as an independent contractor. NOTE: the law varies from state to state! It is important to seek counsel from a professional in your area to help you define what these terms mean in your state. 

If you prefer not to hire dog trainers for your company that are employees, then you’ll be looking for a plug-n-play trainer. In other words, a certified professional dog trainer who can hit the ground running and won’t need extensive supervision and training. If you prefer to train new hires in your particular methods and ask that they follow curriculum that you’ve developed, be aware that you may have to employ them and cannot designate them as independent contractors.

Again, we’re not here to provide you with legal definitions for independent contractor and employee. Rather, our goal is to make you aware of these special relationships so that you can seek advice and counsel from local experts who are familiar with the laws of your jurisdiction. Venture forth, educate yourself, and hire a dog trainer for your company!

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