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Survey results

This is just a quick little post to update you on the results of the survey on future Smart Dog services that I posted last month.  Thank you to everyone that took the time to fill this out!

Results

In terms of services offered, a little more than a third of you were interested in a least one of the online options (webinars, interaction lecture courses and skill/training based online courses).  However, adding more in person services was by far the most popular option – 84% of you were interested in this!

Of those interested in webinars, Before You Get your Dog was the most highly rated choice, with Preventing and Addressing Common Behavior Problems coming in at a close second.

Of those interested in interactive lecture courses, Human-Dog Relationships was the most highly rated.  The other three followed slightly behind, all with the same rating:  Evolution and Behavior, Cognition and Learning and Social Behavior.

Of those interested in the skills/training based online courses, ongoing support for Project Dogs was by far the most popular option.  In fact all of the courses related to working with dogs with issues and/or relationship building were fairly highly rated.  Greeting Behavior and Starting off on the Right Paw scored the lowest, but still above a ‘3’, which corresponds with “would possibly take”.

Of those interested in in person classes, reactive dog class scored the highest, followed by (from most popular to least popular):

  • Scent Games
  • Impulse Control
  • Tricks and Games
  • Agility – handling and impulse control
  • Advanced
  • Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.)
  • Therapy dog
  • Agility – Introduction to Obstacles.

Everything had a three or higher.  However, based on the results as well as those that told me they had filled out the surveys (which were anonymous), I suspect that many of those that filled out the surveys have aggressive, reactive or shy dogs, so I am not sure that these results are representative of my clients as a whole.

Continue reading to see what we plan to do now that we have the survey results.

Next steps

Based on the results, I can see that there is interest in some online courses – particularly those that seem aimed at helping people whose dogs cannot attend classes due to behavior concerns.  However, I can also see that there is great interest in additional in person classes.  This coincides with actual registration in our classes – right now we don’t have openings in any of our classes until at least mid-April!

So, here is our current plan.  This is still subject to change as demand and availability of trainers changes, but we are actively working on making the following things happen:

  • Add a new Foundations level class on Wednesday evenings as soon as we have another trainer prepared to teach it.  Hopefully by mid-April or May.
  • Add new intermediate/advanced level courses on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm.  These courses will run for a set amount of time (generally 4 or 6 weeks) and the exact course offering will vary.  Tentative start date for the first class is April 18th.  Exact course should be determined by next week (see next bullet point).
  • Because I think the responses on the survey were skewed toward those with aggressive/reactive/fearful dogs, I will conduct a 2nd – very short – survey to determine which class we will offer first.  I hope to post this survey tomorrow.  I am also giving it to students attending classes this week.
  • We are in the process of (slowly) moving forward with some online course offerings.  Right now, we are working on getting our website redesigned (on the back end) to make taking online classes much more user friendly.  They will be focused in two areas:

1) Lecture/discussion courses for aspiring or established trainers and behaviorists.  These courses will also be open to dog owners, likely with an option to audit so they don’t have to do all of the additional work if they don’t want to.

2) Services focused on those with aggressive/reactive/fearful dogs as well as relationship building.  Because these types of courses are new to me, I would love to hear from those of you interested in this type of course with suggestions of what you’d like to see covered.

We always value feedback from you, particularly during this period of growth, so don’t hesitate to contact us with additional questions or concerns!

Kristina Spaulding

Kristina Spaulding

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About Science Matters

The Science Matters blog provides practical science-based information on dog training and behavior in addition to personal, heartfelt stories about loving and living with dogs.   For a more detailed summary, take a look at the first blog post here.

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