What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
We typically schedule an assessment and in-person meeting first, although with some grooming-only clients we will conduct the initial behavior and risk assessment remotely. Once we have a behavior profile, have met our clients and the dog(s) we'll be working with, and have discussed our client's goal(s), we work on developing a custom service plan that will best address our client's needs. Once we have developed a service package that is appropriate, we confirm dates and times, arrange key hand off or access instructions if applicable, and then ask our clients to process their order. We send an invoice via email using Square, and the invoice serves as a confirmation of service reservation.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
We are certified in dog CPR, training, and dog care practices. We also constantly participate in ongoing professional development coursework and seminars through our professional organization memberships. Our clients come first, so we have a robust professional review, training, and development process in place to help us achieve our goal to exceed client expectations at every step in the process. All of our contractors and employees must meet rigid quality control guidelines. Contractors and employees must either hold professional degrees and certifications or participate in training programs developed by Bliss Bound Hound which meet or exceed requirements of professional level certification and educational programs.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
Our pricing is standardized. We offer base pricing, and also provide discounts for monthly subscribers. We offer complete service packages that include discounts across multiple categories of service, giving our regular customers access to pricing our competitors can't match.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
Paul first got involved with dog training at the age of 13, back in 1988, when his family adopted a year old dog whose mixed pedigree likely included some Coyote along with her German Shepherd and Husky genetics. She was a very smart, but extremely wild dog, and provided a crash course in training and behavior for Paul, igniting a lifelong passion for the field of animal behavior. Paul has an undergraduate degree in anthropology, which includes research and courses on animal behavior. Jules previously owned a dog sitting and walking business, and Paul sometimes provided training services for some of Jules' clients. The two formed BlissBound Hound in response to a call from their client base for an integrated, one-stop-shop approach to dog care. By looking at dog care as a unified, professional field, BlissBound Hound is able to provide care solutions that focus on preventative wellness and comprehensive best practices. BlissBound Hound offers a 21st century approach to dog care to provide dog owners with an alternative to the outdated choices they currently have. Before BlissBound Hound, the only options were repackaged versions of 1950s facility-based model that is unsafe and stressful for dogs, and the decentralized and inconsistently quality of the sole-proprietorship model.
What types of customers have you worked with?
We work with customers across the spectrum. Our clients include working professional families, young tech professionals, working class households, political elites, military brass, multi-millionaires, and even the odd billionaire or two. Our services are high quality enough for the most discerning client, but still affordable enough for the "99%". We believe that everyone deserves access to the absolute best in high quality dog care.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
It's always amazing to have a positive impact for the dogs we work with. We are currently working bringing our first product, a semi-custom leather dog harness, to market. 20% of the profits from sales of these harnesses will fund our non-profit service donations to animal rescue and shelter organizations. Our specific focus in on providing free and low cost training services to older and/or traumatized dogs prior to adoption. Our pre-adoption services program donates Behavior Adjustment Training (B.A.T.) and counter conditioning training exercises to dogs and pays for Canine Good Citizen (C.G.C.) certification to help make these dogs more appealing to adopting families. In addition, our program pays to provide ongoing support for adopting families, offering transitional support in the form of a free month of custom BlissCare, our comprehensive monthly care packages. These BlissCare packages include wellness vet care, training sessions, regular dog walking, socialization, and grooming services.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Always be sure to hire a professional company who operate a licensed and insured business, who has employees who are legally employed and covered by worker's compensation insurance, and who carries professional certifications in the industry you are hiring for.
Dog care is a largely unregulated field, and no training or certification is required to start operating and performing work for clients. On the other hand, the level of knowledge, skill and experience needed to provide safe and effective service is actually quite high. We find that hiring quality employees is one of our company's biggest challenges, and we can be certain, based on client feedback, that our clients are having just as hard a time finding service providers who can deliver consistent, quality care. Professional certifications are one way you can insure that your service provider has at least a standard level of operating knowledge in their field. Insurance protects you, your dog, and your property. Verifying that your provider operates a legitimate business that is licensed to operate, belongs and is certified by professional organizations, and carries a federal tax ID number helps make sure you are working with a stable company and not an unqualified, inexperienced, fly by night operator.
Working with a business that has employees shows you a few important things, and protects you in important ways. One, a company with multiple employees indicates that the company has many satisfied and returning customers to support paying those workers. Two, a company with multiple employees can be more nimble, and you can be assured that service will be provided on time and without any last minute cancellations or no-shows.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
The dog care industry is largely unregulated and service providers are no required to complete any educational courses at all before they begin to operate. As a result, customers purchasing dog care must be extra vigilant when hiring a provider to provide care. Always make sure you hire a professional dog care provider. There is a huge difference between taking care of your dog every day, and working as a dog care professional and having multiple dogs each day to provide care for. It take years of training and education to learn how to properly understand canine behavior, handling, CPR, first aid, health, grooming, and the many other factors that routinely come into play. Many amateurs are attracted to the pet care industry because they think the work will be "easy", and/or because they believe that the un-monitored nature of the work means they can "get away" with slacking off. I can't tell you how many horror stories we hear every day. Do yourself a favor, and make sure that you are hiring a professional with extensive experience working with dogs like yours. Interview potential hires in person. Check their references, reputation, and reviews. Make sure they are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and have a stellar reputation on robertavanesov.ru and other public forums. Make sure that they are affiliated with and/or members of a number of professional organizations. Ask about their training programs. Learn about the methods they use for assessing and on-boarding animals into their program. Insure that the company maintains a staff to support service in the event of illness or time off (the last thing you want is a sick, burned out care provider charged with keeping your valued family member safe). Finally, make sure that the organization you choose to work with operate in line with your values. For example, if you believe in science-based, positive reinforcement training methods, make sure the company you hire does not use shock or "e" collars.