Posted: March 29, 2013, 5:45 p.m. EST
Need help training your store's employees? Here is a list of some of the training programs available to pet retailers.
Pet Industry Distributors Association
Pet Store Pro, a comprehensive pet retail training program, is offered free of charge to all pet retailers. Modules cover animal care and maintenance, nutrition, customer service, selling strategies, merchandising techniques and management skills. Materials are online (not iPad compatible yet) with tests for learning assessment. (www.petstorepro.com)
Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
Best practices for animal care in the retail setting are highlighted in two free, downloadable publications that anyone can access. “Doing it Right: A Pet Store Employee's Guide to Professional Success (and Fun!)” covers pet care and customer education. “Animal Care Guidelines for the Retail Pet Industry” covers selling animals responsibly, in-store pet care, facility maintenance and procedures. There's also a Certified Avian Specialist program with workbook and exam. ($75 members; $95 nonmembers) (www.pijac.org)
Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council Canada
Certification courses, seminars and workshops in animal care and business operations are offered for members and nonmembers. To celebrate PIJAC Canada's 25th anniversary, all association seminars and workshops at its four 2013 shows will be free of charge for members. The Certified Companion Animal Specialist Program is available online or as a CD in English or French and covers dogs, cats, reptiles and birds. ($135 with one license for members; $180 nonmembers) Certification for small animals and freshwater fish can be achieved with a seminar and home study manual. (Manual: $55 members; $65 nonmembers) Boost Your Business and the Retail Store Certification Program/Manual are under revision. (www.pijaccanada.com
NexPet Retailer Co-op
Two free training programs are offered online or in book format with completion certificates. FlexQuiz is free for NexPet members covering customer service, sales techniques and information on dog, cat, bird, wildbird, reptile, aquatic and small animal needs, care and products. Dog & Cat Nutrition for Pet Store Staff is provided free to retailers selling Grandma Mae's Country Naturals pet food. It covers quality indicators, ingredients, reading labels, specialty formulas and educating consumers. (Note: There's a fee for larger book quantities.) (www.nexpet.com)
This manufacturer offers three-day training at its Madison, Ga., facility for retail aquarium staff from its Platinum-level dealers. Held a few times a year, it covers the scientific chemical/biological aspects of the hobby. Participants receive certification upon passing a test. Seachem offers Platinum Training for free and covers hotels, meals and some travel expenses. (www.seachem.com)
Dream Dog Productions
“Knowing Dogs: Staff Training for Pet Care Centers” consists of two interactive training products on understanding dog language and supervising group play. Each program includes a DVD, a leader's guide, five staff workbooks, tests and a completion certificate template. It is designed for group or self study by Susan Briggs and Robin Bennett. ($995 Dog Language; $1,295 Group Play; $1,795 for both) Additional workbooks are available. (www.dreamdogproductions.com)
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