The Wonder Dog Mission
Enjoy life with your best friend (without all the frustrations).
Wonder Dog wants to enrich the lives of everyone who comes into contact with us: our dogs, our clients, our teams, our vendors and our shareholders.
The Wonder Dog Values
1) Deliver “Wow!"
This is the #1 core value of Wonder Dog. It means that we want to exceed expectations in every situation to the point where we are all emotionally moved by what we do.
Example: If our typical client expects a shaggy, part-time dog trainer who does this work as a side hobby, but instead finds a sharply-dressed, full-time expert dog trainer with branded apparel, they will probably be WOWed by the exceeded expectations.
Example: Most people are completely unaware that being a dog trainer can is even a career choice, but when a new team member joins us, we think that they will be blown away by the compensation plan, the development program, the positive energy and the company we are trying to build together.
Example: While we don’t want to be suckers, we definitely want our vendors and reps and service providers to make a good profit and like doing business with us, if for no other reason, by knowing them by name, asking about them when we talk, paying our bills on time and doing what we can to help them thrive in their own business.
2) "This One Matters"
In any given workflow, it’s tempting to get lost in a sea of numbers and ratios and gigs, where the next one coming down the line is just like the last one - each somehow forgettable as they all start looking the same. But Wonder Dog wants to continually push against that temptation by declaring and acting as each and every relationship matters. Each dog matters. Each client matters. Each interaction matters. Each lead matters. Each teammate matters. And so we want to focus on what is right in front of us and act as if it’s our first and last chance at getting this right.
Example: Trust is a bedrock in every relationship, and it all starts with a declaration that “you matter to me so I will tell the truth, will be faithful to what I promise and will act in integrity."
Example: After a long day of multiple, back-to-back appointments, a trainer shows up at her last lesson of the day, gathers up her heart, her hair and her smile before walking in that door - not to fake it - but because this dog matters, and this client matters, and they have been eagerly awaiting this lesson all week and they deserve her best.
Example: People are quirky and burdensome. Everyone has something that irritates the people around them. We all know this, and often feel the temptation to just judge them, dismiss them, ignore them, or even kick them out of our lives (or the company), but we aim to accept clients and teammates and vendors right where they are with patience. Why? Because each one matters.
3) Ease + simplicity
This is the unspoken, internal agreement that we want everyone to make when we ask them to do anything. That is, because Wonder Dog aims to make positive changes in the world around us, we want to make the pathway to change easy, otherwise, the change we are asking for in ourselves, our clients, our dogs, etc will be resisted. So we aim for our policies, our training stimuli, our client communications, our compensation plans - everything - to be simple and easy. So simple, in fact, that a 5 year old could understand them.
Example: Our trainers do the hard, complex conditioning work with the dogs before asking the handler to engage when it’s time to re-enforce the lesson with a simple one-word command.
Example: Our same-day appointment cancellation policy is simple. They pay a $49 fee on the first occasion, then a lose of a lesson on the second occasion and following, with the typical option to waive the fine unless we see an obstinate attitude the first time.
Example: Our 2 training programs are simple. On-leash or off-leash, with the options of speeding up the process with Accelerator. That’s it.
4) Do The Right Thing
We want to do the right thing. It’s obvious in most cases. When it’s not, we could probably just ask what we would do if our grandma was behind us when we did or said whatever we were thinking of. If that is still not clear, then we should run it passed our supervisor and our teams to get some new perspectives. Overall, however, we want to lean towards grace until the grace we’re giving is hurting others as well.
Example: Since we sell results and not just time or lessons, we guarantee our work and will keep training them until they get the end results that we promised them, even though it will cost us more (and assuming that they are doing their part of the homework lessons).
Example: We rely on our employees to count up their hours, lessons and sales revenue for payroll, trusting them to be honest with us. Yes, we check their numbers because math mistakes are easy for us all, but it’s the right thing to do to be honest with requesting to be paid or reimbursed. This helps us all and keeps a culture of goodness and honesty.
Example: We tell the truth in our sales and marketing. There is no reason to lie. We have a defined set of services we offer and are up-front about what we don’t offer, and everyone will be happier if we merely communicate clearly on the front end to manage expectations. We don’t work with aggressive dogs. We won’t fix your house breaking problems. We just do obedience.
5) Extreme ownership
At Wonder Dog, we take responsibility for the things that come up. We do not make excuses for when things go wrong. Instead, we take responsibility for the problems at hand and come up with solutions to the problem. We resist complaining, and just fix whatever is irritating us (if we can), or make suggestions on how to fix it (if we can’t).
Example: A trainer notices a flaw in one of the scripts in the Missed Lesson Policy, and how it will be unkind to use the script in the situation of a client with a death in the family. So she improvises and then runs the more gracious script past her supervisor and team to see if they agree that we need to tweak it, the good of all of us. Turns out, she was spot on and her small idea changed the policy for the entire company.
Example: A demo trainer realizes that the trainers’ assistant who is setting up his demo lessons isn’t asking if the decision-maker will be present which is severely crippling his chances of closing each deal and wastes his time, so instead of complaining to his boss, making excuses as to why he’s not closing deals or angrily going off on the VA, he first assumes the best about her (maybe she just forgot?), stops to make a list of the possible ways to resolve the problem, starting with the most gracious and most likely to roughest and most unlikely. In this case, he’ll call her and tell her a few stories of lessons with no DM present and merely ask her if she’s been qualifying the appointments to see if she’s merely forgotten, or has began to believe that it’s not needed anymore, etc. His belief that she wasn’t being lazy or refusing to follow the process helped save a great and budding partnership between them.
Example: A trainer realizes that she doesn’t have enough lessons on the books this week to make the income that she needs, so instead of complaining she takes ownership of the situation and starts calling her clients to see if she can do 2 lessons a week as well as circles back to anyone who has cancelled on her lately. Then she asks her supervisor for more clients to train. Then she asks her fellow trainers if anyone is needing some time off so that she can fill in for them. That is, she totally owns the problem and looking for solutions.