The Handler Career Program is Barking Hound Village’s unique way of offering best-in-class dog education, providing opportunities for larger pay raises and bigger bonuses, and creating a career in the dog service industry. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity that is only available at Barking Hound Village!

Why should I be excited about the Handler Career Program?

  • Potential to earn over $3,000 more per year
  • Bigger bonuses
  • Structured pathway for promotion
  • Creates an overall safer environment for the dog
  • Build confidence in the yards
  • Build knowledge for future jobs, even outside of BHV

Is the Program Path required?

No.  We are not requiring team members to pursue promotions and follow the Handler Career Program. For team members that do not follow the Program Path, they will be eligible for raises in a different manner discussed later in this document.

How does the Program Path work?

The Handler Career Program consists of four designations:

  • Handler in Training (all new hires)
  • Intermediate Handler
  • Advanced Handler
  • Master Handler

How much money can be earned at each designation?

Every designation jump comes with up to a $0.50 per hour raise (that’s equal to a $1,000 raise!).  Additionally, team members are given a $15 Amazon gift card for every in-office class day and test that they attend (note below).  A complete list of money earned through the Program Path is outlined below:

The below assumes starting pay of $10.00/hour and regular full-time employment of 2,080 hours per year


  • If a team member is already earning above the pay band maximum for a specific designation, this team member will be offered a one-time bonus for the promotion. Bonuses will be executive discretion and will be based on individual factors.
  • If a team member is already making near the top of the pay band, the team member may receive less than a $0.50 raise per hour. This will be executive discretion based on individual factors.
  • Team members are given the in-office bonuses ONE TIME per promotion opportunity. If they fail the test or take classes multiple times per designation, they will not receive multiple gift cards.

How do I move up a designation?

There are two requirements to moving up a designation: (1) eligibility and (2) completing coursework and passing tests.

  • Eligibility will be based on 4 things:
    1. Tenure – Minimum number of hours worked (more information below)
    2. Attendance/Punctuality – Manager will closely review call-outs and late clock-ins
    3. Quality of Work and Fit – Overall recommended by Manager and Supervisor(s)
    4. Team Work – Recommendation from 2 peers / co-workers
  • Coursework: All team members must attend the new onboarding BEFORE beginning the program
    1. Handler in Training
      1. No specific requirement. All new hires start at this level.
    2. Intermediate Handler
      1. Pass in-office test based on study guide provided
    3. Advanced Handler:
      1. Complete 3 in-office class days that consist of the following: (a) Dog Gurus 101 “Knowing Dogs” (dog posture; identifying aggression; and other non-interaction information); (b) First Aid; (c) Animal Husbandry
      2. Pass in-office test based on classes and study guide
    4. Master Handler:
      1. Complete 3 in-office class days that consist of the following: (a) Dog Gurus 201 “Group Play” (dog interaction; yard management); (b) Occupational Health and Safety
      2. Pass in-office test based on classes and study guide

What are the minimum number of hours needed to be eligible for each designation?

  • Handler In Training – no minimum hours. All new hires start at this designation
  • Intermediate Handler – 550 hours worked (~90 days)
  • Advanced Handler – 1100 hours worked (~180 days)
  • Master Handler – 2200 hours worked (~1 year)

Ok, I’m excited! How do I get started?

The first step is to speak with your manager about your specific eligibility.  Once you get the go-ahead, the next step is to sign up for classes!

The link below allows you to sign up for all level classes – the tabs at the top will tell you which class calendar you are viewing.  Please note that each class has a maximum occupancy, so sign up soon!  To make the process faster and guarantee your spot, it is best to sign up for all classes associated with the specific Handler level at once.


Note: All team members must attend the new onboarding BEFORE beginning the program.  The above link also has an Onboarding calendar tab

Where are the classes and test held?

All classes and tests will be held at the Store Support Center located at 130 Krog Street, Suite B, Atlanta GA 30307

How do CSR / FOH-focused team members earn raises and promotions?

All team members will follow the Handler Career Program path.  A separate CSR specific program will be created with its own training, goals, and raise and promotion structure.  Until the CSR Program launch, all team member should refer to the Handler Career Program structure.



Click here to sign up!