And now for a little inside baseball. We were at a puppy play session the other day and the woman overseeing the play time happened to be one of the most renowned puppy trainers in the nation if not the world. We came to realize this by reading about her online while the puppies were
eating enjoying one another. As we listened to more and more of the trainer’s advice on how best to train a puppy, we realized she might as well have been talking about high school students navigating the highly selective college admissions process. She was essentially a surrogate for Ivy Coach…only she was discussing puppies rather than highly selective college admissions.
We thought we’d share with our readers a few of the things she said because just about everything she said reminded us not only of our business but of students applying to college (and their parents).
A Puppy Trainer Who Gets It and How It Applies To College Admissions
- There are tons of puppy trainers out there. Most of course aren’t particularly good. If the trainer’s experience is that they grew up with dogs, run. Yes, yes, yes! There are thousands of private college counseling firms. If the college counselor’s experience is that they helped their own child get into a top college, run.
- You did three training sessions with a trainer and he can’t even sit? And you paid how much? You paid a private college counselor and these were the admissions essays your child submitted to colleges in the Early Decision / Early Action round? Oh.
- I can’t train every puppy in the city. I train a few each week and charge a high fee for my training. I make no apologies for my fees. It took me a long time to learn how to properly train a puppy. Amen! We’re not in the business of helping every student earn admission to college. We help a select few and because we only help a select few, we charge a high fee for our expertise. We too make no apologies for our fees. We’re not for everyone. And not everyone is for us.
- One puppy owner asked me to tell him why I should choose my training over another trainer. I gave out a bark and trotted away. Amen! Ruff ruff. It’s funny that so many folks think it’s the prerogative of the business to sell to a prospective client. We’re very selective with whom we work. We want students and parents who want us — there are enough of those students and parents to go around and then some! Remember, while folks rarely refer us because they don’t want to admit they had help in the college admissions process, we almost always get the younger sibling as a client (and sometimes the cousins). It says it all.
- Once you can get a puppy to sit, stay, be on his own, and a few other things, it’s easy to teach them how to roll over and jump through hoops. Yes, we can help students earn admission to schools that are not among the nation’s most selective. It’s only easier to help students earn admission to less selective schools — but the approach is the same.
- If I had to hear one more puppy owner tell me how their puppy is the absolute smartest, I think I’d eat kibble. We hear ya. Here’s to our averagely intelligent pup! No kibble for us.
- Your puppy eats her own poop so you sprinkle tabasco sauce on it an effort to dissuade her? You encouraged your child to attend a fancy summer enrichment program at Stanford? And you think this will improve her case for admission to highly selective colleges, including Stanford? Oy vey is right. While you’re at it, sprinkle some tabasco sauce on her application and see what happens.
- Puppies reflect their owners. Children reflect their parents. Our favorite students each year are often the children of our favorite parents.
Have a topic you’d like us to address in the future on our college admissions blog? Let us know what you’d like us writing about by posting it below. We look forward to hearing from you!
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