Barking Dog is a new greyhound racing tipster service which is being operated by the Betfan group. It is somewhat interesting in so much as it is based around lay betting on greyhounds.
Introduction to Barking Dog
I haven’t seen a lot of greyhound tipster services, and yet this week, two have landed on my desk. To keep things interesting, both of these are massively different. But my surprise at this does highlight something that is quite important in my opinion. And that is the lack of greyhound racing tipster services on the market.
This is something that I have often lamented, not because I believe that greyhound racing is necessarily a sport that I would focus my betting on, but for portfolio building. The more sports you cover in your portfolio, the better. For more niche sports, this is where tipsters can be important. And according to Betfan, Barking Dog is capable of really delivering.
Factor in that this is a lay betting service and as such, should carry less risk than a backing service, and I think that it starts to look like a potentially decent way of boosting your profits. Of course, lay betting also comes with its own unique risks and challenges. So, let’s dive straight into Barking Dog, and see if it is all that Betfan claim it is.
What Does Barking Dog Offer?
Betfan say that Barking Dog is “The Ultimate Dog Laying Cash Club”. In terms of jumping off points for what is actually on offer through the service, I feel like this is a pretty good place to start. Right there is the basics of what is on offer (lay bets for dog racing).
Combine this with the fact that this is a Betfan product and you start to get a good idea of what to expect. As always, I will say that their services are generally very well managed from a logistical standpoint and Barking Dog is no different.
This is a near daily tipster service, however I will say that the days where you won’t be betting are actually pretty rare. When selections are made available, they are issued in a number of ways to Barking Dog subscribers. This includes email (as you would expect), as well as being uploaded to a member’s area and the Betfan app (on iOS and Android).
This means that there is no real way of missing tips when they are available. This latter part is something that becomes quite important due to the nature of Barking Dog and lay betting in general if I’m honest.
I should also highlight whilst we are talking about lay betting that you will need an account with a betting exchange. Betfan seem to recommend Betfair for following Barking Dog which makes sense as it has the most liquidity on the markets. With that said, there are other examples available, some of which charge less commission.
As a lay betting service, it goes without saying that all of the bets that are advised through Barking Dog are of course, lay bets. This carries with it a large degree of risk as the odds that you lay a horse at, are what you pay out as a multiple of your stakes. This means that laying a dog at 10.0 means paying out 9 times your laying stake.
As a way of helping to combat this, when you receive betting advice from Barking Dog you are also given a max odds number. This is the top end of what liability you should make available if you are following the service. These max odds do tend to be quite high still though, often exceeding more than 21.00 (meaning 20 times your stake).
This leads me nicely to one area that I do have a lot of concern which is the staking plan. Betfan’s proofing shows that historically, Barking Dog has advised bets at anywhere from 1 point on a lay all the way up to 5 points. This means that using that number of 21.00 stated above, you could be paying out 100 points on a losing bet.
This might seem unlikely, and in some respects, I suppose that it is. Backing dogs with this kind of liability shouldn’t come in very often. However, there have been examples of figures close to this occurring and that can be massively problematic as it is a huge hit to your overall profit and loss (I will pick this point up a little later).
If there is one piece of information that is very clearly missing to me when it comes to Barking Dog, it is the strike rate. Betfan don’t provide any information in this regard and that is a huge issue in my book.
You see, a big part of the appeal of lay betting is the fact that there is less risk involved. After all, it stands to reason that if you are picking one of 5 or 6 to lose, rather than win, you will get this right more often than not. But without hard numbers, this lowered risk becomes much less calculated, and because of the margins, you can’t really afford to guess.
Whilst Betfan provide comprehensive proofing there is no way of knowing exactly what strike rate you will get. This is down to what odds you are able to get when you are laying. From the proofing of their results though, a strike rate of 83.7% (according to my calculations) doesn’t look too bad. It isn’t necessarily great though.
How Does Barking Dog Work?
Certain elements of how Barking Dog works are pretty self evident. As I have already covered quite extensively, laying inherently carries less risk than backing. In carrying less risk, you can theoretically increase your profit potential because you are winning more.
This is actually somewhat stated in the sales material with Betfan making reference to other services having disappointing strike rates and not winning that often. The clear implication is that Barking Dog is superior because it has that higher strike rate.
What isn’t discussed at all, and it is hugely disappointing in my opinion, is the lack of information on the selection process. Betfan say nothing about what is involved and honestly, I find that to be a little bit alarming. I will get to it in detail later, but you are really risking quite a lot of money with Barking Dog.
Because of this, I don’t think that it is really appropriate to simply blindly back (or lay, if I’m being technically correct) a bet with no understanding of why it has been selected. I don’t expect an in depth breakdown, but it isn’t unreasonable to me to want some idea of what you are getting yourself into.
What is the Initial Investment?
There are a huge number of options if you want to subscribe to Barking Dog, each differing in terms of the initial outlay, and the value that is there if you want it. What I will say is that by and large, Betfan are not necessarily charging a huge amount for the service (which is a bit of a saving grace).
The cheapest option is a weekly subscription which is priced at £7. After this, there is a monthly subscription which is priced at £21, however you should note that this is billed every 28 days. As such, you will pay this out 13 times a year which does impact the value aspect a little bit.
Next there is a quarterly subscription which offers marginally better value at £59.15 every 90 days. Finally, and representing the best value is a 6 monthly subscription. This is priced at £100 which means that it is the highest outlay, however it works out at £16.67 pre month, and you are actually only paying this out on a calendar month basis rather than 4 weekly.
Finally, I want to highlight that Barking Dog is a Betfan product and as such, there is no real money back guarantee in place for it. The Betfan team say that they will always review refund requests, however they also say that these aren’t typically granted.
What is the Rate of Return?
At the time of writing this, the profit for Barking Dog stands at 65.89 points since June of 2019. This isn’t a bad results at all really and would work out at some 16 points per month on average. Not a bad little second income really, even if you are backing to relatively low stakes of say, £10 per point.
This comes with a number of caveats though. First and foremost, at the time of writing this, Barking Dog has incurred a loss of almost 30 points this month. This does a double job of both highlighting how much you could have earned, and also earmarking how things can very quickly go wrong.
You should also factor in that in order to attain these results, there have been a lot of 5 point stakes. As such, you can very reasonably scale these numbers down if you aren’t comfortable having potential liabilities of 72.8 points (an actual number taken from Betfan’s proofing).
Conclusion for Barking Dog
In many ways, I think that there is a lot to like about Barking Dog. Actually, let me rephrase that one. I think that in some ways there is a lot to like about Barking Dog. You see, there are some genuinely quite good looking results on show here.
Even with a really bad losing month (so far), Barking Dog is sitting at a pretty decent profit of 16 points per month. Sure, it isn’t an earth shatteringly large amount, but that number could very well end up closer to 20 or 25 points by the end of the month. So long as you are comfortable betting at those recommended stakes.
And that brings me perfectly to one of the biggest problems that I have when it comes to Barking Dog, which is the fact that so much of it is conditional. It clearly could have made a decent amount of money. That is, if you are willing to get at such high stakes.
There does appear to be some decent underlying system here, as the results suggest. But Betfan don’t actually give us any information in this regard. As such, there is little ignoring the fact that all that you can definitively do is speculate on all of this. And that isn’t really great in my opinion. At the very least, you should be well informed about what you are getting into.
Honestly, by and large I’m not really that impressed by Barking Dog. I can appreciate that there is some potential profit but I really can’t stress enough how conditional this appears to be, and the risk that I see being involved.
If you’re in a position to potentially risk losing £720 on a single bet, all with a view to potentially making £47.50 when a bet comes in, then I suppose that something like Barking Dog will be for you. And, if you do happen to fit into this category, then I suppose that £21 per month isn’t hugely expensive. But that s all that I can say trying to be positive.
Truthfully, by and large, I see this as being a bit of a niche product. Not because of what it entails, but more so because I just don’t see many people being willing or able to sink the money into it. I am certainly not one of those people, and truthfully, I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody else.