So, You want to be a dog trainer? Running a group class

Running a Group Class

One way to hold a group class without having to sign a long-term lease for your own training facility is to locate a neighborhood interior space that is well lit and warm (such as might be available from a locals social club or religious organization) or an outdoor space (in warm weather) that might be available from your local township. You might even be able to locate a pet store owner or veterinarian who will rent you space to hold a group class. Just be sure to check all local ordinances that might be applicable.

Keep the number of attendees within a reasonable limit. Twenty-five in a class is reasonable if you have a very large space and staff to help you, but if you are in a small basement area, you will have to be realistic about how many dogs will be comfortable and not feel intimidated by too close proximity to one another. If you are teaching by yourself, limit the class size to ten or less.

As your classes proceed week-to-week, closely observe the skill of the handlers. If you notice any particular dog becoming defensive or visibly stressed, take the handler aside after class and discuss the possibility of private lessons. The team can still be a part of the group, but a few private lessons might improve the performances of both the handler and the dog.

Always remember to keep classes enjoyable. You want to teach with a lighthearted attitude rather than bark out orders like a drill instructor.

Do not allow yourself to be constantly held overtime by people asking all sorts of questions. While you want to develop a working relationship with clients and an ongoing client base, you have to set reasonable limits. If you are spending two or three hours with clients instead of one, it is simply not worth the money you are getting for teaching class. If people have questions, offer to make  separate appointment with them.


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