I Once Snipped the Knuckle Off a Labradoodle’s Front Right Foot

There, I’ve said it. Obviously it was an accident but… It’s a horrible thing to hurt a dog and it’s something that we groomers have to deal with every working day. ‘What if today’s the day?’ is a question that I sometimes – less often as the years go on thankfully – ask myself. Happily it’s been many years since I’ve cut a dog, touch wood (wait does that even work with the written word??!) but the incident with Lex was a valuable lesson in learning to say NO to my clients. For instance, I should have said NO when…

5 Things Successful Dog Pros Do

What makes the difference between dog businesses that thrive and those that only survive? Here are the top 5 things we teach our clients to do: 1 Actively market If you’re not willing to market your business, you’re running the race with your shoelaces tied together. These days people have lots of dog businesses to choose from; if they don’t know you’re there, they can’t choose you.

Going Pro- Working Full Time With Dogs Making A Real Living

Do you want to work with dogs full time, but can’t see how? Do you struggle part time, telling yourself you’ll keep the other job just until the training really takes off? It’s a common refrain. Coaching and supporting dog businesses for a living, I’ve seen every kind of business model and every type of owner, from wildly successful full-timers to weekend hobbyists. Mostly, though, dog pros work part or full time at other jobs, and run a dog business on the side, hoping it will one day support them.

Stop Coaching, Start Training

The Case for Day Training We trainers often feel frustrated by unfinished cases and low client compliance—endemic issues in our industry—leading us to describe owners as lazy, uncommitted, unskilled, uncaring, cheap. Alternately, we internalize the failure and blame poor results on our own shortcomings. Neither explanation is fair nor helpful. We have learned to stop blaming the dog and just get on with training him. It’s time to leave behind feeling guilty and reproaching clients, pinpoint the true problems, and focus on solutions. Coaching is the Culprit The heart of the trouble is our coaching approach, our religious insistence on…

Dog Trainers Must Train the Clients

Most trainers agree that working with clients is the most important—and most challenging—part of the job. Even when the trainer does the training in board and train or day training situations, the work with the client remains the central ingredient to success. Transferring complex skills and understanding to a human is tremendously more involved than employing the laws of operant and classical conditioning to train a dog. It’s no wonder, then, that it is this part of our work that trainers most often struggle with.