As professional dog trainers, we spend years, sometimes decades, acquiring information and experience to better help our clients. Sometimes we’re so eager to share our information that we don’t stop to listen. To help our clients, we have to know what their needs are – which requires us to listen! Check back for our blog on how you can improve your listening skills.
2. Dog training skills work on clients!
Here are just a few dog training skills that will also help your client interactions:
Providing informative and timely communication. It’s good customer service when you’re dealing with email and phone communication. And it’s good teaching when you’re coaching clients.
Rewarding the behaviors you like. You can do this by simply acknowledging your clients good timing, their correct execution of a mechanical skill, even their good efforts in following instructions.
Setting your clients up for success. You can do this by giving your clients a training plan, making successive steps attainable, and managing their expectations for progress.
3. Be genuine!
You’ve chosen to become a professional dog trainer for a reason. If you’re in dog training to help people, don’t forget that. If you’re in dog training to help dogs, don’t forget that dogs have clients attached to them. If you truly want to help your clients and their dogs, it shows.
4. Be an expert!
As much experience as you may or may not have, there is always more to learn. It’s also important to refresh your memory and update your knowledge with continuing education.
5. Be specific!
When coaching clients, be very specific in both your praise and your criticism. “I like that you rewarded your dog just as soon as his rear was on the floor.” Or, “you might try keeping hand lower so that your dog doesn’t jump up for the treats.” Being specific helps your clients to improve, and it shows that you’re paying close attention to them – and they deserve your attention!