4 Ways To Get the Most Out of Your Dog Trainer

The monetary price of a great dog trainer can be steep. After all, you are often paying for their experience, knowledge, hands-on training, continuing education (so they can share the most current information with you) and so much more.

Here’s the real question.

After you sign-up and write that check, are you getting the most out of your dog trainer?

Here are 4 ways to ensure YOU are getting your monies worth from each lesson.

  1. Be Trainable: It’s easy to say “I know that”, “I’ve already done that”, “I can’t do that” or even “I was told never to do that…”. Make it a point to drop those predispositions at the door and allow yourself (and your trainer) to be in the moment with complete focus on the current lesson at hand.
  2. Learn With an Open Mind: Commit to being open-minded and learn to embrace the knowledge, exercises and information being shared. Even when things are being done differently, as this is an opportunity to give yourself permission to try new things and to consider different options. Note: If you are set on training an item in a specific way, be sure to discuss this with the instructor prior to signing up so they can work with you.
  3. Be the Best You. Training and growth sometimes means challenging what you know, pushing you out of that comfort zone, asking you to go back to basics when you just want to RUN and a whole host of emotions that can cloud the brain and block information from being mentally processed and received. If that happens, take a deep breath, go get a glass of water, kiss your dog, whatever it takes…and then approach the lesson again with fresh eyes, ears and brain cells.
  4. Communicate With Purpose. In order to help your instructor to help you, be sure to communicate with purpose. More specifically, be clear as to what the precise issue is and ask for exactly what you need.  For example: “My dog has never been on a dog walk that high and I’m afraid he’ll fall off. Do you have any suggestions to help me?” or “I understand the concept, however I don’t understand where I should physically do ‘xyz’. As I’m running can you say ‘NOW’ to signal when I should begin?”.

I’d love to hear from you! Please share which one of these four ways is your favorite? Go ahead and write in the comments section below.

Happy Handling!

Lisa Selthofer



As a 20+ year dog agility coach, I am passionate about producing quality resources for dog agility teams by promoting self-development and delivering clear and specific training solutions that enable teams’ to perform with clarity and confidence!

My unique experience as a hands-on trainer and 18+ year dog agility judge led me to create Sequencing For Success and the highly successful 2on-2off Contact Training DVD.

Our household has included Dalmatians, Labradors, Belgian Tervuren, Border Collies and engaging cats.

Contact Lisa via email AgilityOne at Gmail.com (replace at with @ sign)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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