And there’s no magical “method.”
When I look back at the time I have spent over the past year coaching professional dog trainers, there is one thing that stands out above the rest.
Trainers come to me from many different backgrounds and many different experience levels. While some trainers are extremely new and need additional tools added to their toolbox, the vast majority of trainers I work with have no shortage of skills, techniques, and methods.
Why then, do so many of these trainers still feel a bit lost, stuck, or just have that gut feeling that they aren’t getting the results they could be?
The key that will unlock excellence for so many trainers has nothing to do with learning a new technique or finding that one missing method they haven’t learned yet. What is holding them back is their process.
At this point, you might be wondering what I’m talking about. I know that “process” sounds a bit vague.
Let me give you an example to help illustrate. The video below is from a client of mine named Adam. Adam is a relatively new dog trainer and contacted me because he recognized that he did not have much experience working with highly reactive dogs, and he wanted some guidance to begin taking more of these clients with confidence.
This video is from one of the first client case studies we worked on together. Our work was completely remote through Zoom, and Adam shared short videos with me that we analyzed together and devised plans moving forward. And then rinsed and repeated with each new session with the client.
The success you see at the end of the video was actually the result of only a couple of sessions of Adam and I working together and really only a couple of sessions of him working with the client and dog. So here we have a relatively novice trainer, a pretty reactive dog, and exceptionally fast results that were easily transferred to the dog’s owner. How did we make it happen?
I worked with Adam on the same things I coach many of my professional clients. We started by reframing how we think about the behavior problem and distilling it down to the most basic things the client needs and the most basic information that the dog needs to learn.
From there, we worked backward and devised efficient exercises targeting those specific things. This allowed us to have laser focus to attack the behavior problem precisely and efficiently.
Adam did not need to sit through long days of seminars to learn some obtuse theory. He did not need to travel across the country and attend a dog training school for weeks to learn new and special methods. We worked with the skills he already had, the tools he already knew how to use. We spent just a couple of hours together over Zoom, developing a better process for approaching the problem and developing a lesson plan. Achieving exceptional results became as easy as grabbing low-hanging fruit.
What made me most proud was when I met with Adam again weeks later, and we started discussing new cases. He was already asking the right questions and thinking about the problem in the type of creative way that only the top 5% of trainers and behavior experts know how to do. I do not doubt that Adam is standing at the very beginning of what will be a long and extremely successful journey as a trainer. By learning to think critically and creatively, he is setting himself up to tackle even the most complex cases.
If you are ready to reach your full potential, here are a few ways we can work together:
I work virtually and in person with trainers from around the globe to help them make more money, work fewer hours, and get better results. Whether you are trying to sharpen your training and behavior mod skills, grow your business, or achieve a better work-life balance, I’ve got you covered.
My mentorship community The Inner Circle is a forum where we trainers can share ideas and insights on training and behavior, business and marketing, employee management, and more. I am active in the forum daily, and we hold monthly Zoom meetings to dig deep into specific topics.