Mastermind Meetups for Modern Dog Trainers

Ever wish you had a group of local, friendly dog trainers to talk to? 

What about a group of dog trainers you felt comfortable bouncing ideas off of?

Want people to turn to for business and marketing tips for your dog training business?

Is your favorite part of a seminar the opportunity to discuss and learn from the other dog trainers attending?

After years of informal meetups as I traveled around the country for leisure, seminars, or conferences, I’ve learned that you just cannot replicate the productive and mentally stimulating discussions you have in-person with other dog training professionals anywhere else. During some of these discussions I learned critical tips for dealing with clients, running my dog training business, new strategies for working with challenging cases, and so much more.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been training for years, it can be intimidating to organize or attend a local dog trainers’ meetup group. You never know what the other dog trainers will be like, whether they’ll accept you and your training methods, or if they’ll even be willing to let you join their “circle of trust.”

I’ve always been the one organizing local colleagues to get together so I figured that starting up these mastermind meetups would be a great next step to take my love for open discussion and collaboration to the next level. I want to help others have the same learning and growth experiences by organizing local-to-you mastermind meetups. 

My Mission

  • Build inclusive and supportive groups for modern dog trainers around the country.
  • Help professional dog trainers learn from each other to improve our industry.
  • Open up the lines of communication between professionals to increase collaboration and camaraderie.
  • Help other modern dog trainers build successful and sustainable businesses.

Who’s Invited? Who Are Modern Dog Trainers?

We define “modern dog trainers” as a professional (or soon-to-be professional) dog trainers who use science-based, LIMA principles to modify animal behavior. Essentially, they “minimize the use of aversive stimuli and maximize the effective use of reinforcers to modify animal behavior” as quoted from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.  We’re fluent in animal behavior analysis, operant conditioning, and classical conditioning and understand the effect that training can have on a dog’s emotional state.

What To Expect

These aren’t just any ol’ meetups! Mastermind meetups are a group of like-minded people that get together to share and learn from each other in order to reach their goals. These meetups are for highly motivated people that aren’t afraid to share their goals, questions, experiences, and thoughts so that everyone can benefit from each other’s experiences. Additionally, as your discussion guide, I’ll prepare lessons, discussion topics, questions, and scenarios to guide the conversation. You could consider this a one-day getaway for driven dog trainers determined to succeed.

 If your favorite part about seminars is the chance to talk to other dog trainers about their
thoughts and experiences over a group dinner and drinks, then this is the perfect event for you!

Benefits of Mastermind Meetups for Modern Dog Trainers

Dallas TX Meetup

This Mastermind Meetup is an organized event for modern dog trainers in your area to facilitate connections amongst dog trainers and to brainstorm ideas for improving and growing your dog training business.

  • Get your dog training and business questions answered.
  • Solve problems you’ve encountered along the way to starting or growing your dog training business.
  • Learn from other experienced dog trainers in your area.
  • Get ideas for how to overcome common obstacles as a dog trainer.
  • Get 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th opinions about how to handle difficult cases or business decisions.
  • Get past tunnel vision and take a step back with the help peers and knowledgeable colleagues.
  • You’ll meet other professional dog trainers to grow your local network.
  • You’ll participate in structured discussions throughout the day to facilitate sharing and learning.
  • We’ll discuss everything about running a dog training business with no topic left unturned.
  • You’ll get to know each other and learn about business, marketing, training techniques, client obstacles, and discuss options for overcoming challenging cases.
  • You’ll get to talk directly to a special expert guest (I’m inviting a well-known dog training expert in your area).
  • A casual yet professional atmosphere of like-minded individuals.

What I’ll Provide

Ines McNeil, CPDT-KA, Founder The Modern Dog Trainer

Ines McNeil, CPDT-KA, Founder The Modern Dog Trainer

  • I’ve carefully crafted discussion objectives on a multitude of topics to keep the conversations productive, educational, and stimulating.
  • I’ll provide business and marketing coaching and recommendations.
  • I’ll provide worksheets to help you learn and build actionable plans based on the discussions we’ll engage in.
  • I’m inviting one special industry expert as a guest attendee to join us for the part of the evening to contribute their thoughts and ideas on dog training topics.
  • I’m organizing and hosting the event at a local, independent venue in your area.

Discussion Topics

Discussion topics we’ll cover include but aren’t limited to:

  • Marketing strategies and tactics that make a difference.
  • Treating your dog training business as a business.
  • Limiting beliefs around your expertise as a professional dog trainer.
  • Limiting beliefs around making money and a profit as a dog trainer.
  • Generating consistent income month-to-month.
  • Traditional and creative services you can offer.
  • Challenging current and past dog behavior cases.
  • Unusual client scenarios and obstacles.
  • Dealing with difficult clients or situations you’ve come across.
  • Best continuing education classes, courses, etc.

Meetup at the APDT Conference in 2014

Cost & Specifics

  • 7 hour structured, organized mastermind meet up and brainstorming sessions. Meet ups will typically be held from 1pm to 8pm. (Time flies when you’re having fun and learning!)
  • Scheduled bond-building activities like a group hike, brewery tour, or group game activity.
  • Scheduled breaks to refresh and regroup.
  • Limited to 15 attendees to keep it intimate and allow everyone to share their questions and thoughts.
  • A special guest and industry expert will join us for drinks and discussions at the end of the evening. (Guest is typically local to the area, but will be a speaker, published author, or another highly knowledgeable expert in our industry.)
  • Dinner and one (1) cocktail are included.

All Inclusive Cost:

  • Early Bird – $350/attendee
  • General RSVP – $450/attendee

Who Should Attend?

This mastermind meetup is ideal for two kinds of dog trainers:
  1. A newly graduated dog trainer from a nationally recognized dog training program/ academy that is looking for a mentor/guidance as you’re getting started.
  2. An established professional dog trainer looking to gain more referrals, grow their network and grow their expertise.

Scheduled Upcoming Mastermind Meetups for Modern Dog Trainers

Newport Coast CA Mastermind Meetup
Thu, January 18, 2018 – 1:00 PM – 8:00 PM PST
Early Bird Tickets on Sale: Aug. 19, 2017 – Dec. 1, 2017

 Newport Coast Mastermind


You can sign up here to request our Mastermind be held in your city. 


What makes this different from a typical meetup?

Meetups are fun but can be intimidating to join when you’re first getting started. Some cities don’t have any meet ups set up for dog trainers, but starting one yourself can be scary. At our Mastermind Meetups, you’ll be in great company with like-minded individuals that are as dedicated to dog training as a profession as you are. I’ll be there to guide the conversations and make sure everyone walks away with actionable learning experiences. You’ll get to voice your successes, challenges, and thoughts to the group as well as hear everyone else’s. Activities, venue, dinner, and one drink are all included.

How is this different from a seminar?

At a seminar, you often sit for hours listening to one very knowledgeable expert speak. This is a great learning experience for most, but for some (like me) I prefer to learn a little bit from each person. I believe we have something to learn from everyone. My favorite part of a seminar is the time spent at the end of the day over drinks with other professional dog trainers discussing their findings, experiences, thoughts, and questions. I bet I’m not the only one…

With this Mastermind Meetup, I’m taking that part of a seminar and extending it to a 7-hour group discussion filled with questions, activities, food, and camaraderie amongst like-minded dog trainers.

I’m already in a local dog trainers’ meetup, how will I benefit from this?

Meetups are fun but you never know what discussions will be had, what you’ll get out of them, or if you’ll walk away with new friends or actionable advice. You’re also unsure if the people you’re meeting with are truly knowledgeable or simply opinionated. As an experienced dog trainer and your guide at our Mastermind Meetups, I’ll help everyone decipher fact from fiction and make sure thoughtful discussions stay on topic so everyone can walk away with extremely valuable information they can use in their businesses immediately.

Additionally, I’m organizing a group activity to help build friendships (no, not awkward team building exercises), the meet up will be structured with discussions and breaks to regroup and process our thoughts, and, lastly, I’m providing dinner and one drink for each attendee. This is more than a simple get together, it’s a one-day getaway for dedicated dog trainers driven to succeed with their businesses.

Where are these meetups being held?

I am open to visiting and organizing in any city that has 10 or more willing participants. Some of the cities that have already expressed interest are Fresno CA and Denver CO. But I’m also interested in organizing a mastermind meetup in Austin, NYC, Denver, Miami, San Fransisco, and Seattle.

You can sign up here to request our Mastermind be held in your city. 

About Your Host

Ines McNeil,  B.S. Biology and CPDT-KA, has been training dogs for over 10 years and been blogging about it since 2011. Ines is the founder of The Modern Dog Trainer blogThe Crossover Trainer blog, and her own local dog training business, All Positive Dog Training LLC in New York. In every city or conference she’s visited, she’s always organized a miniature, informal meet up to meet her blog readers and like-minded dog training professionals in-person. The discussions that are had are always invaluable and cannot be replicated in online settings. Now, she’s taking that initiative on the road to organize, educate, and help modern dog trainers succeed in cities all over the country with Mastermind Meetups for Modern Dog Trainers.


“Ines McNeil is the perfect blend of dog trainer and business builder. She brings a clear understanding of the trials and tribulations of being a dog trainer with the expert acumen of marketing and audience targeting. Her desire to help people build the business of their dreams drives her to provide ideas and support for all members of the dog training industry. Combining a love of dogs and a love of business, Ines shines as an encouraging voice for those struggling with the intricacies of running their own business.”
Kat Camplin

“I’ve known Ines for several years. We met on facebook after I decided to pursue a career in dog training. I joined the professional groups and found that Ines was already an established member of the community. Through our interactions on facebook and a few in person get together we became friends. She is intelligent, organized, motivated, and innovative. Through her blogs and podcasts she is a positive influence on the dog training community.”
Bex Smith
Training Manager/ Obedience Trainer/Behavior Consultant