9 Ways To Deal With Jealous Clients In Your Dog Training Class

9 Ways To Deal With Jealous Clients In Your Dog Training Class

9 Ways To Deal With Jealous Clients In Your Dog Training Class

I am sure that we have all encountered at least one client, whose green-eyed monster has made an appearance when another client’s dog performed exceptionally well in class. What are the signs and how do we handle the situation?

Jealousy may be conveyed by:

  • Smirking or making sarcastic comments
  • Downplaying the success of others
  • Lack of support (not complimenting or congratulating others)
  • Backhanded compliments (“Oh your dog did very well, despite your messing up”)
  • Tearing down others (Caustic or derisive remarks or open antagonism)

Jealousy is a normal reaction, especially when someone feels insecure about their abilities; however, we don’t want them taking it out on their dogs or making others uncomfortable.

Strategies To Address The Jealous Client

How can you as the trainer, help minimize jealousy in your class? Below are some strategies that have worked for me:

  1. Just as we tell our clients to ignore their dog’s bad behavior, we do the same with jealous people – ignore their behavior, NOT them.
  2. Look for their strengths, what they and their dogs do well, and point them out to everyone.
  3. Praise them for their successes and achievements (big or small).
  4. Encourage them when things don’t go as planned, and remind them of what they have accomplished.
  5. Focus your attention on their efforts (everyone can reach their potential through practice).
  6. Help them to improve in the areas in which they feel inadequate, you may suggest that they stay an extra 10 minutes or request a private session to catch up and feel more confident.
  7. Encourage a group atmosphere where everyone encourages and applauds each other and their dogs’ achievements.
  8. Let the group know that skills take time to learn, and through practice these skills will become second nature.
  9. People need to understand that like us, some dogs learn faster, while others take longer to grasp things.

And as the saying goes, no one is perfect and that includes our furry friends. So encourage them to enjoy the process of training instead of focusing on who’s achieving their goals first.

What are some of the ways you have dealt with jealousy in your class?

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5 Signs You Should Turn Away A Dog Training Client

5 Signs You Should Turn Away A Dog Training Client

5 Signs You Should

In nature, there are many personalities in humans that clash. Just like dogs, we do not get along with every person we meet. This does not mean that you or the other person are wrong, it just happens. As the dog trainer, we need to realize when our clients are not getting the most out of our training sessions. It is our responsibility to lead these clients to someone more suited to their needs and personality, who will give the client what they are paying for. There are many signs that indicate you should turn away a client, here are five of them.

1. You Dread Your Sessions

While we will not always enjoy every one of our sessions for various reasons, if you find yourself counting down the minutes until your session begins in agony and then counting down the minutes until it’s over, this may not be the right client for you. We cannot give our very best to someone when we start to resent or despise them, and this can occur when we dread our sessions due to the client. I would suggest evaluating your sessions and your client and finding out what makes you dread your upcoming sessions. If you find that you cannot handle your sessions anymore, it may be an option to turn away your client.

2. You Feel Your Client Is Absorbing Nothing You Are Teaching

While we all want to be paid to do nothing, sometimes it just doesn’t feel right to take money when your clients are gaining absolutely nothing from you. If you feel that you are trying to teach your client and they are just not picking up on what you’re saying no matter how you try to teach them, they may be better off trying someone else who has a different teaching style. Maybe your teaching and learning methods clash. If you feel your client is not gaining the knowledge on purpose, maybe because they don’t agree with your style, then this can also be a hint that you just aren’t the right teacher for them.

3. You Feel Offended By Your Client After Every Meeting

Is your client fighting every word that comes out of your mouth? Maybe they don’t agree with your methods and they make that loud and clear. Maybe they outright call you ignorant or feel that they know better than you do. Sometimes people are so set in their ways that they do not want to learn or they don’t realize what they are saying is coming off as offensive. After trying your best to communicate, sometimes it is just easier to agree to disagree and go your separate ways.

4. You Feel Unsafe Meeting Your Client Due To Location Or Emotional Feelings

Being a trainer who does private, in-home sessions usually means that you don’t know where you’re walking into. And sometimes there are some downright unsafe places. There are also people out there who can come across as very inappropriate or just give you an unsafe feeling. If you feel unsafe at all due to either reason, I would highly urge you to find a way to make yourself feel safe or just turn away the client. If bringing another trainer or assistant along would make you feel comfortable, I would highly urge you to do so. Sometimes I get an awkward feeling before we even meet and my husband and I set up a system so he knows where I will be and exactly when I arrive and leave. Safety is always a priority.

5. You Feel You Cannot Offer Your Client The Training They Need

There are a wide variety of needs clients want met. If you have never done agility and your client is looking for agility training, it may not be in your best interest to take on that client. Another reason may be that you don’t feel comfortable training certain things that your clients are looking for. In order to gain experience with new sports or methods, you may find a local trainer who excels at that particular method and ask to shadow or attend their lessons together so eventually you can also help clients looking at that particular sport or method.

Turning away a client is not a bad thing. It shows that you are responsible, honest, and know your boundaries. It also means that you are being safe about where you are and who you are with. These are all things that successful trainers are good at doing. What are some other reasons you may want to turn away a client?

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