The Importance of Asking the Right Questions to New Dog Training Clients

The Importance of Asking the Right Questions to New Dog Training Clients


dog training intake form examplesMentors Prevent Mishaps

Knowing the right questions to ask new clients often comes after many years of experience for many professional dog trainers. There are many situations that a new dog trainer may not be aware of or familiar with because they haven’t come across them yet. Ultimately, you don’t know what you don’t know and this can put you in an uncomfortable position if you’re not careful when taking on new clients.

This is often where working with a mentor can be priceless. Mentors can teach you how to onboard new clients, manage clients, and manage other aspects of running a small business – let alone a dog training business. A mentor can teach you what you should look out for and what questions to ask new clients before taking them on so that you can provide them with the best training program possible to get results. Their stories can give you insights into what to lookout for with your own clients so you can set yourself up for success. However, not everyone has access to a mentor which is we try to fill in the gaps with this website, podcast, and Facebook groups.

If you don’t have a mentor to teach you the ropes or what red flags to look for, the second best option is to make sure you’re asking the right questions to new dog training clients so that you’re fully aware of what you’re taking on before you commit to training their dog.

What Could Happen If You Don’t Ask New Clients The Right Questions?

Because dog training is completely unregulated, many dog trainers start out without much formal training at all – especially when it comes to business or client management. This results in well-meaning, but uninformed dog trainers taking on clients they aren’t necessarily ready for. They may not be aware of the risks or unfortunate scenarios that could result from taking on certain clients.

Fortunately, there is a way to avoid complicated or risky situations – asking the right questions before taking on a new client.

Speaking from experience, I’m quite certain that there are many new dog trainers out there that are taking on cases with a bite history too prematurely simply because they didn’t ask the right questions before working with a client. Many dog training clients leave out important details from intake forms or conversations because they assume those details irrelevant to their training goals.

For example, a client could inquire about basic obedience and manners with their dog, Fido. Fido has a long history of resource guarding his food and toys from people and other dogs. Their assumption is that Fido’s resource guarding behavior with a small bite history is irrelevant to their basic obedience goals and they choose leave out those details. A new dog trainer may not assume an inquiry about obedience requires an in-depth intake form or questionnaire and so they leave out important questions that could have uncovered these details. This kind of scenario happens all too often and leaves the dog trainer in an unsafe situation with the potential for a lawsuit if something goes wrong a group class with other students.

This is just once scenario in which asking detailed, seemingly irrelevant questions before taking on a new client can help prevent unexpected, dangerous accidents. Without a mentor to teach them otherwise, a new dog trainer may not be aware of the risks they’re unknowingly taking on.

What To Do If You Don’t Have a Mentor

Through this blog, podcast, and courses, I hope to educate those that are just starting out so that they don’t find themselves in scary situations. As dog trainers, we know that prevention is always the best policy and preparation is the best form of prevention. We work with animals and people which can lead to unpredictable situations. I want you to feel confident and professional in your business which is why I created the New Dog Training Business Template Bundle which includes an in-depth new client intake form, in addition to 9 other templates, that you can start using today.

Additionally, I’ve got some exciting events coming up for new dog trainers starting up their own business!


Join Me for Facebook Live February!

In the month of February, I’ll be doing Facebook live videos every week in our Facebook group, “Startup Tips for Modern Dog Trainers. Be sure to join the group so you can also benefit from all the free tips around starting up a dog training business I’ll be sharing. At the end of the month, I’ll be hosting a workshop for new dog trainers looking to start their own businesses so stay tuned!

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