Behind the Scenes of a Successful Group Class

At first glance, teaching group classes may seem fairly easy, not needing much preparation. Just get a group of dog owners together and teach some lessons, right? Not so fast! If you want people (and their dogs) to love your class, and you want to love teaching it, there are some important elements that successful group classes have in common.

This introductory-level Session will cover two important considerations that instructors should know about before teaching group classes. While a great group class is comprised of many factors, these two can make an instant difference to your clients (and to your bottom line). This Session will look at safety (people and dog safety), as well as policies you may want to consider to make the people aspect of teaching group classes a little easier.

Safety is an important aspect of group classes, one that is often pushed to the side because class goes well almost all the time. Almost. What about that time when it doesn’t go well and there is a loose dog? Or a dog bite? Or a dog fight? Or an owner-owner altercation? Do you know what to do if there’s an incident? Have you thought about how to prevent an incident from occurring? Watch this Session and discover the safety considerations you might not be addressing.

What are your policies? Policies for payment, attendance, inclement weather, dismissal from class, refunds, etc. If you create policies—and ensure that potential clients understand them—you can save yourself a lot of time and serious headaches. This session will cover different policies to consider for potential implementation, along with examples of policies suitable for modification and use in your own business.

Please note: This Session was recorded in 2018; content presented in 2019 may vary slightly.  

Laurie Luck

Laurie Luck has been involved in the dog world for more than 20 years. Her formal education includes a M.A. in psychology, but she credits dogs for teaching her the most important concepts of behavior and training.

An entrepreneur (Smart Dog University) and social media enthusiast, Laurie delights in sharing her knowledge and experience with dog owners across the country. She is committed to helping improve the lives of dogs through education of the humans at the end of the leash. Laurie's YouTube channel offers free dog-training videos, and her blog details training experiences and ideas that every dog owner will find helpful.

A member of the ClickerExpo faculty, Laurie is also a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy. She teaches the Dog Trainer Professional program at various locations in the United States. Laurie has spoken at regional and national conferences about both dog behavior and social media.

Laurie has been a volunteer puppy-raiser for a service-dog organization since 2001. She has had a hand in raising and training more than 16 service dogs, and enjoys being involved in the education of dogs that go on to do so much good for their human partners. Laurie and her Labrador retriever, Tango, are a certified R.E.A.D. therapy-dog team and enjoy working in the classroom with elementary school students to improve the students’ reading skills.