Video on Demand by Karen Pryor Clicker Training |

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? Come to 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.

Laurie Luck

Laurie Luck has been involved in the dog world for more than 25 years. Her formal education includes a master of arts degree 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. New(ish) to running, she has found a way to share that passion with her dogs. Laurie wrote several articles on her blog detailing her progress—and the progress of her canine running partner. The girl who hated running has run a half-marathon!

A member of the ClickerExpo faculty, Laurie has been a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member of since 2008. She leads the Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) 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 20 service dogs and enjoys being involved in the education of dogs that go on to do so much good for their human partners. Laurie combines her passion for puppies with her passion for craft beer by visiting local breweries with whatever service dog she's raising.