I’m a Dog Trainer – Not a Social Worker!

I’m a Dog Trainer – Not a Social Worker!


Are your dog training clients resisting your teaching? Is it you? Is it them? What can you do to get through to them?

My guest is dog trainer and expert “people trainer” Sue Grey, CPDT-KA, of Bone-afide Dog Training LLC in CT. Learn what Sue’s considers her most powerful tool when working with people, hear Sue share what she says to people who resist the very thing that they paying her to teach them! And hear more expert tips on the people end of dog training!

  1. Sue shared so many valuable points. I am a people person so I thought she did a fantastic job of covering important ingredients to dealing with clients. My favorites are be kind, use humor to lighten the situation, pay attention to what they really need that day and I would add smile. My dad taught me that you can get through life on a smile and I have found that to be so true. I often joke with my customer that they just earned a click and treat when they really nail a process. This helps them feel accomplished and put the smile on their face.

    When my clients resist something I suggest, such as a crate for potty training, I just tell them they don’t need to do it unless they want to improve the behavior. I never push the techniques, just reassure them it will benefit the training. It’s like going to see the doctor. He recommends his advice to you, and you can take it or leave it. Our clients have the same option. They can take the medicine to get better or leave it and decide they don’t want the treatment we recommend. Usually with kind and uplifting persistence they do eventually come around as their way is not working for them.

    I also find that clients enjoy praise as much as the dogs do. Therefore I try to praise every small step they make an accomplishment in. And the handouts or written notes left with the client is an invaluable tool. I usually leave them with a folder after my first visit and have them add my written notes to it each time I come.
    I enjoyed this. Thanks Bonnie. I truly like Sue’s total approach to dealing with clients.

    • So glad you liked what Sue shared in the podcast Sheree! It sounds like you already use some of the techniques that Sue suggests! Bonnie

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  3. Thank you very much for sharing. I feel I am a people person and was told many times that’s why I get a lot of referrals . This was good information.
    Chris’ Canine Connection

    • Glad you like the information Chris! Way to go that you get a lot of referrals from being a people person! Bonnie

  4. Hi Bonnie,
    I can not thank you enough for this amazing podcast with Sue Grey.
    This wonderful topic has certainly validated how thankful I am that I have a teaching background ,too. Like Sue, teaching has given me the people skills one needs in this great profession.
    I can not agree any more on how praise and kindness are immeasurable tools for both ends of the leash ! Let all of us professionals take this to heart and never lose sight of it in working with our clients.

    • I love your sentiment about the dog training profession and being kind with people. Thanks for the comment Ron, and very glad you liked the Sue Grey podcast!

  5. Thank u both. My logo is “People Training for Dogs”.
    Relating to humans is more than half of this business. If people go into this who love dogs but not people, they will fail. Sue echoed my sentiments.Happy New Year, Bonnie.

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