Enrollment Begins 10am Pacific on: March 1st, 2022 

and Ends: March 15, 2022 @ Midnight

Learn How to Train and Maintain a Calm, Confident, and CONNECTED Start-Line

Set Your Dog Up EVERY Time for a Successful Agility Run


Do you rush to the line or feel frazzled at the start because your dog won't stay?

Do you take the leash off and your dog takes off? 


As soon as you sign up you will have access to the full course! 

Before long, you'll be able to walk into the ring with a connected dog and lead out with confidence even with big distractions like throwing toys or a tunnel as obstacle #1!

Lisa has a different philosophy when training start-lines. She doesn't train for the stay--- She trains the release. Training the release is key to successfully training dogs that:
• are calm and connected with you at the start-line, 
• stay until verbally released, 
• charge off the start-line with confidence
In this class, you will learn Lisa's step by step methodology and the ability to proof your start-lines with toys. Lisa will show videos with her young dog as well as advanced dogs to show you real time training and how to handle training challenges. She also shows a video using a seminar dog and how she works through the start-line process with this dog. 

We will go over various reasons dog’s break. It can be as simple as inconsistent cues to over the top or stress dogs. What happens outside the ring can be just as important as what goes on inside the ring and Lisa will share her pre-run routines and tips she uses to keep her dogs connected with her as she waits her turn outside the ring to walking into the ring with a confident connected dog. 

Who Should Participate?

→ Dogs of any level and at least 4 months of age are welcome in this class! 

Why Take This Class?

Learn how to train and maintain a calm, confident, connected start-line
Learn how to train for the release with a consistent release cue
Go over reasons dog break 
How to add duration, distance and motion 
Pre-Run Routines 

Advantages of the Online Class

✔️ Convenience of online learning
✔️ More time to learn the material than the traditional in person class format
✔️ Work at your own pace in the convenience of your home
✔️ Access to the material for at least 1 yr.

What's Included?

As soon as you sign up you will have access to the full course!  This way you can work at your own pace. 

Step by Step lessons with detailed video instruction with different dogs.

Lessons include the actual learning process and trouble-shooting of Inspire learning his start lines as a puppy. 

Discussion Threads
There will be discussion threads to ask questions.

Video Review
Working students can submit up to 3 minutes of video per lesson for instructional review. Voiceover video review is done by screen-casting for a more personalized experience. Screen-casting is audio-visual feedback (the next best thing to a 1:1 conversation)

Start Date
Class will begin right after you enroll.

Each class is broken into lessons, with one or more lecture within each lesson.

The class is open for video submission, questions, review and comments for 90 days allowing you plenty of time to work through the material, take and edit video and formulate your questions as well as allow the instructor time to review and give feedback.
- access to material lasts for 1 yr.

The school reserves the right to modify, update or remove this class at any time.

Sample of Instructor Video Review and Feedback


Lesson 1
• Overview of Start-Line Method and Routine
• What to Do If the Dog Breaks
• Why Dogs Break
• Reward Cues
•Quick Releases to Teach Dog Your Verbal Release Cue
• Start-Line Tests
Lesson 2
Duration, Distance, Moving to Different Locations, Adding Motion
Lesson 3
Proofing with Toys
Lesson 4
Pre-Run Routines—What to Do Before You Go in the Ring
Lesson 5
Start Lines Before an Obstacle
Lesson 6
What to Do at a Trial
Lesson 7
BONUS – Start Lines with a Deaf Dog

TESTIMONIAL | Successful Start-Lines

My keeshond Conley is very energetic and always ready to play agility. Especially at trials, right out of her crate she is over the top hyper- excited to start her run. When I first started trialing, I could not get her to stand still to get her leash off, let alone sit before the start of her run. This made it quite difficult for me to feel “connected” to her. Things began to change after taking Lisa Schmit’s Successful Start-lines class. The format of the on-line class including short example videos, detailed written explanations of simple exercises, and reasons explained as to why things may go wrong were very helpful to my understanding of the concepts behind a start line stay. In addition, her detailed feedback on submitted videos REALLY helps to pinpoint very specific issues to correct.  I am so happy and amazed with my progress on my start line stays while practicing in my yard, in classes, and at agility trials. Even more, this has improved my overall feeling of working as a team with my dog and not just a handler chasing my cute, crazy dog around the ring. Lisa Schmit’s Successful Start Lines class has been monumental in my improvements as a handler.  

Thank you so much Lisa for your help, support, patience, and for just believing in me and my dogs… in my agility journey. I know that the best is yet to come.

- Kathy Measer, Lancaster, NY 

What level are the exercises? 

→ Dogs of any level and at least 4 months of age are welcome in this class! 
Suggested Pre-requisite - NONE
Possible Equipment –
Most of the start-line work is done without obstacles.   In Lesson 4 we will be doing start-lines in front of an obstacle. 
Training Methods - Positive reward based training methods will be used.  We will use treats and or toys. 

Disclaimer: Some information in this class may overlap or appear in other classes due to the foundation needed for many behaviors, tricks and fitness exercises. In addition, there are overlapping skills needed for many different performance activities so you may see exercises that are the same but packaged up differently toward a slightly different goal.

Lisa Schmit, PhD, CCFT, CPMP

Certified Canine Fitness Trainer

Certified Pet Massage Practitioner

Bobbie Lyons K9FITteam Member

Lisa is the owner of In The Zone Agility LLC and is one of the most accomplished handlers in NADAC. Her consistent, clear positive approach to dog training is evidence with her continual success with multiple dogs! She offers agility, conditioning and massage seminars across the continent and puts on about 12 NADAC trails a year.

Lisa has come home from the NADAC Championships with 10 trophies with 5 different dogs. She has finished in Overall Top 3 at NADAC Champs 22 times with 9 different dogs including her Brittany and Aussie. Tandem, JP7 and Revolution earned the coveted Purple MODSQUAD award--Master of Distance and Speed which requires high level distance handling and speed. Less than 25 dogs in the world have this award and Lisa has three of them. JP7 and Tandem earned the Distance Cup Award. Nine of her dogs have over 175 NATCHES, over 45 Speed Stars. Eight of her dogs have almost 200 Bonus Runs (requires big distance skills). Her dogs are consistently in the Top 10 every year and in most categories in the NADAC Hall of Fame.

To learn more about Lisa visit: www.inthezoneagility.com

Pricing & Participation Options...

[ Space is Limited to 15 Workers ]



One-time fee, USD

  • Ask questions in the discussion threads
  • View video feedback recordings in the working students threads
This course is not open for enrollment at this time.

Questions about the course? 

Email the instructor Lisa Schmit at
i[email protected]