Successful Start-Lines

Taught by Lisa Schmit, PhD, CCFT, CPMP

Enrollment Begins 10am Pacific on: November 1st, 2023 and Ends: November 15th, 2023 @ Midnight

Training for the Release

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?

Then this is the class for YOU!

Self Paced Class

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 for 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.

Lisa will go over various reasons dogs' 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. 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.

Why Take This Class?

Dogs of any level and at least 4 months of age are welcome in 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 why dogs break & pre-run routines

Learn how to add duration, distance, and motion

Advantages of the Online Class

✔ Convenience of online learning

✔ More time to learn the material than traditional in person class format
✔ Work at your own pace in the convience of your own home
✔ Access to material for as long as BLCC exists

What's Included?

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

Discussion Threads

There will be discussion threads to ask questions.


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

Start Date

Class will begin right after you enroll. This is a self paced class. As soon as you sign up you will have access to the full course!


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 auto-visual feedback (next best thing to 1:1 conversation).


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 to review and give feedback. Access to material lasts as long as BLCC exists.

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

Course Curriculum:

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 the 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

"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 online 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 specfici 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 feelings 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-Line class has been monumental in my improvements as a handler."

~ Kathy Measer ~

Lancaster, NY

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 of the 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 perforance activities so you may see exercises that are the same but packaged up differently toward a slightly different goal.

Sample of Instructor Video Review and Feedback

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:

Choose a Pricing Option

[ Space is Limited to 10 Workers ]

Get started as an AUDITOR for only


One-time fee, USD

*Taxes are included in listed price*

  • Ask questions in the discussion threads
  • View video feedback recordings in the working students threads
  • Access the course materials for as long as BLCC exists

This course is not open for enrollment at this time.

Questions about the course? 

Email the instructor Lisa Schmit at

i[email protected]