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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone tried the Connie Cleveland Obedience DVD's and care to comment about them?

I'm looking at getting them but wanted to ping you guys to see what you think first.

One thing I really want to do with my pup is build a solid foundation in obedience.

Thank you and Happy New Year!

Jeff
 

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I love her DVD and her book. She makes so much sense. I highly recommend both. Her book sits on my coffee table just in case DH is watching something on the TV I'm not interested in.
 

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I've seen them. What I like about Connie is that she is good common sense training. A lot of her ideas you think "of course! why didn't I think of that!"

The series that probably helped me more than anything is Terri Arnold's.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cool! Lookin for a great program as a foundation and this looks to be the one.

I'll look into Terri Arnold.

Thanks for the feedback!

jeff
 

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Jeff if you want to show in obedience

Terri Arnold's books are the best. Book one is about building a foundation and building a relationship with your dog. For everyday obedience I like Ian Dunbars books.
 

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For everyday obedience I like Ian Dunbars books.
Good point, are you looking to compete in obedience with your dog or do you just want to train household manners, etc? Connie and Terri are both excellent trainers, but their books and videos focus on how to be successful in training competition obedience, which is not necessarily the same thing as training a well mannered dog (trust me, some of the top obedience competition dogs have some of the worst manners)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I'm still thinking it through. I may decide to compete in obedience but at this point, I'm really looking to just build a very solid foundation for my pup in obedience. One thing I can't stand is an out of control dog. Of all the "games", I think Obedience and Hunt Tests are the two I'd do if any at all. The Dock Dog games seem fun and I might try to seek out a group in my area.

It was suggested on another forum that Connie's methods work well with Mike Lardy as building initially from a system of obedience and then to formal field training. Lardy and Topbrass (Jackie) both recommend Connie and her obedience methods. Connie not only also has a Topbrass dog (Eli) but also is involved in both obedience and field trials.

I also have the Dunbar book which was also recommended by Topbrass. In fact, I'm reading the Dunbar book now. I actually ordered the Cleveland DVD's last night.

If I do decide to get into competitive obedience, I will look into Terri Arnold's stuff too! I appreciate the suggestion. I've watched several youtube vids on obedience and it looks incredible to me what y'all are able to do with your dogs. Having a dog with that level of focus and devotion and obedience would be incredible. That would be pretty special to have that kind of relationship with a dog.

My main thing is I want a great, well behaved dog and want to start on obedience right when I get the pup at 8 weeks. I will definitely be taking the pup to a bunch of classes at the local Petsmart, starting with their puppy kindergarten through the advanced obedience classes. That will offer great opportunities for socialization for the pup and help teach me too!
 

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My main thing is I want a great, well behaved dog and want to start on obedience right when I get the pup at 8 weeks. I will definitely be taking the pup to a bunch of classes at the local Petsmart, starting with their puppy kindergarten through the advanced obedience classes. That will offer great opportunities for socialization for the pup and help teach me too!
Are there other training opportunities in your area besides petsmart? While better than nothing, petsmart trainers are often not very experienced trainers. Of course that will vary from store to store, but very often their "trainers" are nothing more than former cashiers who signed up for a two week program that teaches them the Petsmart training method. It takes so much more experience than that to be able to read a dog well and find different solutions for different situations.

I did start out with Petsmart with my first dog, did the puppy class and the advanced class. I did actually learn a lot from the advanced class, but the trainer had been training dogs for years before he started training for Petsmart. I put my current puppy in one of their puppy classes (just to get him used to working around other dogs), and I had to keep myself from rolling my eyes at her lack of knowledge.
 

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Connie knows her way around a dog. :)
I went to one of her seminars last year. I really liked the way she looked at the problem each person was having, and was able to come up with multiple ways to go about trying to fix it.

IMO, that is what makes a great trainer. Not someone who says "this is the way this is trained," but someone who can look at a particular situation and think through different possibilities that could work.
 

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Another great source of well-mannered "pet" info is Patricia McConnell.
 

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I second Patricia McConnell. I absolutely LOVE her books, especially The Other End of the Leash.
 

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I went to one of Connie's seminars a year or so ago. LOVED it. Her info is great, especially if you are going to do obedience/hunt tests.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area so I'm sure there are a ton of training options. I was going to do the PetSmart puppy kgarten thing really to get the pup off to a good start in terms of socialization and see if I liked them and their trainers.

I have done some research and saved some bookmarks of some other training academies (mostly in dallas and I live in ft. worth) but i know nothing about them. I will be joining my local DFW Golden Retriever club and hope to get some advice and insight there too.

But yeah, I'm not going to keep plowing through the petsmart program if it doesn't appear to be all that great. Petsmart is just close to my house and is probably the most convenient. PetCo is also close but I don't know if they do training. I'll look into that. Really with the big chains it'll be trial and error to see how I like it.
 

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I looked into Pet Smart/Co training for my dad when he got a new dog. We live a couple hours a part so for me to go over and work with him every week was not an option. The Pet Smart/Co training systems are all happy happy, with no correction. I asked about how they train for off leash heeling, and they told me that was not their goal, just basic around the house training.
 
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