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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am so jealous of those of you who have a weekly competition class you can attend. There is nothing where I live for either obedience or agility (or anything else except conformation). Classes in my area consists of Petsmart, a former Petsmart trainer now doing in-home lessons, or the kennel club's jerk the choke chain, no food allowed CGC class.I graduated with my puppy last night from Petsmart Puppy Kindergarten. I told the trainer there ahead of time that all I really wanted from the class was to get my dog used to working around other dogs, and checked to make sure it would be okay if I didn't follow their curriculum. So last night, after the other dogs showed off the skills they had learned in class (many of which I haven't yet begun to teach my pup), Flip and I got up and showed the tricks we have been working on: walking backwards, spin and twist, chase a treat and race back, tug a toy and release, etc. I don't think the others quite got the point of it all, but we still got to put on a graduation cap and take a picture (I cared more about the putting on the cap at this point than the picture....I want him exposed to everything!) And now I'm back with no weekly class to attend.I guess there's not much point to this post other than to tell those of you who have good instructors that offer weekly classes how lucky you are!
 

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I am copying your post and Emailing to my bf. Who says we really do not "need" classes for Lucky. Maybe he will see how lucky we are for having such a great trainer.
 

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Jodie, I could have written your post. I am in exactly the same situation. There are NO good competition classes or private instructors within a reasonable driving distance.
My old instructor I did with Fisher -- is an hour drive each way -- I love her to death personally but she's not what I want to do with the puppy.
I guess the best I've got is the obedience club's run throughs, at least that's ring time.
I have been practicing with puppy on my own but they really get a lot from a class setting.
Sigh. Oh well.
Hey maybe you could move down here and we'll train together :)
 

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I DO feel very fortunate that I have an excellent trainer but I do drive 1 3/4 hours each way every Tuesday afternoon. I have to leave work early, rush home, put the dogs outside for a pee while I very quickly change my clothes, "throw" the (3) goldens into their crates & drive like a bat out of hell to get there in time for my 6:00 pm class. My routine from there is very structured - pee, into class for an hour, back into the crate & feed and onto the next dog - May, Nyg & then Razz.

Not only do I love the classes but all of the golden kids do as well. They are MOST cooperative in our schedule & all I have to say is "We're going to Esther's" & they're jumping into their crates in the van.

I do take winters off as winter driving conditions are just too unpredictable but come spring, "We're on the Road again!"

We will be taking obedience clinics once a month but on weekends throughout the winter months.

I hope you can find an "Esther".
 

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'Kay. I'm SUPER lucky.

I drive 15-20 mins to get to the local park where my obedience instructor does her private training and 30 mins to where she does group attention classes.

The weekly drive to agility is a little longer... 40 mins, but that's only because I choose to take a daytime class (better for my schedule vs. the evening class taught at the location 30 mins away). Back when I could afford agility private lessons, *THAT* instructor was about 30 mins away.

On weekends, I have several trials to choose from, many often held in that same park, just 15 mins away! A "long drive" to a local trial (obedience or agility) is an hour.

One of the (few) benefits of living in Los Angeles, I guess! I definitely consider this when I contemplate moving.

-Stephanie
 

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I graduated with my puppy last night from Petsmart Puppy Kindergarten. I told the trainer there ahead of time that all I really wanted from the class was to get my dog used to working around other dogs, and checked to make sure it would be okay if I didn't follow their curriculum. So last night, after the other dogs showed off the skills they had learned in class (many of which I haven't yet begun to teach my pup), Flip and I got up and showed the tricks we have been working on: walking backwards, spin and twist, chase a treat and race back, tug a toy and release, etc.
Just wondering... Petsmart puppy kindergarten classes usually focus on sit, stay, down, come, etc. All pretty basic stuff. I'm curious why you chose to train your dog to walk backwards, spin and twist etc. before he had the basic stuff down. From the string of letters on your other dogs names, you've obviously spent a lot of time working on obedience training, so I'm sure there's a reason for it. I'm just curious as to what that reason might be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm planning his training now with the goal of him being a future OTCH. I look at what I did when I started training my other dogs and the mistakes I made, and I'm trying not to repeat them. So yes, he does know a sit, but he has a tendency to want to do a rock back sit at this point, so I'm only setting him up in situations that would cause him to do a tuck sit. At this point if I just stood near him and told him to sit, he would be too likely to do a rock back sit, and I don't want to practice wrong behaviors. Petsmart teaches a down from a sit, which I have decided my pup will never ever be allowed to do (I have fought with other dogs the problem of wanting to always sit before a down in the ring and it's a pain). He is learning a nice fold back drop from a stand.My expectation of stay is "do not move even a toe nail." While I think it is possible for a very active, drivey dog to do that at this age for a very short amount of time, I don't think it's in his best interest. I would rather wait a couple of months when he is better able to focus his brain for longer than a nano-second, when I think it is more fair to ask for perfection.He does know the meaning of "come," which is where the throw the treat and come racing back comes in. Since he doesn't have a stay yet, I just throw the treat across the room and then say come as soon as he gets to it. That also will teach a fast, tight turn for retrieves later.All of the "tricks" he is learning now will be used later in his obedience training, either building upon the skill or used as a stress reliever. For items that take focus to accomplish, I would rather wait until he has some of that focus, because I want to teach him right the first time, not have to go back and reteach the sloppy mistakes he picks up as a puppy. Right now the most important thing to me is that he is learning how to learn, and doing it with a great attitude. It's not so important exactly what he is learning. Just my opinion of course.
 

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Thanks for explaining!
 
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Wow! Your post made me feel very lucky too. When I decided to pursue obedience with Casey after his basic puppy classes, we had a lot of choice and decisions to make. On a bad night, when there is a hockey game on, the drive is still only about 30 minutes. The worst was a period when we had obedience and rally on the same night at different places, with only a 30 minute turnaround. I am lucky not to have got a speeding ticket.
You could try to find other people interested in training in your area and take advantage of some excellent books and websites that are out there. You are fortunate that you have some background in this and an idea of where you are heading.
Good luck!
Liz
 

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Okay here is an interesting suggestion...We have some GREAT trainers on this forum. Maybe we could start a video training class. Have the trainers video a "class" and post it in the training thread. Then we the students will work on the lessons and ask questions if we run into a snag. Do you think we could make something like that work?
 

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Okay here is an interesting suggestion...We have some GREAT trainers on this forum. Maybe we could start a video training class. Have the trainers video a "class" and post it in the training thread. Then we the students will work on the lessons and ask questions if we run into a snag. Do you think we could make something like that work?
I think Steph (flyingquizini) was talking about starting online training before. :)
 
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