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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are having major problems finding places to train for obedience! It seems no matter where we go animal control follows. We need to be able to do off leash in preparation for actual trials and it has been increasingly difficult to find locations for our regular training sessions. Even flexis and long lines are forbidden as the regulations require a 6 foot leash. We train 3 to 4 days a week and have been trying to think out of the box, since the local parks have become increasingly anti dog.
We are even willing to rent outdoor space from a local business but it seems the fear of liability is preventative.
CA shows are all outdoors rain or shine so we prefer to train outdoors but are willing to go the indoor route if we could find an affordable location.
Does anyone have any "out of the box" suggestions? What type of locations do you use for training?
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Where in CA are you? I'm in the Los Angeles area and can share some spots. PM me if it would help.
 

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Do you have any tennis courts near you? A lot of times if you go at off hours you can train on empty tennis courts, which are fully fenced.
 

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Some church's around here have fenced area's for children to play. If there are any in your area you can talk to the pastor. Offer a donation for its use and let them know you'll pick up after your dog.
 

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Welcome to my world. I am in a very similar situation. Most of my off leash training has to be done in my backyard. Pretty much the only time I get to train off-leash anywhere else is at matches, so I go to as many as I can get to (usually a minimum of a three hour drive to get to any).
 

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Do you know of others like you? It may be a lot of effort and work but worth it in the long run if you can form a group and appeal to the city. My city has certain parks that are designated for people to train off-leash if they get a permit.
 

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the party's crashing us
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So are you trying to find a spot to train just by yourself or for a group of people?
If it's just yourself, then you just have to get creative. You can train obedience almost anywhere. My favorites are churches and schools. Churches more than schools. Many of them have large grassy areas that serve as overflow parking on Sunday mornings, and are uninhabited the rest of the week. I have 3 churches within a 2 minute drive of my suburban neighborhood, with excellent 1-2 acre grassy lawns. One even has lights that stay on at night, can train at night! I have NEVER had anyone at a church give me a hard time about training there. In fact, one brought their kids prayer group out to watch, another jumped my car when the battery died!
Schools can be harder because they often lock fences into their play areas, but they are worth checking out.
Beyond that, there's nothing stopping you from using any random parking lot. I NEVER train obedience at home, I pack up my PVC jumps and ring gates and drive somewhere. I have never ever had anyone give me a hard time, it's painfully obvious what I'm doing and most people are VERY impressed. I can't imagine animal control giving you a visit -- besides -- how long are you going to be there? If anyone called (and I don't know why they would) you'd be gone by the time they got there. I can't imagine animal control sending out a swat team because someone is obedience training their dog.
My county even has an ordinance that dogs are allowed off lead in public if they are being actively trained for competition. Eureka! I was so happy when I read that!

If it's a group of people, I have two suggestions. #1 Ask a church if you can use their field in exchange, any of their members are welcome to join the training group for free.
#2 If you have a community college or community education center, many times they offer dog obedience class as a recreational course -- if your local CC doesn't have one, offer to teach it. Not only will you get paid but then you have full permission to use their facilities.
Best of luck!
I live smack dab in the middle of suburbia and have never had a problem finding space to train obedience. My only problem is HEAT // humidity in the summer, finding air conditioned places IS really difficult.
 

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Lots if not all of the schools around here have signs on them: NO DOGS ALLOWED.
I think sometimes our fellow dog owners are our own worse enemies by allowing their dogs to poop all over and not pick it up, and now I find dogs are allowed at fewer and fewer places. Even many parks and towns now are starting to not allow dogs.

My favorite places are suburban industrial parks. Usually the newer the development the better the amount of nice green grass they have. They usually have some mowed fields behind, around, or in between the businesses. I go there after work hours or on weekends when no one is there and no one has ever said anything to me.
 

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I like the church idea, or even some schools etc. might like the offer of free classes or something like that. If there's an active dog population, it might be worth getting people together to ask about some sort of permit for training off leash, after all it makes for better pets and less hassles for animal control.

We don't have a leash length law here (actually I don't think there's any laws 'here' but in Calgary it's different) and when we went tracking at a provincial park, the rangers watched, asked questions and said to have a good time. I've even laid tracks and had birdwatchers cross them, tracked past bikes and picnics.... really should get back into that soon.

Lana
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Unfotunately our yards are not big enough to allow for jumps and go outs for utility. We are looking into locating some industrial areas where we might be able to train but most have after hours security guards or liability issues. I think the church idea might be a possibility. Schools are definitely out, all the schools have large posted no dogs signs and are locked after hours.
Unfortunately the available areas are increasingly scarce in an environment that has become more dog unfriendly. The rangers at a local park apologized for having to enforce the rules of all dogs on leash even though he recognized our dogs are always under control.
 

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Sounds like you're going to need to go to Petsmart or suck it up and join a dog club that has a training facility. I have three or four within 30 miles of me that either rent time, have open practice for members or are "joinable".
 

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Sounds like you're going to need to go to Petsmart or suck it up and join a dog club that has a training facility. I have three or four within 30 miles of me that either rent time, have open practice for members or are "joinable".
I find what you can do at Petsmart very limiting....can't take the dog off leash, and the floors are so slick you have to be careful about the dog slipping, so you can't even really practice good about turns.For anyone living in an area like where I am, it's not about not being willing to join a club, it's about there not being clubs with training to join. The closest training facility to me is 3 hours away. The only club we have here is a kennel club, because there is not enough interest in performance events to be able to support its own club.
 

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You could also look into places that may be available to rent that are dog friendly. When I was a 4her we used to have our dog classes in the armory building. We also had some in school gyms--but I suppose it is highly doubtful you'd be that lucky. I think we were because 1) we were kids 2) the instructor worked for the school district.
 

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the party's crashing us
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A parking lot. Seriously. They make fine obedience training areas. I bet you have a plethora of parking lots to pick from.
 

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Check out your local Little League fields. They're usually fully fenced and no one around here seems to mind dog training as long as the owners pick up the excrement. Also useful for using a tennis racket to whack tennis balls for dogs needing to burn off energy.
 

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I wouldn't have any suggestions a few days ago...but now... Get involved with demos for the public, youth programs, events. We had the pleasure of working in a conference center yesterday. It was pretty silly to see my boy all excited and worked up...and then to give him cues and see the response.

Best part of the day? When we were doing a demo about "How to gradually introduce distractions" and got to a 'super hard' level and 30 kids in a super close proximity were bouncing and dancing around him in a stand stay. The sad part? We're nowhere near ready for the SFE.

I've been able to be working my dogs in some super nice (non doggy) buildings, public parks, schools, etc as part of these demos.
 

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You know, I make a list of possible places as I am driving. I also go to gun and hunting clubs - I do belong to 2 but even at others I've only ever run into people who love dogs and there are really a lot of distractions.

I just got back from bringing Faelan to one and he got to practice his stuff between the rifle and skeet ranges (be careful if you do this that it is not too loud), on some pavement, cement, soggy grass and sand. He had strangers greet and go over him wearing all kinds of gear (stinky gloves included) and with firearms. He also got to learn that all gunfire does not mean a bird or dummy for him LOL.

Gun/hunting clubs usually have a lot of land and the 2 I belong to have specific areas set aside for dog training in addition to the rest if the grounds. Might be worth checking out.

Another thought is horse barns and pastures - most horse people also love dogs. There are a few hay farms around here that allow you to train your dogs on their fields when the growth is short enough not to trample the crops. Also wildlife and general preserves might be an option.
 
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