Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Newbie
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I just competed a four week puppy kindergarten with a certain trainer. It was good, mostly about socialization. I do like the trainer a lot. Positive training methods.

I want to start obedience training. The program the trainer recommends is expensive vs petco training. Any advice appreciated.

Current trainer recs:

Unlimited Sunday pack walks (weather dependent); detailed personal notes after each private session; all training tools; unlimited email/phone support; access to videos of our exercises and games; 10% discount on additional days at Structured Day Care.

Our membership program is designed to be a free-form experience, continually addressing your changing needs. Once you purchase a membership you will be able to direct your training into the areas you are most interested in. The focus is on communication and relationship building; using games, tricks, relationship exercises, and obedience trials we’ll achieve the best behavior and strongest family bond between you and your dog. Offering exceptional time with your trainer, this is an excellent program for all dogs to go at their own pace. It is an excellent option for anxious dogs who need more patience, or young puppies who are passing through many phases as they quickly mature.

The Club offers a 6 month or 1-year option with flexible training goals. Each of these programs offers enough time to complete both on-leash and off-leash obedience and behaviors. As your situation changes and unwanted behaviors become less prevalent, you have the flexibility for your training to automatically change to address your new goals.

You get to choose one of, and change between, these three options:

1 private lesson a week as needed;
1 group class and 1 day of Structured Daycare (ASD) a week;
2 days of ASD per week.
Extras Include: Unlimited Sunday pack walks; detailed personal notes after each private session; all training tools; unlimited email/phone support; access to videos of our exercises and games.; 10% discount on additional days at ASD

Price:

One Year $5000 paid in full or:

Deposit $2,000 then $280 per month X 11 months

Six Month $3,000 paid in full or:

Deposit $1,500; $310 a month X 5 months



Unleashed by Petco has a package:

Includes three group classes: Puppy Level 1, Puppy Level 2, one of our adult classes, a private lesson and AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test.

$365
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,060 Posts
Well...

I guess I'll put it this way. :)

Currently, every year I do 3 sessions of drop in obedience classes (these are competition level classes). For 2 dogs, it costs $220 per 6 weeks. These are classes with OTCH trainers teaching them. The one dog is in a Utility class and the other is in a novice/open class, so think lots of equipment involved.

So $220 x 3 = $660

For the next 1-3 months or so, I am also taking some drop in classes for handling (conformation) - taught by a professional handler who is actually actively handling goldens so much to learn from her! Not every week, but assume 4 classes this month, maybe a couple next month, and a couple the following month. That's $15 per class.

8 x 15 = $120

I'm also taking privates every other week with an OTCH trainer in my area. That's problem solving and focused training with my older boy and that's foundation building with my puppy.

That's $10 every other week for both dogs.

So assume 2 classes per month x 12. That = $480.

My yearly total of classes =

660 + 120 + 480 = $1260

I'm going to add a little extra tidbit. The $660 is primarily a donation to the club. Club membership means paying 1/2 price for classes and perks like being able to use the training facility any time there isn't classes. Most clubs operate like this, so it's possible for you to really get serious about dog training and pay less as well! But anyway, I could be paying $330 instead.

But as it is, all of those classes that I'm taking with 2 dogs - group classes, handling classes, and privates (I get 2 hours to really work on problems one on one) = etc, etc for a whole year, all costs 1/2 the amount of what you could expect to pay for 1/2 a year at that Argos place. o_O

When you consider all that, I would be evaluating whether the training classes at that Argos place or Petco or whatever are worth that excess cost beyond what you could be paying elsewhere.

Dog training classes at your area clubs might cost more than I pay here in MI, but not that much! Or I doubt it?
 

·
Maegan
Joined
·
510 Posts
That sounds like a scam or gimmick by pay for certification “positive” dog trainers - and I use the word trainer here loosely. There’s no way it should cost that much for 6 months, much less one year... This actually sounds a whole lot like the place where we took puppy classes, which was a gigantic waste of time and money. It took months to undo the damage to our leash walking skills that were largely due to the “positive” methods taught there.

I’m not a huge fan of doggy daycare either. Too much can go wrong, but that’s just my opinion.

My experience with good trainers is similar to Kate’s: I used to take upper level Rally classes from not one, but TWO OTCH trainers (both of whom are at AKC Nationals right now, one for agility and the other for obedience) that cost $140 for 6 weeks... If I took 3 rounds in a year it would cost $420. The local obedience club where I live now has an annual membership fee for $100 and you get UNLIMITED classes for the ENTIRE YEAR. Another local trainer that happens to also have Goldens charges $10 for drop-ins and run-throughs on Saturday’s... and $150 for 4 week Rally Bootcamp that is two hours per session. Puppy classes there are $100 for 7 weeks. Hope this helps put the cost into perspective.
 

·
Finley and Banshee's Mom
Joined
·
1,414 Posts
Our situation is similar to Kates. We attend classes once a week with an OTCH trainer. She charges $120 for 8 weeks. I have one dog training in the open class, and one in utility. They are held different days of the week which works out for us, because of my work schedule. I alternate which dog goes to class each week. Class typically lasts about 2 and a half hours, but that is getting a lot of individual attention so some down time while other dogs are working on one issue or anther. Every dog works on every exercise at one point or anther at their individual skill level. I think this trainer charges $65 an hour for a private, but she is very generous with her students. Never a problem if you need to pick up the phone between classes, and ask about any problem you want help with without letting a week go by. She's quick to ask someone to stay after class also if she sees something that isn't really able to be addressed during class without really using up everyone else's time. She never charges extra for this. I can rent the training building during the week for $10 and unless someone else needs it I could stay all day.



I have also recently started doing 15 minute utility run thru's at a club somewhat close to me. They charge $15. It is cheaper for members, but I don't remember by how much. This is no instruction, and I use the ring time anyway I want to. There is someone to play judge if a true run thru is what I want. I expect to go here once or twice a month.


Additionally, I also recently started attending a one hour utility class / coaching at a separate club. This runs an hour and this club charges $100 for non members every 6 to 8 weeks depending on the class. This instructor is an AKC obedience judge. Well worth it from my stand point. I've gotten a lot of good advice about little things that help the big picture. (Also, we've been going to the first class I mentioned since the dogs were 6 months old. It's home turf to them, and we need the "new" environment as much as any thing else).


I think it might be worth your while to check with some of your local kennel clubs and see what they offer. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
I suggest searching for an obedience club in your area. My club charges non-members $70 for a 7 week session. We offer 5 sessions a year. Taught by volunteers. At the present time, we offer all they way up to an open/utility class.
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
3,684 Posts
I agree with the others, find a good training place and save some money. Petco/Petsmart sucks and not worth the money, even if it is less. Find a good training place for group class where the trainers compete with their dogs. These classes are more for you than the dogs. The relationship between you and your dog will be awesome after just the first class. You are learning how to work as a team. Everyone that owns a sporting dog needs to take at least one good class. It's loads of fun and going for a title is very rewarding to confirm how well you two are working together. Enjoy and good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,383 Posts
I have another thought- where are you in MA?
There is surely an obedience club in your area, classes typically cost under $100 for 8 weeks in many areas.
I think the packages you have in front of you are petco worthless and the club you are looking at, it seems too expensive for what at best is an hour of privates, or 1 group a week..
IF you'll post your town/larger town close enough, someone will know of an ob club there that trains to competition, always a better choice for serious training even if you won't compete.
 

·
Newbie
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I have another thought- where are you in MA?
There is surely an obedience club in your area, classes typically cost under $100 for 8 weeks in many areas.
I think the packages you have in front of you are petco worthless and the club you are looking at, it seems too expensive for what at best is an hour of privates, or 1 group a week..
IF you'll post your town/larger town close enough, someone will know of an ob club there that trains to competition, always a better choice for serious training even if you won't compete.
Thanks! I am in Boston.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,389 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,383 Posts
The package you mentioned details of sounds like a 'high end' pet person's place.. not a serious place for training/partnering w your dog. All 3 of the places above (Z's place sounds great) are serious places not geared to people who have more money than experience...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
I agree with the folks saying this sounds high (and stay far away from PetCo) - you may be paying a premium for being in Boston. Get a bit outside the city and you should see prices drop significantly! I'm in NH (about 1/2 hr inland from Portsmouth) and usually pay around $140 for a six-week class.

I don't know how far outside of Boston you are willing to drive, but I know of a few good places within or along the 495 beltway. At least check out their websites for an idea of what a good facility and a fair price is for the area. You may also want to try contacting the Yankee Golden Retriever Club (Yankee Golden Retriever Club) for suggestions, as many of their members are in the Boston area.

Canine University: The Best Dog Training in Boston, MA (owned by a Golden breeder who was/is an instructor for Karen Pryor's clicker academy) (Malden)

DogStar Activity Center - Acton Massachusetts Dog Training - Clicker Rally, Obedience and Agility Classes (Acton) (largest selection of classes)

Gemini Dogs .::. Classes - Puppy, Obedience, Agility, & More (Littleton)

https://fntdogs.com/ (Rowley) (lots of class options here as well)

And as someone else recommended: MasterPeace Dog Training | Peaceful training for dog and master
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,696 Posts
I find it hard to believe there's nothing available between these two extremes.


As others have said, the private trainer's package is very expensive, and personally I would shy away from Petco classes. I take my dogs to a terrific training school: for obedience: group classes with enough assistant trainers in the room (one per four dogs) to provide personalized attention for specific problems, homework sheets, plus access to several miles of private off-leash trails in a forest, and a broad range of classes ranging from puppy obedience to advanced competition training. Focus is on teaching humans how to train dogs. Cost is $150 per six weeks, so $600 per six months.


I'm sure there must be something like that available in your area. Hope you find what you're looking for!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
726 Posts
Yikes. Those prices seem high. Look for a local dog training club. I think you’ll be surprised to find a bunch of people with like minded goals and pretty skillful!

My KPT class cost $70 because I was a non-member or trial member.

January 1 I paid $50 to become a member. Every other class I take is $40 for a 7 week session.

Through that club I found a trainer who operates her own training as a non-profit for dog rescues and paid a $25 year membership that goes to a charity and the 7 week training class is $30.

I took another class at a different facility and that was $90.

This spring session I have Rally 2 ($30) and Competition Novice Skills ($40).

So I’m literally all in with membership fees since December for $375 and that’s 6 classes total.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top