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Doggie School

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 2nd, 2005, 06:43 PM
I am currently looking into obedience lessons any idea what to look for.
IF some of you can let me know what type of lessons you have had with your dogs and how much is reasonable. What makes one trainer better than anouther.

The first one wants $150 for eight lessons and says he has small classes of 14-15 dogs this seems like a lot to me and also pricey.

The other one basically told me my dog was untrainable as he was already six years old. She does one on one lessons at first and assesses them before they go in a lessons. I asked her if she would even take Joey as she said he was untrainable, and she said she would. Her group lessons are $80 for 6 lessons and she has about 20 dogs in her class.

Lucky Rescue
August 2nd, 2005, 06:46 PM
The first one wants $150 for eight lessons and says he has small classes of 14-15 dogs this seems like a lot to me and also pricey.

Considering the expense of a dog over it's lifetime, and the importance of training, that doesn't seem expensive to me. How much do you want to pay?

Any trainer who states that a dog of any age in "untrainable" is someone to avoid.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 2nd, 2005, 07:03 PM
Thats not pricey?, its been a few years since I have done lessons. At that time I payed 60 for 8 lessons. I would pay that price (150) if I thought the trainer was good.
There are also lesson at the local community centre I am not sure if the private trainers would be better.
One of the trainers wants Joey to have 1 to 6 private lessons to asses him before putting him in a group lesson. I actually think he and us could benefit from this.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 2nd, 2005, 07:10 PM
=Lucky Rescue

Any trainer who states that a dog of any age in "untrainable" is someone to avoid.

yes this sort of put me off, I am certainly unexperienced when it comes to dogs but I don't agree with this at all. Its like whats the point then, she did say she would take my dog even though he is untrainable which I know he is.
She also assumed that Joey was an outside kennel dog that had little contact with people. I told her of my concern with Joeys aggression. This assumption also put me off.

I may try and find my old trainer that I used for Timber I am not sure if she is still doing it, but she welcomed dogs of all ages. Alot of them were older then Joey.

In addition I will also check out the classes at the rec centre.

The choices are limited here but I will find something suitable.

Lissa
August 2nd, 2005, 07:46 PM
Dodger took basic obedience with one school that was $140 for 8 classes.

Then Intermediate Obedience with a different school for $150 (usually this trainer's classes cost $200 - but she was piloting the intermediate obedience!)

Dodger is also signed up for Advanced obedience which will cost $190 (discount for staying with the same school!) This school also gives discounts if you have adopted your dog from a shelter and/or if you have multiple dogs signed up!

We are also signed up for something called reality dog training which is basically training in everyday situations (outside of the classroom!) and costs $150 for 7 weeks. Something like this might be good for you and your dog if he understands the basics (since he's older, more mature!!).

Melissa

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 08:14 PM
I have had many senior dogs in classes, 12-13 yrs in class. They are just as productive as many younger ones. It is even said that putting senior dogs back into group training sessions, even those who are already trained extends their life expectancy. As dogs get older they tend not to do as much. This gets them active, socializing and using their brains a little more. An old dog can learn new tricks. I would never tell anyone that their dog is too old to train. The one who says your dog needs 6 wks to be assessed doesn't need you, better yet you don't need to go there. I try to get all into a group class, more beneficial to the dog as well as yourself. The dog gets a chance to socialize with other people, kids, dogs which they will not get in private. They also learn with more distraction and you learn to re-direct when they get distracted. Group classes are a little more frustrating in the beginning especially if your dog is easily distracted, but in the end it was better for them. The most I have run in any one class is 14 but I didn't like to have more than 12. Do these trainers have assistants to help, find out what method they use, experience w/ aggressive behaviours. Ask around and see what others think, talk to your vet. Watch a class before you enroll to see how they interact w/ dogs, people. How well do they explain everything. What are their views about the whole family attending. I would say 130-180/ group and atleast double for private.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 2nd, 2005, 09:25 PM
Thanks so I will stay away from the lady that said my dog is untrainable, but was willing to take my money anyways.
I will check further into the first person we talked to 8 lessons for 150.00. To see what they have to offer.
There is always the old community centre for 1/2 the price.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 09:35 PM
If you are at all not comfortable with their teaching style, walk away.

mafiaprincess
August 2nd, 2005, 10:03 PM
Lessons at places like petsmart are like 110 for 8 puppy, or 6 basic, and the numbers are about 10 to a class.

For the other 8-10 schools I called about lessons it was 150-250 for 6-8 weeks of lessons depending upon the school.

I would want smaller class numbers, and be upset with anyone who wanted to tell me a dog was untrainable based on age..

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 2nd, 2005, 11:03 PM
There is not petsmart in Vernon there is a total pet and I dont believe they give lessons. The rec centre starts on the 22 of Sept. I may sign him up for these ones, but see if I can find something until then as well.

StaceyB
August 2nd, 2005, 11:14 PM
Thats almost two months away. I would try your best to find a suitable location that starts classes in the next couple of weeks. It also doesn't sound like you have very many good ones to choose from.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 2nd, 2005, 11:37 PM
Yes there are only two in the phone book. One was the lady that said you cant train an older dog. Hopefully we can find something else it seems that we will have to ask around.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 9th, 2005, 10:36 PM
WEll it does seem that 150 is the going rate unless I go to the rec centre then its way cheaper. i checked out totalpet our version of petmart. They gave me a couple of names. One trainer had small classes of about 6 - 8 dogs she used distraction training where they get used to distractions. Another ran training classes specifically for cocker spaniels but I don't know how often she has them. The local kennel in town has also build a training facility and will be hiring a trainer soon. We really liked the original one as she knew alot about cocker spaniels but has since moved on. Only one of the trainers was open to me bringing my kids and that was occasionally. Maybe I can see if we can take turns bringing them.

Freyja
August 9th, 2005, 10:40 PM
What about the humane society? The Calgary Humane Society offers obedience classes and I think they are quite reasonable in price.

nymph
August 10th, 2005, 10:47 AM
14-15 dogs?! :eek:

My trainer only offers courses with maximum of 6 dogs per class. Total cost is $135 for 6 classes. 6 dogs per class is pretty much the standard in Ottawa, as I called several training schools before enrolling my pup. There was also an assistant trainer in the puppy class, so 2 trainers for a total of 6 dogs and a small handful of uneducated parents. :)

Dogastrophe
August 10th, 2005, 11:06 AM
We've had Monty and Lucy to obedience with the same trainer. Cost was $130 for 9 weeks of wha tthey referred to as Family Companion obedience(regular cost was $150, but we received a discount as they were both adopted from SPCA/shelter).

It was a four 'level' program, with each level taking as long as was required for an individual dog (Lucy got through L1 in one session while it took her 4 sessions to get through L3). The setup allows them to run it continually (i.e. every week, all year round, people would enter and leave the levels each week). Program concentrated on sit, down, sit stay, down stay, attention, heel, etc. Depending on the week and the They operated with one head instructor and 3 or 4 assistant instructors and on any given week there would be between 5 and 25 dogs.

We enjoyed our time with Monty as the classes averaged around 10 dogs, so there tended to be one instructor for every 2 or 3 dogs. However, with Lucy, the classes tended to be far too packed and you were lucky at times to get some individual attention. It seemed as though this trainer has become a victim of his own success. As more ppl hear about him, more ppl come to the classes. With the rolling training schedule, there is nothing that would prevent a class of 50 dogs.

Monty was anywhere between 5 and 7 years old when we adopted him and took him to obedience. He made out just fine. No trainer should say that an older dog is untrainable, even as a joke. It would be one thing to say "because of his age and past history you may find that he is stubborn in a few of the drills and will require a bit more work" and another to say that they cannot learn.

Hope you can find a great class to get Joey to. Cheers. :pawprint:

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 10th, 2005, 11:41 AM
Thanks I am liking the sounds of the one that has the smaller classes. She has 6 classes for 150 but they are all two hours. It looks like there is nothing going on until September so it looks like I will have to wait until then. I am also waiting to find out about the lady that trains cocker spaniels to see what she has to offer. It may be a choice of those two at the moment.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 13th, 2005, 08:48 PM
We finally found a doggie school. Out of the slim selection of four options this is what seemed to be the best for us.
We are taking the companion dog training. No treats and I will learn to read Joeys body language, They also teach you to work with distractions.
They werent keen on having the kids take part in the training. None of the trainers were, but said they could come and watch. The classes are two hours so I may bring them for part of a class if I am able to arrange it. Otherwise I need to do the training and teach everyone else. The classes are only 6 dogs in a group. Anyways wish us luck folks!!

http://keen-eye.com/index.htm

ILoveMutts!
August 14th, 2005, 07:22 AM
Good luck!

dogznfish
August 14th, 2005, 09:57 AM
JoeyMom, I know you are very limited in your choices of obedience classes but I just wanted to give you my two cents here. Our club runs agility and obedience classes with a max of 6-8 dogs depending on which class they are taking along with one instructor and 1 assistant. We strongly encourage the whole family to participate in the early levels of agility/obedience and puppy class. The dogs need to learn to listen to the whole family and plus the whole family needs to learn to work with the dog.

That being said, the reason some instructors may not want kids is because they are not comfortable with kids. I sometimes have to dig deep down and find that extra bit of patience because I have no kids myself and not used to dealing with them. Heck, I barely made it through 2 days with my 5 year old niece on a sleep over :).

Like others said, if you are uncomfortable with the training methods used or how the instructor treats you and the family there is nothing wrong with talking to the instructor privately, telilng them why you dislike their methods/classes and ask for your money back. As an instructor I WANT my students to tell me what they like/dislike and what I can do to improve for the next set of classes. I hate getting information back second hand and if someone is really unhappy and it isn't resolved, that affects our club as a whole if the person starts complaining to friends/family.

Sorry for the long winded reply

PetFriendly
August 14th, 2005, 11:36 AM
The dog school that my pup and I attend limits who can handle the dog during sessions. I wan't too happy about this as I wanted my very green boyfriend to be able to participate as well, but the head trainer explained that limiting the handler served two purposes, one was consistency and the other was for insurance reasons. I could however bring him with us and he could watch easch session and practice once we got home. That's working well so far.

Something else to keep in mind, only because it happened at our last class, children loose interest quite quickly and there were two in attendance who were quite a distraction for both me and my dog. While I imagine that where they at home, waiting their turn to practice sit or stay, they would have been that much more attentive. The more you can practice with your dog, the better he'll be so training with you at school, then with the kids at home might actually be beneficial in the long run.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 14th, 2005, 11:20 PM
I would like to bring my kids, but honestly I can see them losing interest really fast. Especially my four year old. The classes are two hours long. They did say I can bring them on occasion. WHich I may try to do, maybe one at a time or possibly for part of a class. The instructor has a training video too which I may purchase and get the rest of the family to use at home.

Freyja
August 14th, 2005, 11:31 PM
The kids need to know the rules, like, no feeding puppy from the table, no teasing puppy with food, only play with puppy if you have a toy in your hand etc, but having them directly involved in the training is not so helpful. My understanding is that obedience school is not so much about training the animal as it is about training the trainer, that being US.

nymph
August 15th, 2005, 12:20 PM
There was a young girl in Diego's puppy class, she's the human sister of a very cute Rottie pup Keira. She did a wonderful job with Keira. Throughout the training she was attentive and eager to learn, even more so than her parents. I think it's absolutely wonderful that kids could attend the puppy class with their parents.

StaceyB
August 15th, 2005, 12:53 PM
With the classes I run I suggest the whole family attend classes. I show the kids specific things that relate to them, how to treat their dog, greeting strange dogs etc. If members of the family are unable to attend I tell who ever does come to make sure they teach the others exactly what to do so that everyone does the same thing. I find having children in the class beneficial to all in the class. The children are able to hear see and participate in the training of their dog. For the others that don't have kids it gives the dogs an opportunity to socialize with them as well as learn to listen with them around. My classes are an hour so if the child is unable to focus for this amount of time I suggest they bring something to do, read, colour, game boy. Very few actually need this. I have had many, many kids in classes and I would have to say that most enjoy participating. Some even do better than many adults.

jessi76
August 15th, 2005, 01:30 PM
With the classes I run I suggest the whole family attend classes. I show the kids specific things that relate to them, how to treat their dog, greeting strange dogs etc. If members of the family are unable to attend I tell who ever does come to make sure they teach the others exactly what to do so that everyone does the same thing. I find having children in the class beneficial to all in the class. The children are able to hear see and participate in the training of their dog. For the others that don't have kids it gives the dogs an opportunity to socialize with them as well as learn to listen with them around. My classes are an hour so if the child is unable to focus for this amount of time I suggest they bring something to do, read, colour, game boy. Very few actually need this. I have had many, many kids in classes and I would have to say that most enjoy participating. Some even do better than many adults.

That's how the classes I attend are run. However, even though the kids bring activities, they are too preoccupied with the dogs, and vice versa. I personally, find it disruptive. The dogs are focused on the kids, coming/going in & out of the room, getting up and down, talking, walking around, etc... granted, sometimes the distractions are welcome, but I find it very difficult to keep a 5 month old puppy focused on learning a new behavior with a bunch of rambunctious kids in the room.

StaceyB
August 15th, 2005, 01:38 PM
The children are not to walk freely around the room interrupting other classmates while working on cues. They may do so during play times only. Most parents are able to control their kids. I find it more irritating when classmates let their dogs play on leash while I am instructing/showing how to do something.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 15th, 2005, 09:56 PM
There seems to be a mixed consensus of whether to bring the kids or not. None of the doggie schools here encourage bringing kids kids. This was the only one that said I could bring them on occasion. Which I hope I am able to manage. They are two hour classes so this would not be an easy task, its also going to be on a school night as well for them, so I also have to consider that as well. They would be in bed at 9 or later on a school night.

I am considering getting a video from this trainer and perhaps the rest of the family can work on the training sessions at home. Not sure if this is the next best thing, but at least they will know how she teaches and I am hoping that will benifit us as well.

StaceyB
August 15th, 2005, 10:01 PM
Two hours is a long time for even a dog to stay focused.

Joey.E.CockersMommy
August 16th, 2005, 07:03 PM
I think I have choosen the best I can out of the choices I have. It would have been nice to have the option to bring the kids. Maybe thats something I can talk to the trainer about. I hope the classes are interesting and keep the attention of my dog and myself. I am really looking forward to it. I only wish they started sooner.

Anyways I feel like we are headed in the right direction now. Thanks everyone I will keep every posted as to how everything goes. ;)

StaceyB
August 16th, 2005, 07:33 PM
Sounds great, good luck. Feel free to ask if you need a hand.