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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Question Puppy classes!!

Does anyone know where I should be looking to find some puppy classes in my area? I'm going to be calling the vet later today to find out if they know of any,but meanwhile I thought I'd ask here.
For those of you who have gone,are they expensive?How long do they last?How old should a puuppy be and which shots should they already have before beginning?
Thanks all!!
Oh,BTW,Duncan cannot stand when I grab his snout when he nips so I think that may be working. Thanks for all the advice.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 08:31 AM
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Hi Dot, You could also try calling the groomers, doggie daycares, kennels, and sometimes pet stores can give you information to find training classes. I would suggest to try to attend a class with out Duncan, to make sure the classes use the methods that you are comfortabe with. I prefer positive methods of training. Good luck.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 09:03 AM
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I agree about visiting the classes first to make sure you like the instructor and his/her training methods. I looked at three classes in my area before I found one that I like. The training classes I take are not really puppy classes. Our trainer does six private lessons with each dog before they are allowed to join the group classes. Scout is nearly done with his private lessons. I have been amazed at how quickly he has picked up everything -- sit, down, stay, heal, and come.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 10:40 AM
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Debbie gave some great tips on finding classes. I looked around here and really liked what I heard at Petsmart. One trainer in particular is amazing. She only uses positive reinforcement and trains the others in the store to only use that as well. The Petsmart classes were $99 for 8 weeks, if I recall correctly.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 11:31 AM
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I like the Petsmart ones, because the trainer there is fantastic. We drive an hour to ours, because the other ones offered locally weren't for us.

I agree with going to watch a class, usually they have them more than 1 day.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 01:39 PM
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Hi, Dot
Is there a Petsmart near you? They usually have a good training program. Also, ask the vet, and try adult ed. I'm lucky that I go to classes about 10mins from my house. I paid $100/8 classes. They also recommend coming with your dogs to observe first, so the dog will know what to expect. They require the dog has all it's shots before attending classes.

Class is an hour and we usually get there 15 mins early so the dogs can play first. We work on obedience and they gradually add agility. I have class tonight and they are going to learn to jump thru the tire. Last week we did "tunnels". It's lots of fun, you and your dog get exercise, and best of all you spend real quality time bonding even more with you dog.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 05:32 PM
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In the midwest (I am told this isn't very common on the west coast... sigh to that part of my move) there are AKC training clubs. The one I belong to is unbelievable. You take beginning obedience classes, and then you can become a club member for $85 a year and take unlimited classes with your dog. Currently, we are enrolled in retrieve, agility III, and just finished offlead control. I am only about 5 miles away so it is easier than taking Dora to the local park to practice. With the club, you are required to volunteer at least one time per year.

There are rules for taking classes and sometimes you have to test in- but it is amazing the different types of classes there are and you quickly find out who is a positive training, who uses clicker, etc.

You may want to check AKC to see if there are any of these in your area.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 05:41 PM
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I checked the local Kennel clubs for classes. Smarty,13 weeks, started last week in clicker training. She now does the sit and down on command. Really have to get started on the come soon, she goes deaf when her interest is elsewhere. My classes are $85, 6 weeks. We are in Georgia.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 10:10 PM
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Dot, Debbie and others are right about it being a good idea to check the place out first, w/o Duncan. I made the mistake of signing Ricky up at 4 months of age at a school that wasn't at all what I liked. They sounded great on the phone though! I was told they don't use punishment, but at our first class they were talking choke collars, water bottles and sticking fingers down pups' throats to make them stop nipping! I wanted to run out there screaming! We stuck with it for 3 classes out of 6, but ended up quitting. We were stressed and Ricky was not enjoying it at all. When they made us flip our dogs on their backs so as to be submissive and make them stay there forever it seemed, I said 'enough'. I got Ricky up and waited 'til the rest of the class was done with this 'method'. It just wasn't for me. I have no problem with showing the pups who is boss, but there are better ways in my opinion.

We started at a new place last Sat. and so far so good! You really have to check them out, ask questions about how they teach, correct, etc.. Duncan is such a young pup that what you really should be looking for is a social activity, not an obedience class. Sure, it would be nice to learn some commands and all that, and they should teach you how to do that, but it should be relaxed, fun, not traumatic for the pup and something he'll look forward to instead of dread each week.

Good luck!

Hello. My name is marj and I have MHS.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Mahatma Gandhi

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2007, 06:59 AM
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In anything to do with training, if you and your dog are not enjoying it "DON'T DO IT!!!!!" I always ask if I can participate in the first class before paying. If the trainer has a problem with this, that would be my answer. PetSmart may have a rule about this as their training is so low key. Good luck.

Sandi, taking a new road with Smarty and Galen
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