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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Question Dog training?

Anybody her doing it?I was interested in puppy classes but I am having a hard time finding something in the area.There is one in Petsmart but the closest one is a 40 minute drive.
I also called a trainer that comes to the home and his initial consultation is 80 bucks for an hour and after than 500 smackaroos for 8 sessions.Is that too expensive or is that the going rate????
Any input????
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 09:59 PM
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Dot, where do you live? $800 for five session does seem high to me. My Petsmart trainer offers six one-on-one sessions (one hour each) for $99.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 10:00 PM
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Personally, I think a Puppy Class and/or Obedience Classes are wonderful for both bonding with your pup, socializing them with other dogs under a controlled environment, and teaching your dog to be well behaved. It also really helps put you in the alpha position without much effort. I would only recommend that you pick a class with a trainer that has great control of their class and uses positive reinforcement techniques. Fortunately, I think most classes today use positive techniques (treats, praise, special toys, etc.). I wouldn't put my Hav in any class that requires "choke" collars or similar. Maddie just uses her own cloth collar and there is absolutely no problem.
I wouldn't pay for a private trainer unless you have some kind of serious behavior problem at this stage. Being around other pups/dogs is part of their learning experience! Plus, I think its important that YOU have control of your dog, not the trainer. Its really amazing how well Havanese do at obedience, agility, etc. Maddie absolutely loves her classes and all I have to say is "we're going to school" and she runs for the car! Maybe its the boiled chicken she gets as rewards?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 10:08 PM
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Great advice/input, Jeanne.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 10:09 PM
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We start puppy school next week. Forty minutes does seem like a long time to get to class, but the advantage of puppy school is the opportunity for Duncan to meet and play with other puppies.

I know that as a chain Petsmart was recommended to you. Did your vet not have any recommendations? How about friends? I just did an online search for your area and got quite a few hits. Perhaps you need to visit a class or 2 without Duncan to make sure it fits with your puppy philosophy.

$500 might be worth it if you had issues that would respond to one on one teaching, but otherwise it seems excessive.

BTW--my oldest son lives in Manhattan.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-23-2007, 10:30 PM
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I agree that it's so much better for you and puppy to get out to classes at this early stage. It's great for socializing and allows you to bond in a wonderful way. It will also get Duncan used to travelling in the car. I think what that guy was charging was very high! Yikes!!

I strongly urge you to attend a class w/o Duncan, if you can.. just to observe. Maybe you can ask to attend 10 or 15 mins. so as not to disrupt anything. I made the mistake of signing up according to what I was told over the phone and didnt' like the school we went to at all, from day one! We lasted 3 classes and quit. It was stressful, strict and used negative reinforcements, but over the phone they told me otherwise. Not a good fit.

The going rate here is about 6 to 8 classes for $100-$150. Each class is an hour. At Duncan's age, you'd be best off with a puppy/kindergarten class, where the focus is on socializing, playing with other pups and owners and getting basic information and tips... not so much having your 3 mth. old heel every time you move. That can come later.

Good luck, Dot!

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 06:18 AM
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I have a training question.....Izzy won't come when called. She runs and or just sits and looks at us, then runs, when we want her. I don't know how to correct that. She will come for a treat, but that's it. She's not shy, just stubborn. She's been great in all other respects, but this one is frustrating. I refuse to get a treat for her everytime I want her, so I don't. I just wait her out or "trick" her in some way to catch her. I DON'T LIKE THIS GAME! and my husband hates it. Any ideas out there??

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 06:59 AM
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Dot- that seems very expensive. Here, even with some of the top trainers it is $60 an hour and they provide a training site. I definetly wouldn't pay this price for puppy socialization classes though. I would use this when you are having a life problem or if you can't get past a competition training issue.

However, iff you are interested in this trainer, you might want to put an ad in on craigslist or put up ads in your area, something find a few other puppy owners, have a class and split the cost if it woud work out better for you. Most trainers like to do this too- in fact a lot of them will have a one or two day a week working session.

I took a private lesson and split the cost with a girlfriend once and this was highly productive because you really can't remember all of it! Also you and your dog can only absorb so much at one time.

Judy- I would put a long line on her. I have to do this every know and then with the maltese to get her to come in straight and to me <she loves everyone and everything in that short space between Mom and her!>. I put the flexi lead on her and put her in a stay while I take the flexi lead out <do not have it pull at this point>, say "Isabelle, Come" and immediately hit the release button when I say that (this is the important part for you to get down as timing is everything). This way the dog has the slight pull to come to you. Praise the dog like crazy when she comes to you. Don't worry about her not being straight or sitting or anything like that at this point. You just want her to think coming to mommy is the best thing in the world. Also make sure you never lose patients and give a correction with come. It is always a positive thing because it can save your dog someday.

Eventually add in longer distances. Then don't release the flexi. Then remove it. You then add in distractions. If you need to go back and put the flexi on, that helps.

I had a heck of a time with my maltese just coming to me-if there was a leaf on the ground, anyone smiled at her, etc. Now she is pretty trust worthy but we still go back and train with the flexi on because I think it builds up muscle memory and I want Belle to remember as soon as Mommy says come, I better move my butt there!

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 07:15 AM
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Judy, one more note on training. Never ask your dog to anything unless you can check them to get it right. They will learn very quickly to ignore you. For example. Never call them if you can't make sure they listen, like Amanda's long line. If your pup will not come, when you call, Do not let her loose. You may have to use a different work for "Come" since she has learned how to ignore that. You could try something like "Here".

Obedience classes in my area run from $ 60 - $100. for a 6-8 week session.
Sam & I are in our 5th session. He is 16 months old. I love them.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-24-2007, 07:22 AM
Izzy, Doc, and Kai's mom
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Thanks for all the advice....I have used the long rope outside to work on come, but never inside. I will give that a shot. We really haven't trained too much, but hope to be more aggressive with it when school is out. Thanks the forum.

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