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Old 01-05-2010, 12:44 PM
SuZQuzie SuZQuzie is offline
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Default How do you choose an agility coach?

What are some things that you look for when choosing a coach for yourself and your dog(s)?

After doing some research, I have found three agility places in our area (woohoo!). One is a club, but has no instructors listed.

The other two appear to be more structured dog schools.

Canine Academy

Most of the classes are taught by Eileen Harnedy. It seems to be a more general obedience/agility dog school than the other option. We have already signed up our pup Tobi for the beginning obedience class there to get our foundation down.

Fast Forward Dog Sports

The head instructor here is Rachel Sanders. This one seems to be much more agility-focused.

Has anyone here heard of either of these instructors and/or their dog schools? Any suggestions?
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:52 PM
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MandyPug MandyPug is offline
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From what i've found from our training facilities here...

If you're more focused on competing go with a dog sports club, they're more likely to have a team that would travel together to trials and what not.

If you're looking into agility as a form of exercise and just something to do but not necessarily get into as a competitive sport, then go with the regular dog school. You can still compete but it's less focused on competing and more on just having fun.
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:14 PM
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xpaeanx xpaeanx is offline
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Well, there's no reason you can't go to both. I would go to both places, talk to everyone, and observe some classes.

If they seem similar in terms of what/how they teach than pick the one you like better. If one outshines the other overall go there. But if one has better obed and the other better agility than go to both, but only take classes in their strengths.

And finding groups to travel with really helps cut down on the expense of competing.... So keep your ears open for one!
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:32 PM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is online now
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I would totally look into Rachel Sanders' place. She is A Name. I watched her Bridging the Gap DVD and really liked a lot of her ideas. My guess is, like most good agility classes, it may seem "boring" at first, because you will get a good foundation before you are running full courses. But it would totally be worth it.

As for how I picked...I had two schools to choose from. I went to the one who's class schedule allowed me to get started sooner . I just got really, really lucky that it was the right place for us!

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Old 01-05-2010, 08:54 PM
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adojrts adojrts is offline
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I 2nd what BB said, Sanders is well known and a name in the agility world.

For myself, when I started in agility there was nobody any good in my area, sadly I didn't know that and started with one. It was a waste of my money, my time and worse yet it took a long time to fix the problems that we very nicely developed. Stupid instructor had us running courses within a couple of weeks.......yeah that works just great with an over the top dog that learned that he can run any course he liked completely out of control and self rewarding.

A top place may cost you more to start with, but in the end it will save you money, time and the lack of extreme frustration.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:22 PM
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I went to trials and watched people. I asked people who had nice happy runs who they trained with etc.

Safety and a happy dog is essential whether you are doing it just for fun or competitively.
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Old 01-17-2010, 09:09 PM
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JennSLK JennSLK is offline
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Originally Posted by Dekka View Post

Safety and a happy dog is essential whether you are doing it just for fun or competitively.
That needs repeating. You will notice that those who are competing even at the highest worlds level are having a blast. Yes they are competive but most will pull thier dog, no matter how good it is, when the dog is no longer having fun.

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