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Old 10-21-2010, 02:58 PM
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CaliTerp07 CaliTerp07 is offline
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Default There is such a difference between a "good" and "okay" trainer...

Lucy and I have been working for nearly 2 years with a fantastic woman who runs an awesome agility program.

This past session though, I dragged my feet signing up again. I talked myself out of signing up eventually, claiming it was too expensive ($185 for 6 weeks), too repetitive (we've been stuck at the same level for 3 or 4 sessions), and there were a couple dogs in class who really, really set Lucy off, and their owner was oblivious to it and blamed Lucy for being barky and excited.

All that to say by the time I finally called to sign up, classes were full.

I took it as an opportunity to sign up with a different program in town. The new one was outdoors with a different instructor, so I figured it'd be great for Lucy's focus issues to practice in a new environment.

Oh my gosh, a bad or mediocre trainer is just WORTHLESS.

First off, she told me that I was pushing my dog too hard, and that I was trying too hard for speed. Seriously? Her speed is a blessing! I just need to learn to harness it and use it!

Then, she told me that running contacts are bad, because they encourage jumping off. (???) She trains all dogs stop contacts. She tried to get me to switch to stop contacts, but I refused. Lucy's contacts are gorgeous.

Then, the courses she set up were either waaaay too easy (10 obstacles in a giant circle, no crosses) or way too complex and random (jump, teeter, skip the next few obstacles and return to the original jump???)

I gave up though when this last week, half the class was devoted to "free time" while she worked with one student on a basic pinwheel. Students and dogs were running all over to use obstacles. Lucy was over aroused and in "MUST CHASE RUNNING DOGS" mode. I attempted to regain her focus and do a set of weaves with her, but as soon as I took the leash off she ran the other direction. I called her back (and she came!) but the instructor looked over at me and told me that I needed to control my dog, and that she lacked drive to the weaves. I tried to explain, but it fell on deaf ears.



So I emailed her last night and said we wouldn't be coming back. $150 down the drain, but I wasn't learning anything anyway, and it was just stressing Lucy out to be in such chaos. Went to a private lesson with the good instructor instead, and had a wonderful evening (with drivey weaves and all!)

You never fully appreciate what you have until you don't have it anymore!

(I'm already signed up for the good class starting in January)

All that to say, give your *good* agility instructor a compliment today!
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:09 PM
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Awe. Will you be able to do privates until January?
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:44 PM
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CaliTerp07 CaliTerp07 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgilityPup View Post
Awe. Will you be able to do privates until January?
That's the plan, so long as it stays in the budget!
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:21 PM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is offline
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How right you are. I think back to the agility classes at the school I used to teach at (heck, I taught beginner agility for two years, having never actually done agility myself), they would have ruined any chance Meg ever had to be successful. I lucked into a fantastic trainer who has been a blessing to us. She has tolerated every little quirk my weird girl has, spent countless amounts of time brainstorming with me about what to do next, and has helped us achieve goals I never imagined were possible for us.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:29 PM
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I am on that bandwagon as well, poor trainers are a waste of time, money and effort. Sadly we often have to experience a bad trainer to really appreciate a good one
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