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Old 11-29-2010, 07:58 PM
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Samsonyte! Samsonyte! is offline
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Default Which one would you choose?

I decided that Sam and I are going to start agility in January, but I can't decide between these two places.

Classes - ACADEMY of CANINE BEHAVIOR
Classes: Sno-King

I was originally looking at the first one, their classes start on January 3rd and cost 110$ for six weeks, but it's a little bit farther away and seems to cover less. They also don't host trials at all, which makes me think they're less serious about what they do? I came across the second one a little bit ago and they're closer to me, host trials, and seem to cover more. But I don't know if they're too serious about it. It came across on their page that they expect you to be competing by Level 5? I'm also not sure about the price, I need to email them.

I'd definitely like to sit in and watch a class without Sam there for both of them, but both mention clickers and positive reinforcement, which sounds pretty good.


Also, Sam and I won't be trialing for at least a year, but would you go ahead and register him with NADAC/AKC? I'm thinking of just registering him now to get it over with. Which one would you go with? NADAC has more trials around here that are open to mixed breeds, but AKC comes with more "benefits". Are you allowed to have registrations with both? Because if you are I think I'll just do that.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:16 PM
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You can register with both, yup. NADAC is really cheap, too, so it's no harm to do both.

What you really need to find out is if the people who take lessons at these clubs go on to compete, and if they do well. I see the second one has a page of champions and features a lot of MACH dogs, which makes me think they are doing a good job of putting handlers and dogs out there who are good enough to get a MACH, and some even have multiple MACHs. I can tell you there is a club here where very few of the people who've trained with them have managed to put a MACH, or even a PAX, on their dog. You can make it into the Excellent classes with a decent dog, decent handling, and a bit of luck. The consistent success it takes to get a MACH or a PAX is something entirely different, and the people who train at this club do not have those skills. So to me, that is worth more than if they host a trial or not. I know of a few good training clubs that don't host trials because they just aren't big enough, but they still result in good handlers.
I'm just not 100% sure if all of those MACH dogs are really the result of that club's training, or if they just belong to the club. Auggie's breeder belongs to the local club but she doesn't train with them, and Auggie's grandma is the highest titled dog "at" the club. So that alone isn't necessarily guaranteeing success.
And of course that doesn't mean the FIRST club isn't producing these kinds of students, they just don't have a page set up to brag about them...

Definitely do sit in on a class if you can, and talk to the students. Google around and see if you can find out more about the club. There are usually some reviews on a few websites of dog clubs. If there's a local trial anytime soon, go to the trial and see if you can chat up some people and see who they train with and what they think about these clubs. That will help too.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:56 PM
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I wouldn't worry about registering with any organizations just yet. They all have a slightly different feel, and chances are you'll find that you and Sam have a style that's geared towards one or the other. (For example, many complain that NADACs courses are geared towards speedy dogs/handlers as they have lower course times--but if you and Sam are zippy, it shouldn't be a problem). You can register with the organization whenever you decide to compete, and can register with as many as you'd like. I just registered with NADAC, but will probably end up trying out USDAA and possibly AKC as well.

As far as hosting trials...my facility doesn't host trials, and although I'm biased I happen to think my instructor is top notch. Look at the instructor's dogs. Do they have MACH titles on them? Are students competing and titling dogs? Far more important than whether or not they host a trial. Both places look like they have a good sequence of classes, so I'd go with who you are more comfortable with after meeting them.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:23 AM
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I definitely wouldn't worry about whether or not the place hosts trials. There is a lot that goes into that which has nothing to do with quality. The place I train with wouldn't be able to hold a trial (nor would they want to), and yet there are probably more highly titled and successful dogs coming from that program than any other in the area.

I'd hold off on registering with any venue; you have a lot of time to do that. NADAC allows you to register pretty much last minute - I almost went to my first NADAC trial this summer; they offered day of trial entries, and you could register on the computer that morning and just print out proof. USDAA lets you register when you send in your first entry. I think CPE does as well. You can register with as many as you want; Meg has USDAA and CPE numbers, and I may try out a bit of AKC with her this year. You can always go to a few trials as a spectator and volunteer and see what appeals to you, both in terms of classes and general feel. I'm a hard-core USDAA addict because it suits me so well.
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