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  #31  
Old 06-20-2012, 02:02 PM
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Oh, and I realize that the cost is expensive When I think about the fact that I've spent around $10k on agility lessons, I want to cry.

BUT...it's literally the only thing I splurge on. I drive a 13 year old car, I take my lunch to work each day, I don't have kids doing activities, our "date nights" are usually renting a movie, I don't buy name brand clothes, etc. I'm not rich...i just throw away money on a dog instead of anything else It boils down to around $25/week, the same price as going to a movie with my husband, or eating out lunch twice.
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  #32  
Old 06-20-2012, 02:07 PM
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A few things stand out to me...

#1 - 2 nights of foundations before you do what? Run sequences? If that's all the prep work they're going to give you, why not just buy some pvc and do jumps in your yard for free? Getting the dog to go over equipment isn't that difficult.

#2 - We poll our agility students at each level with "Do you have plans to compete?" At the first class, on average 1 out of ever 20 students says yes. The other 19 are adamant that it's just for fun, they're just exploring, etc. Yet 75% of students come back for level 2. And the majority of them come back for level 3. And by the time they get to level 4, about 80% of students say they now are planning to try going to a trial one day.

You may never want to leave your backyard, and that's okay--but if you one day change your mind, it'd be nice not to have to fix anything.

#3 - You're talking about doing it the "proper" (can't think of the right word) way with the next dog. Honestly, agility is probably 2/3 handler, 1/3 dog. If you learn how to do things properly with Art, you'll have a much easier go of it with your next dog. You won't have any bad habits to retrain in yourself, you'll know the exercises to do with the dog the moment you bring it home to get it acclimated, etc.

I took classes at a great place for around a year, before one session I couldn't get in because I waited too long and everything was full. I signed up with another place in town, where all the instructors are experienced, titled competitors. It was still a disaster. I went to one class before I quit, lost my $180, and never went back. It was the little things like, "Wow, your dog is really fast, you should slow her down and perfect the technique, then build back up speed." I was grateful that I knew that was ridiculous advice, or I might have listened and killed some of Lucy's drive and ruined the next dog that I get. I paid for privates for the next 2 months until classes were available at the good place again. Expensive mistake.

As for the 8 month time line...we've been training for THREE YEARS. Granted, I have a dog rife with issues (she's reactive, she's ADD, she upstresses like mad, etc), but 8 months is nothing in the training world. In my program, you don't see short sequences (<10 obstacles) until level 5--but that's not to say you never get on equipment! We have introduced the dogs to every obstacle by the end of the first level (7 weeks), just at a very, very slow and gentle level (flattened aframe, wobble boards instead of full teeter, low jumps, chute with the fabric slightly lifted, straight (not curved) tunnels, etc). No one has EVER said "wow, those classes were boring and a waste of time".

Long winded...but the bottom line is that if YOU ever intend to compete with any dog, I wouldn't waste the money on a less than awesome class, or you're going to have to un-teach yourself later. People who "transfer" to my trainer from other programs generally go down 2-3 levels or have to take numerous privates ($$$$$) to fill in the holes in their handling.
#1. I said TWO CLASSES. Which are each 8 weeks long, NOT two nights.

#2 I promise if I have to fix everything after going through with Art later deciding to compete I will not put up a big stink and I will say that I was more than forewarned about it. But I can not see the possibility of Artimis competeing anywhere in the near future. It's just not for him I promise you.

#3, you are killing me here!! >_< *sigh* I swear, you guys are going to force me into the poor house aren't you? My main issue right now is that if I go to the expensive place that I love the look of to watch a class and meet the instructors I will likely never leave. All right, All right. I'll check them out if someone can give me a good excuse to tell David how the price won't kill us??


OH one more question while everyones all fired up, Can you start classes and take a break in between or is it pretty much you have to go from one class to the other without a break or your dog will die (metaphorically )
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  #33  
Old 06-20-2012, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CaliTerp07 View Post
Oh, and I realize that the cost is expensive When I think about the fact that I've spent around $10k on agility lessons, I want to cry.

BUT...it's literally the only thing I splurge on. I drive a 13 year old car, I take my lunch to work each day, I don't have kids doing activities, our "date nights" are usually renting a movie, I don't buy name brand clothes, etc. I'm not rich...i just throw away money on a dog instead of anything else It boils down to around $25/week, the same price as going to a movie with my husband, or eating out lunch twice.
See I think this is my issues. I'm very stingy with money. I don't have outside activities besides work and school and neither does David. I just don't like spending money period. So hearing $180 per course for four "pre-courses" and who knows how many after-courses, makes me want to lay in my bed and weep. lol

I guess I should be clear. There is absolutely no classes that we can go through just to see if the end game is worth all the trouble for us?
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:43 PM
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#1. I said TWO CLASSES. Which are each 8 weeks long, NOT two nights.

...

OH one more question while everyones all fired up, Can you start classes and take a break in between or is it pretty much you have to go from one class to the other without a break or your dog will die (metaphorically )
Sorry, terminology mix up. A "class" is 1 night of a "session" or "level" or "course" to me. If it's 2 sessions of foundations, that's a different story. I'd expect to spend at least 4 sessions before you're running full length courses (and that's assuming that you move pretty rapidly--most people repeat sessions several times at some point before being able to move up). I would expect at least 2 before you're doing full height equipment. If it's 4 full sessions before you even see any equipment, that's overkill except for serious competitors, imo.

and YES, you can absolutely take breaks between classes. Life happens, and the dogs retain it pretty darn well. Little behaviors will fall apart if they aren't reinforced pretty consistently (Lucy had a verbal command for the tunnel, but then I didn't use it for months and now I have to work to retrain it), but the general comfort on equipment and reading of your body language doesn't evaporate if you take a few months off!
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  #35  
Old 06-20-2012, 02:44 PM
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I guess I should be clear. There is absolutely no classes that we can go through just to see if the end game is worth all the trouble for us?
What does "worth it" look like to you?
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  #36  
Old 06-20-2012, 02:52 PM
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Your in WA right?

I pay $120 for 6 weeks.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Babyblue5290 View Post
See I think this is my issues. I'm very stingy with money. I don't have outside activities besides work and school and neither does David. I just don't like spending money period. So hearing $180 per course for four "pre-courses" and who knows how many after-courses, makes me want to lay in my bed and weep. lol

I guess I should be clear. There is absolutely no classes that we can go through just to see if the end game is worth all the trouble for us?
Honestly, the suggestion that maybe you should just build yourself some equipment and train in your yard isn't necessarily a bad one. If you truly have no interest in competing and don't want to spend money on classes, just want to play around with your dog it seems like that could be a good option. There are a lot of great DVDs out now that you could rent from Bow Wow Flicks for what $12/month? There DVDs that could teach you how to train foundations, obstacles and handling.

If you want to go to class that gets your dog on the equipment and "doing agility" faster you won't be the first or the last to go that direction. Plenty of people in my area go to such classes and seem perfectly happy with them. IME There are plenty of people just interested in "doing agility" that have no interest in training for the finer points of agility. If you ask a group of people who are more experienced and more interested in all the finer points of agility (which is in the end, what is really important) how you should go about training your dog for agility, you can expect answers such as you've gotten here

It's hard to say if your cheaper class option with 2 foundation courses prior to the intro course would be good or not. It might be a great option or it might not be. The expensive place might not be great either, they sound pretty serious about agility. I do find most places that offer foundation courses for agility are at least more progressive minded than ones who don't.
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  #38  
Old 06-20-2012, 02:55 PM
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OH one more question while everyones all fired up, Can you start classes and take a break in between or is it pretty much you have to go from one class to the other without a break or your dog will die (metaphorically )
Absolutely fine! You will likely leave each class with some skills that you could work on at home - things like shadow handling, contact performance, etc. Taking some time off from classes wouldn't hurt in any case, and if you keep up with that stuff, you'll be a step or ten ahead.

I understand your frustration with the situation and what we are saying. I think, like so many activities, it sounds absurd to someone new or outside it (Want to see my horse bills? I assure you, you don't!). But realize that we are coming at this as people who have likely either seen others, or ourselves go down the route you are discussing. I certainly didn't mean to come across as attacking you or assuming that you thought you could just run a course the first night, and apologize if it came off that way.

As for cost - the per class fee is $22.50 - exactly what I pay per class. We just do 6 week session instead of 8. It's on the higher end for our area, but everyone is right around $20 a class.
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  #39  
Old 06-20-2012, 02:56 PM
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What does "worth it" look like to you?
Worth it means fun for me mainly (something I enjoy doing even if the work is a lot or hard) and something that Art or future dog enjoys as well. If the dogs are stressed, I don't care how much I like it it's not going to happen. And worth it also means how much do I like it vs the cost (money, time, work, etc).

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Your in WA right?

I pay $120 for 6 weeks.
Yeah I am, you like your place? Where do you go?
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:02 PM
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Worth it means fun for me mainly (something I enjoy doing even if the work is a lot or hard) and something that Art or future dog enjoys as well. If the dogs are stressed, I don't care how much I like it it's not going to happen. And worth it also means how much do I like it vs the cost (money, time, work, etc).



Yeah I am, you like your place? Where do you go?
I love my place! It's pawsability in fife.
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