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Old 09-18-2012, 06:46 PM
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Default Training class retention rate

How many people stick with agility at y'all's training facilities past the first few weeks? I have noticed at every place we've trained people drop like crazy. I haven't seen that in the regular puppy/dog obedience classes. Is it like that in other dogsports?
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:59 PM
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I think it's pretty common if your class includes a lot of foundation work. People get bored. I heard from a client at work that the place where I take Keeva for agility is "boring". I was like, "Waaaah?!" and she explained that her dog doesn't need to learn all that competition stuff (wrapping, contacts, proper jumping form, 2x2 weave entrance work, LOL) and she just wanted him to "jump stuff".

I think it's because a LOT of people have a vague idea of what agility is and think, "WOULDN'T FLUFFY LOVE THAT?!" Then they find out that it's actually pretty demanding to do right. Plus IME the public doesn't go "Oh my dog would be GREAT at Obedience/Rally!" because they assume such a sport requires a very calm and "well-behaved" dog. They think agility will be perfect for their spastic dog because they think it's just running and jumping and yelling. LOL
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:59 PM
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I think the retention rate is pretty decent at ours, but I think it is partially the set-up. All dogs have to do a 'prep school' class before starting agility, where they do self-control/motivation/foundation type stuff. I think the people who make it to an agility class are already pretty committed and motivated.

They seem to have caved to pressure a bit and are doing an "agility for fun" class with low, easy equipment (the rest of their stuff has been very much geared to good foundations/competition type classes), and I have a feeling that will be sort of a "take it once for fun" class with lower retention rates.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:08 PM
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The first place I went to had the best retention rates but it was a 'start your dog on a leash over jumps on day 1' type of class. Most people continued through the first class at least and only a couple dropped after that.

With Mia and Summer's classes only 2 have made it very far at all. Mia's class had 3 dogs make it through the pre-agility class. And now at 36 weeks we're down to 2. Summer's has 2 that continued past the pre agility class. And summer's class was BIG at first too!

It is very odd. This is by far a much more knowledgeable trainer and better approach that produces better and more consistent results. There were a couple people in Summer's pre-agility class that seemed very into it. I'm kind of bummed some of them quit. (the terv and the GSP especially) It's not like there is no demand either. They're always starting new pre-agility classes. I guess people just get bored really fast.

I think what you've said about type of class makes a lot of sense. People want to do exciting things now.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:23 PM
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I think a lot of people sign up for agility as a way to tire out their dog (do some jumps, run around etc..) and when they start the foundation work/everything else and the class seems a lot harder then they thought and requires a lot of home work..they drop.

I only know of two classses with what seems like a 100% retention rate and one of them it's jumps/tunnels and running around from day 1.
and the other is a training school for already pretty training-savvy dog people lol so the agility classes go into higher levels and always having waiting lists.
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Old 09-18-2012, 09:35 PM
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Our classes go in 7 week sessions. Nearly 100% who sign up do all 7 weeks. Very rarely a handler will give up midway through, but I'd say it's once every 5 or 6 sessions that it happens (and we run 3 agility 1 classes each session, so that's 1/150 handlers who quits midway through!)

Now, the number of dogs that continue to level 2 is less. We go from 3 classes at level 1 (10 dogs each) to 2 at level 2, so even once you account for the fact that at least 3-4 handlers repeat agility 1, we're losing 20% (6 handlers) each session. 80% retention from level 1 is pretty good though, in my opinion. Level 3 is two classes as well, and then level 4/5/onward is down to one class. By that point a lot of people are competing though and take classes more sporadically.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:33 PM
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We tend to have a decent retention rate. We do at least 21 weeks of foundation work, more depending on the class. They start short, like 2 or 3 obstacle sequencing towards the end.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:52 PM
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My trainer and I were talking about that after the reactive class that Scout and I sat in on. She said a quite a few don't go on to other things after foundations or the reactive class, they just want a better behaved dog and aren't willing to really get into agility.

If my work schedule hadn't changed I think I would have done the Getting Started in Agility class with Scout for fun. But alas, **** you evening work hours! And maybe I'm a dog nerd, but I love foundation work and think its fun.

I'm thinking about joining the darkside and trying out agility though! We'd have to do privates because of my work schedule now until May.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:44 PM
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we don't really have classes for bitesports, but retention is horribly low for all sorts of reasons. Mostly, it's work, lots of it. if you have a puppy you won't be competing for almost 2 years minimum. Most people want a 6 week course and a certificate and to move on to the next level. You don't get to do that in ipo or ring sports, it's a little more than that.

Next, while most people are rather friendly, our sports have our share of assholes. The ones that forget what it's like to be new and not know anything about how, why or what the hell is going on and treat newbies like dirt. Most are not like that thankfully, but there's always one it seems.

Then we have the dog issue. So many show up with a dog from "somewhere famous" with all these lines they researched and they're very proud, and the dog doesn't have an tenth of what it needs internally to be able to do the sport. When they see everyone else doing things their dog can't do they either quit or try and find someone else to tell them something different. and that works for a while, because that person will keep telling them what they want to hear till the money runs out, then they're gone and soured on the sport forever.

My first club I joined is gone. Nobody is still training from that club other than one person and she is just training for fun, hasn't competed in years. The club after ( I had moved still has the core members that were there when I started with them (about 5 people) and during my 6 years with that club lots of people came and went. I'd say at least 25-30 that stayed for various amounts of time. Of those that came with or after me, Myself and one woman (switched to ring sports) are the only ones I know of currently still training besides the core of 5 members that were there before I started. I still know a lot of those people and they still have dogs, but they don't currently train for anything. Some don't have dogs at all now.

I moved again (and it sucks because I had a **** good trainer for bitework, now I have just me ) and I was with this current club for less than a year and I left. Too much drama in it for me and not enough training. in that year though I can think of at least 8 people that never made it past 6 sessions and they left because it was too much commitment or their dog didn't have enough. Oddly enough I still train dogs for almost everyone that was in that club, just not in the club setting.

I'd say over the years 80% of the people come out for a few sessions or maybe even a few months, but the amount that stay a year or longer and actually compete is much lower. 20% would be generous I think it's probablly closer to 10%
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
You don't get to do that in ipo or ring sports, it's a little more than that.
What sport DO you get that in?
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