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Old 02-19-2014, 04:29 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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Default How do dogs progress in your classes?

Do you do exams or classes have different levels they have to 'pass'?

Do you keep the same group of dogs continuously and cater to the individual's needs regardless of level?

Do you regularly bump dogs up and down depending on how fast they progress?

Just curious.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:46 PM
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The rally/obed class I'm in is just... as long as you're doing it sort of thing.

For rally, he has three courses set up in the same space, where some signs have a novice/advanced/excellent option, so you choose the sign that's at your level.

For the obedience, we work on long sits/downs and heeling, mostly, so if you're competing, that's stuff you want to practice anyway.

The nosework class I'm in, she moves you up as your dog improve.
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Old 02-19-2014, 04:55 PM
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Another question: What happens if a handler can't make it to the level they should technically be in? Do you fit them in another class and adjust exercises or are they SOL?
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:03 PM
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We don't do exams and we also don't require dogs to progress up through various levels. We evaluate everybody on an individual basis and try to place them in a group where people are at the same level.

Many people do stick with the same group. Each dog needs to be catered to on an individual basis anyway, so it's usually not any kind of problem. Sometimes you have somebody who is struggling and sort of seems like they're getting left behind... if it seems like it's causing issues (I had a girl cry after class one night because she thought everybody was doing so good except for her dog and she felt stupid) we'll try to accommodate and move people around. It doesn't always work that way because sometimes people have ONE night they can come take class... so we just kind of have to work with what we have. Often, people like to come to class with the same group of people and the same dogs, so nobody ever really wants to switch up.

My agility classes are all the puppies and beginning stuff... I've subbed and done more advanced lessons before, but these days when I sub I tend to set up foundation stuff. It evens the playing field for everybody because you can make foundation work harder or easier depending on the dog, and that way I don't give anybody something that is way out of their abilities at that time - and the more advanced students always enjoy it too because they feel like it gives them a chance to go back and work on stuff that they have sort of left behind and let go to the wayside in pursuit of the "sexy stuff." I hate coming in and not really being super familiar with where everybody is at skills-wise, so I feel like that's a really good option for everybody involved and the students all seem to enjoy it.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:22 AM
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Most of the time, progression from one level to the next has been dependent on the instructor's approval. When you're ready to move on, they'll let you know. There are typically prerequisite classes needed, but no exams or anything.

I'm in agility 2 and there are some more advanced people about ready to move on, and some beginners from my agility 1 class who will be here for another 3 or 4 rounds of classes, so the instructor does have to do some adjustment for skill level. Last class she broke us into two groups and had my group work on basic jump foundations while the other group was in the big ring. Then we switched and the other group worked a short sequence on their own while we went in the big ring. It's also a really big class (probably too big) so the ability range is fairly large.

I have done a few classes that are sort of an end in themselves, and the same people tend to come back over and over. For example, we have a "fun" obedience class which is basically a pre-competition level class. Some people in the class are quite advanced and like to mix things up, some have no interest in competing and take it for fun, and some (like me) aren't ready for a competition level class and take it to practice and improve the necessary skills. So there is a bit of a range in that class and the instructors modify it to the individuals. When Watson was having issues with group stays, we moved him across the ring to practice on his own, on leash, while other dogs were doing stays off leash with the owners 40ft away. When there are dog reactive dogs we don't do much off leash stuff, but when dogs are friendly we can do more like play musical chairs (dogs have to do an off leash stay while owners run to a seat). They often ask what people are interested in working on and if someone says "straight fronts" we'll do a lesson on that.

Generally if you can't make it to a class at your level you're SOL.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:48 AM
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Ours is with instructor approval. Nimbus will graduate from her basic course next week, and we're eligible to move up to the next one, though unsure of when that will be. We do need to do more work at home with stays and impulse control (in general) as a lot of stuff will be off leash.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:52 PM
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We started together as a group at the same level. 2 puppies and a few older dogs just starting in agility foundations. The group moves along together. Along the way we've lost a few due to lack of interest but gained one. The dogs do the same exercises and are mostly the same level still though the pups are perhaps getting ahead of the rest of the group now (mostly due to drive, speed and confidence).
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Old 02-26-2014, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Do you do exams or classes have different levels they have to 'pass'?

Do you keep the same group of dogs continuously and cater to the individual's needs regardless of level?

Do you regularly bump dogs up and down depending on how fast they progress?

Just curious.
No I don't do exams. Generally work on an individual basis however that can change if a group of students prefer to remain together. Sometimes I will move someone up if it is very clear their dog needs more of a challenge and the handler is skilled enough. I never move anyone down, if they are struggling then I offer them some free lessons
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