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  #1  
Old 10-21-2008, 11:05 PM
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Kayla Kayla is offline
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Default What do YOU want out of your training classes?

Hey guys,

The lady I assist teaching with has asked me to design a clicker training course for puppy owners once I graduate in January so I'm trying to get some ground opinions before I start the pen to paper process. So if you have a few miniutes please copy and past these questions into the reply box and write you answers.

When you sign up for a training class what end results do you want?

Are you interested in the knowledge that will allow you to continue training or are you more geared toward specific behaviour "recipes"?

In terms of behaviours can you list the ones you consider a MUST if you were to sign up for a training class geared toward puppy owners?

If a class offered things like how to help your puppy love grooming/handling would you consider it irrelevant or mandatory?

In terms of class structure would you mind if the course was very "free flow" in the way that everyone worked at their own pace or do you expect and prefer a rigid week to week schedule?

In terms of homework- be honest how much is an achievable amount, at what work load would you start to slack off or find it impossible to complete in time for the next class.

Please list any expectations you have of a training class/ the way it is run/ etc.


Thanks very much,
Kayla

I've got close to 40 hours of assistant teaching experince and last night I got to teach the first bit of class it was soo exciting, I'm surprised how clear and confident I can speak. I certainly didn't feel like that when I first begun back in August. To top it off my class which just started last night has a bull mastiff puppy- HE IS GORGOUS!!!!!!


P.S- Im SOOOO excited
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2008, 11:44 PM
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CaliTerp07 CaliTerp07 is offline
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I went to my very first obedience class last night, so this is fresh in my mind!

When you sign up for a training class what end results do you want?
My dog to be more responsive to me. I want to learn how to train her, and by the end of the 6 or 7 weeks I want to see visible results.

Are you interested in the knowledge that will allow you to continue training or are you more geared toward specific behaviour "recipes"?
Not sure what this is asking. I came in with a specific list of "this is what I want to accomplish" much more than "let's talk about the basics and let you take it where you want"

In terms of behaviours can you list the ones you consider a MUST if you were to sign up for a training class geared toward puppy owners?
I've never had a puppy, but as a new dog owner...leash manners, recalls, jumping on guests

If a class offered things like how to help your puppy love grooming/handling would you consider it irrelevant or mandatory?
I don't think it would be what most people were expecting out of a training course. I have no problem spending 5 minutes in a class on "here's something to try each day to get your pup more easily handled", but I'd be disappointed if 20-30 minutes were spent on it, to be honest.

In terms of class structure would you mind if the course was very "free flow" in the way that everyone worked at their own pace or do you expect and prefer a rigid week to week schedule?
Rigid schedule. It depends how big the class is though. If you have more than 3-4 dogs, it's hard to get anything out of "work at your own pace". My thought is that the hour long class is supposed to pack in as many skills and lessons as possible, and then the "go at your own pace" part is for at home, after the class.

In terms of homework- be honest how much is an achievable amount, at what work load would you start to slack off or find it impossible to complete in time for the next class.
How do you measure this? My dog has an attention span of 10 minutes for training, so I do it a couple times a day. Any more than that wouldn't be possible, because I'm gone all day at work, and she isn't interested in it more than once or twice in the evening.

Please list any expectations you have of a training class/ the way it is run/ etc.
START ON TIME. Biggest pet peeve ever. Do not wait for someone who is late (even if it's half the class). I paid for my hour, and I want it--if I have commitments after class that I'm late to because the class started late, I'm not going to be a happy camper!

Also, speak confidently (which you said you've already got mastered!) I hate paying a lot of money to hear someone who sounds unsure of themselves!
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  #3  
Old 10-22-2008, 06:04 PM
Jynx Jynx is offline
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I've been going to puppy class, now into the next level I DID pull my puppy, but am continuing to go with my aussie (who is pretty seasoned) and this a positive/clicker class.

When you sign up for a training class what end results do you want?

same answer as above

Are you interested in the knowledge that will allow you to continue training or are you more geared toward specific behaviour "recipes"?

Both, as I DO more importantly have a specific goal in mind which includes continued training.

In terms of behaviours can you list the ones you consider a MUST if you were to sign up for a training class geared toward puppy owners?

The basics, with the MOST important being "come".


If a class offered things like how to help your puppy love grooming/handling would you consider it irrelevant or mandatory?

I do think this is important,,letting others handle the puppy, for things like trips to the vet/groomers, and just everyday handling by the owner..

In terms of class structure would you mind if the course was very "free flow" in the way that everyone worked at their own pace or do you expect and prefer a rigid week to week schedule?

I think , keeping the classes to a minimum, and gearing training towards the individual dog, week to week,,some dogs will learn at a faster pace than others, just as some owners will most likely work hard while others slack off ..I do not expect rigid classes with especially puppies.

In terms of homework- be honest how much is an achievable amount, at what work load would you start to slack off or find it impossible to complete in time for the next class.
Again, the trainer I have now, has specific things we are asked to work on during the week, however,,it differs with each dog,,one may be more advanced than another etc..we aren't "loaded" or "expected" to do a TON of stuff,,but for example, I'm working on long stays with my aussie, while another owner may be working on a short stay with theirs..again geared toward each individual

Please list any expectations you have of a training class/ the way it is run/ etc.
My biggest PEEVE is,,don't OVERLOAD the class,,the puppy class I was in, had TO MANY puppies,,and my Other HUGE peeve is,, students who are NOT respectful of others as well as their dogs space...My GSD puppy, would mind her own business,,every stinken week, some idiot owner would allow their puppy to come charging up to mine and "jump" her,,(no they weren't 'mean' dogs, but very rude behavior)...This was the main reason I pulled my puppy out,,after 6 classes of getting "jumped" every week, made her VERY VERY defensive, the next level I "thought" would be better, less dogs,,but nope,,this class had ALOT of very reactive dogs,,and when one started the whole class would go nutso...I pulled her,,it wasn't fair to her to be put on the defensive EVERY week,,I am currently deprogramming her and it's working,,thank goodness....My aussie is a different 'type' of dog she handles rude behavior better, and it doesn't bother her...

SO I expect other students to respect other dog's space and not be rude..and I expect the trainer to enforce it..

Diane
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:03 PM
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Thanks for the feedback from both of you
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:59 PM
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PWCorgi PWCorgi is offline
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I'm going to answer these as if I wasn't a college student who spends more time training and learning about training dogs than I do studying for classes, lol ...

When you sign up for a training class what end results do you want?
I agree with the first response as well...

Are you interested in the knowledge that will allow you to continue training or are you more geared toward specific behaviour "recipes"?
I think the normal pet owner really isn't going to want to sit through an explanation on operant conditioning or anything, I think if they understand clicker training they should be able to accomplish a lot of what they would like to do with a family pet. If it's kept short I think it's a good idea, but not a drawn out talk on it. Could you do something like a vote about it for the class on the first night, see which they would rather have?

In terms of behaviours can you list the ones you consider a MUST if you were to sign up for a training class geared toward puppy owners?
Emergency recall
Loose-leash walking
(^those are the top two things I wanted from a puppy class and I didn't ever get either)
sit, down, stay, come, stand...

If a class offered things like how to help your puppy love grooming/handling would you consider it irrelevant or mandatory?
I think it would be an awesome addition to a training class, especially for stuff like nail trimming, ear cleaning, etc. that an owner may not have thought was important until later in the dog's life and by then the dog isn't used to it and fights it (speaking from experience here *glares at Frodo* )


In terms of class structure would you mind if the course was very "free flow" in the way that everyone worked at their own pace or do you expect and prefer a rigid week to week schedule?

I love the free flow idea as long as all of the puppies are making some sort of progress every week, I think that owners may get upset if they see other puppies working way above the level of their own dog. I do like the idea of that though, because different dogs are going to learn at different rates and IMO an owner isn't getting their moneys worth if their dog learns the lesson in 5 minutes and then has to wait for the rest of the class to catch up before they can move on.

In terms of homework- be honest how much is an achievable amount, at what work load would you start to slack off or find it impossible to complete in time for the next class.
When I was helping out with basic obedience classes one new behavior was taught each week and the owners were expected to teach their dogs that new behavior over the course of the week as well as continue practicing all of the other stuff they had learned. To be honest, the methods were bad, the classes overcrowded, dogs were there that really needed one on one training, there wasn't weekly one on one training with every pair, etc. I never really saw any results with most of the dogs there, but I think that seems like a reasonable homework assignment.

Please list any expectations you have of a training class/ the way it is run/ etc.
I'd like a trainer who realizes that there aren't cookie-cutter training methods and that dogs are going to learn differently from each other. A trainer who works individually with each dog at some point during the night and who understands that different groups of dogs are going to learn differently (a sighthound isn't going to respond to training the same way as a GSD or a lab).
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2008, 01:19 AM
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Kayla Kayla is offline
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Thanks PW, I really want to see things like life skills ( handling, nail clipping, etc) incoporated into basic obidence courses as I feel like that is one of the biggest failings of such classes. Your right many puppy owners may not initial understand why it is important- I intend to use multi media in the class often so will go video hunting for a large dog who doesn't like being groomed/ nails clipped to help get the point across. I think the biggest thing will be the balancing act of meeting clients expectations with some innovations I'd like to add in.

Agreed 100% with the no rambling on about scientific jargon, I am confident in my ability to explain the process while not putting the class to sleep-the multi media sources will be a life saver as I have lots of training clips of my training sessions with the clicker to show how it works as I talk about the specific key points.

P.S- everyone else is invited to fill out the survey if they wish.

Thanks again everyone I really appriciate it,
Kayla
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