Those of you who teach classes

Kootenay

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#1
I've had a hang up about teaching classes for some reason, even though I have enjoyed doing private lessons with people. Somehow the idea of coming up with a set curriculum and working with a bunch of people at once is scary for me.

However, for various reasons I really think I should try to do a few local classes this spring, so I'm just curious about a few things.

What stuff do you go over and what does your class outline look like for a basic pet dog obedience class? How much do you charge?

Also one idea that was mentioned to me was running a class for kids and their dogs (there's a lot of funding out there for youth so it would be funded), it sounds like a fun idea though possibly hectic. Any fun ideas or things you might do differently with kids and dogs?

Thoughts much appreciated :) It's something that I need to just get over, but for whatever reason it's really daunting to me!
 

xpaeanx

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#2
Not that I want to be all like, "totally steal someone else's program!"

But I believe you've taken a few online classes right? So maybe you would want to meld some of the outlines from there together to use as a template and then just see how far along with things your classes go?
 

Ozfozz

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#3
The one I've helped teach incorporates a lot of the "how to's" and "why's" in training. We do a lot of behaviour stuff and reading body language on top of basic manners.

Class is $120 for 8 weeks and from what I remember it's:
Week 1

"Does your dog know the word sit?" is always fun, we have the handlers turn their backs on the dog and say the word sit, then when it fails we get them to get the dog to sit how they normally would. Usually works pretty well to get them to really click on the importance of body language.

Then we go into training sit, broken down into very small portions.

Then down

Week 2 we introduce heeling

Week 3 we introduce the clicker and shaping

Week 4 we introduce practical implications (ie Sit stay at the door when someone delivers a pizza)

Week 5 we usually have recalls out in the park on a long line

Week 6 no more long line, and also go for a walk down the road with loose leash

Week 7 is proofing

Week 8 is games and graduation


We also have a star board with the challenges for each week. Sort of like homework for the week. (Doggy push up, sit stay for 30 seconds, down stay for 60 seconds etc.). I find that incorporating goals along with practical implications and games helps people really connect to what they're doing.

If it were my curriculum there would be certain things I'd change. Nothing that outwardly sticks out in my mind right now though.


A kids class could be fun as well. Maybe have some of the same things as the normal class, but also get a little more intense on the behavioural cues and dog body language sort of thing?
 
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#4
There's always a big market for puppy classes this time of year and IMO are easier than basic. Do some structured play, throw in a little training sit/come/etc and talk about housebreaking biting and stuff. That could be a nice way to ease into it, and will give you some ideas on what else you would like to do.

I went through about 4 puppy class curriculums this year before I was really happy with it. Then I built my basic and advanced classes on what they would know coming out of puppy 1, with a goal of getting them ready for a cgc after about 18-24 weeks of class.
 

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