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Old 12-11-2013, 05:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Good obedience training classes in Minneapolis/St Paul?

I've combed through the topics here a bit but haven't found a lot!

I'll be looking for a good place to take socialization and obedience classes with my puppy when she comes. Ideally I would start her in a puppy class at maybe 9 weeks or so, and continue on from there with obedience.

I'd like to get her to CGC and potentially go the therapy dog route, but given that she doesn't exist yet (so obviously I don't know her), that is a decision point far off in the future. Right now I'd just like to make sure we find a good course to prepare for that in case, and I'm hoping to observe some classes before the puppy comes.

The Animal Inn comes highly recommended by my breeder and after looking at the website, I can see why! But Lake Elmo is a haul for me from Minneapolis proper, especially during rush hour, and I am exploring other options. I don't see anything I like better so far and may well end up rearranging things to get her to classes out there.

Would anyone else be willing to recommend resources? I am Googling and reading websites but there are a ton out there, and most don't grab me. Thanks!

Last edited by WateryTart; 12-11-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 12-11-2013, 07:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We go to the Animal Inn for obedience and puppy agility. They're great. The German Shepherd Club of MSP also meets there and holds GSD specific classes on Fridays. Otherwise, if you're in the South Metro, I'd highly recommend Marilyn Tokach of Pure Spirit-- we've used her for one-on-one training, but I know she holds classes as well. Just google her! She's a pro, and a GSD owner herself.
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Old 12-11-2013, 08:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I "know" (as in online and talked on phone) with one of the trainers here:
The Canine Coach! Voted Twin Cities #1 Dog Trainer: behavior training, group classes, in-home training, boot camp in Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Louis Park, Maple Grove, West St. Paul
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Old 12-11-2013, 09:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by AmyOle View Post
We go to the Animal Inn for obedience and puppy agility. They're great. The German Shepherd Club of MSP also meets there and holds GSD specific classes on Fridays. Otherwise, if you're in the South Metro, I'd highly recommend Marilyn Tokach of Pure Spirit-- we've used her for one-on-one training, but I know she holds classes as well. Just google her! She's a pro, and a GSD owner herself.
My breeder recommends a class over one on one, so I think I'll stick with that.

She said if Lake Elmo wasn't such a trek from where she is, she'd be there every Friday. As it is, I probably will try to shift my work hours on Fridays to try to make it. I spent some time looking online and just do not like the structure and class progressions anywhere else as well as I like the look of Animal Inn.

I didn't see the GSD specific classes listed on their site...so your post answers that question for me! I'll have to get in touch with them and ask some questions.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I looked at this one. The locations are more convenient. It was also one of the places I found that doesn't have this gap between 4 and 6 months.

The website didn't grab me but I did bookmark it for at least going to a class and seeing what I thought, given that I wouldn't have to sit through a hiatus between 4 and 6 months. So many places had that, and that seemed...well, a bit stupid to me.

Edited to add: Did you like the trainer you talked to? If so, and if you wouldn't mind PMing me, I would maybe look at going to observe one of their classes.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If you do, talk to Cele. She may only do bootcamp dogs, not sure. But she has lots of experience with Shepherds and Mals.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you do, talk to Cele. She may only do bootcamp dogs, not sure. But she has lots of experience with Shepherds and Mals.
A quick perusal of the site lists her as only doing boot camp. Bummer!

Particularly because we don't have friends with dogs, and dog parks do NOT seem to be recommended by anyone I've talked to who knows anything about Shepherds, I'm pretty set on doing a class to garner the socialization with other dogs that we wouldn't otherwise get.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Check out the GSDCMSP page . They have class info and may have other links of interest for you as well.

The STAR puppy class they offer would be well worth a drive, IMO. If for no other reason than to witness the cuteness of a bunch of GSD pups playing with each other during the socialization time. The instructor, Lisa Marie, is fabulous!
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Check out the GSDCMSP page . They have class info and may have other links of interest for you as well.
That was my first stop, actually before picking my breeder.

The obedience classes they list are with Animal Inn. The location is the stickler, because I'd be driving 25 miles through the metro on a Friday after work, but for what I'm hoping to do with her, it seems like my best bet.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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For some reason the app is not letting me edit.

Lisa Marie? Got it. I will have to call out there and ask about sitting in on a class. I'd like to visit a few before making a decision...but I probably will end up making the trip.
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