Originally Posted by Airman1stclass
And is there ever a time where you stop training with a trainer and do it yourself or do you always train with a trainer. I feel like after you have worked with a professional trainer you begin to pick up things and become efficient in training your dog.
I can't answer the questions regarding the costs of IPO trialing because I don't compete in that sport. I do
know that it tends to be very expensive just in terms of gas money to get to and from practice sessions, and that people in our area frequently travel from two or three states away to enter trials -- and this is in a region that's pretty dense for dog sports. Gas, hotels, tolls (on the East Coast), and other travel expenses will eat up a big chunk of your budget if you get seriously into any dog sport.
In my opinion, no, there is never a time when you stop working with trainers. Even the best of the best are always going to seminars and studying under other top-level trainers to get feedback on what they're doing, learn new techniques of approaching old problems, and see things from a fresh perspective.
My personal experience has been that the longer you're in it, the more time and money you spend seeking out and training under the best possible instructors. You might find yourself trialing more frequently and in higher levels of competition, too, and that's also going to eat up more money on everything from gas to entry fees.
It's more expensive to chase a UDX than a BN, and it's more expensive to chase an ARCHMX than a RL1, because you have to enter more runs per day, the runs are harder, and you need double or triple Qs to count toward your title (so if you fail any individual run in a set of two or three, bam, your whole day is wasted. No points!). In IPO, once you leave the world of club competition and move into Regionals and Nationals, I imagine it's probably pretty similar. More time, more money, more stress to compete. You work harder to win and those wins come more rarely.
So pretty much if you get sucked into the world of dog sports, IME it can easily balloon into a huge investment, because as you get better, you will set the bar higher and higher, and that costs exponentially more money and time and effort.
It doesn't have
to go that way. You probably won't need a trainer to help you teach a puppy Sit and Stay and so forth. But if you get hooked on competition, god have mercy on your wallet.