Marker Training / Balabanov / Training Club?
We have a deposit on a pup that should be ready to come home this summer. Being the slightly OCD person I am, I have been looking into training methods and techniques ahead of his arrival. Michael Ellis and marker training has really resonated with me. I prefer a verbal marker over clicker training only because I am not particularly graceful and I can see myself getting thrown off with timing and clicking and the distraction of having something else in my hands. That said, I live in Plant City, Florida, also home to Ivan Balabanov, whom I have heard, has a very similar philosophy as Ellis.
We do not plan to do any sporting with our pup - he will be a family companion that I would like to do obedience training up through CGC. I grew up with a family who did not properly train their dogs and putting in the time and effort to have a well-trained pup and relationship with him is very important to me. I do not have a whole lot of experience training, but I have watched many videos and read many books (which I am aware is not the same as having the experience) and feel fairly confident that I can at least master the very basics using marker training with my pup. I would like to have some kind of formal program though to guide me after the basics, being somewhat a beginner.
Mr. Balabanov has a program in which he guides your self training (shows you the techniques/tools/resources for what you want to accomplish) at roughly $80 per one hour session for as long or as little as needed (as posted on his website). I am wondering if I should/it is worth it to, seize the opportunity to work with a renowned trainer living practically in my backyard or if I should simply stick with my reasonably priced local training club which offers a very dynamic range of classes up through utility obedience, since I do not plan to do any sporting.
Any advice would be wonderful and much appreciated.