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njk 04-02-2014 07:16 PM

What to expect?
Hi, just curious as to what to expect from training classes, specifically your first one. Next weekend we are driving 2.5 hours to and from our closest trainer as our pup (and me) really needs it, though my partner isn't thrilled about it at all. He's pretty angry about it actually. I know it's only a one hour class, so I'm not expecting anything amazing, but I'd like to prepare my partner so he doesn't spit the dummy later about taking a five hour trip "for nothing" (as he'll no doubt say). We won't be able to go every weekend, as my partner works in mining and has to work some weekends, and since we live in the Outback he won't let me out on the roads alone.

TigervTeMar 04-02-2014 07:22 PM

my guy has his first class tonight actually. he's going to be joining a group late so he's getting a private lesson tonight to catch up. the trainer told me that the first lesson is usually paperwork and everyone getting to meet. this is at petco though, so if you're going to a private trainer it could be different. I would personally call ahead, explain you are driving a long time, and just check/ask that the first lesson is something a bit more than checking vaccines and saying hello.

my 2 cents

njk 04-02-2014 07:52 PM

Thanks for the advice! she does know we are traveling a long way and sent me some info, though it didn't specify what the first lesson is. I know what we do in between classes makes all the difference, so hopefully she does send us off with a few pointers. She didn't mention anything about a follow up or private lesson, though we are buying a Gold Membership which I assume means we can steal her for a time for additional advice lol hopefully. Good luck with your class!

boomer11 04-02-2014 09:15 PM

If it's a dog reactivity class or some other advance class then I'd understand. If I have to drive 2.5 hours for a puppy class I'd be pissed too! There is nothing a puppy class can teach you that advice on this board or YouTube can't.

There isn't much I'd drive 5 hours for. You have some serious dedication.

Cassidy's Mom 04-02-2014 09:35 PM

The best way to find out what to expect is to ask the trainer. Training classes aren't one size fits all, different trainers have different training styles and run their classes their own way. Make sure you know exactly what to bring (a treat pouch and lots of tiny soft treats? a flat nylon or leather collar? a 6 ft or shorter leash?), and ask what specific things the class focuses on teaching, and how.

Since it's so far away you'll want to optimize the experience, so when you're there take notes and ask questions. Most of the training will be done by you at home or out and about in public and you'll want to make sure you understand what you're supposed to do in your daily practice sessions with your pup. If you have questions between classes will the trainer allow you to email her for clarification?

These are the puppy classes I took with Dena, Keefer, and Halo - Sirius Puppy, founded by Dr. Ian Dunbar:

njk 04-03-2014 03:18 AM

thanks Debbie! I shot her off an email (she's fine with me contacting her by that means) asking what to bring - I didn't even think of that - and what the focus is. As we live in the mining part of the Outback, people are often out of town or in the mines and so her classes (as she said to me) are based around that - people and their pups progress at their own pace. She said some people may do the Basics class for 10 - 15 weeks before they're ready to move on, simply due to not being able to make it all the time, and that she works with that.

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