Why do I waste my money and life in training classes?
1. I can train my dogs to sit and down and stay, but I cannot train them around other people and their dogs, who provide a good distraction, and help my dog to get used to seeing other people and dogs.
2. When I run into a problem, a good trainer can see what it is about my body language that is causing the dog to hook to the left, or swing to the front or whatever. They can make suggestions that I might not consider because I do not train in front of a full sized mirror and I am focussed on the dog, not on the dog/handler team.
3. Having a dog in classes and paying for those classes compels me to get out there at least once a week and train that dog (in class). With no classes, I am likely to be lazy and do it tomorrow, and then tomorrow never comes.
4. My training class is where I see Dog People. They are my friends, my mentors, my support group, and some look to me as well. The dogs LOVE going to classes and my Thursday night group has been together way too long. We often pull the chairs around afterwards and have refreshments. Then some of us stop at a fast food joint. My trainer has been involved with a number of different breeds, owns a shepherd and now raises and shows leonbergers. She is also an obedience judge.
Last night (after the worst CGC class completed), I had Joy in our last Advanced(Rally/Obedience) class. This class has been together for almost four years. There are two therapy dogs (Jack Russel Terrier and Cardigan Welsh Corgi), one RE (Doberman Pincher), Joy Joy (who is going to go for her RN), and the lady with the labs. I have brought Rushie, Arwen, Heidi, Babsy, and now Joy to this class. But last night, the Corgi owner brought a little seven year old boy that has improved his reading by reading to the Corgi. It was so neat for him to take the dog out on the Rally course and work with him. His family is all afraid of dogs, but the Corgi has really helped them to not be afraid anymore. The Corgi is working on its RN.
5. Classes are fun for me and the dogs. They help build a bond between the dog and owner.
Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.