I live near Washington DC and the prices vary quite a bit, as well as the expertise of the training director, helpers and the expectations of the club. By that I mean some clubs are very casual and some very competitive. So the first thing to do is visit clubs and chat with the members before starting anything with your dog. It might not hurt to bring your pup and let it sniff around the field a bit. Don't start any work until you find a group that has the same expectations as you. You'll be spending a lot of time with these people, even though each dog is on the field training for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. You want to make sure the time is good for you and your pup.
In the mean time you can play tug of war games, nose work games, and focus heeling games on your own. What you won't be able to do much is sleeve work. That really needs to be done by someone who's experienced at it.
And I'd stay away from a 5 year commitment. You never know what life is going to throw at you from one year to the next.
Patton CGC BH
Chief fetch fanatic
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