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I've been lucky that Zeeva and Smokey were able to attend puppy classes because if it weren't for those, they'd be much worse off than they're right now. I feel that classes or a trainer are a must throughout a dog's life especially if the dog has behavioral/aggression or other issues and the owner is new to dogs and training.

I keep promising myself I'll sign Zeeva up for classes and was especially looking forward to it while in Las Vegas. But I'm at the mercy of my mom's schedule which is sporadic at best so I can't commit to much. And since classes are expensive, I wouldn't want to miss any...

Do-it-yourself stuff always seems like a hit or miss which IMO can really mess up a dog. So what are the 'safe' alternatives to professional training or classes or hiring a behaviorist? And by 'safe' I mean, safe if your pup isn't as well behaved as it should be; over-excited to see other dogs, not socialized with small dogs, jumps on strangers if they come to pet it etc...
 

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Classes shouldn't be to expensive. I prefer group classes and my trainer offer a deal for drop in's. I was paying about $100 for 10.
 

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If you haven't successfully trained dogs before, and don't understand how to fix certain behaviors, nothing can substitute a trainer. Try to look for a kennel club or a dog training group, I'm sure there are plenty in Las Vegas. They are generally volunteer run, you get discounted classes once you're a member, but they also expect you to volunteer and help at their events. A good way to find them is to see who's putting on the AKC or UKC shows in your area...usually they are run by kennel clubs as every club is required to run at least one show/trial a year.

The problem with us novice people not using a trainer is that we don't see the mistakes we're making while handling the dog. You can watch all the youtube videos you want, but until someone sees you trying to correct the dog you have no idea if you're the one holding your dog back. Then there is the part when you hit a wall, and that youtube video or the technique you read about doesn't work for YOUR dog, what do you do then?

Seriously...look for a kennel club, you'll be surprised how cheap they are.
 

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There are a lot of places that are now offering online courses where you video taoe yourself and send it in for trainer feedback.

I think there was a thread on here about it not too long ago. I'm on my tablet so I cant search right now.
 

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I know some training places here in Vegas have drop in rates rather than for a specific block. That way you get 6 or 10 or whatever classes worth, not worrying if they aren't consecutive. That might be an option if you have a sporadic schedule.

Also, none of those issues you mentioned seem all that horrible/ hard to fix, so don't get too discouraged.
 

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One on one trainers usually have a pay by class arrangement. Find a dog trainer in your area and see what their prices are. The trainer I use offers different prices; 45$/30min, 75$/hr. The classes themselves are about 100$ for the set. I like using him as needed; we do a lot in an hour, then when I get to a rough spot, I can send him a video in an e-mail and we can either work it out from there, or if I really need it, I can go in and we can work on it from there. He usually won't charge me unless we work for too long, and even then, much less than his normal hourly rate.

Sometimes your vets have trainers that will give you a discount because you are a patient of the office.
 

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Check out Fenzi Teaining Academy for a wide range of online dog training courses. You can choose your involvement a working membership where you post videos of lessons and get instructor feedback to a membership that allows you to ask questions but not post videos or an observer only membership.

Online classes are the the most modern way to go to dog class :) so far they are mostly performance training based, although much of the foundation is jet as applicable to training pets.
 
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