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Discussion Starter #1
I have been searching for some time now for a group class that would be a good fit for my dog and I, because I think it would be a good experience for her to work in an enclosed space with other people and dogs around. But, as I've mentioned in other threads, all the "trainers" I've contacted refused to let me come and observe a class prior to signing up.

So I decided to keep searching. A couple weeks ago I spoke at length with Brian Bergford of Altitude Dog Training. Great guy, great reviews, author of several books on training. But he didn't have a group class (advanced obedience) running or scheduled currently, so he happily recommended others. One of them, the most economical, was the local Humane Society.

Skeptically I gave them a call...and came away very pleasantly surprised! Their classes are very reasonably priced, their trainers have impressive experience, and they offer a HUGE variety in terms of options to fit their client's needs. I spoke with the trainer of what they call their ACES + class this morning, and she was happy to add me to their mailing list so I could come and observe them in action! Today was "supposed" to be the day for me to go see what their program is all about, but since it is a drop-in class they don't have it unless they get 4-5 confirmed attendees, and today they didn't...

But I'm excited to observe a class and get started! Just have to teach Nyx a "place" command this week in preparation... Didn't really have a need before, but they use it in class so I do now!

Anyone else take their dog to their local HS for obedience training? We're you happy with the result?
 

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That's great, Tim.

I haven't used the Humane Society but I learned when I adopted Heidi last month that the county shelter (where I got

her) has an Obedience Class once a week on Sat. mornings- drop in and free. They said they want to promote all their

to attend to eleminate returned dogs. I thought it was a great idea. Keep us posted when you do go.

PS/ Can you tell me what teaching "place" means? Thanks.
 

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When I used to live in a large city the HM society had programs like that.Several of the local trainers participated.Enjoy your class!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
PS/ Can you tell me what teaching "place" means? Thanks.
My understanding is that "place" is taught to mean go to a specific spot and remain there until released. Most of the time, from what I've seen, a mat or a dog bed is used. And the dog can sit or lay down or stand, it doesn't matter as long as they remain on the spot indicated.

We started on it today...always fun to have something new to teach!
 

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I have a funny story about “Place”. I signed up for group K9 manners with Rumo and they sent me a big long email to confirm, which of course I didn’t read. The night before class, I opened it and read it and it said to bring a baggie of treats and a lightweight portable mat to carry under your arm, for training Place.

I was like, whoops! What can I use? I grabbed our bathMat, loaded Rumo and ran to class. Every week we trained Place with the bathMat.
When the class ended, I put the bathMat back in our bathroom.

Now every night when I brush my teeth, Rumo walks in and lies down on the bathMat!!
He is like, “ I remember that she was happy when I did this...this feels right...”
Sometimes he falls asleep there. I think it’s funny that he still thinks he is supposed to lie there...

I am sure you and Nix will be at the top of your class!! You will probably be giving training demos...:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For our "place" training today I used a blanket that I used to use in the car to help keep the seat clean when Nyx got muddy or wet. Anyway, to keep her from getting the idea that it meant a specific spot, I moved the blanket to different spots around the house. To be fair, she doesn't yet truly get it. But her down and or sit stay are impeccable, so once in "place" I could walk away for several minutes, totally out of sight, and she'd remain where she was...but that really isn't the correct concept! We'll keep working though...today she stayed in whatever position I left her in until released...gotta figure out how to let her know that changing positions, while staying on the blanket is okay...I love teaching new things, it tires both of is out so we sleep better >:)
 

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I use "mat" instead of place, and I teach it so it means two different things depending on where we are. Tim this may help you out. If I say it at home it means go to the mat by the door and remain there. If I say it while travelling or attending something it refers to a blanket/towel/jacket that I then drop on the ground and I want them to stay with it.
Glad you found a class you like, someday I will have a dog that I can do stuff with. :laugh2: Then I guess I will have to take classes since I promised Carmen I would put an obedience title on my next one.
 

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I used old bed pillows for these exercises. I'd say Pillow and both of my dogs would lay on one to get a treat. Then I got a new toy and called it Piccolo. We have a larger version we called flute. I told the dogs to "go find Piccolo" and they went to their pillows! Guess that name for a toy didn't work.

In the class I took my gal-dog to, they provided raised platforms. They use the platforms for a number of things. I'd think a mat of some sort could be very handy for travel. No matter where you go you can have your "placemat".
 

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I remember place or I use spot was the first thing we learned in class then focus exercises. I used a bathroom mat it rolled up and resembled a rug. Place can come in handy. If -not if -but when max is begging to much at the table I tell him to go to his spot.
Bring good treats. In the beginning I would bring dog treats- to max’s class then made it more fun with cut up mozzarella sticks, chicken, hotdogs, pieces of Stella’s dehydrated beef patties.
 

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Just my 2cents, but for the class setting, and while you're training the concept, you might want to use one specific matt for the Place command at first. The matt will be easier to lug around and stay neat and in place while in use. I think your "down" command will be perfectly acceptable in class while your working on the "place".

once you succeed, could you share how you taught the concept of place as opposed to the stay and/or the down. The only thing I can think of is using the absence of a correction when she is on the matt and gets up but stays on the matt as opposed to actually coming off the matt that's why I'd love to know how you achieve it.
 

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Hey, Tim, I work at LHS. I do have to say, I love our trainers. I was expecting them to be a "positive only" crowd when I first started work, but nope! They are really good with animals, very willing to listen and work with each dog individually, and they aren't opposed to training collars to TEACH dogs. They don't use them as a crutch. I have seen them handle some terrifying dogs (meaning dogs with a lot of bites in their past) and been very impressed. Can you PM me which trainer you are actually planning on meeting with? There are a few that run their own classes. Maybe I will see you around.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Just my 2cents, but for the class setting, and while you're training the concept, you might want to use one specific matt for the Place command at first. The matt will be easier to lug around and stay neat and in place while in use. I think your "down" command will be perfectly acceptable in class while your working on the "place".

once you succeed, could you share how you taught the concept of place as opposed to the stay and/or the down. The only thing I can think of is using the absence of a correction when she is on the matt and gets up but stays on the matt as opposed to actually coming off the matt that's why I'd love to know how you achieve it.
Update: Unfortunately the class has been cancelled each week for the month I've been following it...So I'm less sure now than I was initially! The good news is that Nyx is now pretty solid on the "place" command. And since you asked how I did it, I thought I'd explain a little.

Not too different than you might have envisioned, but I don't think a dog learns much from the absence of a correction. So instead, I preemptively caught her before she could lay down with a positive marker, for her it's "good", then quickly offer a treat/reward. Nyx already was pretty solid on down stay, sit stay, and stand stay, so she still doesn't change position once I've marked it. But at least she seems to get that down is not a requirement...So we're making progress! As time goes on, I'll try to wait her out to see if she really gets the concept of staying on the mat versus staying in whatever position I marked...But so far, I haven't waited long enough...we've practiced long stays too much I guess LOL!
 
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Seems like you, Tim, might have plateaued with obedience. You have done great with her, just maintaining now, while you still have bunny work, maybe you could adopt one lol....idk if you have done nose work. I see it mentioned many times in the dog park thread. That isn't my angle other than to say you really seem to like to work your dog....nose work is amazing imo, my dog loves it, can be consumed by it and it is a healthy fulfilling exercise for dog and owner. You can build long tracks it is so impressive to see how long your dog will and can commit to a track. Not that you don't know...I've just not seen you say that you actively work Nxy in nose work.
 

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Update: Unfortunately the class has been cancelled each week for the month I've been following it...So I'm less sure now than I was initially! The good news is that Nyx is now pretty solid on the "place" command. And since you asked how I did it, I thought I'd explain a little.

Not too different than you might have envisioned, but I don't think a dog learns much from the absence of a correction. So instead, I preemptively caught her before she could lay down with a positive marker, for her it's "good", then quickly offer a treat/reward. Nyx already was pretty solid on down stay, sit stay, and stand stay, so she still doesn't change position once I've marked it. But at least she seems to get that down is not a requirement...So we're making progress! As time goes on, I'll try to wait her out to see if she really gets the concept of staying on the mat versus staying in whatever position I marked...But so far, I haven't waited long enough...we've practiced long stays too much I guess LOL!
Thanks for the update. With my guy and in my own mind, the place command serves a purpose in that the dog knows that place specifies a specific item he or she is to get on and not leave no matter the position, but the down and stay or sit and stay were the commands taught first so when I taught the place command he deferred to the down once he was in the place. I never could figure out how to relay to him that it was ok to move though he does reposition while laying down. So it was good enough for me. Lol. (imo that seems like a good way to differentiate what is expected of the place command, as opposed to the down, sit, stay command that indicates "right where you are").

Since you may have an interest in scent work, this is an NACSW link of certified instructors in the US. Search Instructors | NACSW. If you go back to Home, there is a link of vids at different levels. If interested, you may find an instructor/class near you. It's a fun sport and you'll be among many like minded people. And you will probably connect with more experienced handlers, retired K9 officers, etc. Also, a lot of the instructors are also involved with the other scent work sports so if this venue doesn't fit you and your girl, the people you meet will probably know of the other sports/organizations also.

I'm not as social as you but I have a couple of friends who I met through the sport and have a lot of fun practicing with and the huge plus, my guy loves it.

Ok ramble over. Thanks for the insight and update.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@Heartandsoul, I appreciate the link...actually found 2 classes nearby and ordered the birch scent kit this morning!
@apex, in my mind we're nowhere near plateaued on obedience, but thanks for the thought! Her off-leash heel is passable for practical purposes, but not good enough yet for competition by any means! She still creeps a bit at times going into a stand from any other position (gonna build her a box for this), she only spins one direction, doesn't know how to wave or high five, ...always lots more to do!
 
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That's great. Honestly, the sport has help tremendously with my guys DA and for me social connectivity. Tons of extra perks participating in any organized sport.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update: we attended 2 classes. Nyx was a perfect lady, showed no interest at all in the other dogs and maintained great focus. All in all I'm very glad we did it! But I don't think we'll continue since they didn't do or teach anything useful. It was pretty basic stuff - heeling in a ring around the room, downing or sitting out of motion, blind recalls (where the handler is out of sight of the dog), some limited parquor kinds of things (climbing up on various objects), and a little bit of heeling between the legs. Anyway, fun stuff, but nothing new.

I have been introducing Nyx to Nosework this past week and wow is she a natural! Of course I'm an absolute novice so I'm sure I bungled stuff. Like having her find a hidden scent box without having taught her how to show me she found it! I also tried to get her to find multiple hides in a room, which she clearly didn't get. But we're having great fun and learning together, so it's all good.

I bought the "student scent kit" for around 15 dollars with shipping (https://k9nwsource.com/shop/student-starter-kit/ ), but when the package arrived it was not what I'd ordered! No scent at all...it was 5 large scent boxes and 5 smaller ones, in Christmas red and green colors! The vendor told me to just keep them and rushed me my scent kit, which was really nice because the kit only came with 1 scent box, but now I have 11 of them to work with! We've worked mostly indoors so far, but the box that came with the kit has a magnet so we'll be working on vehicle searches next week!

Anyway, just wanted to thank you guys again for prodding me to get started with NW, Nyx is really enjoying it!
 

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Update: we attended 2 classes. Nyx was a perfect lady, showed no interest at all in the other dogs and maintained great focus. All in all I'm very glad we did it! But I don't think we'll continue since they didn't do or teach anything useful. It was pretty basic stuff - heeling in a ring around the room, downing or sitting out of motion, blind recalls (where the handler is out of sight of the dog), some limited parquor kinds of things (climbing up on various objects), and a little bit of heeling between the legs. Anyway, fun stuff, but nothing new.

I have been introducing Nyx to Nosework this past week and wow is she a natural! Of course I'm an absolute novice so I'm sure I bungled stuff. Like having her find a hidden scent box without having taught her how to show me she found it! I also tried to get her to find multiple hides in a room, which she clearly didn't get. But we're having great fun and learning together, so it's all good.

I bought the "student scent kit" for around 15 dollars with shipping (https://k9nwsource.com/shop/student-starter-kit/ ), but when the package arrived it was not what I'd ordered! No scent at all...it was 5 large scent boxes and 5 smaller ones, in Christmas red and green colors! The vendor told me to just keep them and rushed me my scent kit, which was really nice because the kit only came with 1 scent box, but now I have 11 of them to work with! We've worked mostly indoors so far, but the box that came with the kit has a magnet so we'll be working on vehicle searches next week!

Anyway, just wanted to thank you guys again for prodding me to get started with NW, Nyx is really enjoying it!
Tim, you have an excellent nosework instructor near you by the name of Dana Zinn. She’s a CO in NACSW, and one of the best there is at that. If you really plan on continuing with this sport, please consider taking classes. The foundation you lay for this sport will determine how much fixing you need to do later. It’s much more fun if you don’t have to do much fixing!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Thanks Gypsyghost. I looked her up, zinndogtraining.com Unfortunately her facility is pretty far from me, but there are 2 certified instructors close by...I contacted both and am awaiting their responses now.

That being said, I might consider doing a drop in session or 2 to get some pointers, but nosework seems pretty straightforward. I watched the videos on the NACSW website, which shows trials at all levels (which is what prompted me to try Nyx out on multiple hides too soon) but I probably wouldn't have the patience to do their classes... Truthfully I can't imagine what they'd do in a class like that for all that time...it probably centers on teaching people how to read their dogs signals and cautions about alerting too quickly, would be my guess...

Do you do NW with your dogs?
 
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