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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I just got notified that Susan Garrett's handling360 course is open. I've got one week to decide whether I want to fork over the money for it lol, so wanted to see if anyone here has any experience with it, seen folks who've done it compete, etc.

Mahina is 8 months, so I like the idea of having a training plan with such a strong emphasis on flatwork, verbals, and body awareness. I know those things are important lol, but I've never trained for agility before (at least not with the intent to really build a strong foundation and skills), so having guidance on how exactly to do that would be helpful. The full program is available for 12 months if I purchase it, so I'll be able to slowly start working in more of the exercises as she matures and her growth plates close.

It's also winter in Minnesota now haha, so having support and training programs available online without having to drive anywhere is appealing since it will keep us busy without having to risk life and limb on the roads!

Look forward to hearing what you all think! :)
 

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Kekipi, not sure where you are in Minn but if you are or can get to the east side of the twin cities there are three good training centers that do agility.

Total Recall just north of Hugo on old hwy 61. We go there for ongoing obedience. Very nice trainers. Nice roomy facility and easy parking.

Animal Inn just east off 694 on 5 or 14 toward Lake Elmo. Big outdoor agility in the summer but they do indoor in the winter. Currently we aren't going there but we have had very good experiences there. Roomy and easy parking. The German Shepherd Club rents this facility on Friday nights for obed and Rally training. GSD only.

St Paul Dog Training Club located on Southview Blvd just east off Hwy 52 so. St Paul. We have trained here too. Very well established group with nice indoor facilities. Gallery seating. It's a little hard to find the first time as it is under a grocery store. But they have good trainers and good programs. Somewhat restricted parking but once you know the lot it's easy.

All these are very easy to get to off major freeways.

There are at least half a dozen other training center in the Twin Cities that we have visited. Most are just too inconvient for us.

Good luck

Byron

Yeah the highways have been a real mess the last week with the water main burst on 494/694. It totally shut down the major north/south bound lanes. Traffic was backed up for miles last Monday. Gradually people found other routes but it was still a mess Friday. I heard it supposed to reopen Sunday sometime.
 

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I have not done H360, but I did Agility Nation for a few months and really enjoyed it. I ended my subscription though because even though AN was relatively cheap compared to her other programs, I didn't feel like it put out enough new material to be worth staying. Especially on top of the other online subscriptions and classes I do. If AN was the only one I did or if it was cheaper, then I probably would have stayed.

As much as I side-eye at Susan's marketing tactics, she really is an amazing trainer. One of the best. I admire her ability to break down behaviors into small pieces and strategically layer them together. Many of the problems people have in agility come from skipping steps and lumping things together before the dog really understands.

There are quite a few other online options as well. Agility University, Fenzi Dog Sports Academy, Daisy Peel online, OneMind Dogs, to name a few.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback all! I'm going to do it. I do live in the metro area, but all of those locations are about 45 minutes away and I have a tiny old beater car lol. We already do weekly obedience classes with the gsd club, and I don't know if my car is up for that many miles multiple times a week

Mostly though, I've mostly decided to do it based on the fact that it will give me 24/7 access to a training plan and a problem solving community and forum. Mahina is the first really high drive dog I've trained, and I think it will be helpful for both of us to have more daily guidance and structure than we get with weekly classes. I've trained dogs before, but nothing humbles a person faster than a drivey assertive young dog.

I'll start a thread to post updates once it starts so that others on the forum can learn from the activities and see if it would be worth it for them in the future.

Now off to adjust my monthly budget to accommodate the cost!
 

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Cool! I have heard lots of good things from people who have done it, so hopefully you enjoy it too!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just a short update- I finally got around to clearing out the basement for us to use as a training space. It's half finished and a little sketchy, but way nicer than the outside temp of -30F we've been having lately! It's pretty small, maybe 10ft x 25ft, but I think it'll work nicely.

I haven't honestly done much with the course yet, but looked through just a few tiny sections tonight and I'm pretty excited! Soooooo many activities and things to do with the dog! For an experienced trainer a lot of this would probably be "no duh" kind of exercises, but for someone like me the step by step breakdowns and analysis of why the training method is effective from the dog's perspective is invaluable. Going to start with some of the body awareness games and go from there, I'll post more detailed updates as we go! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
JK- lol it appears that the first step is going to be getting Mahina comfortable with going down the stairs to the basement! She does stairs all the time but is only allowed on the main floor of the house so she's never gone in the basement before. The stairs are open on one side and a little steep, and I think the open side is freaking her out! She doesn't want to take her hind feet off the landing

Lots of slow conditioning and treats are in her future over the next couple days to get her feeling confident and comfortable going down ;) there's a ground level door I can take her through if I really want to, but this seems like a worthwhile thing to get her feeling good about. Guess my newly beautified training area will wait *grin* best laid plans and all that!
 

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JK- lol it appears that the first step is going to be getting Mahina comfortable with going down the stairs to the basement! She does stairs all the time but is only allowed on the main floor of the house so she's never gone in the basement before. The stairs are open on one side and a little steep, and I think the open side is freaking her out! She doesn't want to take her hind feet off the landing

Lots of slow conditioning and treats are in her future over the next couple days to get her feeling confident and comfortable going down ;) there's a ground level door I can take her through if I really want to, but this seems like a worthwhile thing to get her feeling good about. Guess my newly beautified training area will wait *grin* best laid plans and all that!
If you can, try to block off the open side with some cardboard or a blanket. This older thread has some ideas for basement stairs:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/how-do-i-teach-my-dog/176413-scared-going-downstairs.html
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tried blocking off the open side of the stairs- no dice. Took her in through the exterior basement door, played and trained, then tried to take her up....tried being the operative word lol.

She has apparently forgotten she can move her hind feet. She would walk her front feet up and then cry at being stuck. I sat up the stairs talking to her for about five minutes and she finally tried to go up a step with her hind feet. Then she got terrified and froze while crying herself hoarse so I went down to try to lift her up the rest of the stairs. In hindsight that was a stupid plan, I think it might have been better to let her try to calm down and figure out what she wanted to do and that she was okay. Instead I half carried her to the top of the stairs while she cried like I was murdering her. If I didn't see her go up and down stairs multiple times a day to get from our house to the sidewalk I would have been seriously worried there was something wrong physically that made the stairs painful

So, back to the drawing board. I think I am going to spend some serious time working on rear feet awareness with targeting and once she's more solid there we'll work on applying it to the stairs. Oh dogs :)
 

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Basement steps can be scary! They are usually steep and a straight flight of 9-11 steps and can be open. There was an older thread where the problem was that the op had built an open outside stair leading up to the second floor so her dog could go outside from a dog door. The dog would not go down the open stairway so she tacked a blanket underneath the steps. That did work. But I think you are on the right track to leave it for now and use other entrance while you work on her rear feet awareness.
 
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