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Online dog training class- tips or suggestions?

1045 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  LeoRose
My dog is about about 16 months, though I didn't get her until she was already 6 months. She's got some anxiety issues and group classes aren't an option for us right now. She could use more training though, and I could as well. She's got her basics down but not always with a lot of reliability.

I've found the Fenzi Academy from posts here, and I think I may start with their fundamentals class next month.

Does anyone have tips or tricks about doing an online course like that? Have you tried it, and did you get much out of it? Anything I need to know or be prepared for before we start, to make the most of it?
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Most Fenzi courses can be roughly categorized into either "Skills" or "Concepts" classes based on whether they intend to teach a specific behavior or set of behaviors (e.g., retrieving, heeling) or a concept/emotional state (e.g., relationship building, instilling confidence in your dog, etc.). There is of course cross-over, but those are the very general categories.

Whether you do the class at Bronze or Gold, as well as the class itself, will make a huge difference to how much you get out of it.

I have never taken a gold class, so hopefully others who have can chime in on that, but I have found that how much I get out of classes at bronze depends a TON on the class itself. I definitely get more out of concept classes than I have gotten out of the few skills classes, I think because it's easier for me to apply concepts to my dogs in the training that we are already doing rather than to add another behaviour to the long list of things we're already working on. I.e., the concepts classes help me change/improve how I am training a behavior already on my list, rather than adding another behavior to train. I also do better with learning skills in-person - having someone there to see me in real time and also to hold me accountable makes a huge difference.

I am definitely glad I found Fenzi - it's a really great community, support network, resource. Even if you're not actively taking classes in that term, people are very happy to answer questions, cheer you on, etc.
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I love FDSA. I've only taken classes at the bronze level, and like gingerkid, have found that I've gotten more from some classes than others. If you really want one-on-one feedback on a subject, then trying for a gold spot is your best bet. Some classes will also have what is called a working silver, where you can submit a limited amount of video for help with a specific problem.

Where I've run into problems is when "real life" collides with "dog life", and makes hay of my training plans. :/

Regardless of what level you take a class at, the Fenzi community is extremely helpful and supportive.
I also love FDSA. I've taken nosework at silver and engagement at bronze. I wouldn't hesitate to take engagement again at gold, even though I totally understand the concept from the written material. I did not win the lottery and am waiting for warmer weather (read: actual daylight to train and film in) to try the lottery again.

I will take more Fenzi classes in the future at whatever level. Right now I am prioritizing taking Brae through an actual group class for the experience, which is proving to be challenging due to schedules and limited options.
Engagement in the class I'm most interested in, but it doesn't start until February. I'm thinking of getting my feet wet with one of their December classes first.
I ADORE the Fenzi Academy. I've taken three classes at Bronze (ring confidence, a class for old dogs, and a photography class) and one class at the Working Silver level (which is something new they're trying - this was also a photography class). I DEFINITELY got more out of the working silver level class as I was able to interact with the instructor and post in threads, etc. If you have the money, silver is definitely a nice in between area between Gold and Bronze.

I'm going to take another class at Bronze soon and then hoping to do Gold (or Silver if I can't afford Gold) in April.
I just realized they offer engagement in December! Focus is the other I was looking at and that's not until February. I think I'll start at Bronze i December and maybe try for Silver in Focus if it's available and I like the format.

Thank you for all of the positive feedback, it sounds like Fenzi is a really valuable resource.
I think also that it can be helpful to take a class at bronze before you take it at gold. I know Amy Cook recommends doing that with her Boogeyman class. It allows you to absorb and process some of the information/concepts before you have to apply it in a higher pressure situation to be filmed and shown to the instructor.
Good luck with your training.
One thing you will want to do is practice in public. The more you get your dog out, the more chances you?ll have to build confidence.
It?s hard getting a puppy at that age, because you missed the primary social phase (it ends around 3-4 months). It sounds like wherever she was, she most likely wasn?t well socialized, which can cause anxiety.
Good luck on your training. I?m interested to hear how it goes.
I've taken maybe 6 classes at gold and about that many at Bronze. All of them have been fantastic. In terms of my learning I get way more out of the online classes than I do out of in-person classes because the instructors can both meet me at my level (very well read pet dog owner familiar with moderately complex training concepts) and also meet my dog where he's at (crazy teenager with dubious impulse control and a propensity to chase squirrels). When I took in person pet classes I felt like I wasn't learning anything and Milo couldn't focus on that environment. Fenzi allows me to teach behaviors at home where he can be successful and then move them out into the real world. I'm a better gold student than bronze so I usually take one class at gold. It's expensive but the amount of feedback I get is amazing. It's way better than even the couple privet lessons I got. If you do take classes do join the online community in their Facebook Alumni many of the other students are dog trainers and the instructors answer students questions there as well so you can get additional amazing help.
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Well, I didn't manage to sign up in December, but I have enrolled in Fenzi "Get Focused!" at bronze level, starting tomorrow. I'm really excited to see how it goes.
Awesome. We're in at gold so you're going to be seeing some of my crazy adolescent Rottie mix Milo :)
Cool! I'll look forward to following your journey (and learning some tips!).
Welcome to the Fenzi world! I think you'll love it! If you're on FB, definitely look up the group for the class you're taking. I find them super handy for discussion, especially when I'm at the bronze level and can't ask the instructor questions. I'm taking the recall class at silver (because God knows Ben needs all the help he can get!) and the Adjust the Dog photography class, also at silver. Fenzi is definitely an addiction!
Well, I didn't manage to sign up in December, but I have enrolled in Fenzi "Get Focused!" at bronze level, starting tomorrow. I'm really excited to see how it goes.
Yay! If you are on Facebook, make sure you apply to join the FDSA Alumni Group. Just make sure you answer the questions, and if your Facebook name is different from the name you used to enroll, let them know that, too.
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