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Well I should clarify -- It's the "Vegas Valley Dog Obedience Club" (licensed by the American Kennel Club). So, the CLUB is licensed by the AKC. Sorry :redface:
Clubs can frequently charge less than Big Box or private trainers. The trainers are volunteers, and especially if they are training in the park, have very little overhead.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I went to the PM store today and observed a week 1 class (I assume). Clickers were handed out, and the class was told that they were mandatory for the course.
I love the idea of clickers, and think they are a very neat thing, but I don't like using them at all for a variety of reasons.
I may want to look into my local club..
 

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I went to the PM store today and observed a week 1 class (I assume). Clickers were handed out, and the class was told that they were mandatory for the course.
I love the idea of clickers, and think they are a very neat thing, but I don't like using them at all for a variety of reasons.
I may want to look into my local club..
Just out of curiosity, what is your objection to clickers?
 

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Discussion Starter #24
1) I am extremely uncoordinated. : P
2) I get sick of the sound very quickly.
3) I am EXTREMELY uncoordinated. :p

With that all said, I have used clicker training as a method in my classes for well over 50 dogs now, and some people adore them, some abhor them. They have the potential to work really,really well; when I work at the local shelter with behavior modification, I have one on me at all times for the dogs I work with. Loading the clicker, working with it, the whole 9 yards.
For my dogs, it just isn't something I care to use.

Are there potential drawbacks to the clicker? Sure, but in capable hands it can be a very effective tool.
 

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I love clickers but now that I have timing down I'd rather not use them and substitute a "yes!" instead. If I had a third hand and about 100 clickers so that one was always with me I'd keep with the clickers but since I don't have those things it's hard to always have one and train things where I need two hands.
 

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I went to the PM store today and observed a week 1 class (I assume). Clickers were handed out, and the class was told that they were mandatory for the course.
I love the idea of clickers, and think they are a very neat thing, but I don't like using them at all for a variety of reasons.
I may want to look into my local club..
LOL I don't use clickers in my own training and I even taught at PetSmart. If that's your only beef with the class, then ask the trainer if you can opt to NOT use a clicker and use a word instead (I teach/taught my students how to time things appropriately so they could end up doing whatever they wanted). I don't think the trainer would have a problem with it, especially if you specifically say you don't want to use one.

You should go check out a class or two at other places, anyway, just to be sure you're picking the right one, though :)
 

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Don't you mean "MOSTLY" focused ?

If your dogs were in fact "totally" focused, there would be no need for a leash pop in the first place.

Maybe injecting a little more positive-style training might help you to achieve focus much closer to "totally". .... Hmmm ???
:blabla: whatever works for you.
 

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You should go check out a class or two at other places, anyway, just to be sure you're picking the right one, though :)
Groucho, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't get the impression you're looking to actually join a class, because you are already a trainer?
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Groucho, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't get the impression you're looking to actually join a class, because you are already a trainer?
Right. I'm only looking for socialization, that is why PM has my interest. With that said, I am also interested in competition obedience and agility, which PM does NOT offer, but the local club does.
An elderly man with his Bichon told the trainer he has a lot of difficulty timing the clicker and would prefer to not use it, and the trainer told him to "just keep trying"... I want to be pretty sarcastic, but I won't.
 

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I am all for reward based training but not the treat-heavy methods. It seems to me that the dog does [set] behavior bc they know that eventually they will get a treat. Its hard for me to explain but I aim for my dogs to get excited about the behavior/task they are performing so it BECOMES the reward so we all enjoy ourselves.
 

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Thanks for clarifying. I tend to avoid PM, but I've heard good things from others. I tend to stay with the local, non-chain, related trainers because they can tailor more to your needs. PM is a bit constrained for me. If I can't find exactly what I need, I'll ask my vets, dog sitters, therapy dog handlers, etc. The more my circle widens, the easier it is to find what I need. Good luck.

ETA: My experience has been that facilities that offer agility tend to have good basic classes. The instructors are more likely to think outside the box. But, Finkie Mom has a point. Talk to the trainer or manager at PM and see if they are willing to work with you.
 

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I am all for reward based training but not the treat-heavy methods. It seems to me that the dog does [set] behavior bc they know that eventually they will get a treat. Its hard for me to explain but I aim for my dogs to get excited about the behavior/task they are performing so it BECOMES the reward so we all enjoy ourselves.
The wonderful thing about R+ based training is that the behavior DOES becomes the reward. It's set up that way. If you play your cards right, the cue becomes a tertiary reinforcer, and the work has such positive associations that it becomes more important than treats. Frequenly if Alice and I are free shaping, she'll leave offered treats on the floor until she's solved the puzzle. It's the interaction/communication/game that she loves.
 

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Talk to the trainer or manager at PM and see if they are willing to work with you.
Quite honestly, as a local, non-chain related trainer, if someone came to me and suggested they were not interested in actually learning, and training by the methods I teach, but only in having an opportunity to socialize their dogs, I'd probably suggest they go elsewhere. That said, I've probably had more "other" trainers through my classes than most. But they were there to learn.
 

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and with that dog, what may be important is simply figuring out what motivates or reinforces.
All trainers are suppose to read/figure every dog, but some just lack proper reading skills. Years ago in Chicago there was an "Obedience Send Trainer To Home" company/school (whatever you want to call it)

Anyway I happened to know the man that started it and he was at best very challenged to read a dog or for that matter pet a dog. He would hire 5.00 an hour people, work with them for an hour and send-em out to homes. He actually stayed in business 4 or 5 years and I shudder at what dog damage he was responsible for, I assume times have changed for the better but I still remain a skeptic. Too many years in the trenches.

I've heard stores like Best Buy turn loose techie sales people after a short training period. I would hope a place like PetsMart has a better plan.
 

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All trainers are suppose to read/figure every dog, but some just lack proper reading skills. Years ago in Chicago there was an "Obedience Send Trainer To Home" company/school (whatever you want to call it)

Anyway I happened to know the man that started it and he was at best very challenged to read a dog or for that matter pet a dog. He would hire 5.00 an hour people, work with them for an hour and send-em out to homes. He actually stayed in business 4 or 5 years and I shudder at what dog damage he was responsible for, I assume times have changed for the better but I still remain a skeptic. Too many years in the trenches.

I've heard stores like Best Buy turn loose techie sales people after a short training period. I would hope a place like PetsMart has a better plan.
None of which has to do with the question of which dogs (breed or individual) are unable to respond successfully to positivie reinforcement. I wouldn't say Petsmart has a "better plan" which is why it is important to check out the individual trainer. Some are people with previous experience who know what they are doing. Others are cashiers/stockers who want some extra income. There is a training program, but honestly, I think you can get a ton of "book learning" and if you don't have hands-on experience with a variety of dogs, you are likely to be behind the curve. Of course, I also recommend checking out trainers who work for a club or work at an small business school.
 

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Quite honestly, as a local, non-chain related trainer, if someone came to me and suggested they were not interested in actually learning, and training by the methods I teach, but only in having an opportunity to socialize their dogs, I'd probably suggest they go elsewhere. That said, I've probably had more "other" trainers through my classes than most. But they were there to learn.
I agree with you to the extent that when I join a class, I expect to follow through on what they are teaching - and I learn something new every time, every class. My point is that there are trainers who can work with whatever individual issues you may have, whether it's an inability to handle a clicker, individual behaviors, or a dog who does not respond the same way 95% of the other dogs respond.

I worked with a trainer in class a few years ago that I had worked with previously, one-on-one, to brush up on Leann's skills for her CGC. It's not that she wasn't taught, or capable, but she did need a refresher in a more social setting. We joined the class with the trainer's permission and I was open to whatever she was teaching. She, as a trainer, was also open to the fact that we knew the drill and that I was there mostly for the exposure. She utilized us for demos and we utilized the class to brush up on her skills. We also learned a few new techniques along the way. It was a win-win for all involved.
 

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I don't see a problem with using both Yes and clickers depending on occasion. Why would you limit yourself to just one option. Clicker is very good when dog shows extraordinary performance in anticipating a command, like "out" or "release" - you get carried away and say the command slower than you usually do, dog performs well and you can click before you even finish saying the word, more natural than interrupting yourself. Super active dogs love clickers seeing as you would mark their extra effort but it doesn't mean that you should not charge "Yes" as well.
 
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