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In a discussion the other day I said I doubted that as much as 5% of dogs in the US got formal agility or obedience training. I'd be curious to know if my guess was right.

Does anyone know the actual numbers? I can't find them anywhere.
 

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I found a few references for estimates of 5-10% of dogs getting "formal training" which I'd guess would include basic puppy kindergarten type classes etc. No studies, just polling/surveys of trainers and businesses.

One thing may be that a lot of people will take a class with their first dog or their first puppy, but then once they learn the basics themselves, they don't feel the need to take another class with another dog unless they either want to compete or run into behavioral problems.
When I got Chester, he was basically trained and so good with people and dogs that I saw no reason to take a class. I took 2 obedience classes (Canine Good Citizen and one after that) with a foster dog several years ago and it worked well enough for her, but I had access to enough dogs and humans to do training myself with subsequent foster dogs.
 

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I don't have any 'firm' stats (they might be available for a nominal fee, in the second link below?), but that's an interesting question. I'd be curious to see actual numbers too.

Hmm. Like Shell said, I'd guestimate that less than 5 % of all dogs receive formal training of ANY kind, even basic manners-type classes. And the amount that branch out into competitive ag/ob training would likely be MUCH fewer still. I'm thinking in the range of, oh, POINT 5 % at best. Again just a wild guess there, but trial prep classes around here do seem pretty sparsely attended IME.

According to stats found on the AVMA site, there were approx 70 million dogs in the US in the year 2012. Number of entries at trials in 2008 was approx 122,000 which is pretty low in comparison. And a lot of those people have probably entered the same dog in multiple trials throughout that particular year, and also train entirely on their own without professional instruction.

https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx
https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-Pet-Ownership-Demographics-Sourcebook.aspx

http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.ca/2010/10/obedience-in-decine-at-akc.html
 

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Maybe a poll to get numbers on just this forum?

I took Willow to 4H obedience classes. I took Penny to Sioux Empire Kennel Club classes, with an eye to future obedience or agility, although they discouraged me from progressing because at that time she'd wouldn't have been allowed to compete. I was planning on going on regardless but my grandpa died and I was busy helping my mom and just never got back to it. I did go far enough to discover that both Penny and I dislike competition Obedience---it's so nit-picky!---but I think we would have enjoyed Agility. We might have enjoyed it more if more positive methods were used but it was very yank-and-crank.

I haven't done anything formal with the boys. My mom's 2 dogs have not gotten any formal training.
 

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I doubt more than 5% get more than a petsmart class if that. I bet very very few dogs in the US are involved in competitive/formal dog anything.

A poll on here would probably be quite skewed to favor dog sport people but I still bet it's less than 5-10% of the forum.
 

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I don't have any 'firm' stats (they might be available for a nominal fee, in the second link below?), but that's an interesting question. I'd be curious to see actual numbers too.

Hmm. Like Shell said, I'd guestimate that less than 5 % of all dogs receive formal training of ANY kind, even basic manners-type classes. And the amount that branch out into competitive ag/ob training would likely be MUCH fewer still. I'm thinking in the range of, oh, POINT 5 % at best. Again just a wild guess there, but trial prep classes around here do seem pretty sparsely attended IME.

According to stats found on the AVMA site, there were approx 70 million dogs in the US in the year 2012. Number of entries at trials in 2008 was approx 122,000 which is pretty low in comparison. And a lot of those people have probably entered the same dog in multiple trials throughout that particular year, and also train entirely on their own without professional instruction.

https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx
https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-Pet-Ownership-Demographics-Sourcebook.aspx

http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.ca/2010/10/obedience-in-decine-at-akc.html
I'm curious as to where that number comes from in the bolded section of the quote. That number actually sounds really low to me if it is just number of entries in trials in 2008 and could/would include the same dogs multiple times entering in different trials. Is it just AKC trials or pooling across multiple venues and sports? I'd think that number sounds low even if it was just agility trials across the multiple venues let alone including Obedience, Rally-O. Expand that to include nosework, barn hunt, earth dog, dock diving, herding, etc and entries simply have to be higher than 122,000 a year.
 

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Trying to figure out this out is like using the number of registered dogs to indicate how many dogs there are. I really think that the number of dogs around with no specific training is quite high compared to the ones who get any formal training at all. I have one out of my six dogs that has had no obedience training at all other than teaching him good manners at home. He does not know what sit or down means but is the easiest of the bunch to get along with, is completely housebroken and can go anywhere with me off lead. He is ten years old this year and I have had him 9 years.
 

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I'm curious as to where that number comes from in the bolded section of the quote.
From here I presume. http://images.akc.org/events/obedience/club_presentation/Obedience_club_presentation.pdf

But yes, as you and others have mentioned, really hard to gauge especially when it comes to all of the potentially different venues etc. Still I thought the above link was an interesting read nonetheless. Hopefully it'll give some very basic clues to answering the op's question, even if only in a general sense / irrespective of AKC bias presented there.

As for nosework, barn hunt, earth dog, dock diving, herding, etc. Opinions may vary by region but I see those as somewhat 'fringe' events that probably don't have a tremendous amount of impact on the overall numbers. Some impact for sure, but not a lot. I think agilty, obedience and rally are the three mainstays of popular competition. They draw the lion's share of competitors, by far, around where I am located anyway.
 

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From here I presume. http://images.akc.org/events/obedience/club_presentation/Obedience_club_presentation.pdf

But yes, as you and others have mentioned, really hard to gauge especially when it comes to all of the potentially different venues etc. Still I thought the above link was an interesting read nonetheless. Hopefully it'll give some very basic clues to answering the op's question, even if only in a general sense / irrespective of AKC bias presented there.

As for nosework, barn hunt, earth dog, dock diving, herding, etc. Opinions may vary by region but I see those as somewhat 'fringe' events that probably don't have a tremendous amount of impact on the overall numbers. Some impact for sure, but not a lot. I think agilty, obedience and rally are the three mainstays of popular competition. They draw the lion's share of competitors, by far, around where I am located anyway.
I agree nosework and barn hunt are newer and smaller sports but they are both growing pretty fast. NACSW only started in 2009 and barn hunt was started in late 2012 I think. I can't find recent registrations numbers for NACSW, looks like just under 5000 dogs in 2012 but I know barn hunt hit 10000 registered dogs at the start of 2015. Of course all dogs who get registered aren't always going to end up trialing or stick with trialing but that is a decent number of people looking to do some trained activity with their dogs.

I do agree with the general idea of the thread that the vast majority of people do not seek training for their dogs unless they have an issue. It's just the idea of only 122,000 dogs competing across the US sounds low to me. Finding actual numbers would be difficult I'm sure though.
 
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