Agility class with Tucker

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Maxy24, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    So I have about $500 in my bank and figured I'd be okay dropping $150 on an agility class this summer. It's something I've been wanting to do with Tucker for a while. I found three in my area, two of them seem really good, one I'm afraid might be the type that just has you walk your dog over equipment and doesn't teach any foundation, but that's just speculation. Their site also doesn't talk too much about their methods.

    Anyway, I wanted to ask if a dog with fear aggression like Tucker would be allowed in these people's agility classes and not just sign up without finding out whether or not he'd be welcome. So I e-mailed the place I was most interested in, giving some info on his behavior, what sorts of things make him react, etc. and she e-mailed me back saying we should start with a private session to see if he'd be safe and to make sure I have a way to work on his aggression issues at home. Then we'd see if agility could be done. This session would cost $100. The trainer seems really good (Here's a link if you want to look http://www.dogslearningcenter.com/index.php?id=50 ) and I'd love to do this, I really would, but I don't know if I can spend the money, especially not knowing if she'd be letting him into her class when it's all said and done.

    So I'm not really sure how to proceed. I don't think she's going to let me into her class without the private session, so I don't know if I should even bother asking that. Do you think any place would allow him? It's not that I'd mind the trainer evaluating him beforehand to see if he'd be safe in class, I just don't want to pay $100 for it. I don't know if I should e-mail the other places with as much info as I e-mailed her, or I should just ask the basic question of are fearful, sometimes fear aggressive (barking mostly) dogs allowed in their agility class. I still feel wrong signing up without asking about aggressive dogs first though.

    I'm really bummed though, I liked that trainer a lot and I *could* spend the money, seeing as I don't really have any payments...parents pay for college. But I don't think my parents will take kindly to be spending nearly $300 on the dog this summer (this trainer's classes are also the most expensive of the three places I was looking at), nor do I really feel comfortable with it. I would sort of like to get involved with this trainer though, she seems to know her stuff.


    I guess another option would be to put aside the agility class for this summer and take the trainer up on the private lesson for this summer, work on other basic obedience and trick stuff or agility foundation stuff I can do at home this summer, work more on his aggression, and think about agility class next summer.

    Any opinions?
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    I'd probably go to the trainer for a private lesson and go from there - looks like she specializes in reactive dogs and you're not going to get very far in agility until you have more of a handle on Tucker's reactivity anyway!
     
  3. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    Well see, I'm not entirely sure his aggression would affect his ability to do agility. His aggression is towards people who are trying to interact with him (making prolonged eye contact, smiling at him, talking to him, kneeling and coaxing, or reaching towards him/offering a hand to sniff) or who enter our house. People leaving him be don't bother him one bit. The only issue I could see him having is chasing other running people...but that's not really related to his aggression. He can walk around people, comes up and sniffs people, can focus on me and listen around people, all just so long as they are paying no attention to him. The only time he'll stress around ignoring people is if it's a VERY big crowd and he's in the middle of it.

    I do think I might hold off on the agility and do the consult though, it might be for the best.
     
  4. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Do it. If you don't do it, you run the risk of being kicked out of the first class because his issues are beyond what the trainer is comfortable dealing with in a group class setting.

    We have 10 dogs in agility 1 classes. About every 2-3 classes, there is a dog who clearly cannot handle the chaos of 10-20 people and 10 dogs, and has to be asked to leave the first class because the dog is SO over the threshold. We give them a refund of course, and suggest that they sign up for private lessons for a while to introduce the distractions gradually.

    $100 for the hour sounds about right for this area (that's what private lessons with my trainer run), but then DC is an expensive area.

    Do you have any birthdays or occasions coming up where you could ask for money towards the behavior analysis? Even if you don't end up doing agility, I think the hour would be useful!
     
  5. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    Could you ask for a half hour consult instead? Or to discuss his issues over the phone for a smaller fee? I agree that $100 is a lot to see if you can get into an agility class...

    TBH we had dogs with issues in our classes and as long as the owner was proactive about keeping them in check it wasn't a problem. The rest of the class was given clear instructions to give them their space and whenever dogs weren't running the course they were on leash and under control anyway.
     
  6. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    How about their Reactive Agility Level 1 class? I would find out if he qualifies for that. I would also tell her your situation, that you have limited funds but you want to help your dog......maybe there is a way you could work off some of the fees. Looks like a pretty busy place, they may need some help :) You wont know unless you ask.
     
  7. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    This is what we do for dogs that have issues in our classes. It's not something that's asked, but we've all been there/done that that we just kinda chose to give each dog the chance to work without any distractions.
     

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