Agility people, suggestions?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Babyblue5290, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    I don't know how you agility people do it. Seriously, the only agility places I'm finding I either don't *love* it, or if I do love the place/trainer/etc it is costly up the wazoo! >_<

    The one place that I like the looks of (haven't visited yet) that seems to have some good reviews from people I know and is fairly close, you have to take 4 classes prior to actually doing agility. 3 classes getting use to the different equiptment, and one balancing/stretching/strength training class.

    That's all great, I think it would be a lot of fun, they are each 8 weeks long, so takes plenty of time to get use to the stuff and environment, which is great for Art. The bad part is it's $180 PER CLASS! >_< Which, wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't 4 classes before even getting to do the agility. Art is a fast learner, settles in really fast so I don't know if the slow pace would work well, but even if it did, that's about $720 before the first agility class. Then another $180 for the first agility class. Not only that, it's 32 weeks, which is around 8 months! That's not even counting the time between classes.

    >_< *sigh* I'm feeling a bit frustrated with this, but I really want to get into agility or flyball. The only place I found that does flyball without driving all the way to Seattle (an hour and 30mins away, worse with traffic) uses some of the traditional methods which isn't what I want. *sigh*

    Any suggestions on finding a good place?
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I honestly would have trouble affording it if I didn't work at a facility that I traded hours for classes/ring time. Can you ask about financing or trading?

    We charge 100 for a class which is 6 weeks of 1 hour each.
     
  3. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Our classes are $185 for 7 weeks, 50 minute classes with 8-10 dogs. That price seems pretty normal to me.

    We call the first two classes "agility 1" and "agility 2" to get people in, but it's really shaping 101, mat work, etc. You need those foundations.
     
  4. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    180 for 8 weeks I'd consider reasonable. Things here used to be that.. now it's closer to 210 or so for 6 weeks too often. Foundations are hugely important. Those first four classes is it no agility as in what you feel is agility.. or is it working on foundation behaviours?
     
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    We offer two tracks, a "starting off right" and an Intro class, both filter into intermediate and then novice prep and then advanced & excellent (with specialities like distance, etc). The starting off right is basically those essential foundations where as the intro includes some foundations but a whole lot of just getting up and going for people who just want to have some fun.
     
  6. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    If three classes are getting used to the equipment, you ARE doing agility! Beginning agility stuff includes introduction to equipment. What people think of as "real agility" or "sexy stuff" - sequencing - doesn't come until later.

    It takes a good while of work before you're ready to rock 'n roll. Auggie and I trained for over a year before we ever trialed. Well, you can trial sooner, but IMO it's better to wait until you really honestly know what you're doing... I've known people who start trialing and then stop because they don't know weave poles or this or that, so they crash and burn in open, then once they beat those ghosts they fail in excellent, and it's just rough. Better to just start and keep rollin'.

    $180 sounds a bit high, but for 8 weeks, not terrible.
     
  7. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    I pay $80/6 weeks here and classes have anywheres from just us to 2-3 other dogs. Its nice as our trainer will make up different exercises for each person depending on their experience.
     
  8. nikkiluvsu15

    nikkiluvsu15 Wild At Heart

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    This! You have to have all those foundations before you start doing sequences and such.

    The group that I go to offers 4 different "levels". I started with "Beginner" level and now we're "Competition" level, even though we still haven't competed yet (though my instructors insists we are ready, lol). The other two levels are "Advanced Beginner" and "Intermediate".

    Oh, I pay $60 for 4 weeks.

    Good luck finding a class/instructor you like! Hopefully you'll be able to :)
     
  9. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    Ouch. I am paying $85/6 weeks and cringing. The place I was going before was $30/7 weeks (plus annual membership dues) but it was a *terrible* match for Steve and I. (Though I am trying to get into a distance class there next session!)

    But yes, foundations is GOOD! provided it progresses.
     
  10. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I pay $135 for six weeks. 1 hour sessions, classes are a max of 7 dogs, but usually more like 4 - 5. It's my fun money. I rarely go out to dinner or movies, and my "vacations" are agility events.

    Like others said - the foundations are so critical. I was frustrated at first (many many moons ago when I started with Meg) because I thought the trainer moved too slowly. It's paid off in spades. I'm still with that same trainer, six years, three facilities, and one dog later.

    I've had Gusto in classes for 10 months or so (6 weeks of Good Manners, the rest Puppy Competition) and he's just starting to sequence a bit. The first six weeks of our Competition class was almost entirely crate games, restrained recalls, and a bit of body awareness work.
     
  11. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    I'm having time constraint issues...whatever happened to Saturday classes? Now it's like Tuesdays at 4pm...I work until 6 Sun-Thurs. :(
     
  12. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Haha same here. I am paying 85 per dog per six weeks right now.
     
  13. BoandAbby

    BoandAbby Member

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    I'm currently paying $150 for 8 weeks, but when Twister starts classes depending on whether or not Abby's still taking them it'll cost me about $280 for both
     
  14. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Agility trials are on weekends, so most agility instructors won't do Saturday classes because they'll be gone on and off so much. It would be too confusing for students being on and off and frustrating to try and progress with the dogs.
     
  15. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    yup, I'm starting to regret offering my two classes on Friday. We do however have a trainer who trains sat/sun at our facility.
     
  16. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    We don't even like to do Mondays... need a day to recoup once you're back!
    I could teach weekends right now, I'm not trialing very much... I had to cut way back to save up to enter agility and rally with Auggie plus rally with Payton in a few weeks. =P Last year I was gone often enough it would have been disruptive to a class though.
     
  17. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Ahh, I never even thought of that. That definitely makes sense, doh.
     
  18. Katem

    Katem New Member

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    I pay $150 every 6 weeks. Class is around 60-75 minutes every week. Once one session ends the next session picks up the following week, so there's no break in classes. There are 5 other dogs in Pig's class. We're going into our third session soon and still haven't seen equipment...which is exactly why I went with this trainer. My other options were all places that basically have you guide your dog around a course on leash with a cookie in front of their nose. We've spent the last 11 weeks working on targeting, recalls, building drive etc.

    I personally love the classes/trainer. My sister, who tags along to watch, is bored out of her mind though. She's not competition minded and only sees what's being done in the moment, not what we're building towards for the future. Agility is so much more than guiding your dog through a course. In the long run, I think those 4 'extra' classes will do you and Art a lot of good.
     
  19. Babyblue5290

    Babyblue5290 Happy Meal. Yum.

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    See, that's the thing, I KNOW foundations are mega important for trialing, we are NOT planning on trialing Art. That's really not what I'm looking for. I think that kind of atmosphere (so many dogs, so many people, lots going on) would just stress him out too much. I'm looking for something fun to do that he would rock at and have fun with and that I could have fun training him to do. Plus, I want to do actual agility plus trialing with my next dog so this would just be for fun plus to get my foot in the door as far as understanding equipment and all that. So I want it to be less "serious" without being a complete joke. lol

    Generally, from what I'm seeing classes are about $120 with one or two foundation classes, which is fine. This place that I love everything else about it, is a good $60 more expensive than the most expensive other place I found and has 3 mandatory foundations and one mandatory stretching/muscle building class which seems unnecessary to me for a dog that will likely never compete.

    The other place I kinda like only has a "fun agility" class, which doesn't really seem like any foundation OR any actual agility equipment. It seems the equipment is "smaller" than normal with a lot of extra "tricks" added in, which again is a bit too lax for what I'm looking for.

    The third choice place uses both positive and traditional methods. The rest following seems mostly traditional methods, which is definitely not what I want, or it is so far away it's impossible for me to be able to afford classes AND the gas lol.
     
  20. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

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    Foundations are not only for dogs who are going to compete. They help build a set of skills that helps the dog and hander perform the equipment safely. Agility is a sport where injuries can happen pretty quickly, if the dog doesn't have a good basic set of foundation skills and the handler doesn't know how to warm up, stretch and cool down their dog it will lead to injuries.

    If you think your dog is too advanced for foundations then talk to the place to see if they'll assess him to determine if he has the skills they want the dogs to have when moving up to a higher level of classes.
     

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