Suggestion for Classes in Dallas

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by JoeLacy, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    Can anyone suggests some basic obedience classes in the Dallas area?

    I know Petsmart/Petco have some but not sure if they are always a good bet. I don't want to waste money or time.
     
  2. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Check out www.apdt.com, there's a good trainer search on that website as well as a great article about what to look for in a trainer and how to know if you have the right trainer.

    Don't rule out the petsmart/petco trainers, many of them do have a lot of knowledge and experience. But I wouldn't go to a trainer (unless I had really good references) if they weren't listed on apdt.com (or another decent trainer listing), that's a pretty basic prerequisite.
     
  3. ihartgonzo

    ihartgonzo and Fozzie B!

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    I agree with searching APDT. :)

    Look for trainers who use positive-reinforcement based training, and preferably who are CCPDT and IAABC members. I would look up local Obedience clubs, and ask for trainer recommendations, or go to classes held by the club. I highly recommend going through classes that emphasize working up to off-leash Obedience, rather than simply basic commands, which is the gist of Petsmart/Petco training.

    Honestly, I don't recommend Petco or Petsmart training, in general. The standards that either company hold their trainers to are minute, and the atmosphere alone is enough to set most dogs up for failure. I'm sorry... but it just doesn't seem like common sense for an Obedience class to be held in a teeny tiny area, with barely enough room to take a step without running into another dog, surrounded by toys/treats/people/other dogs walking right by with only 4 feet tall flimsy fabric between you and customers. I've seen several people shopping in Petsmart who allow their dogs to jump up and bark at the dogs in class over the useless "barrier". Personally, I would NOT take my dogs there, ever, even in the unlikely case that the trainer was well educated. How are you even supposed to work on heels, waits/stays, recalls, anythingggg in that small of a space in the middle of a busy store? It's all bad, IMHO.
     
  4. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    I had not planned to do Petsmart/Petco thing or I would have already started that. I have watched some of the training there and wasn't overly impressed. Better than nothing I guess but that was not what I had in mind. Besides, my pup knows her basics now, it's just getting her to do it in distractions that is my current goal.

    I don't see her off leash much in her life and it's against the law here anyway. I live in a very urban area, mostly concrete and heavy traffic. It would be great to have off leash control that would strengthen her on leash control and a rock solid recall is an absolute must should she get off her leash someday. I live in the most heavily populated part of a very large city.

    She's a very smart pup with tremendous potential but she will only realize this potential if I put in the time and receive the right guidance for her. I'll start calling today from the ADPT list.
     
  5. DogstarAcademy

    DogstarAcademy New Member

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    There *are* a few good Petsmart/Petco trainers in Dallas. Brenda Keller in Lewisville and Jan Webster at Forest/Inwood are both good, and Amanda at the Cedar Hill is good- Brenda does competitive obedience (or did), Jan is active in cocker rescue, and Amanda does obedience and agility with her Dobie. Jan is AWESOME at trick training.

    Traci Murdock (already rec'd her to you on the other board) is great. Be careful with the ADPT list- there are some not-at-all-positive people (and a couple of real psychos) on there for the metroplex. If you're interested in competition? Cathy Niles is the way to go. She's up in Gainsville. Elizabeth Evans (Dogs Best Friend) is great for agility, so is Patti Drum at Dallas Dog Sports. There's also Dallas Agility WOrking Group if you're interested in that and they have pre-agility obedience classes that are supposed to be good. Another option is the Dog Training Club of Dallas County, in Duncanville - you've got to take their beginner course (or rally 101) to get into the novice polish class, which introduces off leash. If you like pure clicker, Dallas Obedience Training Club is nice but we lost our training location and I don't know if there's classes going on right now. If you like old-school Koehler stuff (I'm not a fan), All Breed Obedience Trianing Club (flagpole hill) is old and venerable and a good environment for proofing. (Just be prepared to ignore lots of advice that comes straight out of the 60s and a tendency to relate every problem to dominance.)

    I'm teaching a Control Unleashed classes in Lancaster but don't know anyone else teaching this curriculum locally.

    I'd also suggest slowing down a little bit and doing some more proofing. You've only had this dog what, three weeks now? There really is a honeymoon period post-adoption with most dogs and is there a real reason to rush into off leash stuff?

    Cait (wearing her Stars hat)
     
  6. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    You said in the other thread that you were having trouble finding a trainer. Have you checked out the CCPDT or IAABC websites ihartgonzo gave links to? They both have trainer searches as well. And what about the people that Dogstar recommended?
     
  7. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    I "thought" I really wanted Traci Murdock, she is the one that won't return my 3 phone calls. Her staff did call me to interview me and told me she was sending her an email. I called back over several days and still nothing. I called back yesterday and asked for an answer one way or another. I got no call back, so it's time to move on.

    What I (we) need is a beginner 101 course. I'm trying to just get started, agility is not in the plans at this time although I think she would be good at it.

    I called the Certified trainers off the adpt site, I have called Good dog obedience, park cites, Canine U, Bark Busters, HappyHumanHappydog, First Steps and many more. I left messages at Dallas dog sport and USA agility and never heard back. I have called my vets and also got references from my Pet store (Canine Commissary). I can't seem to make the right connection, but I have been trying.

    I went to Flag Pole hill and watched the All Breed Obedience Training Club. (Lizzy: that was the "prong collar club" I mentioned in my other thread.) Yeah, I'm with ya' dogstar, I wasn't a fan either but the dogs did seem in control, albeit with force and intimidation from the one time I went. Pass...

    CCPT and IAABC, I don't "think" I have looked there. I have googled and phoned many others. I live in far north Dallas, near Addison, I don't mind driving some, but don't want to leave the day before. Lewisville, Forest/Inwood are both fine. If it was really exceptional training I might go further but I would rather it be in the same time zone.

    If someone has a suggestion or speaks to a trainer, my cell number is 214-597-6182, I'm not hard to get a hold of and generally answer my phone and open to all positive suggestions.

    Thanks for posting,
    ~j
     
  8. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    Ok I have a call into Jan, her next class is Nov. 29th. I left a message for Patti and one at Dallas Obedience Training Club, I ll keep trying.
     
  9. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Sounds like a good match - Petsmart has classes starting every week, and I'm sure they'll have several classes this weekend that you could observe to see how good the trainers are.
     
  10. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    At this point Lizzy, I don't know what to look for in a trainer so I'll go look specifically for the trainers Dogstar suggests. I'll see if I can track down Brenda Keller next. No returned calls today, so I'll start back next week.
     
  11. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    This is the article that I suggested at some point from the apdt website about how to choose a trainer. Maybe it will help:
     
  12. DogstarAcademy

    DogstarAcademy New Member

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    I have been trying really hard NOT to self-promote. I give up. :p I've got a basic class starting the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving that's still got space. :)
     
  13. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    I spoke to Jan last night, I really like her energy and philosophy and she teaches much closer to my house. I can start this Saturday in her basic class at Petsmart which is also a big plus. We're going to meet on Friday to see where my puppy is in her obedience training.

    My sense is that the most corrective collar she uses is the Gentle Leader which is my kind of trainer. She is heavy into rewards and clicker training too which I have some experience with. She seems like a good match.
     
  14. DogstarAcademy

    DogstarAcademy New Member

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    Woohoo! Jan's awesome. :) She was the CGC evaluator for my dog Bou many years ago and is really a nice lady and just has a plain good eye for dogs.
     
  15. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    Sounds good! Hope it works out!
     
  16. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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    Jan is awesome. Great energy, vast knowledge and all positive. I signed up for the beginner class. We start on Saturday.
     
  17. JoeLacy

    JoeLacy New Member

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