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I can't help with too many of your questions, but I do know there are both types - ones that train just the dog, the others that train you both. I had my first dog trained away from me and if possible, doing it again, I'd opt for working with the trainer so that I learn more and that the dog learns to respond better to me. Also, everyone is going to use commands a little differently - this way you know how your dog was taught - and what each command is supposed to mean.

About 5 years ago, I paid $200/month - don't know if that was good, typical, or bad. The trainer did a wonderful job with him, but I never could get him to work for me - he ceased to acknowledge me once in sight of sheep - although he was fine otherwise.

I also need to find a trainer to work with me with Blaze, and I'm hoping to find someone that I can work with, not just drop off and pick up a few months later. I left Jack, my first one, at the trainer for 2 months to get the basic commands. He was worked pretty much every day, so time length probably depends on how often they're worked as well as how quick they are to catch on.

Good luck and I'd be sure to thoroughly check out anyone before I left my dog with them.

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Guest Charles Torre

"Okay, seems as though everyone is recommending trainers on here."


Good. Very, very few people can get off to a good start with this stuff without some kind of expert help.



"Where can I find one and what is the round about cost of one?"


It appears you live in Ohio. If I lived in Ohio I would start pestering Bruce Fogt. He is one of the "Big Hats" and is more than qualified to give lessons, etc. and can also point you to other qualified people. The cost fluctuates a bit since there are a number of variables. A typical scenario is that you and your dog visit the instructor for an hour or so. This might cost you $20-$50. Others might chime in and tell what they pay. Other arrangements are possible. For example, periodically I travel about 300 miles to get some help/advice from a "local" pro. I spend the night and get several sessions. Sort of a package deal. It's a blast.


"How long does training take? Do I train with the dog, or is the dog trained and then returned to me?"


Jordi gave you the idea there. To properly train a dog can take years. So, if you drop a dog off for a while it is either getting "started" or it is getting "polished", but it really isn't getting trained fully. Also, the trained dog is not like, say, a tractor - you put it into gear, turn the wheel, pull the lever, etc. to get the desired result. Two different people will get very different results from the same dog. So, really, a "trainer" should be used to train the handler as much (if not more so) than the dog. Indeed, I don't really think of lessons or clinics as being that significant for training the dog, but are very significant for the handler. So, while you can get your dog trained, it is best to get yourself trained with the dog if possible.


Finally, be sensitive to the fact that there are many "trainers" out there who probably should not be giving lessons. They just aren't good enough, frankly. Of course, a beginner can't discern the good from the bad, at least at first. You have to be constantly evaluating your experience to see if it's working out for you. Even some of the superstars are just not that good at helping others. But at least you know that the Big Hats know what they are doing.




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there is a big diff. in the price of lessons...you can be looking at anything from $30.00-120.00 an hour. As with anything, you get what you pay for. Also, all instructors are not for all people. You have to find the right match for you. Training, you are looking at 300-500 per month. Again, you DEFINATELY get what you pay for. Look for someone who has trained LOTS of dogs thru open level and ask other ppl who have used this person. Also, find out specifics...I only charge for days I work a dog and it can take me awhile to get a month on a dog as I travel and trial alot. I am up front with people about that and only bill them for actual days worked. Some ppl just bill by the month...Also as Charlie says, you have to know how to work the dog. Even if your trainer gets him up thru open level, if you dont know how to work him it will be a waste of your money. Anyway, just a few things for you to think about. Sam


[This message has been edited by tucknjill (edited 12-10-2002).]

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Guest PairDogx1.5

Also keep an eye out for clinics and private lessons that many good trainers give. I went to my first one in October, I audited the clinics on both Saturday & Sunday, and had a private lesson on Monday. It was really impressive watching how much progress was made with dogs (& handlers) through the 4 clinic sessions each team had, bordering on unbelievable in a few cases. And my lesson was worth every penny. Next time I hope to be able to afford the clinic.


And meeting folks & just hanging around it all can be very valuable too !!!, especially if you stay alert and have no reservations about asking dumb questions, like I do smile.gif .


[This message has been edited by PairDogx1.5 (edited 12-10-2002).]

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