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Obedience classes...questions

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After searching for (seeming) endless hours, I have finally found an obedience trainer in my area. He comes highly recommended by two local dog clubs, and seemed fairly nice and competent when I spoke with him on the telephone.


I had been taking Combat to free puppy classes on Post, but the classes are few and far between and I really think he'd (as well as myself) would benefit from consistency.


This trainer's Basic Obedience program is 8 weeks in length with one 40 minute private lesson per week. He mentioned that he teaches heel, sit, automatic sit, sit-stay, down, down-stay, stand, stand-stay, as well as a few other things.


He also mentioned he could correct the 'chewing' problem as well as a few other things. All of this for $98.


My question is...is one 40 minute lesson a month enough? Is all of this stuff able to be taught in that amount of time? All in all...is this a good deal, or a bad one?


Combat's a relatively quick study, but I don't want to stress him with too much too fast.

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40 min a month or per week? You said per week in your post, then asked later if per month is enough. I'm confused.


Is it a group or private? How old is the dog? If it's private, I feel sorry for you! That doesn't give YOU any time to screw up and not get yelled at!


Group is better for socialization and also for you to learn from other peoples' problems.


Are there no training clubs in your area? We have 2 clubs here on Oahu. You pay 30 bucks a year. We have 3 sessions a year. Each 11 weeks long, 1 hour each week. 8 - 30 dogs per class. We average 1 instructor per 10 dogs. More for puppy and beginners class.


It's cheap and it allows you to train all year and keep up with it. The instructors are all volunteers. We go through a training period of 6 sessions. So by the time we get to be an instructor we have been doing it for 2 years at least. Good price, I think!


If you are looking at private lessons from this guy, 40 min a week is good. But you have to practice at home.



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Ack, very sorry. I meant 40 minutes per week, not month. My mind was half here and half elsewhere.


It's private, this guy doesn't do groups, he leaves that for the two dog clubs in our area. Which...brings me to your next question. We do have two dog clubs, the names of which I have written down somewhere but can't remember off the top of my head. One is just finishing an obedience course next week, and the other is finishing one in the next two weeks. Both aren't holding another session until late August, early September, and I think that's a bit of a long time to wait.


As for socialization, the Ft. Sill RecPlex has "puppy parties" and other such activities that we've been attending. We also go to the local park where he's able to spend a good deal of time meeting and playing with other people, dogs, a cockatoo, and two cats. (He really isn't sure what to make of the bird..) He's got very good manners on the lead (I haven't tried off, yet, I'm not sure either one of us is ready for that) and so is a gem to take nearly everywhere. Also, our vet is really big on socializing, he believes that a dog who is able and willing to accept new people and animals on a ready basis is a healthier, happier pup, so on sundays twice a month he and a lot of us get together with our dogs. So...I think that part is being handled.


What I think might be best (and please, correct me if I'm wrong...) is to take the course with the trainer to get Combat established in the basic framework of it all, and then I can continue working with him throughout the summer and take more classes with the Club in August...(Whether it be re-taking Basic or moving upward)...so that we continue to make progress together, as well as giving him further chances to interact with new people and places.

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I think a 40 minute session per week for 8 weeks...and private!...for the cost you mentioned is great! As previously mentioned the class is to train you too. You will need to work for 10-15 minutes daily with your pup in addition to the class.


I think the suggestion for going to a club with other dogs is good but doesn't sound like an option for you right now. The benefit of having other dogs in your class is for socialization and also for learning to work around other distractions. Working with distractions is a big need for Cody and I. Ha.


Good luck and enjoy!

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I think I've decided to go with the private classes, it'll at least give us a stronger foundation to build on in later classes.


Also - Combat and I already spend a good portion of time working on manners and such as that, so adding another 10-20 minutes a day (or more) for obedience stuff is definitely not a problem for me.


Combat generally is able to focus on me no matter what (he's attached to my hip) but there are times when it feels like i'm talking to a brick wall (such as when the dogs next door start barking/playing/etc)...so I definitely 100% see the need for work in a group. It can do nothing but benefit both Combat and myself.


Thanks for the input, guys.

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