I am a BIG Denise Fenzi and Forrest Micke fan. I’ve had the extreme good fortune of having them both work with me and my dogs one-on-one.
Forrest has worked with my 2 year old Standard Poodle since he was 12 weeks old. I’ve not taken one of his video classes; however, I looked over the video intro for his Engagement class and it looks like some of the things that we did when he was a puppy and still practice to this day.
Forrest is VERY detail oriented and sometimes I don’t know where his instruction is going to lead us. But, through experience, I know he breaks it down into small steps for the trainer to grasp (like we’re supposed to do with our dogs) so, I go on faith that I will see the big picture eventually.
Here’s a blog post with videos of one of Forrest Micke’s concepts broken down: Canine Initiative Training: Value Transfer Concepts
Denise is also very good and has exceptional timing (so does Forrest). I’ve had one-on-one sessions with her on Engagement at FDSA camp. She is pretty laid back with letting the dog do his own thing until HE makes the decision to engage. If you are the slightest control-freakish (like me), it will drive you crazy. But, again, there is a method to her madness even if you don’t see it at first.
Just to make things difficult for you, there is another instructor at FDSA that I recommend. Her name is Shade Whitesel. She reminds me a bit of Forrest with the detail. She is VERY structured in reward placement, the specific commands to cue the dog where the reward is coming from, and whether the reward is food or a toy. I’ve taken her class “Toys – Developing Cooperation and Play” and have worked with her also at FDSA camp.
So, I might be inclined to take one of the Engagement classes. I don’t think you will go wrong with anything that you choose though.
All this instruction has paid off in the ring for me. My boy has his AKC CD with placements in all three legs. His first qualifying leg occurred when he was 1 year 11 months old and we earned High in Trial with a score of 196. We are now training for Open, Utility, and Agility and this dog is like a sponge.