Dog Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I attended a rally class for the first time last week, not because I really have any intention of competing in rally but because I thought it would be an interesting way to continue to work on obedience skills with my therapy dog. I was encouraged to do so by other members of my local chapter of TDI, who told me it was perfectly fine to take the class for those reasons and that it was an appropriate class for my dog and I (and they have had a lot of opportunities to see my dog and I working together doing therapy and have some idea of how well he behaves, responds to commands etc.).

Anyway, the class was, IMO, a disaster. It lasted ninety minutes, and my dog and I actually did any work together for, at most, five minutes, and that consisted of going through an entire course after simply having been walked through it once and then watching the instructor and his dog go through it. I told the instructor before I started the course with my dog that I had never trained him to do a front-swing finish (though he does have an about finish) and he said he'd help me when we go to that station. When we got there, he simply said it was late so we'd do that next week, leaving me feeling like an idiot and my dog feeling terribly confused because he had no idea what he was being asked to do and I didn't know how to explain it to him. We also caught it because my dog sat down when I stopped to read a sign, which I realize now I shouldn't have done, but it was my first time on a course--and my dog knows to sit when I stop without being told to do so, as that's helpful in a therapy dog situation. I was also told I didn't speed up when I was supposed to go faster--and when I said it felt like I did (because I had), I was told it wasn't fast enough, though people who moved very slowly through the course didn't move any faster than that and were not told they were lagging over the rest of the course. By the time we got to the down, and my dog didn't lie down perfectly straight by side (which I couldn't have cared less about by that point), I said "I suppose that's another point lost," and I was told it was. After I got off the course, a "helpful" couple who were also in the course, waved me down, told me about all the titles their dogs have earned in the past, and dumped a load of unsolicited advice on me, which I listened to politely, since they were older and I was taught to respect my elders, and when they finished by chirping, "Don't worry. You won't feel so bad next week, " I said just as cheerily, "I don't feel bad now, as it's never been my intention to compete"--which was the truth.

However, what happened in the ring didn't bother me nearly so much as what happened outside the ring. One dog had to be put in his crate early on because he kept barking assertively at the other dogs, who weren't even moving in his direction. It could have been he was just afraid, but he was a good deal larger than my dog, which didn't make me feel terribly comfortable. Another very large dog attempted to jump up on the registration table. A small dog slipped its leash and ran about without its owner getting up to go after it or even calling it. The instructor finally caught it but also without attempting to call it first. Yet another large dog exhibited the worst case of separation anxiety I've ever seen and carried on for a good twenty minutes because its owner/handler, while still in plain sight, was not directly by her side as the owner/handler was with the rest of us, being walked through the course. Personally, I couldn't concentrate on what the instructor was saying because of the racket that dog was making, and I was constantly having to look over my shoulder because I didn't like how close she was to my dog (who just sat there quietly and watched me--his leash was being held by someone else, as was that of the hysterical dog). I had just met that dog, and I had no idea what it would do as it got more and more upset. All of that--the loose dog, the severe separation anxiety etc.--elicited no response at all from the instructor, who seemed concerned only with what happened in the ring (and frankly, I thought that some people in the ring had what I would consider a tight lead, though the "helpful" couple tried to tell me that I should give my dog no more than two feet of my six foot lead, which is exactly the opposite of what happens on a TDI test--two feet of lead would get you failed then).

I've already paid for the class and there are no refunds unless the dog or handler are unable to complete the course due to illness etc. Since I teach myself, I understand that one class does not a course make, so I'm willing to go back this week to give it a second chance, but is it unreasonable to consider quitting if things don't go better? I don't want to expose my dog or myself to dogs whose behavior I question outside of the ring, and I don't want to send my dog mixed messages about what is important (eg. it's suddenly wrong to sit and stay when I stop, even though in the past that's been praiseworthy--and even though it's quite helpful in therapy work). I enjoy therapy work and so does my dog, and we've been quite successful at it, so I'm concerned about jeopardizing that. I know some dogs who do both competitive sports and therapy work successfully, but I'm not sure I would have the time or money to do both (there aren't a lot of shows in this area, so I'd probably have to travel if I really wanted to compete), and if I had to choose, I'd not even hesitate to choose therapy work. And I really just cannot bring myself to overlook poor behavior outside the ring in favor of points inside it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
574 Posts
Yes. It is perfectly fine to quit a class whenever you want. As far as having your dog perform the Rally course "exactly" like it is posted, you can talk to the instructor. Tell him you have no desire to compete, that your dog is a therapy dog and that you already have strict criteria trained that you are finding some of the Rally signs will deteriorate. Explain that you will not be doing those signs that go against your trained criteria exactly as posted because you are there just for the experience.

He should let you go with that and lighten up on the criticism knowing you aren't there to compete.

As for the other issues you mentioned, it is common for there to be a bit of chaos in any new dog training class, but the chaos should be safe. A dog jumping on the registration table is nothing. Remember, your training "musts" on a dog and my training "musts" on a dog may differ. (I personally let my dogs jump up to look what is on tables as long as they don't take something off of the table. It's just not a big deal to me.) However the safety issues are a big deal. Any dog lunging and barking aggressively is a concern. Loose dogs will also happen, but they should be quickly corralled and returned to the owner. I will and have "quit" dog training classes before because of issues with safety and poor class management.

I hope your next session goes better. If you wind up being uncomfortable after the next session, there is no reason to continue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I think I should have been clearer--the large dog didn't just try to see what was on the table; she made a credible try at landing on top of the table. While I didn't find that as alarming as the dog who barked at the other dogs in a way that didn't sound particularly friendly (and to that owner's credit, after it happened three times, she did crate her), I was startled that it didn't seem as important that a dog wanted to jump on top of a table or that one of the dogs seemed reactive or that one of them had a major emotional breakdown because her owner was within sight but not directly next to her as it was that my dog sat down when I stopped to read a sign. In the last two cases, I actually felt sorry for the dogs to some degree because they seemed so uncomfortable and particularly in the case of the dog with severe separation anxiety, that the trainer wasn't suggesting anything that could be done for her and that the rest of us were supposed to act as if it wasn't a huge distraction (and I was not the only one turning around checking on his/her own dog's reaction to, or proximity to, that behavior). Some of the other dogs also started whining, whether out of their own anxiety or their concern about the dog who was crying/straining at her leash/whining/barking as if her personal world was dissolving beneath her paws, I have no idea. Mine successfully ignored it, but I wouldn't want to put him through it on a weekly basis because it can't have been pleasant for him to listen to that, as he was even closer to it than I was. I also don't want him to get the idea that it's okay to behave like that, given that the person holding that dog's leash started stuffing the dog's mouth with treats to distract it/shut it up, which not only didn't work but essentially rewarded it for barking (and my dog definitely noticed that).

I also thought that since this was an Intro to Rally course that I'd be getting more actual instruction in how to do the various exercises and less instruction on the very first day of, say, how armbands should be worn in the ring. I understand that running a full course is important when you're training for a competition, but it would be nice to have an opportunity to have instruction in, and time to practice, the fifteen signs that can even be used in novice before having to run an entire course--and the class is six weeks long, so even if we only did five signs a week, we'd still have three weeks to practice full courses, and realistically, some of the signs aren't as difficult as others (e.g. none of the dogs had trouble sitting when told to do so), so it might be able to do more than five signs a class period. Perhaps part of the problem is that I do teach for a living and that some things like time management, student engagement etc. just work no matter what you're trying to teach, and it's frustrating not to see them being using effectively. The class ran thirty minutes longer than it was supposed to, for instance, and still none of the dogs got to do anything more than run one course once--and when I had a question on how to do an exercise, it was brushed off to "we'll deal with that next week because it's late," but we did have time to hear all about competition rules, which easily could have been covered in a later class, when we might have had some idea whether we were feeling as if we wanted to compete or not. Again, we were given all kinds of instructions on how to look up rules and what apps existed for rally rules, but when I asked whether the instructor could recommend any rally instructional videos that were good that I might be able to watch on-line, he said he couldn't recommend any. The next day, I looked on-line at the AKC site's rally videos of each exercise and found a set of clear, simple instructions on front-swing finish-right, and I had my dog doing it within, maybe, ten minutes at most. But if I hadn't done that, I would feel even more frustrated than I do right now. It also helped that today I saw a number of videos with people using what I would consider a normal loose lead and doing rally, so I know the "helpful" couple who felt the need to tell me I was giving my dog way too much lead weren't necessarily right. If they say anything to me again, I'll tell them that my dog isn't comfortable on such a tight lead and is more responsive on a looser lead because of his prior therapy dog training--which is the truth--and remind them that I am there to keep my dog in training and strengthen my bond with him and that he will alway be primarily a therapy dog rather than a rally competitor because that's what he and I enjoy doing the most--and that's also true. I have a phone full of photos of my dog making people happy on therapy visits, and I'm every bit as proud about them as they are about all the titles their dogs have won. For that matter, if titles were a big deal to me, he can earn them as a therapy dog too.

I should add that the person who had the dog with the severe separation anxiety asked me if I had any ideas as to what she could do to help her dog with that, since my dog didn't fuss while I was in the ring without him, and I suggested to her that she needed to try separating from her in short increments of time and rewarding her when she could be quiet while she was away from her but within sight for those short time periods and then eventually, slowly lengthen those periods of time. I also told her that since her dog got that easily and thoroughly upset when she was away from her, that the fact that she was left for so long in a strange place with other dogs she didn't know around her could well have made the situation worse for her and led to her extreme discomfort. But I didn't feel like I was the one who should have been dispensing advice in a class I wasn't running (though actually she asked me after class), and I'm not a dog trainer. I've never even had a dog who freaked out that badly about separation, particularly not with me within eyesight nor did I have any idea what might be behind that dog's extreme separation anxiety (e.g. she's rarely left alone; she had some kind of trauma in her past that makes her freak out easily etc.). It's just beyond me that the actual instructor had the time to tell her he didn't allow flip flops in his classes (which I agree makes sense) but didn't ask her whether her dog usually had those kinds of problems with separation and whether she'd like some advice about how to make the dog more comfortable in class when she had to be apart from her. I've had dogs with odd issues before myself, so I could sympathize with the woman to some extent, but I also couldn't help wondering if maybe the dog wasn't quite ready to be in a class that involved something that obviously upset her so greatly and that maybe time should be spent on getting that issue handled before taking on something like rally. When she asked about getting into therapy work, I did tell her, as kindly as possible, that part of the test did involve a separation exercise where she'd have to leave her dog with a friendly stranger and be out of the dog's sight for three minutes, during which time the dog could not fuss about her absence--and that's when she started asking for advice. I also pointed out to her that that's never been a huge problem for my dog or any of my previous dogs, so I couldn't give her a game plan that I'd actually had to follow myself, and all I had were some basic suggestions in that area.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
Yes. I took a reactive dog class, same deal, no refunds, and stuck it through while the 'in-class' behaviour of my dog went from pretty good to really crappy. I was trying to convince myself that the money was well spent, lots of creative thinking went into that stupidity. Now I need to 'undo' what he learned there.
Enough about me.
You can decide for yourself how much unpleasantness you want to put up with, but keep an eye on your dog, how much stress is being passed along, is any of this mayhem upsetting him, can you simply not do exercises he isn't ready for (fudge it, or deliberately do an alternative behaviour in place and let the trainer make of it what he will), and is your dog safe. Since the posturing dog was crated maybe yes to the latter, but your dog needs to feel safe also.
I wouldn't like the class you describe for a whole bunch of reasons, but I'm the one who stuck it out in a bad class for a whole four sessions just because I was too cheap to quit.
Try talking to the trainer, a friendly chat with a positive spin (before your next class) setting some boundaries. Don't ask him to change his format, just let him know that you will pass on exercises you haven't trained for. But if the class is not safe (re: uncontrolled dogs) or upsetting your dog in other ways (too much aggressive posturing) then it's a tough call. Getting other people to change (the trainer or other participants) is not very likely.

Edit: just did a closer read about the dog with the separation anxiety. Sorry, trainer is an idiot. Trainer should not have made that person put her dog through that, ugh... so now run, don't walk, unless you have a very thick skin and control the situations you'll run into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Go to the next class if you still do not feel comfortable with the instructor or the class drop out.
That was/is my plan, though it grates on me, as I hate to call the money I invested in the class a loss, and I've never actually dropped out of any class in anything in my life, and even though I know it wouldn't be, it feels like a sort of failure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
I've quit a general training class before. The trainer was new and was thrown into her job as the previous trainer had up and quit without any notice. I got into the class for free because of where I work but my only real issue with it was that the things she was teaching was so basic it felt like more of a beginner puppy class then anything else. Once I looked at the curriculum and saw that Bandit already knew (Or I didn't care to have him learn) all of the things she was going to teach. I didn't go back. I would have done the same even if I had paid for the class.

But IMO it doesn't sound like you'll ever be comfortable in that situation (rightly so) and I wouldn't stay because its not worth putting yourself or your dog in any risk of danger when things aren't being managed correctly. However I wouldn't give up on your money without a fight! The less classes you've been to the easier it will be to get a refund and I'd bring up everything you told us to the trainer when you ask for one. Bring up that your dog is a therapy dog and some of the things would be confusing, bring up the poor management of the reactive or stressed dogs, bring up the fact that you thought this was a beginners class and you were pretty much thrown into running the course. Most of the time a business would rather give you your money back and hope that you don't bad mouth them then risk upsetting someone would could post reviews or talk to others and end up pushing potential clientele away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
That was/is my plan, though it grates on me, as I hate to call the money I invested in the class a loss, and I've never actually dropped out of any class in anything in my life, and even though I know it wouldn't be, it feels like a sort of failure.
That's exactly how I felt, and why I stayed. I did Sonic no favours, or myself, for that matter. So if you must quit, think of it as courage. I do hope it works out much better than that for you, though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sha

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
That's really sad. :( I almost feel like he's wrecked Rally for you. When I took my Intro class, we worked on maybe 3 (mayyyybe 4 if the signs were easy) signs per week, and the instructors were really nice and supportive.

I am in an agility class, and it is awful. The trainers suck, they are super mean to their dogs, and their techniques are brutal and outdated. I'm lucky that Levi loves the equipment, so we pretty much just do our own thing and ignore the trainers. If Levi wasn't as confident, or it was going to make him lose his zeal for agility/obedience, I would have been outta there in a heartbeat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Artdog

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yes. I took a reactive dog class, same deal, no refunds, and stuck it through while the 'in-class' behaviour of my dog went from pretty good to really crappy. I was trying to convince myself that the money was well spent, lots of creative thinking went into that stupidity. Now I need to 'undo' what he learned there.
Enough about me.
You can decide for yourself how much unpleasantness you want to put up with, but keep an eye on your dog, how much stress is being passed along, is any of this mayhem upsetting him, can you simply not do exercises he isn't ready for (fudge it, or deliberately do an alternative behaviour in place and let the trainer make of it what he will), and is your dog safe. Since the posturing dog was crated maybe yes to the latter, but your dog needs to feel safe also.
I wouldn't like the class you describe for a whole bunch of reasons, but I'm the one who stuck it out in a bad class for a whole four sessions just because I was too cheap to quit.
Try talking to the trainer, a friendly chat with a positive spin (before your next class) setting some boundaries. Don't ask him to change his format, just let him know that you will pass on exercises you haven't trained for. But if the class is not safe (re: uncontrolled dogs) or upsetting your dog in other ways (too much aggressive posturing) then it's a tough call. Getting other people to change (the trainer or other participants) is not very likely.

Edit: just did a closer read about the dog with the separation anxiety. Sorry, trainer is an idiot. Trainer should not have made that person put her dog through that, ugh... so now run, don't walk, unless you have a very thick skin and control the situations you'll run into.
The trainer did not come off as someone who was all that accomplished at communication (at least with humans--his dog behaved very nicely and seemed quite attentive to, and comfortable with, him). When I asked for help, I was just told there wasn't time that night and when I asked for other sources of information on rally (e.g. the possibility of watching on-line videos for additional help on what the exercises should look like when properly done--not that he didn't do them with his dog, but it's hard to remember everything when you go through a full course of ten to fifteen signs and reviewing is always helpful), he could only recommend obedience trainers, about whom I already knew. I kind of got the impression that he may have taught more obedience than rally courses. I definitely sensed no particular training in being a teacher of any kind and that maybe teaching is not something to which he is naturally drawn (nothing wrong with that but it doesn't make for the best class). He did say we'd go over finishes this week, but even that made me feel like kind of a dolt, since obviously my dog couldn't do the finish we were expected to do (simply because I'd never trained it) while others who had taken "his" obedience course could, so they'd be wasting their time so that remedial me could catch up (I did take an obedience course elsewhere as that was more convenient time-wise for me, as in they were not offering obedience when I went looking for a course, and my dog does know an about finish, just not a swing finish--and he's used to sitting at the end of a finish, as that's what I was taught). I really have taken basic obedience courses with all the dogs I've had as an adult, and even the dog I had as a child, in a town where obedience classes weren't, at that time, available, I trained with a book my uncle, who was a vet, gave me. They've all known various useless but amusing tricks too. It's not like I don't know how to work with a dog, but if I can't teach one something I don't know anything about myself--and I'd rather have my dog on an imperfect loose lead heel than on a perfect tight lead, which so far as I can tell on-line, would also be a deduction.

I actually did inquire ahead of time of the contact for the club through which the class is given if my dog was reasonably qualified to enter the class--he has his TDI certificate, a CGC, a CGCA, and he's completed an Adult II Obedience class elsewhere (because he already knew the basics that would have been taught in Adult I). He's also worked as a TDI dog since August of 2013. I was clear, too, that I did not intend to compete, and though the contact thought everyone else in the class would probably want to compete (not true--the woman with the separation anxiety dog told me that was not her intention), I was told it was okay if I just wanted to take the course for the reasons I stated. I also didn't say this, but my TDI chapter members were encouraged to support the club in whatever ways we could, because they provided us with a space to hold our four week course and administer the TDI test. So, really, I was trying to do right by my dog, in terms of keeping him learning and training, and support a group that was helping out our organization.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
That's really sad. :( I almost feel like he's wrecked Rally for you. When I took my Intro class, we worked on maybe 3 (mayyyybe 4 if the signs were easy) signs per week, and the instructors were really nice and supportive.

I am in an agility class, and it is awful. The trainers suck, they are super mean to their dogs, and their techniques are brutal and outdated. I'm lucky that Levi loves the equipment, so we pretty much just do our own thing and ignore the trainers. If Levi wasn't as confident, or it was going to make him lose his zeal for agility/obedience, I would have been outta there in a heartbeat.
Yes, Rally should be fun.
Shandula, hopefully in your awful class those other students will learn from your example. For the sake of their dogs, I hope so--that just sounds sad. I am glad you are able to make it work for you and your Levi. Great stuff!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I've quit a general training class before. The trainer was new and was thrown into her job as the previous trainer had up and quit without any notice. I got into the class for free because of where I work but my only real issue with it was that the things she was teaching was so basic it felt like more of a beginner puppy class then anything else. Once I looked at the curriculum and saw that Bandit already knew (Or I didn't care to have him learn) all of the things she was going to teach. I didn't go back. I would have done the same even if I had paid for the class.

But IMO it doesn't sound like you'll ever be comfortable in that situation (rightly so) and I wouldn't stay because its not worth putting yourself or your dog in any risk of danger when things aren't being managed correctly. However I wouldn't give up on your money without a fight! The less classes you've been to the easier it will be to get a refund and I'd bring up everything you told us to the trainer when you ask for one. Bring up that your dog is a therapy dog and some of the things would be confusing, bring up the poor management of the reactive or stressed dogs, bring up the fact that you thought this was a beginners class and you were pretty much thrown into running the course. Most of the time a business would rather give you your money back and hope that you don't bad mouth them then risk upsetting someone would could post reviews or talk to others and end up pushing potential clientele away.
It's not a business. It's a club--and not one of which I am a member, so I had to pay an additional $20 to take the course over the member rate. I don't really want to get into anything with them, as they also provide space for TDI's four week class and all day test three times a year. I was advised by one of their members to let the person in charge of classes know what happened on the first day, however. I may do that if the second class isn't much better than the first; I'm willing to give someone a second chance, but I'd be wary of a third, more because of how upsetting I find the class than how bothered my dog is by it, unless he shows reluctance when we get there this week. The only time he seemed frustrated was when I tried to get him to do the swing finish and he had no idea what I was asking him to do and I couldn't show him (well, then and when he saw the barking dog getting fed treats while he wasn't getting anything--he did seem a bit put out about that). In general, however, he does the canine equivalent of rolling his eyes when he's around dogs who seem untrained--especially if, say, they're told to do something he knows how to do, he does it and they don't. He looks at them like he doesn't get why they wouldn't, when doing so would get them attention, a treat, or whatever's being offered as a payoff at that moment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
439 Posts
It's not a business. It's a club--and not one of which I am a member, so I had to pay an additional $20 to take the course over the member rate. I don't really want to get into anything with them, as they also provide space for TDI's four week class and all day test three times a year. I was advised by one of their members to let the person in charge of classes know what happened on the first day, however. I may do that if the second class isn't much better than the first; I'm willing to give someone a second chance, but I'd be wary of a third, more because of how upsetting I find the class than how bothered my dog is by it, unless he shows reluctance when we get there this week. The only time he seemed frustrated was when I tried to get him to do the swing finish and he had no idea what I was asking him to do and I couldn't show him (well, then and when he saw the barking dog getting fed treats while he wasn't getting anything--he did seem a bit put out about that). In general, however, he does the canine equivalent of rolling his eyes when he's around dogs who seem untrained--especially if, say, they're told to do something he knows how to do, he does it and they don't. He looks at them like he doesn't get why they wouldn't, when doing so would get them attention, a treat, or whatever's being offered as a payoff at that moment.


That makes sense. I didn't realize (or maybe I missed it when I was reading lol) that you had connections with the club. And to be honest I don't have much experience with clubs like this in general, so my post may have been a little naive or misinformed. If you do decide to leave and you don't want to cause waves, I would just fall back on the therapy dog training and use the reasoning that you don't want to confuse that. Anyways, I really hopes this works out for you, no matter what you decide to do. :huddle:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
That's really sad. :( I almost feel like he's wrecked Rally for you. When I took my Intro class, we worked on maybe 3 (mayyyybe 4 if the signs were easy) signs per week, and the instructors were really nice and supportive.

I am in an agility class, and it is awful. The trainers suck, they are super mean to their dogs, and their techniques are brutal and outdated. I'm lucky that Levi loves the equipment, so we pretty much just do our own thing and ignore the trainers. If Levi wasn't as confident, or it was going to make him lose his zeal for agility/obedience, I would have been outta there in a heartbeat.
He pretty much has. As I said, competing was never my goal in taking the course, but I suppose if rally had been a lot of fun, I might have reconsidered competing at least at the few local shows (one or two a year here) without worrying about whether I ever got a title or not, provided it didn't turn out to be a huge additional expense to do so and that the timing of the shows worked with my work schedule. But the first class solidified my opinion that I would not be competing if it meant having my dog on what I felt was an uncomfortably short lead for him and dealing with situations where it only mattered how a dog performed in the ring (and I have been at local shows where the dogs weren't a mess outside the ring, so I couldn't figure out why that wasn't being addressed). My dog doesn't need that kind of stress, and I sure don't. Everything I had read and heard about rally indicted that it was more low key than traditional obedience and/or agility. The AKC site even advertises it as a good way to get a reasonably well behaved household pet involved in a dog sport. Instead, I felt like some of the people there were auditioning for a remake of Best in Show and not for the role of Harlan Pepper.

BTW, what is a qualifying score in rally? I kept seeing the figure 70 when I checked out rally on-line, just to see if was a good fit for me and my dog, and the trainer kept saying 75. When I went back on-line for information on front swing finish, I saw the number 70 come up again (I wasn't looking for it--it was just there). Then I got curious and kept checking. Every site I saw said 70. Has it changed to 75 recently or something because he said repeatedly that it was 75. As I don't intend to compete, it's not a pressing issue for me--I'm just curious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
That makes sense. I didn't realize (or maybe I missed it when I was reading lol) that you had connections with the club. And to be honest I don't have much experience with clubs like this in general, so my post may have been a little naive or misinformed. If you do decide to leave and you don't want to cause waves, I would just fall back on the therapy dog training and use the reasoning that you don't want to confuse that. Anyways, I really hopes this works out for you, no matter what you decide to do. :huddle:
If it doesn't work out, I'm going to try and look at it as my way of supporting the group, as we were advised to do--instead of taking the class, I just made a monetary donation to the group that was worth the cost of the class. Sadly, I didn't have a great experience a decade or so ago with this group either--the class was way too big for a beginner's class, and there was considerable snottiness displayed toward me and my dog by some people because he was a rescued mix and not a purebred--but I wanted to believe that attitudes had changed and that I shouldn't judge the current folks in charge by my experience then. But right now, I'm not encouraged to take another class there ever, despite the fact that I know some very good handlers who are active in the group. I wish I could take classes from some of them, but alas, the only one who's teaching there is teaching basic obedience for the household pet, the ultimate goal of which is earnng a CGC, which my dog already has.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
BTW, what is a qualifying score in rally? I kept seeing the figure 70 when I checked out rally on-line, just to see if was a good fit for me and my dog, and the trainer kept saying 75. When I went back on-line for information on front swing finish, I saw the number 70 come up again (I wasn't looking for it--it was just there). Then I got curious and kept checking. Every site I saw said 70. Has it changed to 75 recently or something because he said repeatedly that it was 75. As I don't intend to compete, it's not a pressing issue for me--I'm just curious.
For CARO, which is the Canadian Rally, it is 170, with a perfect score being 200. So I would assume in the US, the qualifying score would probably be 70, and a perfect score 100?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
For CARO, which is the Canadian Rally, it is 170, with a perfect score being 200. So I would assume in the US, the qualifying score would probably be 70, and a perfect score 100?
Yes, a perfect score would be 100 in the U.S., so far as I know. I haven't seen anything or heard anything that would indicate anything else. I was just confused because the trainer was saying 75, and I keep seeing 70 in on-line versions of the AKC rally rules, including the most recent one I can find, which, if I remember right, was from either fall 2015 or fall 2014.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
That was/is my plan, though it grates on me, as I hate to call the money I invested in the class a loss, and I've never actually dropped out of any class in anything in my life, and even though I know it wouldn't be, it feels like a sort of failure.
Do not ever feel like you are a failure! Being knowledgeable enough to know that a class is not a fit for your dog or you is proof of you learning ability. May I suggest that if you choose to take a different class for fun and learning ask if you can sit in on a class to observe first. When I decided to try my hand at rally I paid for a training clinic and went without my dog. I wanted to learn what I needed to know prior to taking my dogs. I figured if I had an idea what I was doing it would help me convey that information to my dogs. The instructor who held the clinic was also a judge. She said that she wished more people would think that way. It did help me once we started classes. I had basic knowledge and didn't feel like I had two left feet!
One more thing most clubs appreciate feedback from students. There should be a training director. I would contact the director and let him/her know that there were issues with the class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
641 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of options for training past basic obedience and puppy classes in this area. The one other place that came strongly recommended (as did this club, as a matter of fact) has a trick class I was interested in, as my dog seems pretty quick to pick up on tricks and it's something that, say, people in nursing homes enjoy having dogs do when they visit, so it would be a good fit with his therapy work. Unfortunately, they never e-mailed a response to my inquiry, so I don't know what's going on there. In fact, that's kind of how I ended up in the rally class in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
And, the cast of the Doggie Wedding:

Amber Star ( Yorkie) Minister
Heidi (Golden Retriever) Bride
Russell (Westie) Groom
Sara (Collie) Ring Bearer
Tiffany (Yorkie) Flower Girl
Crystal (Samoyed) Bridesmaid
Lora (Beagle Mix) Bridesmaid
Mira (Aussie) Bridesmaid
Margo (Aussie) Bridesmaid
Emerald (Aussie) Bridesmaid

http://www.keystonecanine.com/K9ers/Support Files for K9ers/Pictures6-24-13/9087960240_0cd24a3e62_o.jpg



Here is a portion of their photo album.
Awww a tricks class would be so much fun! The club I belong to has a group caleec the K9ers who perform drills and tricks to music for the seniors in nursing homes. The favorite of the seniors is the doggie weddings.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top