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Agility class prices


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I was originally planning on signing Roxie up for an agility beginner class on Feb. 25...then I found out that 6 weeks of classes cost $135. It sounded like a bit much to me, even though that particular dog training place is the biggest, and probably the best, in New England (although it is 30 minutes away...) So I looked around and found another class in my town that starts end of March with 8 weeks of class for $135...well, at least it's more for my money (depending on the quality, but they seem like an okay place). Just wondering, do these prices seem a little steep to any of you who have taken agility/dog training classes?

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$135 for 6 weeks is high to me. Same price for an 8 week class is still a bit high but it does depend on some factors. Before signing up, I would ask what is the size limit of the class, how many instructors/helpers will be present. Ideal class size for just one instructor with no helpers would be 6-8, with a helper, 8-10. You don't want to be in a class that is so large that each dog/handler gets just one or two chances to work each class. Beginner classes here do cost a bit more than the next level but not by that much. $100 for an 8 week class is more reasonable to me.

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I'm not entirely sure with our club... but the way it works is this: you must have class 4 as a prerequisite for doing agility at our club (basically, being able to control your dog off-lead with other dogs around). So classes 5-7 do agility. Membership is about AU$60 I think for adults and $50 for students. That lasts the whole year. So when *yes when LOL* BK and I get to class 5 we can use the agility equipment for the same price as a normal obedience membership (even though by then I will have grey hair and BK will be too arthritic to do the jumps!!! At least he'll be settled down!!) :roll:

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I'm not sure how large the classes are...I'll email both of the training centers about it. I do know that for the Riverside training center (8week/$135), they allow a max of 10 dogs in the advanced class. But they don't mention a max for the beginner and intermediate classes. Also, each class is held by one instructor. At All Dogs Gym (6weeks/$135), i'm not sure if they have one or two instructors for each class or how many are in each class. But as I said, i'll email them!

If anyone is bored and wants to check out the two training centers i'm considering, go to:
[url]http://www.riversidek9.com[/url]
(this one's more local to me, and the cheaper of the two)

[url]http://www.alldogsgym.com[/url]
(click on dog sports)

Just look around and and give me your opinion of the quality of the classes. All Dogs Gym seems to have some very well qualified instructors, but they are also much bigger...which could mean I'd get less one on one time.

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That does seem very expensive to me. I've never done agility but assuming it is something you like and want to keep doing you aren't really going to want to stop at 6 weeks.

I have joined a dog training club to take Indy to obedience classes once a week. We pay $35 a year as membership and then $2 every time you go. I think this is very reasonable - hopefully you can find a club with a similar set up.

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Don't forget that it also depends on where you live. For example, I know that in Boston, people will spend A LOT of money on their children and their pets, so the costs are just set up pricier. If your class is in Massachusetts, Amherst, or Hollis (where a lot of wealthy people live), people would be willing to pay $135, so it's not considered pricey. If it's in Nashua or Hudson, it will be considered pricey. One class in Japan is about $70.

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well...$135 sounds a lot more reasonable when you compare it to $70 or $80 an hour! (ouch!) I guess it really depends on the area that you live in. For my area, it seems that $135 would be considered an average/fairly reasonable price.

Also, I just got an email back from the Riverside Dog Training Center. They have a 12 dog limit per class with two instructors per class. Sounds like you at least get a quality class with a fair amount of one on one attention. I've pretty much made the decision to sign up at Riverside for the end of March class. Can't wait for it to start! :D

Also, Malamum - I don't plan on stopping after 6 or 8 weeks! I'll probably go through the intermediate and advanced classes (hopefully the price won't go up for higher levels...) and then just continue practicing, hopefully competing in some fun agility trials (don't plan on getting serious..)

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Guest Anonymous

That sounds very high to me. But I guess it depends if you are gong to a trainer or a club(which is cheaper).
I think Petsmart is rediculouse they charge $85 for their basic obedience classes here and that only covers heel,sit,down.
Then if you want your dog to learn come,stay etc you have to pay another $85 for another class. In my opinon it should be included as it is all basic obedience. The other trainers here charge about $45-60 for an 8-10 week obedience course and it does cover all of those things and does get into some housbreaking issues.Yes .I know I said I do not train all of my dogs but I do train some of them and I have trained dogs in the past both through other trainers and I have trianed some myself.

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The quality of training you get at Petsmart really depends a lot on what each individual trainer is like. Roxie went through puppy class, beginner, intermediate, and advanced training classes at Petsmart. I thought their prices were a bit high...but other than that they weren't all that bad. They basically teach you how to teach your dog. They're definitely way better than a training manual as they do interact with the dogs...you don't just sit there the whole time. People each take turns practicing how to do something new in front of the class, then they break up and get some time each class to practice and consult the trainer if they need help. Then you practice at home for the week, and come back next week to review, ask the trainer if you are having problems, and learn something new. Just your average training class... Another plus, especially for puppies, is that your dog gets a chance to socialize a bit (although they aren't able to go off leash) Of course, I haven't taken any classes other than Petsmart classes *yet*, so I really don't have anything to compare to...

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I'm in the Atlanta area and classes at the agility club I train and teach at are $72 for a six week session, one class a week. Class size is held to 6 and every instructor has a helper. Private lessons at the same facility with one of the instructors are $40 per hour. This is the only non profit agility training center in Georgia but, the other training centers are pretty much in line with fees.

All of our instructors have titled dogs in agility. Many have masters titles and a few have MACHs. We also have one instructor who regularly competes on the national level....along with several others who are training with that goal in mind.

Of course, we also have Steve Frick in our area. He's a very gifted handler and a wonderful instructor. Since he competes successfully on an international level, his private lessons are much more expensive than the rest of the local club's "going rate". My club actually has Steve come several weekends a year to give seminars....just had one this past weekend. The club trys to book a wide variety of agility seminars throughout the year. In March we have Julie Daniels coming for two days.

When you look for a training club I think one thing that's important is to see that the instructors are actually successfully competing in agility and have advanced titles on their dogs. Yes, there are a few exceptions...folks who may be wonderful instructors but don't care to compete. Those folks are few and far between. If you don't compete it's difficult to "keep current" with what's happening in agility competition in the area and properly prepare students. If you don't compete you may not have had to cope with nerves, dogs shutting down and a host of other problems that students will look to you for help with.

I'm very happy with the club I train at. My instructors are able to challenge me and my dogs to improve ourselves. The offer interesting exercises and courses to run along with insightful feedback. I do occasoinally take a private lesson with one of the "superstars". I certainly couldn't afford to do that on a weekly basis but, as a supplement to regular training it works great. My club also appreciates me doing this.....sometimes I'll be able to bring up a new point for us to work on.

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