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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question...what's the difference between training your dog an being trained to handle a dog? I talked to someone at a local obedience club and she was kind of rude and didn't really explain the difference. :smcry: I guess I kind of wanted to complain because she hurt my feelings being so rude when I was just asking a question that is probably very common for them. I wanted to get Dora into their intermediate class because she already knows everything in their basic manners class but she said i I would have to pass a handling evaluation and since I don't know what that is apparently I don't think I would pass. :smcry: And I asked about the basic classes but they are full until the end of April. So partly I wanted to complain about the rude lady but I also would like to know what the difference between training and handling is.
 

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April, have you trained with this obedience club in the past? And is the class you are interested in an intermediate good manners obedience class or an intermediate competition obedience class. Knowing basic good manners commands would mean that Dora is ready to progress to an intermediate good manners class but may not mean that she is ready for an intermediate competition obedience class. Having trained in competition obedience, if I went to a new training facility and the trainer wanted to evaluate my handling skills before allowing me to join the intermediate class I would know that what she's saying to me is that she wants to evaluate my relationship with my dog, my knowledge of the exercises that will be covered, and my skill at giving the commands for those exercises. An example would be the "sit" command. Telling a dog to sit in a good manners class is just that ... you say "sit" and your dog sits. Giving a "sit" command in an obedience class would be either saying "sit" or using the hand signal for "sit" which would be looking at your dog, not using your voice but instead raising your left hand, palm upturned, with your elbow bent at a 90-degre angle. Using either method of command, your dog is expected to sit on your left side within a couple of inches of your leg, its shoulder lined up with your leg, facing straight ahead and either looking straight ahead or up at you. Other commands that your dog should know for an intermediate obedience class are "heel", "down", "front", "finish", "over", etc.

All this should have been explained to you in a kind and informative way because that's how as novices we learn and that's how good teachers teach. I hope that this was just a miscommunication on the part of someone who assumed that you would have already known this ... an assumption she should not have made. If you are thinking you would like to take some competition obedience classes with Dora let us know. There are a number of SM members who do train and show in obedience and some great books out there to help you learn what it's all about.
 

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April, have you trained with this obedience club in the past? And is the class you are interested in an intermediate good manners obedience class or an intermediate competition obedience class. Knowing basic good manners commands would mean that Dora is ready to progress to an intermediate good manners class but may not mean that she is ready for an intermediate competition obedience class. Having trained in competition obedience, if I went to a new training facility and the trainer wanted to evaluate my handling skills before allowing me to join the intermediate class I would know that what she's saying to me is that she wants to evaluate my relationship with my dog, my knowledge of the exercises that will be covered, and my skill at giving the commands for those exercises. An example would be the "sit" command. Telling a dog to sit in a good manners class is just that ... you say "sit" and your dog sits. Giving a "sit" command in an obedience class would be either saying "sit" or using the hand signal for "sit" which would be looking at your dog, not using your voice but instead raising your left hand, palm upturned, with your elbow bent at a 90-degre angle. Using either method of command, your dog is expected to sit on your left side within a couple of inches of your leg, its shoulder lined up with your leg, facing straight ahead and either looking straight ahead or up at you. Other commands that your dog should know for an intermediate obedience class are "heel", "down", "front", "finish", "over", etc.

All this should have been explained to you in a kind and informative way because that's how as novices we learn and that's how good teachers teach. I hope that this was just a miscommunication on the part of someone who assumed that you would have already known this ... an assumption she should not have made. If you are thinking you would like to take some competition obedience classes with Dora let us know. There are a number of SM members who do train and show in obedience and some great books out there to help you learn what it's all about.
:goodpost: Mary - thanks so much for this explanation because just like April I'm pretty clueless about this. I've just been looking at obedience classes and trying to figure out the best way to go. The more info the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for explaining, Mary. I really appreciate it so much.

I was interested in improving Dora's manners and then maybe taking some agility classes, and th is the only place I know here that offers agility. But I don't really want to go through their basics class and betold we are doing everything wrong. For some reason this has really gotten to me and I am just very upset right now. I wanted to do something with Dora where she could learn and get some exercise and have fun but so far this is not it. :smcry:
 

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Thank you for explaining, Mary. I really appreciate it so much.

I was interested in improving Dora's manners and then maybe taking some agility classes, and th is the only place I know here that offers agility. But I don't really want to go through their basics class and betold we are doing everything wrong. For some reason this has really gotten to me and I am just very upset right now. I wanted to do something with Dora where she could learn and get some exercise and have fun but so far this is not it. :smcry:
Don't give up, April. Because you said it's an obedience club rather than a training center the "mindset" can be very different than a training center. A training center usually teaches all levels of good manners. Some also teach rally, obedience and agility both for fun and for competition. An obedience club is generally geared toward competition level classes, whether in rally, obedience, and/or agility. Keep working with Dora at home to perfect her good manners and keep in touch with the people at the obedience club to let them know you are serious about your desire to do great things with Dora. I know it's tough, but put on your "thick skin", don't let this woman get to you, see if there is anyone else there that you could talk to and ask if they could recommend a training center nearby so that you can progress with Dora to their level of acceptance for joining one of their classes.

The other alternative is to take their basics class. They might tell you that you are doing everything wrong but maybe not. And sometimes there is a better way to do something than the way we are currently doing it. In the end, while you may not like the trainer's methods, Dora doesn't know that. All she knows is that she and her mom are going someplace together, learning things, getting exercise and, best of all, getting praise and treats!

It stinks that people can be so unkind and worse that some don't even realize they are being unkind. It's in the dog world and in the whole world and sometimes we've just got to ignore the unkind aspects of life.
 

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April, please don't get discouraged. it can be so tough. Hunter wasn't allowed in our local class because he was very fearful of the other dogs and the trainer didn't want his behavior impacting the others. I was so discouraged but I sought out help from someone else and observed their classes and worked with Hunter at home. He has come along way through this method. You can do this you just have to figure out what's best for you and Dora!
 

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Alice -- some people are just very snotty and not helpful at all. Sounds like you got one of those when you called. The people that are into showing in obedience or agility can sometimes get "put out" with pet owners. It's not a good thing, because we all had to begin somewhere.

I started showing dogs because I wanted to do something fun with my fluffs. At the time I didn't understand the hard work and dedication it took and got my feelings hurt so many times along the way. But, I also got encouragement from some people.

Mostly I got an attitude of "I can do this just as well as you can", and wanted to show them that I could. Looking back, I think many may have wished that they had been nicer to me because then I probably wouldn't have stayed in the sport and beat them in the ring so often. LOL

Hang in there and you'll find the right group for you and Dora. I know that you just want to spend time with Dora and continue with her training. So many of us have this same desire. Hopefully you will find a training class that is just wonderful. :)
 

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Maybe this will be clear as mud LOL

The handler is the person handling the dog. This is basically the person being behind the steering wheel and the dog being the car they are driving. In competition obedience, there are all sorts of little details the handler must know to properly guide the dog through the routine (like can you use a hand signal, verbal, or both, where you stand in relation to a jump, etc.). We often call this handling skills. You will see this term even more so when you look at agility - you then use a handling system to move your dog around the course.
Many obedience clubs have a basic class that is geared towards the general public. All classes past that are geared towards competition obedience. As someone who does both obedience and agility, I highly recommend taking either
basic/level 1 and level 2 at a more generalize training facility
OR
basic and then a novice competition class (or pre-novice)
When we start in agility, the dog really needs to have the following things:
1. A reliable start line (so a stay which you release with a verbal cue)
2. A reliable recall (the dog must work off leash with other dogs and distractions and be easily called back to the owner)
3. Basic heeling (to get in and out of the ring without your dog blasting off)
4. value for food and toys (or a food pouch toy)
There are other basic skills you can begin at home, but I highly recommend having your dog at a level of recalling and heeling off lead in a class.
 

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I trained my Aussie, and handled him in the ring. Did that make sense?

I 100% agree you must have the basic commands for agility. Sit for the start line, sit or down for the table, come, in case he doesn't wanna play today and jumps the ring(been there)!.

Are there any other dog traing clubs in your area? Mine trains for all AKC and UKC events. Don't let that one woman stop you! It's too much fun!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the encouragement everybody. I called another training center and talked to them, but I was still nervous. :unsure: But the lady was much nicer and said she could set up an evaluation with a trainer for me to get into their intermediate manners class. She only asked about clicker training which I am familiar with so that made me feel like maybe this is more my style.

I am not sure if they do formal agility training though. They have classes that describe doing agility obstacles, but I am not sure if that would be enough training for me to compete in any kind of event. I would like to be able to enter a competition at some point. Not that I want to compete at a high level or anything, just go to an event and have fun and not get disqualified for doing something dumb. :blush: That is my long term goal right now for her (and me).

They do have classes which involve working towards and passing the Canine Good Citizen test, which is something I also want for Dora. So maybe we will work towards that for a short term goal and worry about agility later. :thumbsup:

Meanwhile, in the last few weeks we have trained Dora to stand on her hind legs and twirl in a circle, just for fun. It is so fun to watch her "dance!"
 

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Don't worry about doing something "dumb" in the agility ring, or any other ring! In the novice, or beginners, every one is just as nervous and jittery as you are. And if you do NQ, learn from it. I found the agility people to be the nicest ever. Always got "nice run, or better luck next time" from them.

But when your DOG wants a new handler, um, .

I wish I could still do it. That's why I don't have another Aussie. But there is no reason a Malt can't do it.

Dora should have an 8" jump. Is she over 1yo?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Don't worry about doing something "dumb" in the agility ring, or any other ring! In the novice, or beginners, every one is just as nervous and jittery as you are. And if you do NQ, learn from it. I found the agility people to be the nicest ever. Always got "nice run, or better luck next time" from them.

But when your DOG wants a new handler, um, .

I wish I could still do it. That's why I don't have another Aussie. But there is no reason a Malt can't do it.

Dora should have an 8" jump. Is she over 1yo?
Dora is 17 months old and I'm not sure exactly how high she can jump but she's made it onto our bed before which is at least 2 feet high. :blink: That was just a one time thing though. Dora is a big girl at 11 pounds and about 10.5" at the shoulder. Judging by what she can do around the house she would have no problem doing 8" jumps and can easily go higher.

We just got an evaluation scheduled with the not-rude training center for March 1. :) I don't know exactly what they will ask us to do but the test is to skip the " beginning family manners" class and go to intermediate manners. So I thought I would focus on sit, down, stay, take it, leave it, come, not jumping on people, and walking nicely on leash.
 

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The jump height is determined by the dogs height at the shoulder. 10" or less has an 8" jump. I used to change the rings at our trials.

The reason I asked her age, a dog under 1 yo is not fully developed and could be injured with all the jumping.

Good luck!
 
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