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 Post subject: Star Mark Collar & New Training Program
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Location: Frederick, MD
I am looking for thoughts.....

I recently cancelled my PetSmart training for my puppy and talked to my vet and got a recommendation for a good obedience trainer. They gave me the name of someone in my area that has a realyl good reputation and whom they like: www.canineobedience.com . We start Saturday. ROcky can go until he's 20 weeks old for $150. They offer a lifetime training program for $500 and that covers training for the life of the dog. I can go to class 4x week, or 1x per month. Its up to me. They say they are a positive trainer, not negative. Although they have the Starmark collars on their website, which is supposedly intended to feel like mama dog picking up the pupper. My vet also said they use a kind of collar that has setting for "tapping" or what feels like "tapping" if the dog requires it. My vet said she put a collar on her arm and the trainer turned it on the highest setting and she could barely feel the tapping. She said they wouldn't use settign 9 (highest), but she wanted to know what her dogs (in the practice) would feel. I think they are two separate collars. THe tapping one and the starmark one. Here's my question...do I have to use them? I don't like those kinds of things. I am not even a swatter of my kids fannies, let alone putting a collar on pupper that could scruff or tap him. And my other question is...is a lifetiem of obedience training for $500 a good thing?

Oh, they also offer agility classes there too which I thought was cool. Eventually I think I would like to put him in them to get his wiggles out.


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 Post subject: Re: Star Mark Collar & New Training Program
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:55 pm 
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If the trainer is good, if he/she is not planning on retiring soon, and if this includes agility classes -- then $500.00 for lifetime of training is a great deal.

If your vet likes the program that is a positive.

I know someone in MD and will see if she is familiar with this organization.

Colleen


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 Post subject: Re: Star Mark Collar & New Training Program
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Hi Colleen, thank you for checking for me. I appreciate it.

The $500 does not include agility. Agility is separate and according to the website agility classes are $100 per month. The $500 is just for obedience for life.


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 Post subject: Re: Star Mark Collar & New Training Program
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:31 pm 
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I use Catoctin Kennel Club in Point of Rocks for conformation training. I know they have an obedience session beginning soon as well. You can google them to find their website.

They also offer Rally classes.

I am not familiar with canineobedience.com. It looks like they run out of the emergency clinic in Urbana? If you want, I can ask the trainer at my vet for a reference; I am sure she would know who they are. You can send me a PM and let me know.

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Jackie

Rocky (7/18/02), Onyx (10/2/10), Misty (8/15/11), and Ethan (10/20/11)
Weesister (7/18/02-7/22/10) and Killington (10/85-2/02)waiting at the bridge


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 Post subject: Re: Star Mark Collar & New Training Program
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:06 pm 
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I wouldn't pay $500 for lifetime training UNTIL I tried it out, but that's just me. I would prefer to pay as you go even if it costs me more. The trainer could leave/move, change their training style, in a way that you wouldn't approve, or many other possibles. Surely they offer pay as you go, like so many sessions for so this much. If not that alone would make me skeptical. IF you love them you could pay the lifetime fee later. Surely that would be allowed. Of course, if they closed the business you'd still be out the $500 good or not.

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Abby (B&W) 3/25/09
Ava (B&T) 3/25/09


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 Post subject: Re: Star Mark Collar & New Training Program
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:04 am 
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If the $500 covers the different levels of training it may be worth it, but once you have the general skills down yourself, you can make them part of your routine for your dog. My dogs have all gone through basic, intermediate, and advance courses and it didn't cost me that much per dog.

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Deborah in South Carolina

Hannah-black/white, 06/01/02
Tonka-black/tan, 04/24/13
Roxi-Boston terrier, 05/28/2007 (grand dog)

Tucker-blue roan and tan, 10/24/02-02/12/13 (rest in peace sweet boy)

"Cockers make my heart smile."


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 Post subject: Re: Star Mark Collar & New Training Program
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:41 am 
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The biggest determent for me would be if you are required to use their collar! I would seriously question any program that is based upon a mechanical correction device. I would ask if you eventually phase it out or if the dog needs it lifetime? Or even better if you can train without the use of the collar. If their program doesn't work without the collar then I would question their methods. (even food based methods should teach how to phase out the treat as the reward)

The next thing that popped into my mind is I'd want to watch! I'd call and ask if you can observe several classes before paying. I'd go without my dog and watch different instructors and different levels of classes. IF I was impressed with the quality and knowledge of the instructors and IF it were a good positive training experience and IF you are willing to follow through and be consistent about going THEN frankly $500 is a great price! Heck even if it were $500 a year it would have been bargain for me! Just to give you a point of reference.... I pay $85 -$90 per class for Chessie. (classes are 8 weeks long) I'm going to list the classes I took with Chessie in the first year... starting at 4 months old... you add it up. Several I took multiple times not because we didn't pass... but simply because of timing of classes (I wanted to keep her in a class without a long break) or because we had so much fun I wanted to do it again! Some of these took us to just after her first birthday but you can see that if you want to ... you can definitely get your money's worth.

Puppy I
Puppy II
Puppy II
Foundation skills I
Foundation skills I
Foundation skills II
Performance puppy
Performance puppy
Focus

The average person isn't going to want to invest this much time or money into training their dog. My goal is to have Chessie in some sort of performance competition. So I've done everything I can to keep her mind and body in training. If either of us were not enjoying it... I'd quit. But I love being in class and Chessie flies for the door when I tell her it's time to go to class! :happy

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Lisa R

Chesapeake OA, OAJ (CGC)
4/20/10

Competing in Excellent Agility ...
JWW ~ 1 of 3 Q's
STD ~ 1 of 3 Q's


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 Post subject: Re: Star Mark Collar & New Training Program
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:40 am 
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Guess it is according to where you live. I paid $70/class for each of my dogs by the Charleston Kennel Club classes. When I put them both in the same level, I received a discount and it was only $50 a piece for 8 week sessions.

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Deborah in South Carolina

Hannah-black/white, 06/01/02
Tonka-black/tan, 04/24/13
Roxi-Boston terrier, 05/28/2007 (grand dog)

Tucker-blue roan and tan, 10/24/02-02/12/13 (rest in peace sweet boy)

"Cockers make my heart smile."


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 Post subject: Re: Star Mark Collar & New Training Program
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:17 am 
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Location: Frederick, MD
We went yesterday at 9AM and was hoping to start the class, but since we hadn't had an introduction to the program he suggested we not participate in the class and come back at 1PM for an separate introuductoy meeting to review the program, etc. So we did. While we waiting before the 9AM class I was encouraged to see a little 4 month old tan American Cocker enter the class. It was cute to see my cocker and her cocker stare at each nose to nose. Its like they knew they each were cockers but were trying to figure out why one has less hair than the other. The instructor used to be a Petsmart instructor and then decided that he didn't want to be there, nor did he want to be a vet, but wanted to be an expert on dog training and behavior so he went to school and to a training program to be a canine instructor. They use all sorts of reinforcement, but are big into postive reinforcement. They don't do anything to hurt the puppers, but he explained that I likely don't raise my kid completely positive and that if my son acts incorrectly, I am likely firm with him, so a dog should not be any different, especially so they don't get a complex and rule the roost with agression. He's owned his business for the past 7 years and runs it out of a very nice veterinary center and boarding place. I wanted to vacation at this pet resort. The cat room alone rocked. They even have their own crematorium on site (odd to me, but I guess they have to be somewhere).

Anyway, we are going to start the class next saturday. We'll see how it goes. I didn't see any puppies with any collars or harsh things. It might very well be something they introduce as they get older. The puppy class is for puppies up to age 5 months. Rocky is 14 weeks, so he's almost at that cutoff. At 5 months, he goes from puppy class to regular obedience class.


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 Post subject: Re: Star Mark Collar & New Training Program
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:00 am 
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Have a fun time. Obedience is always a great way to bond with the dog.

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Deborah in South Carolina

Hannah-black/white, 06/01/02
Tonka-black/tan, 04/24/13
Roxi-Boston terrier, 05/28/2007 (grand dog)

Tucker-blue roan and tan, 10/24/02-02/12/13 (rest in peace sweet boy)

"Cockers make my heart smile."


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