Here`s another great article:
My 5mo puppy is just about to wrap up puppy obedience 101, and I'm wondering what I should sign him up for next! The training facility I attend offers Puppy Obedience 102 and Puppy Agility/Tricks for those who've completed Puppy 101, but I can't decide which would be better (they're both pretty pricey, so in interest of time and budget I'd like to pick only one).
The pros of Puppy 102 is that it's much more important to me to have a well-behaved puppy/dog than it is to have a puppy that knows tricks. We'll be dealing with distractions, quicker responses, better leash walking, and tips for the teenage stage. At the end of class, the puppies will take the AKC Puppy STAR certification test. That said, the cons to this class is that I'm not sure what I'll be getting will be worth the price. While I certainly don't regret signing up for Puppy 101, the most valuable thing I got out of it was socialization for my pup – most of the class was discussion based with people asking the trainer for advice on how to handle common puppy problems, and I felt like I already knew a lot of what was being covered and we did a lot less actual practice in class than I was expecting. I'd rather not pay for a class that goes over what I'm already doing at home now. I also don't know if this class will provide enough mental and physical stimulation for my puppy – he's a standard poodle, so getting that mental exercise in is really important.
The pros of Agility/Tricks is that I'll for sure be learning things I can't do on my own – I have a hard time learning how to teach tricks from Youtube videos, so I'll definitely be getting my money's worth there. It'll also be a great way to get that mental and physical exercise in; right now, our training sessions are just going over very basic commands he already knows and I can tell he's getting bored with it (though he's still not great at 'leave it' and 'off' in real life scenarios). The cons is that like I said before, I'd much rather have a well mannered puppy than one that knows a bunch of tricks but can't greet people without jumping on them. Also I'm not sure if agility would be healthy for a 5mo puppy or if I should wait until he's older.
What do you guys recommend? For those who took the AKC puppy STAR test, did you do it on your own or take a class for it? Do you think a puppy 102 obedience class would be worth the price? Alternatively, for those of you who taught your puppy tricks on your own, what resources did you use and how easy were they to follow? Thanks so much guys!
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