Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Class overload and other ramblings

As you may know, I've taken Grete to A LOT of classes. A LOT.

At Ahimsa, we have taken or are taking the following classes:
We did the intro puppy course. We went twice a week for 6 weeks. $199.
We did the intermediate puppy course. Once a week for 6 weeks. $195.
We did the advanced puppy course. Once a week for 6 weeks. $195.
We are currently in the field trip course. Once a week for 6 weeks. $125.

At Fun Quest Dog Sports, we are in the very beginning agility class. Once a week for 6 weeks. $185.

As you can see, group lessons in Seattle average over $30 per hour.

(As you can also see, I have a small addiction to my dog.)

The problem with Agility is that after you get to Agility 4, you need to go private. I have no idea what private lessons cost with my current instructor.

Another instructor who I've talked to advertises private lessons at $60 per hour. Her classes are cheaper, and so if I use their current rates as an estimate... My guess is that I'm looking at $75 per hour to continue with my current agility instructor.

That said...

I'm really starting to wonder if group classes are where it's at. Group classes have 6 students. If you simply get one or two other people interested in a private lesson, you can possibly pay less AND get more 1-1 attention.

While I do think that group lessons are useful because they provide distractions for the dog, what you're really, really paying for is someone to tell you when YOU mess up. It isn't about the dog. It's about the handler. Distractions come free in everyday life.

In my case, I'm also paying for the space and equipment. Equipment is a solvable problem. Space... I definitely need to find a better and bigger space to train.

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