OAC-V, OJC-V, O-NGC-V, GV-N, HIC
Crouching Terrier aka Mixed Breed Adopted from Local Shelter
Emma and I started agility in 1999. We took group classes with Rainier Agility Team and Pritamo was one of the instructors at the time. I kept thinking to myself that I would figure out how to train her through the group classes and practicing at home. Well, Emma proved to be quite a training challenge. I had no previous dog training/competing experience and decided that if we really wanted to figure out this game we needed private lessons.
Pritamo has been a perfect fit for Emma and me. Emma is very independent and is easily bored with repetition. With Pritamo's help and creativity, we progressed more quickly than we had on our own. Pritamo is very understanding of our training issues and the goals I would like us to achieve. Now, Emma runs very consistently and quickly on course. We have a blast at trials! When I get my next agility dog, we will go straight to Pritamo for building a solid foundation for agility competition. Heck, I'll probably bring her with me to help pick the right dog!
(Emma's photo by Todd Coon)
OAC, OJC, OGC, OA, OAJ, CD
It's all Pritamo's fault! I casually responded to a friend's request to take a couple of semi-private lessons with a lady she had heard 'was pretty good at teaching agility'. We decided to see what our dogs would think of the sport. Both of us were working hard to put obedience titles on our dogs and we were having enough problems getting that training scheduled. However, we decided to find out what agility was all about.
With that innocent beginning in early Fall, 2001, my interests changed drastically! After about 6 weeks, I kept going back for more. My friend's dog had to drop out due to a bad shoulder but I couldn't stop. It turned out both my dog, Sufi and I were about to become addicted to a new sport. Pritamo had me practicing clicker training to teach many of the obstacles. I live in the middle of Seattle and have no yard but I was encouraged to use my steps to teach Sufi the 'target position'. Pritamo was especially thorough and methodical when teaching the dogs the contact obstacles: the A-frame, the teeter-totter, and the dog walk. If dogs don't have good introductions to those obstacles, they can develop fears and Pritamo made sure Sufi was totally comfortable negotiating them before attempting them at full height and position.
Through the clicker technique we also learned the pathway through the weave poles. Pritamo complimented those lessons with developing his muscle memory to go quickly using weaves with guide wires. As the weeks went by, Sufi developed a very fast weaving style which he still has today and I consider one of our great strengths.
I could go on and on about the terrific foundation Pritamo established for me. She also encouraged me to attend seminars and to join a class so that Sufi got used to all the commotion of a trial. She's great for all dogs large and small.
It is now two years since those first lessons. Sufi and I have had a lot of successes and have also been very humbled! Many of my mistakes derive from not carefully practicing the skills I originally learned and/or ignoring some of the great advice she gave me (like being careful about what I call obstacles ---- avoiding all those T words!). I keep telling her I'm a slow learner and someday I'll catch up to my dog! Thanks Pritamo for a LOT of great experiences and a new sport to keep Sufi busy and me out of trouble!
(Sufi's photo by Matt Sachs)
EAC, EGC, EJC, MX, NAJ
At the recommendation of another instructor who did not give private lessons, Louis (a Bichon Frise) and I started our agility adventure with Pritamo Kentala. This was the best thing that could have happened for us. I feel so fortunate that we got the quality of instruction we did at that very early stage in our development. I know enough now to know that the foundation of agility training i.e. learning good contacts and good weaves is so important and Pritamo does this so well.
When we first started trialing, I had people coming up to me to compliment me on Louis' contacts and I always said they were "Pritamo Contacts." Pritamo was also good with Louis and his "issues." Louis was a difficult dog and had his own ideas about what he wanted to do and we worked hard on improving these problems areas. Pritamo was very good with Louis coming up with different techniques to improve some of these issues.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend privates with Pritamo Kentala. I'm so glad we got started with a person so knowledgeable in the field of agility.
I had just finished with my first agility class with Sadie, and wanted her to gain more experience on contact obstacles since I don't have any contact equipment at home. We started taking private lessons with Pritamo at the recommendation of a friend. Since then, I have found private lessons with Pritamo to be extremely valuable in addition to taking classes. Private lessons, unlike large classes, allow us to focus on very specific issues where we need special attention.
From the beginning, I could tell that Pritamo had a lot of experience in agility and training techniques, which has helped us to overcome problems we have had in a very short time. She is always taking seminars and learning new training techniques that she eagerly shares with us at our lessons and over e-mail. Her positive attitude and training methods are inspiring and produce results. When we were ready to compete in our first trial, she had all kinds of helpful information and hints. We continue to take private lessons to improve Sadie's performance and my handling skills. I don't just consider Pritamo our agility trainer - she is also our mentor and friend.
I also started training our puppy, Stryker, with Pritamo when he was 4 months old. I have learned how to properly use motivation techniques along with targeting and clicker training to teach him basic obedience and agility skills. The games and drills she has taught us to play make agility fun for both of us. When he's matured enough, we will be taking group classes, but we will still be taking private lessons with Pritamo, too!
I have been training my dogs to do agility for almost 2 years now. I began taking group classes and then after about 8 months I began taking private lessons. I was personally amazed at the speed at which my dogs began picking up new things and progressing. I have become a firm believer in private lessons; it is the only way to get personalized instruction for each dog. Pritamo has had a lot of experience in dealing with dogs of many breeds and temperaments which is invaluable with training. My favorite aspects of private lessons are the homework assignments that are specifically tailored to what my dogs need to work on, the benefits of learning from the years of mistakes she has made :-), and the open environment to ask questions and to not be afraid to look like a fool. Pritamo has an enormous background in all aspects of agility, making her extremely well rounded. She continues to actively search out new ideas and approaches. Even when you are not at a lesson she is thinking of training ideas for your particular situation. Also, her continuous personal success is incredibly motivating and uplifting. For anyone considering taking private lessons I would strongly encourage you to schedule at least one lesson to see its benefits.
OAC, NGC, NJC
The advantages of private lessons are huge. In classes with other dogs, Annie (my Border Terrier) may only get to do a contact obstacle twice in an hour session. The instruction is good, but they must gear the work towards the entire class. Classes move along slowly as there are numerous dogs at different levels of expertise and most of the time is spent waiting for your turn to come up. Jumps also have to be reset for different heights, etc...These classes of course are valuable but can't give enough time to the individual problems or weaknesses of your dog. The individual traits of the dog is not a consideration. (Annie is extremely sensitive, does not like to be picked up). With the private lesson all this changes. Pritamo is a no nonsense, lets do it right, gal. Pritamo is an excellent instructor and makes Annie feel like she is the most wonderful dog in the world. (which she is..:) )She is especially good at seeing the little things that, when taken collectively, make the difference in successful runs. Time is spent equally between running the dog and discussing the correct ways this can be achieved, while allowing the dog to catch it's breath. Problem areas are given the time required to correct them which usually means many repetitions gradually getting the dog (or the handler) to master the lesson. Another benefit is just the great feeling you get seeing how the dog responds to her ideas. In agility, any time spent with Pritamo will definitely help you and your dog achieve your goals.
NAC, NJC, RS-N, JS-N, OA, NAJ
I have found Pritamo to be an excellent instructor with considerable knowledge.
I started my new puppy Riley in private lessons with Pritamo when he was just a
few months old. Riley was introduced in a safe and secure way to the equipment
when he was very young. This has helped us immensely.
Even after Riley was old enough for group classes we continued private sessions with Pritamo. In addition we do take group classes which are certainly also beneficial.
A private lesson gives you the complete attention of the instructor. You can discover problems that you may have not even realized you had and get them solved quickly. In a private you have time to evaluate why a particular problem may be occurring and work on multiple ways to solve it. You can work on a particular sequence or technique that is particularly important to you. The instructor can concentrate on just you and your unique situation.
Classes are also important as they allow you to work your dog around other dogs and distractions and, if you take the opportunity, in a class you can observe others working their dogs and learn a lot from their successes and mistakes. However, in a one hour class (one hour of actual working time) each individual gets approximately 6- 12 minutes to work their dog and get feedback. In a private lesson you get one hour and the instructor is concentrating on only you and your dog.
When you consider the time you get for the cost, privates are less expensive than a class.