May 16th, 2005, 07:53 PM
PetsMart just opened close to my area and I was wondering if anyone went to any of their training courses they offer? Are they informative and is it worth going to one of their courses? My dog knows all his basic commands and more, but I just want him to be a little more socialized with other people and dogs, we don't have any dog parks around here! Thanks for any info! :ca:
May 16th, 2005, 09:47 PM
I didn't take my puppy to Petsmart but everyone I know who has taken their dog there is quite pleased. Funny enough, the first thing they say about Petsmart training is how great it was for socialization. If that's all that you are after then it doesn't really matter where you take your dog, does it?? I would just look for an inexpensive class that allows for some off-leash play at the end. Where I comlpeted basic obedience that was never allowed, so make sure to ask.
If you only need to socialize your dog why not just visit Petsmart? My dog takes me there all the time! The Petsmart is just up the road so he thinks that he owns it, needless to say we are in there at least 5 times a week! :D
May 16th, 2005, 10:31 PM
I agree. Try and find a place that allows off-leash interaction. When I took Levi to obedience classes, we received a pamplet that said "Do not allow your dog near the other dogs." I think they should be allowed to say hi first. :)
May 16th, 2005, 10:51 PM
levimh, I completely agree. Because there's a certain obedience class etiquette the instructor insisted that we keep our dogs away from others until everyone had arrived so we could ask each other if it was alright. Well, all the dogs were in fact puppies and had no previous training so we all ended up with pups, straining at their leashes, barking whinning and choking themselves! It was a ridiculous system and because they wern't ever aloud to let loose, it was unfair and frustrating for both the puppy and the owner. And it was very difficult to get the pups to listen/focus on the owners because they hadn't been able to greet each other yet! Perhaps it was meant to teach the pups distraction but it should never have been like that from the first class all the way to graduation (especially for 6 month old puppies)!
Obedience class etiquette is in place for good reasons but the pups/dogs should at least be rewarded with a play session at the end of the lesson. Unfortunately that wasn't my experience!
May 17th, 2005, 09:05 AM
I took my beagle, Misty, to PetSmart for her training. I found them pretty good. Our trainer was very knowledgeable and had many years experience. She was able to help us out with some problems that we were experiencing. One thing that I liked was that we were training the dogs in the store with things happening around them and they were able to learn through distractions.
Misty looked forward to her training classes and loved the other dogs. She was having trouble with large dogs and we made sure she was enrolled in a class that had dogs bigger than her to help her overcome her fears. This helped tremendously.
We did a lot of homework during the week and she picked up everything quite quickly. At PetSmart they give you handouts with all the instructions so you can practice at home during the week before your next class.
I enrolled in a PetSmart obedience class because at the time I was a student and couldn't afford anything more. PetSmart was affordable and it worked for us.
May 17th, 2005, 09:56 AM
I was shopping at the time a class was happening and it was terrible. The trainer seems very unknowledgable. Seemed like a young girl (17ish) with a huge pocket full of treats and she was trying to teach a dog wait. Bf and I had to leave before we interupted the class with out laughing. She had the dog at one end and said wait, well he didn't so she says "ah ah n n n no I said wait, you wait, no no no ah ah nope that wasn't a wait come back to the front so we can try again! " She was talking to the dog! Then when he did the same thing as he just did, she gave him a treat!
All stores have different trainers but in my area I would not recommend this store
May 17th, 2005, 10:27 AM
I think that just like everywhere else, you must do your research and choose the best trainer and training facility for you and your dog.
I would ask if you can sit in a class and watch how the instructor teaches a class and how the class is structured. If they say no, run. In case of Petsmart, find out when their classes are in session and watch them. They do have different trainers so you may want to check out a few of their classes with the different instructors.
I had a good experience with PetSmart, but that is not the case with everyone. Our trainer had been in the business for a while and she was very knowledgeable. This was 8 years ago. Also, we did our homework a few times a day everyday. You must practice with your dog otherwise they will never learn.
At the time, due to my financial situation, it was the best option for me. I wouldn't use them though if you were planning on obedience competition with your dog, just for basic, everyday obedience. We only took the onleash basic course.