November 20th, 2006, 11:57 PM
has anyone gone through petsmart's obedience training classes with their dogs? if so, will you please share your opinions of the program?
i really need to get my pup into training...but i'm worried that she'll be far too distracted in that sort of training environment and it will be a waste of $$$.
November 21st, 2006, 12:13 AM
I wasn't too impressed with the trainer I saw and there's several people on here that also don't like petsmart trainers.
However, there's also several people that have done just fine with petsmart training. I think it varies a lot depending on which store you go to and what trainers they hire. Petsmart doesn't screen their trainers that well, so it's kind of hit and miss as far as whether or not you'll get a good one.
I've heard about some very good trainers at petsmart and some very bad ones, I think you just have to try them if you want to see.
November 21st, 2006, 12:14 AM
This is my personal opinion. I went through the training and basically all we got out of it was socialization. Everything else we learned, could be taught at home. The only good thing is the pup learned to behave in a group environment, and listen to me when distracted. Once you go through it once, you could probably teach it lol.
November 21st, 2006, 12:18 AM
Here's a couple of other threads.
The first one is on puppy classes.
November 21st, 2006, 11:30 AM
Our trainer was excellent - and also happened to have same breed of dog. Unfortunately, the training environment for both private and group classes was not suitable. Before we enrolled our dog, training classes were held in a back area of the store, visible to the public only through a single doorway. But then they moved the training area to the centre of the store surrounded by a 3 ft. fabric ring. So of course all of the store's customers would gather around to watch, make comments about the dogs, ask the trainer about techniques, etc. - and this is crazy, remark on what a brilliant and well trained dog I HAD! Right - give him a liver roll and he would do anything. Many customers have complained about this new training area - but to no avail - and it has cost them business. Someone who has stood watching the classes and frankly contributed to the confusion, would not enroll his/her dog to be trained in centre of store.
November 21st, 2006, 11:36 AM
I had a good experience w/ a petsmart trainer. This was a basic obedience class and most of the dogs in the class did very well. I think there was one who did get too distracted, but surprisingly, the rest of our dogs all were able to learn. I think obedience training is more for the owner, to teach you how to interact with your dog. I thought it helped to train around others as well, because then the dog learned how to listen around all the distractions. Our training area was in the back of the store, but we did go out into the store for certain lessons.
November 21st, 2006, 11:54 AM
I don't have a dog but I've gone to petsmart when the classes begin...not having ever seen an actual training thing before I think the class went OK but I know the owner of one dog was rather frustrated at her dog...it kept barking at people who walked by. Another person's dog went up to anyone who walked by to get petted...two other dogs were snarling at each other too. Perhaps OK is not the right word....considering the circumstances I'm sure it went OK and not every dog is going to get along with every other dog...
I don't think I like the idea of having the training area out in the middle of the store...I mean you have echoes of other dogs and stuff too which would also make it distracting for the dogs...as a trainer I would find it hard to stay on task if people kept asking me questions...Of course I'd be one of those trainers who'd yell at the customers for interrupting me or just ignore them...bad customer service on that part of it...but it would be better for the dogs (I think anyway....)...I think I'd rather have my dog trainer forgo "good customer service" to the other patrons (non class people/dogs) for the proper training of my dog...
I'm just as curious as the next person but I would hate to be the cause of the dog not learning something because he/she was distracted by me standing there or whatever. I wouldn't mind watching through a window or in a stand or something for people TO watch through/in.
November 21st, 2006, 12:23 PM
Ex roomie enrolled Cider in puppy class there. In a fluke that would likely not happen to other people, after week 1 our trainer left.. week 2 and 3 were each new people and we were learning nothing. The store was nasty about us wanting out (by week 3 there were 14 dogs in the class and I had gotten a nasty bite on my arm from a large dog. We were all too close together. If I hadn't been wearing 2 hoodies, it would have been really horrible..
I ended up getting varying people's phone numbers within the Canadian petsmart headquarters, and eventually they offered us 'free' basic OB because Cider was nearly 6 months now. The lady was driving all the way from Kitchener to teach our class, it was a class of 4, and she rocked. She was so awesome I don't see why she doesn't start her own school she was better than many trainers I've met in private schools.
It went so well I wanted advanced with her when Cider became mine.. In her usual store though the class was randomly held more in the middle of the floor in the way and our trainer got injured so it was another lady. She was horrible and condescending..
So In all the fill ins.. I think we've been in contact with 5 trainers, and 1 was good. Which doesn't add to all the ones I've had to 'meet' when we go in for stuff. Like the one trainer at the local petsmart, who grabbed Cider's leash as we walked by, scared her made her submissive pee.... Then. She laughed that my dog had excited peed. Umm no, you made my dog cower in a pee puddle but thanks.
Few jewels too good too work at a chain store, along with many people with no clue. To do it again I'd go to a private school, which isn't necessarily much more expensive.
November 21st, 2006, 01:32 PM
mafiaprincess - You are absolutely right about a private trainer or private training facility charging same or not much more than PetSmart. Our puppy training was nearly 2 years ago - our private at home training was in May/June of this year. If you account for inflation, price per hour was same, considering we had 4 private sessions at PetSmart and 1 group class (group started out with 7 dogs - ended up with 3 - dogs weren't being taught the "curriculum" as outlined. My guy is still a devil when it comes to Leave It and loves to jump and bark - traits of the Eskimo dog - but his private lessons made a huge difference - actually the difference was clear after his first class. Now if ONLY HE WOULD LEAVE IT! We went through this with the toilet paper roll again this a.m. Something about Eskies and tissue - Havanese also have same love affair with paper products. But never again will he have any sort of smoked bone the little Cujo.
November 21st, 2006, 05:27 PM
We used Petsmart training for Jesse's "basic". We decided on Petsmart for a few reasons. I'm sad to say, but for us price was the top concern at the time. Petsmart provided "discounted" classes if you adopted from the humane society. We also lived in an area that didn't have too much around, so Petsmart was pretty much the only option. We were "new" owners and knew we needed training so decided to give it a try, but before we signed up for the class we observed the different trainers they had and chose the one we felt was a good fit with Jesse and our needs, which turned out to be the right choice and Jesse did wonderful. The biggest thing we learned from the trainer was more for us than it was for Jesse. The trainer taught us how to handle Jesse and how it was important for us to lead her, not the other way around. I thought that was really important instead of just teaching "tricks". The other trainer they had there did not impress me at all. So, I would say go and observe the different trainers they have and choose the one that is the best fit for you. Hopefully that helps.