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just started formal training?

March 1st, 2011, 09:12 PM
so my dog is 3 yrs old male. he is pretty good with commands with no distractions, knows over 8-9 commands, but with distractions he is okay, so i sgned him up for intermediate dog training class at petsmart, everyone was telling me it was pretty bad, but i think it was good, i think it all depends on the teacher you have, the one i had, had 3 dogs 1-2 years old all 6 months apart and she brought one of her dogs in and it was really well trained, and she was really good at her job and giving information. i am very satisfied with the instructions i was given with her

so my question is why does everyone look down on anything petsmart? is it because they are a chain pet store? which i can understand , i would never BUY a pet of any kind from there but overall there not completly bad id say 50/50, the other is what would be different from a pet training class from petsmart and a pet training class from a professional bussiness?

\the class im in has 3-4 dogs(one dog didnt show for the class) and i personally like it, she can watch all of us while we try to train and be attentive to our mistakes which i love and i thinki as long as you do your homework you will find that this training benefits your dog completely. any opinions?

March 2nd, 2011, 05:43 AM
the main reason I am so down on them is because in their training classes, their dog groommery (sp?) and their daycare, any bully breed is not welcomed. They don't go by the individual dog, they go by breed and to me this is discrimination. In order to be a trainer at petsmart, (or at least this was the case two years ago) you could be a stock boy, a clerk or janitor and you only had to write a book test to qualify, I watched a class in Kingston and was dismayed to see the trainer toss cookies in the middle of the ring with 8 off leash dogs and told the owners to tell their dogs not to touch, she counted to 10 and had them release their dogs to fetch a cookie, to me this is just asking for trouble if any of those dogs happened to be food aggressive. But maybe its all changed now??? and by the way, this is just my opinion, no one elses.:shrug:

March 2nd, 2011, 11:18 AM
Pet Smart chains are rather autonomous in their training programmes. One might have very good trainers, another not. I visited my local one and was appalled at what I saw teenagers doing for training, Yes, they were the trainers. But my friend went to that very same one, got a different trainer and was very happy.

Ask questions of your potential trainer - what dog training theory do they employ? Do they like Operant Conditioning? Do they belong to ? Can you go and observe a class before committing yourself? Are they experienced in working with a dog starting training at an older age? Do they like clickers? I'm not suggesting that all of these are musts but some would be nice and it gives you a chance to assess their background and training a bit.

And just to highlight the differences you can find in these stores.....
I definitely WOULD BUY a pet at my local store because they are all animals from local rescues that the store generously provides a venue for.

March 2nd, 2011, 11:37 AM
Personally, I think you need to feel comfortable with whomever you seek training from. If you are satisfied and getting good results, then keep going with it.
There are so many ideas on how to train. Different trainers have different techniques, different methods and different philosophies on how to train. You must go with what fits your philosophy on how to train to achieve whatever it is you are trying to achieve with your dog.
Lucky for me I am with a trainer who shares the same ideas on how to approach different situations, different methods and philosophies based on the animal as an 'individual'. Individual is the key word. Find out how the trainer reads your dog. This will be a telling factor on if this person really is qualified to help you.
Best of luck and I look forward to hearing about your classes.

March 2nd, 2011, 02:30 PM
the trainer i have believes in hand signals as well as the word, which is probably typical but heres my problem, before i started training at petsmart i taught my dog to turnaround with the word and a hand signal, but now when i try to teach him heal, he sometimes gets confused and instead of going around me and sitting he turnsaround infront of me and sits(cause of the hand signal, half of heel signal is similar to turnaround signal)

this was only the first day though i practiced with him for 30 minutes, do you think just with plain consistency he will understand that he just has to go behind me and sit?

March 2nd, 2011, 02:57 PM
most trainers will allow you to give another command if the one they are teaching is too close to what you've taught...

March 2nd, 2011, 06:03 PM
choosing another hand signal for heal would probably be a good idea, so he wont confuse them. Consistency is definitely key in teaching him a new behavior. Instead of doing 1 30 minute session, try breaking it over it to 3 or 4 10 minute sessions, that way you can get repetitions done in a day. Always make sure to end on a positive note, if he isnt understanding what you are asking end with some he knows well like sit or down so he can end the training session with a few rewards instead of frustration.

March 2nd, 2011, 09:22 PM
[QUOTE=Melinda;989734]the main reason I am so down on them is because in their training classes, their dog groommery (sp?) and their daycare, any bully breed is not welcomed. They don't go by the individual dog, they go by breed and to me this is discrimination. QUOTE]

:mad: Really! what a massive crock of *&$#!

The other night I was at Chinook mall and this photography place had a cage of rabbits out front, to lure ppl in for Easter shoots with the rabbits. I went to check them out, make sure they had food and water. I didn't see a dish of anything or any kind.:frustrated:
The clerk hands me a certificate for a free picture. I ask about the bunnies and she tells me that they are for Easter shoots and after they will give them away to whoever wants one:frustrated:
Then I ask about pics with pets, and they do pet shoots Wednesdays and Thursdays, BUT they don't allow snakes, Rotties or Pitbulls...:eek:
I handed back her certificate and told her I couldn't support a business with a policy to discriminate. She snatched the certificate out of my hand with a nasty look, as she said, "whatever"! :mad:
I then informed her that someone should give the rabbits water and food, if your going to make a profit off of them at least treat them right!:mad:

March 3rd, 2011, 04:15 AM
good for you for sticking to your principals!!! Now go call the spca to report about the rabbits *S*.....give away......geeeesh

March 6th, 2011, 12:48 AM
good for you for sticking to your principals!!! Now go call the spca to report about the rabbits *S*.....give away......geeeesh

Apparently they do this rabbit thing every year:rolleyes:

March 13th, 2011, 08:41 PM
Good for u Luvmypitgirls!!! So proud of u for standing up for what u believe in!!! Bravo!!!

March 13th, 2011, 10:02 PM
PetSmart training can be hit or miss. Personally, I have had wonderful experiences. Years ago, when we got our rescue Scottie, I was advised to sign her up for training. My trainer seemed mean, wanted my 4 year old dog in a puppy class. I wasn't happy at all. But after a couple of sessions, I found out that this trainer showed Scotties, had an obedience-titled Scottie and shared my passion for this breed. She was an invaluable resource for me. She spent her lunch hours giving me free private lessons because my little dog was so special to her. She left the store shortly after my dog finished her classes. I truly think she was a special :angel2: sent to help my precious dog.

My current trainer is an area trainer to instruct the new pet trainers. She is very good. I'm on my second dog with her and she has become my friend. The only complaint I have is that in order to train the other store trainers, she has to let the new people teach our class occasionally, and in my puppy's class, we had a dud trainee. I got a glimpse of the bad and it wasn't pretty.

Now, even though I have taken my dogs to the PetSmart program, I have also looked elsewhere for additional training to enhance my relationship with my dogs. My adult Scottie is taking agility classes. The agility trainer also offers a very affordable group training program and I have enrolled my nearly 8 month old Scottie pup in this program. He was evaluated and eligible to enter the intermediate level program due to his PetSmart training (and my work with him at home). This program has a totally different feel and I like it as well. There are differences, and I think seeing different ways of working with my dog will help me find the ways that work best for my pup and for me. My puppy is signed up for an additional PetSmart class as well.

One reason I think some knock the PetSmart program is that so many want to attend 6 hours of classes and have a perfectly trained dog. They do no work with the dog outside the class, but will complain when the dog isn't trained. I know in our puppy class, it was a small class, but each session we had 2-3 families not show up. People see my well-trained dog, but don't have any idea the number of hours of hard work it took to get her to this point -- and it is a constant work in progress. I look at my pup and see such great potential, but that will come with time and much effort.

I am a big advocate of the verbal and hand signals. My first Scottie was deaf his last two years. The hand signals let us still communicate and have a strong relationship.

Bunny story is so sad...:(