petsmart training?

texn

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#1
I was in petsmart this weekend, and notice they have a pet training class. 8 weeks, once a week, 1 hour per class. has anyone gone to these? is it worth it? are there any reccomendations from the fellow forum readers on where i might take my mutts to get training? I am in San Antoni, TX, incase that will restrict my options. it's hard for me to train them myself because there are 2 pups, and i work fulltime, and school part time. I spend time with them when i can, but it's not always enough to be able to train them and still have "fun time". thank you.
 

Zoom

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#2
Check out APDT.com and look around for trainers. Petsmart is ok for puppy classes as they are mainly socialization, but I would recommend going to an accredited 'real' trainer.

In reality, you don't have to set aside an hour a day for just training. That's the cool thing; you can work it into your daily routine. Say in the mornings you are brushing your teeth. Your puppy can practise his "sit". Make him lie down while you are tying your shoes. While the coffee is brewing, practice 'come' a time or two. In the evening while watching TV, he can do a 'sit/stay' while you get a drink or something during commericals. Training during commercials is a favorite trick of mine, since you have at least 2-5 minutes to work with every 15 minutes.
 

texn

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#3
how would you reccomend this with 2 dogs in the house that are "attention-whores"? should i put one outside and alternate every other commercial?
 

raabenb

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#4
Hey there,

I actually took my puppy to petsmart training way back when. It was a good class but alot of the stuff could be done at home and i believe it cost about $100. Plus most of the actual training is done at home without the trainer there. I have a good comprehensive puppy training e-book on my website. I dont suggest these kinds of classes, waste of time and money.
 

texn

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#5
raabenb said:
Hey there,

I actually took my puppy to petsmart training way back when. It was a good class but alot of the stuff could be done at home and i believe it cost about $100. Plus most of the actual training is done at home without the trainer there. I have a good comprehensive puppy training e-book on my website. I dont suggest these kinds of classes, waste of time and money.
shameless self advertising? hehe...
 

Aussie Red

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Whiskey went to all the petsmart trainning classes and it was ok. not worth the money as the participants want to use it as a forum to talk about their dogs. If you dont have time to work with them at home this is not for you as that is what they do give you the way to teach and you teach the dog at home then show the trainer that you worked with the animal all week and are ready to move on to next lesson. Bare in mind that the trainers at petsmart are not true trainers but employees reading lessons from a book. If you dont have time a licensed trainer or professional trainer will be better for you. Petsmart training classes are more of a social forum for you and chaz does that free
 

Zoom

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#8
texn said:
how would you reccomend this with 2 dogs in the house that are "attention-whores"? should i put one outside and alternate every other commercial?
Yes. I have two dogs and I usually either put one outside or have my boyfriend hold one and keep it occupied while I'm busy with the other. Otherwise they're both just trying to crowd the other out for the treat and will half-ass the commands.
 

zoe08

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I took the PetSmart training classes, and yeah they do teach you how to teach your dog. But IMO I think YOU should be the one training your dogs. If you hand it over for someone else to train, it is likely the dog will not find you as the one in charge and might not listen to you very well. And if you think PetSmart is expensive, probably somewhere else would be just as expensive if not more. The only other place I know of here that does training, I wouldn't take my dog to cuz I don't agree with everything they do.
PetSmart only teaches positive reinforcement.

And training is a fun activity for you and your dog to do together. No matter where you take it for training, you will still have to work with them everyday at home.

Not to mention other benefits from taking it at PetSmart such as trying out stuff without having to buy it. Like halti's, treats, and such. And my dog had a great time at the PetSmart class and she learned a lot and I learned a lot and it was very much worth it to me. Also now I took 2 classes with my trainer, and if I ever wanted to know anything I can go up there and talk to her.
 
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#10
I did one basic obedience class at Petsmart class and another at a professional kennel run by dog people. Both classes were extremely frustrating, as my dominant dog and I got gated within seconds, and thereafter ignored. So if you have any special concerns - aggresion, dominance, etc. - you might want to quiz the trainers before you spend money.

As a veteran of classes where one owner with multiple dogs were present, each dog handled by a friend or SO, let me ask you to not do that with your two. It's very difficult to be a in a class when everyone else is part of a couple, and single dogs keep getting caught between two 'pals' or 'roommates' dogs who are lunging at each other or in defense of each other all hour long.
 
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#11
The quality can vary. When I took one of our shelter dogs there, I had a very good experience. He had some dog agression isssues and everyone was very supportive of us. It was nice to have a place to come to once a week where we could work on his issues without having the owner of the other dog giving me the evil eye, like I often got taking him other places. By the end of the eight weeks, he was making huge strides with the agression and even won an award for most improvment. He was still as screwball, but I think that was just Perry.
 

MayasMom

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#12
I think it will depend on the actual trainer at petsmart. The trainer we had for Maya was great. She has been training dogs since she was 16 years old and really knew what she was doing. I worked with a trainer in high school for a couple of months while doing a school project, so I knew the basics pretty well. I was mostly planning on using the PetsMart training as socialization for Maya, but I learned a lot too. I consider it money well spent, however I'm not sure it would have been as good with a different trainer. The most important part is to keep working on it at home. We still work with Maya at least 15 minutes every day to keep it fresh in her mind.
 
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#13
Any place that will hire someone to be a dog trainer who has never trained a dog before is a joke and tells me alot about the quality of "training" that they must provide! I wouldn't train my dog at Petsmart if someone paid me to do it!
 

texn

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#14
i think i might stop by petsmart after school tonight and quiz them on background, etc. i think it might be worth a shot, i dont know... the socialization thing is a big deal, too.
 

unite

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#15
mydogswork said:
Any place that will hire someone to be a dog trainer who has never trained a dog before is a joke and tells me alot about the quality of "training" that they must provide! I wouldn't train my dog at Petsmart if someone paid me to do it!

I agree... I did the whole petsmart thing... still didn't save the seats in my boat. lol
 

IlUvMyAnImAlZ05

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#16
We did petsmart training and it didn't work, stuborn. I think it depends if your dogs are stuborn. A friend of mine did it and her dog was trained very well (he was a golden ret.).
 

zoe08

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Well I did it with a beagle. And with the exception of walking on a leash (which is very hard with a scent hound, she liked to sniff under the aisles), she learned everything in both classes.

And I havent met many dogs more trained than my trainer's BC. But my trainer was really good. She was the head one there and I think she has a lot of experience.

So really you shouldnt put them down just cuz they work at PetSmart without meeting them first and finding out how good they are.
 

good_dog

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#18
In defense of dog trainers everywhere...

The best dog training for your dogs, and the ONLY dog training that will have lasting results, is the training you are involved in. Whether you do that alone, in private classes, or in a group setting is relatively unimportant--just do it! Turning your dog over to a trainer for them to do the work for you just gives you a dog that works for the trainer... unless you also learn to the techniques of that trainer.

I would like to plug group classes, when given by a GOOD trainer. There are many so-called "trainers" who are great with dogs but have no business working with group classes. There are many who are great with owners but couldn't train a dog to save their lives. Finding someone who can both train and teach you to train can take some searching... and usually some $$$, as we are rare and know it. (And I'm not actually plugging myself, by the way--I'm booked solid for the next several months and couldn't take on anyone new if I wanted to.)

Group classes keep the cost down and help with socialization of your pup. With an instructor that knows what s/he is doing, they can give you the basics of training, teach your pup that manners don't go away just because they are in a new and interesting place, and hold you accountable to work consistantly with your dog. The discussions will provide information to deal with situations you haven't faced yet (should include discussions on health, nutrition, problem solving, pack hierarchy, drives, genetic responsibility,etc), as well as giving you the opportunity to watch dog interactions and learn to read canine body language to a much larger exetent than normal.

There are drawbacks to group classes, of course. You don't get as much one-on-one attention as you would in a private course unless you ask for it. A decent instructor will make him/herself available to you before and after classes and should provide you with email or other contact information as well. S/he should also be willing to let you watch a session or two, give references, and discuss training techniques--both in general and pertaining to specific issues.

Some PETsMART trainers are great. Some are just "an employee reading lessons from a book." Check into it. Find out from people who have been through the classes what they learned. I have known some really great trainers who worked out of pet stores as a side gig. In some places that can be the only ready way to get your name known to the public. I've also known some "trainers" at pet stores I wouldn't let hold my lead while I tie my shoe, much less work a dog.

Basically, it all boils down to doing your research. Call vets in your area. Contact rescue groups. Call independent pet shops as well as chain stores. Talk to LOTS of people. In an area as well populated as yours, there should be names you start hearing over and over.

Good luck!
Beth

"You will never experience anything like the bond you have with a dog you have trained yourself. The joy of working a dog who knows exactly what you want and is excited about pleasing you cannot be described--and cannot be forgotten once you've experienced it."
 

Toaster

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#19
I was considering the training program at Petsmart... mainly because of cost. Its the cheapest I've found - and I live in the DFW area!

Mans best friend (a rip off) wanted $1000 to train my dog... and they ask you to come in to be interviewed as a whole family... More specifically wife/husband, and they try to get you to sign up and pay a deposit before leaving. I personally feel that ask the parents to come in together so you can't throw the decision off, they wanted us to commit THEN AND THERE. A $1000 might have been a bargain? But I know I couldn't afford it - NO WAY.

Petsmart is $99 and occasionally run specials for $69 for the 8 week course. I talked to the trainer and met her dog, which was incredibly trained. I never sat in on a session - though I was invited too, we ran into personal health problems with my Mom who stayed in the hospital for 2 months, so I never got the chance to sit in on a Session.

I'm sad to hear most people feel its not worth it - It was on my list of things to do with Stogie. Oh well.

GREAT INFORMATION IN THIS THREAD!
 

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