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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All,
This is my first post here, I wanted to share a letter I posted on Petco's new policy change regarding their employees not being able to bring their pets to work anymore. This policy also effects the Certified Dog Trainer employed at each store nationwide.

**EDIT: I posted this on Petco's Facebook page**

My letter is regarding the Petco location
on 4450 Commercial St. in Salem Oregon
Hello, my family recently added a new member to our family, a German Shepherd puppy we named Kenai. He’s been quite a handful, so we decided to enroll him in puppy training classes. My wife talked to the staff at your store who directed us to Jackie Mckenzie - ABC Certified Dog Trainer. After talking with Jackie, we knew Kenai was in good hands.
Kenai like most German Shepherds, exhibits a very strong “herding” drive by chasing and barking at other dogs, to a point where it looks aggressive. After weeks of training and socializing he still exhibited this behavior. It was a very stressful time for our family, we we’re concerned that he wouldn’t be able to go places where other dogs are. We had several instances at our local dog park where people would come up to us and tell us we had an aggressive dog.
During puppy playtime Jackie watched him closely and saw how he interacted with other dogs, Kenai was very fearful, he barked loudly, showing teeth and looked generally menacing. After a couple sessions, Jackie decided perhaps it would be better if he didn’t come to puppy playtime because it may be causing him too much stress. She said to give her a couple days to talk with some colleagues to get some advice. Later that week he called and said she had a plan and to bring him in for a one on one puppy playtime with her dog Maybelline, a wonderfully adorable and sweet Pit Bull.
At first Kenai was his usual obnoxious self, barking and snarling at Maybelline who took it like a champ. She watched him and just ignored he’s behavior as if she was trying to figure out what his motives are. Within a couple minutes she was posturing like him and leaping toward him as he was to her, showing she wants to play, he responded in the same manner and just like that they we’re friends. His excessive barking subdued a few minutes later and a normal puppy started to appear. Kenai wasn’t the aggressive dog people accused him of; it’s just his “play style”. You cannot imagine our relief; the weight lifted off our shoulders was immeasurable! We can’t express our gratitude enough to Jackie she’s gone above and beyond the call of duty to help my family.
On Sep 2nd we took Kenai to Petco for his Puppy Graduation. Jackie informed us that she’s no longer allowed to bring Maybelline to work; I asked what about the other employee’s dogs? She said no, no one is allowed to bring their dogs to work. We we’re shocked! How could you take away a trainers best tool for training? That’s like removing a chalkboard from a school room. Who is Kenai supposed to train with now? My dog has built up a relationship with Jackie’s dog, and now you’ve taken that away, and for what?
You’ve put me in a position where I’ll have to find another place to take my dog for training, because Maybelline was the only one that understood Kenai. I promise you, I will never set foot in another Petco unless this restriction has been overturned. I will also use social media to make sure everyone that has anything to do with dog training or is looking toward getting training is aware of your new policy!
Respectfully,
Sam Clark

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did they explain their reason for the policy change?
No, they did not.
The people running the Facebook page responded through pm's:

Petco 9/4, 8:45am
Hi Sam. Thank you for your message, we're looking into this now. We'll check back in with an update soon.

Petco 9/4, 10:14am
We're checking in to let you know that this is currently being looked into further by our team including the district manager. We'll check back later to make sure you've been in touch with our team and this has been resolved. Best wishes!


Sam Clark 9/4, 11:20am
Thank you.

Petco 9/6, 9:58am
Hi Sam. We're checking in to find out if things have been resolved after speaking with the General Manager of the store. Please let us know if there's anything else we can do for you. Best wishes.

Sam Clark 9/6, 10:45am

The General Manager called me Thursday and said he agreed with me 100%, but it's a new Petco policy and his hands are tied. So no, this has not been resolved. He did say he was going to write to corporate explaining his disapproval of this new policy.

Petco 9/6, 11:00am
We're glad to hear you're both on the same page. Please let us know if we can help you in any other way. Thank you for providing us the opportunity to make things right. Best wishes.

That's it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This ^
There very well could have been good reason for the change in policy. I also don't see why you couldn't get the trainers info and go for personal training sessions at her (or your) house.
Yes, I can probably do that, but it doesn't change the fact that she can no longer be AS effective in her training while at Petco. This policy is nation wide and it goes against most of their Moto's guidelines.
 

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when you think of what the opposite situation could of been that was bad enough or tragic enough to make the new policy,, some one bringing their dog to work that attacked a dog, a kid, or a person would make sense for the sudden change across the board..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
when you think of what the opposite situation could of been that was bad enough or tragic enough to make the new policy,, some one bringing their dog to work that attacked a dog, a kid, or a person would make sense for the sudden change across the board..
I totally understand, but I've done some research and can't find anything about an incident not one.

^^Right, that's what I'm wondering. Which sucks for you personally but might be better for everyone else.
Just to be clear, this will effect every trainer nationwide that works at Petco. I'm not doing this just for myself.
 

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Just to be clear, this will effect every trainer nationwide that works at Petco. I'm not doing this just for myself.
Well, yes, but I don't think that it will have as dramatic effect on most people as it will on you. I'd venture to say it's not going to affect vastly more people than it will affect. It's not really something I personally would boycott over.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, yes, but I don't think that it will have as dramatic effect on most people as it will on you. I'd venture to say it's not going to affect vastly more people than it will affect. It's not really something I personally would boycott over.
From their "Puppy Training" page:
Our dog trainers work with your puppy’s natural inclination to stay near you, teaching potentially lifesaving cues like coming when called. We’ll also address any problem behaviors, gladly coaching pet parents through the first months of life with a puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Ok? I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. :confused:
Sorry, I was under the impression you we're familiar with problem behavior training. When a trainer has a problem student they usually rely on another dog to help access the situation, that being the trainers dog.

If you're not allowed to bring your tools (dog) to work, then how can you fix the problem?

**edit: just realized I probably should have posted this thread in the dog trainers area...**
 

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I totally get Sami Clarks point,, that is what my personally owned large group of GSD's were for.. helping other DA dogs to re build trust and confidence... I can't say I ever worked hard as a personal trainer :) , the dogs were the key of helping the other dogs.. I always had a dog or a group that was just perfect for an owners dog. totally get Sami Clark situation...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
i totally get sami clarks point,, that is what my personally owned large group of gsd's were for.. Helping other da dogs to re build trust and confidence... I can't say i ever worked hard as a personal trainer :) , the dogs were the key of helping the other dogs.. I always had a dog or a group that was just perfect for an owners dog. Totally get sami clark situation...
Thank you!!
Good to see someone get's what I'm saying.
 

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I work for a large Corp and I bet it was a general liability issue, vs an actual horrible incident.... thats how things are skewed these days, and I think its a shame.
 

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I don't think Petco employees were ever allowed to bring their dogs to work around here. I've also never been to a training class/session where the trainer's personal dog was present.
 
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