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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever taken their puppy/dog to any of the petsmart training classes? I'm taking my dog (almost 8months) to a class on Sunday... and just wondering what to expect. This is just a consultation class... but I'm just wondering if people have had success with it.

I'm taking her there more for socialization rather than training. Shes pretty much potty trained (we got her from a shelter when she was 5 months.. so its been a work in process), and she is good with come and sit commands... she just goes NUTS when she sees other dogs. We live in a Condo building, and do not know anyone in the building with a dog... so its hard for her to get the socialization she needs.. specially cos when she gets all worked up (just very hyper because she does love other animals... she just gets WAY over excited) the owners of other dogs go the other way... which I don't really blame them.

Anyone have any input?!
Thanks!! :)
 

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The trainers can vary greatly...some are very good while others need more experience. Talk to the trainer about your objectives of socialization, how to get control around other dogs, how to get the attention on you.
 

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My first class ever was petsmart puppy. It was a disaster. They over booked the class. Were 13 or 14 dogs crammed in the second week. The trainer got fired so it was a new person every week. After a rottie X puppy grabbed my arm and wouldn't let go twice in our 3rd class I had had enough.

They wouldn't refund even the remaining classes.. Had to have a big fuss, finally refunded the remaining classes only. Was really unhappy, but hadn't experienced anything else. Regional trainer head called and offered us a basic Ob class that would have 4 dogs in it including ours a few weeks later, and it was no additional cost. Seems they felt bad.

It was FANTASTIC. The lady was an awesome trainer. I'm not sure that I'd have wanted to go on without that happy introduction to training. Taught us extra stuff not in the curriculum like returning to heel left and right, going to a mark on the floor.. Now I have rally and agility titled dogs.. She was so great I think she was so great I hope she eventually went on to do something that used her talents better.

People have asked about petsmart training on other forums I've been on. Seems hit and miss depending upon the person training. No two people are equal.
 

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My next door neighbor is a groomer at PS and has 2 dogs that are very well behaved. She said that the location closest to us has had numerous complaints about training, whereas her store, about 15 minutes away, has one particular trainer that is very talented. So, you just never know. I know I'll be taking Luna to her store and that trainer for puppy classes. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea... I have also heard the good and bad, so I guess tomorrow will show me. Its just a free consultation (in which there will probably be too many dogs), but we shall see. I would like to get her into a class soon, so fingers crossed!! :)
 

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We just signed up for puppy class there--hopefully it goes well, we start Sunday July 26th. If not, our trainer said if we had to miss a class, we could make it up on a tuesday or thursday, I might end up missing a few sessions if our class is too crowded.
 

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Check the phone book/online for local training clubs in your area.

There are probably several to choose from and you'll probably like it much better than PS training.

I'd have to say that any training is better than none at all, but a place you like and feel more comfortable at will be beneficial for you and your dog.

Keep in mind if this is your first time training a dog, you'll learn as much as the dog does in the first few weeks.

The motto of the training center I use: "Don't complain, train!"
 

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I used to work for Petsmart for 3 years and I can tell you from experience, as with any dog trainer, do your research. The dog trainer at my store was great, informative, and loved her job and her dog. (her dog was always at the store, which was a pit bull, which was even better as the trainer showed that it is not the breed of the dog that makes them vicious but the training itself...she wasn't much of a people person ironically but she was GREAT with the dogs and the classes were great. I went to her for alot of questions and she knew her stuff.
Petsmart is not supposed to overbook, but again, it varies store to store especially when it comes to the management. It isn't always the dog trainers fault that it is overbooked, unfortunatly not all managers are animal lovers and are only there to oversee the money aspect of the store.
The same would go for any company, privately owned and coroprate owned. Ironically since I moved and don't work for petsmart anymore, I cannot stand the Petsmart near me, the dog trainer there is pushy, and though I have not told her that I used to work at Petsmart, I recognize the tactics of her trying to lure me in her class. They work off comission and sadly, not all care about the health and training of your dog.
The bonus is these trainers are only supposed to use positive reinforment, although they do go over the e collars and stuff like that. I do agree as it is best to be informed about everything available.
 

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Has anyone ever taken their puppy/dog to any of the petsmart training classes? I'm taking my dog (almost 8months) to a class on Sunday... and just wondering what to expect. This is just a consultation class... but I'm just wondering if people have had success with it.



I went there for a job interview and they are all for positive reinforcement, no correction collars are allowed and they send the trainers to a basic book class, I would try and find a person that actually went to school/college to train the dog they also have puppy classes, I learned so much from my trainer that after she moved I trained Cash myself, I havent been able to find any trainer I live since her, I will have to in the next month or so or at least a play group for Aries for socialization.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I took her to this 'consultation' class, which turned out to be a waste of time. I spoke with the manager earlier in the week, who told me about this class, told me to bring Lucy in, and that she would make sure to talk to the trainer about her; she gets WAY over excited when she sees other dogs, and needs socialization more than obedience training. When we got there that day, there was no class, it was a potty training seminar that didn't require dogs attend. The trainer had no idea we were coming, and didn't have time to spend with us. He tried, but then people (without their dogs) showed up for the seminar. I didn't bother taking Lucy back. It felt way to unorganized for my likings.

We have been working on socializing her with dogs around the building we live in (with the owners that will allow a crazy hyper dog around theirs)... and it seems to be getting a lot better.
 

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I just posted about not wasting your time or money with petsmart. Try to find someone in your area, search on the internet and then look by reputation. also, looking for trainings held for therapy dogs and the providers of those sessions, they are a good source of info. I learned the hard way. found a good trainer after wasting a lot of money. petsmart was good for the socialization (though my dog had private lessons) but it helped her just going in the store. the classes and trainer were a waste of time.
 

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My sister and I took the PS Puppy kindergarten class. We had a great time!! We'll definately take other classes there in the future.
 

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PetSmart doesn't have official "consultation" classes, so please call and speak with the trainer and find out what exactly you're going to. If it's the free potty training seminar, don't take the dog.

It depends on the trainer, just like ANY training. I teach there and I've had lots of success with my students, and I like some of the fellow trainers in the area. Others I wouldn't ever recomend.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Unfortunately, first impression is huge, and I didn't get a great first impression from this situation. No fault of the trainer, I just didn't like having to go to the store for a waste of a time visit; which in my opinion the manager should know what is going on.

I have not taken Lucy back, instead we found a great place to take her for some off leash sessions to get her socialized with other dogs. Its great. She is trained, so we weren't going to be attending the class for the obedience portion.

I understand it depends on the trainer, I just didn't feel comfortable.
 

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Out of curiousity I lurked around one of these puppy classes and wasn't very impressed. The information that the guy had was nothing that we don't read or research before we get the puppy, and none of the dogs seemed to have any learned any manners...it seemed like it was just puppy play time. Don't get me wrong, thats important too...but I think you can get a lot more for your money and time at an actual training facility. There are too many distractions with people and other pets shopping and too many new smells with all those toys and dog food around, it just doesn't seem like the right environment to try to teach your dog something new.
 

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Out of curiousity I lurked around one of these puppy classes and wasn't very impressed. The information that the guy had was nothing that we don't read or research before we get the puppy, and none of the dogs seemed to have any learned any manners...it seemed like it was just puppy play time. Don't get me wrong, thats important too...but I think you can get a lot more for your money and time at an actual training facility. There are too many distractions with people and other pets shopping and too many new smells with all those toys and dog food around, it just doesn't seem like the right environment to try to teach your dog something new.
I guess it all depends on the trainer. The trainer that my sister and I had was awesome!!

I find that the fact that the classes are in the store with all the distractions helped with learning how to manage your dog under these situations and teach your dog that they have to focus on you and no one or anything else.

Yes the pet food and the small animal were a challenge, but now I can walk into the store with my dog and she knows to focus on me and not the toys and birds.
 

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If you do it in a store with the PetHotel it's easier in the beginning, because you have an enclosed room to start before trying the store. The other stores have an open area. Harder IMO.
 

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I guess it all depends on the trainer. The trainer that my sister and I had was awesome!!

I find that the fact that the classes are in the store with all the distractions helped with learning how to manage your dog under these situations and teach your dog that they have to focus on you and no one or anything else.

Yes the pet food and the small animal were a challenge, but now I can walk into the store with my dog and she knows to focus on me and not the toys and birds.
I can too...in any environment. But I like to do the distraction work separate from the learning the basics work. I think it is a more effective that way, but I can only go off of what I have seen/learn.
 

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Although I didn't do the puppy training I did take one of my dogs to work with a trainer. I was happy with the experience. I was training my dog to be prepared for the therapy dog evaluation. The trainer at Petsmart had two therapy dogs so it was a good match. She was very effective.
 
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