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Old 01-28-2014, 09:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default She said yes!!

So my wife finally said yes that we can get a dog. Not only did she say yes, but she gave me her word that she would be totally commited to helping train and take care of the puppy. One excited husband over here. Won't be getting a pup for a couple months most likely, but still glad to know that we will have a buddy in the near future. So my first question, does anyone recommend petsmart puppy training classes?
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I definitely do not recommend petsmart classes. They pretty much just teach you the same things you could look up on google for FREE. Also, most of their classes seem like they are just teaching circus tricks.. Nothing useful. I'm glad you are finally going to get your puppy! They really make life awesome. There will never be a dull moment in your house!


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Old 01-28-2014, 09:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Congratulations! Your wife will love having a protective companion around when you are gone.

Petsmart - I think it depends on the store. I've met some very good trainers at our local store. And it could never hurt getting your puppy socialized in a safe place. I would recommend finding three trainers in your area. Go and sit and watch a class now, so how you like. Will you be bored? Are the dogs learning anything? Are there any GSDs there?

If you feel comfortable posting your location, there may be someone on the website that can refer you to a good trainer.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Congratulations!

As far as Petsmart classes, I started my GSD in puppy classes at Petco, BUT my trainer there is a professional (she formerly had her own training center before she moved here) and her breed is Dobermans. And she LOVES my dog.

It will only go so far, though, and we will be moving to a more formal class with the kennel club next month, with my current trainer's full blessings and encouragement.

One of my classmates at Petco told me that she had started at Petsmart, but left there because the trainer was clueless.

It all depends on the trainer, whether at a pet store, kennel club, or other venue. Ask other dog owners in your area where they train.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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In my area, not only is Petco a much cleaner store than PetSmart, the employees are friendlier and more knowledgeable, including the trainers. I was told Petco trainers go through a 16 week course where as Petsmart trainers are given a book to read. Not sure how true that is, but the Petco trainer we have was a horse trainer turned dog trainer and has 2 GSDs of her own. I like her training style, she has good suggestions when we ask questions and she makes the class fun for the dogs and us.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I went to a puppy socialization seminar at my local Petco on Sunday. My 11-week-old GSD and a 7-week-old Great Dane were the only puppies there. The "trainer" suggested that I need a choke collar for my pup because she wanted to play rough with the other puppy-who wasn't interested in playing at all. All I had to do was hang on to the leash and my puppy left the other one alone. The trainer also said that she likes to have 2 dogs in her classes. And that she would be teaching sit and stay for the first 2 weeks. My puppy already knows these. I'm not going back.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any other dog trainers in my area.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurlonfire2004 View Post
I went to a puppy socialization seminar at my local Petco on Sunday. My 11-week-old GSD and a 7-week-old Great Dane were the only puppies there. The "trainer" suggested that I need a choke collar for my pup because she wanted to play rough with the other puppy-who wasn't interested in playing at all. All I had to do was hang on to the leash and my puppy left the other one alone. The trainer also said that she likes to have 2 dogs in her classes. And that she would be teaching sit and stay for the first 2 weeks. My puppy already knows these. I'm not going back.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any other dog trainers in my area.
This is absolutely not cool!! As much as the chain store classes are, "It all depends on the trainer," PetCo and PetsMart both have rules that state they are only to use positive reinforcement based training, and at the very least no prong collars (not sure about chokes). That whole can of worms aside, it is very worrisome that the trainer's first, go to method of control would be a choke collar. If they're going against the company's wishes so easily, what else are they "bending" the rules about?


Like others have said, spend a good amount of time looking at trainers in your area. It may well turn out that you end up LOVING one of the trainers at a chain store, or you can find a really great club in your area that is open to new owners. What's great these days, is with the internet, you can check out a lot of places in your area at once in an afternoon.

Congrats on the future puppy!
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It depends on BOTH the store and the puppy. My female started very young and she did well, never used a prong on her, she was trained on a flat collar. I love that trainer. She does rally and titles her own dogs in obedience, so it shows in her training. My male couldn't do well there in the beginning and excelled in a GSD club. Now we could go there and he would be fine. I tried another Petsmart with my golden puppy, while I thought she was also a good trainer, I felt it was more rushed, I now travel an hour to get to first trainer with golden. He can be difficult, so he also goes to the GSD club once a week.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I had a great experience at petsmart! The trainer that was there had written the curriculum, and it was geared to GSD's....he loved all dogs, but adored GSD's, and was very knowledgable and very good. When he left, we left. Our next training group we were not as well liked, and the experience was a bit frustrating. My girl is very happy and submissive, not fearful...a lovely dog! I guess you just need to see what each individual trainer is like...I personally will not attend training in a situation again where there is obvious bias. Enjoy your new pup😎


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Old 01-29-2014, 10:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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congrats, to you and your wife, my belief is, it does take a village to raise a puppy, check around for a trainer that has experience with the GSD,
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