Multiple dogs in Petsmart? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Multiple dogs in Petsmart?

Just curious if anyone else is as crazy as I am some days lol.

A few weekends ago, I needed to swing into petsmart to get some cat litter, and decided to do it on the way home from taking the dogs for a swim. It was far too hot to leave them in the car, so I ended up taking all three of my dogs into petsmart with me. Even with me carrying a 40lb box of cat litter through the aisles (I really should have gotten a cart), they were all walking calmly along with me. Helped that they'd been swimming fairly hard core for a time before we got there lol.

People were surprised when I told them that Doyle was only 11 months, since he was behaving just like the other two. Just walking along with me, standing quietly and politely saying hi to people. Leia almost knocked one of the employees over with how happy she was to lean into him for pets lol.

I finally had a good run in with one of their trainers in this area too. She was doing a private session with a woman's dog. Looked like a young draathar mix or something along those lines. The dog would be really excitable when seeing new dogs, wanting to go say hi and play, but just getting way overzealous about it. The trainer was working on getting her to sit quietly and politely in a heel position with dogs nearby.

I was debating about getting a box of cookies for the dogs (since they had a sale and we had run out of generic cookies) when the trainer came near. There was another lady down the aisle in front of them with a dog. She explained what they were doing and asked if it was okay that she had stopped there. First time I've had one of them politely ask if it was okay to use the sight of my dogs as a training aid. She explained how good it was for the dog to be surrounded by well balanced dogs. None of the dogs were really reacting, everyone was calm and relaxed. And she actually went behind the Banfield desk that was behind me, so the dog walked past us without having the added distraction of dogs being super close.

Best part was that the woman who had been down the other aisle came to bring her dog over to say hello, and Doyle was a perfect gentleman! He politely sniffed hello to the other dog and returned to my side. Even laid down after a bit. It was a great interaction and Doyle comes to my side now when he feels overwhelmed with new dogs. But the aggressive behavior is basically gone now.

Wanted to share the story and ask who else is crazy and brings multiple dogs into places like Petsmart, Petco and other dog friendly stores? I cannot be the only one lol.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 12:20 AM
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I think I'll be doing it a lot more with Fenway and her sister. My male dobe is pretty leash reactive and gets over excited in situations like that so we don't take him as much.

I love that a PetSmart trainer was trying to help train that dog under his threshold like that. Even a big box store can have a good trainer occasionally.

It sounds like your kids were awesome breed ambassadors today. Kudos all around!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 10:34 AM
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I have brought up to 2 with me into stores, but that is because a generally I only have 1 or 2 with me when I run errands like that. I did bring 3 to the vet one time. One lady was so amazed at their behavior she asked of she could take a picture to show her husband.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 12:12 PM
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Congrats!! I so can't wait to get to that point.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 04:54 PM
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I have taken 3 at a time to the vet, but not to Petsmart. Orick is fine there, but I am still trying to get up the nerve to take DA Jade there... I know I can CONTROL her, but I just don't want her acting a butthead and looking like a raving maniac, even though I can physically handle her.

She is better than she was when I first got her, and I am thinking that she won't be so territorial away from home... These are all the things I tell myself to make myself DO it. It does help that the manager is a friend of mine, and she knows Jade, in fact she is the one who told Jade's owner I should be the one to give her to after she retired her...

If I ever get up the courage, I will tell all about the trip, but don't anyone hold your breath, LOL!

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Normally I only have the one or two myself, but we have a system down for when I have all three with me. They know where they walk beside me and they tend to stand or sit if I stop. It helps that Myles and Leia aren't reactive to anything. Doyle's dog reactivity is finally under control and almost eliminated.

I was thrilled to see a trainer there working so well with the dog. The dog she was working was calm and attentive. Obviously interested, but acting appropriately. It was a nice complement to hear someone call my dogs all well balanced. People here are always stunned when dogs have manners. Definitely sad to see, since there are so many dog owners here! My kids make me proud however. They're a good group of dogs.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2014, 01:31 AM
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Had Odie, Lassie, and Moofy all in to the vet at the same time yesterday morning. Odie is an older gal, and unlikely to give trouble. lassie turned one in March, and Moofy was born in April -- those two were half playing half-trying to eat each other. I had to put on my ugly voice with Lassie, and then all was beautiful. When we left she was trying to play with the boy.

PetsMart, the most I have done at once is 2. But usually I prefer to handle just one at a time. I would not encourage strangers to come up and meet someone's dogs if they have multiple -- just too many possibilities and too many of them do not end nice.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-28-2014, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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In general you have to be careful, but I don't worry about people coming up when I have my dogs. Leia is friendly, Doyle is usually curious but simply steps away if he doesn't want to interact. And Myles either sits next to me or politely says hello. So I know what to expect with them when out with people. As far as other dogs go, Myles and Leia are very appropriate with other dogs, and Doyle has been better. If overwhelmed, even if off leash, he shows avoidance and comes to me so I can take care of the issue.

I don't go out with intent to meet every person or animal in the store. Distance does help with reinforcing the attentive watching and calm reactions however. And Doyle definitely takes cues from my older dogs, who are calm and relaxed.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 03:00 PM
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I have taken mine to Petsmart but am very careful. Too many people with untrained dogs and too many people that are not trained well either. I have a very confident and strong male who is fine with other dogs that are neutral. If they are wild or give him the "stink eye" he will assert himself so we then we just move away and redirect. He is typical GSD, will say hello to people who ask they can say hello and then he is done. The last time I was there someone asked if they could say hello and give him a pet. Seemed like that was all it was going to be, then she decided to look in his eyes and lower her face to his. Fortunately he did not react and I moved him away and gave her a lesson as to why that is not such a smart thing to do. I use these visits for training, but with eyes wide open.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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I definitely am aware of my surroundings and my dogs. I tend to make it a point to avoid where other dogs are that I think could be a problem and so far I haven't had too many issues with people at least. My older two are very neutral and calm when it comes to other dogs and people. If Myles is nervous, he simply moves behind me or close to me. Leia loves the attention. Doyle is the only one I am wary of reacting to other dogs, though I definitely make it a point to avoid any who look like they'll be trouble.

Normally I have just one or two of them, but it was interesting to have all three. It was also fairly quiet that sunday morning and they were all nicely tuckered out lol.
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