Anyone EVER take the petco or petsmart training classes?
The reason I ask is because even though I can do training myself and have read all the books and have the DVDs and do things like Tug with Michael Ellis, etc. the one thing I don't have is a controlled distracting environment and other dogs. I dont have access to other dogs so the socialization aspect of raising a puppy (IMO more important than obedience training) is out of my abilities. I tried doggie daycare at a nearby place that got great ratings. It's alright, it can be a great place, it was a great facility. But my dog did not like it, she was overwhelmed, hid under a play pen desk thing all the time, and when I picked her up she smelled of urine and was soaked in urine. Not taking her back there again. At least maybe not until she's older with more confidence. That was her first experience with other dogs of any kind.
I'm looking into Petco or Petsmart training purely for the socialization and as an added bonus, the obedience work with distractions and treats would be a plus. But I'm willing to pay the $110 purely for the controlled socialization environment alone. 1 hour a week for 7 weeks is not bad for socialization exposure. I also like that the training is done in the stores with people all about and other dogs, scents, and lots of distractions. Probably more distractions than any other setting I can think of so I really favor that aspect.
I would like to hear from anyone who took or observed either the Petsmart or Petco classes for puppies and what they thought. I'd be interested in hearing the methodologies in training and also the general curriculum if possible. I called and got the name of the trainer at by nearby Petsmart store but google searches return no hits. As I understand it though, they have certain universal training curriculum for all the stores though.
I need to decide between this, or a local training school. The local training school is obviously better in obedience training with proper teacher to dog ratio, more time spent training, full 3 hour orientation, 2hour lessons, and by the end of 6 weeks the dog will know more commands and things like heel. But I am not sure if the socialization aspect of training school is on par with a petco or petsmart. I WANT distractions and I want the environment where customers and kids are walking around, birds are chirping, cash registers are going off, dog food and pet scents are everywhere. Most importantly, I want other dogs and play time, interactions, training while other dogs are around, etc.
Last edited by pancake; 12-11-2012 at 06:38 PM.