Petsmart Training? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Petsmart Training?

I have been working with my 5 month old GSD since I brought him home. I feel fairly confident in simple obedience training considering my sister was a regional dog trainer for Petsmart. My sister lives in Korea now and I feel as though it is time to take him to some professional classes. I would like to know what type of training everyone has chosen for their puppy and, if you have chosen Petsmart what was your experience like?

p.s. I have asked my sister this question and obviously she has a biased opinion so I am just curious to see what everyone else has to say.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 10:39 PM
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The Petsmart training class (where I last resided)...was one of the worst places I have seen. More "spritzed" wet dogs in one room, being constantly yelled at NO! NO! NO!...what a mess!
Not a place that I would EVER recommend.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 10:42 PM
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I am currently taking Birbo to a trainer that specializes in GSD's. He trains police dogs and is well known as one of the best in my area. He knows the breed well . . .
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 10:44 PM
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Petsmart trainers get a 2 week training course on training. I'm lucky, my trainer is very knowledgeable but I know that he will only get us to a point. I basically go to Petsmart for socialization. Afterwards I will be going to an obediance school/schutzhund club. The only reason I went with petsmart is because the guy is generally knowledgeable. He trains hunting dogs for hobby and has worked with problem dogs in the past.
So, go to your local petsmart and have a conversation. Don't be sweettalked! The other trainer tried to get us to sign up before we were ready and I just about laughed in her face...
if your not comfortable with the person, training style, personnal knowledge, whatever, walk away and go somewhere else. Go and visit and wach a session or two. Get a feel for the place and go with it!
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 10:52 PM
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Brutus starts his puppy classes at petsmart next week... I was a bit hesitant cuz of the horror stories i've read on here but it was the only class that fit into our schedule perfectly. I'll let you know how it goes!!!

Brutus James 8/5/10- GSD

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 10:58 PM
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I had considered petsmarts for Rocky, but the lady I made an appointment with never showed up, so nuts to that. I went to a non brand name dog training place. It is good, but I don't know if Petsmarts would have been just as good. They were the same price. Good luck, let us know how it goes. I truly think that the trainers can show us stuff to do, but it is really up to us to follow through with consitency.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 11:52 PM
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The quality of training at pet stores will vary greatly depending upon the instructor(s). Petsmart has a short (6 weeks I think but it may be different now) training course for their instructors and they require no previous dog training knowledge. So you may get an instructor who is 19, has never trained a dog before and has only had X number weeks of instructor training before teaching classes. However, some instructors at the stores are actually knowledgeable dog people with many years of training/competing experience. Go an observe class, ask the instructors questions and decide for yourself if this trainer is experienced enough for your needs.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 11:56 PM
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i always start with private lessons. once
my dog learns some things i go to group classes.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 12:11 AM
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where i live now there is ONE trainer at petsmart i would like to be in class with. She has a 22 week old newfie, a st. bernard who she trained from scratch and a newfie mix. Her St. was an unruly terror when she adopted him and now he's polite and well mannered and doesnt drag his 120 handler down the street on walks anymore. her newfie mix was already trained when she brought her home. her 22 week old newfie she is training for water rescue. she actually went to school to be a dog trainer and i've seen how well behaved her dogs are. The other trainer is nice and all but she doesnt own any pets which right there is a red flag for me in regards to a trainer. I wouldnt have a class with her. It depends on the instructor and how long they've been training, previous experience and in all honesty... if they have any breed prejudice. If you end up with a trainer who is prejudice against certain breeds, thats not a good sign either. basically you want to conduct an interview with the trainers before you actually dish out the funds for the class. every petsmart trainer is different some are actually good and worth it while others are terrible and should never have gotten the job.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-18-2010, 04:09 PM
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Hubby and I have explored many many training options.
We finally found a great guy at petsmart for the puppy obedience class (which im using as a socialization class and then also so I can work on the commands she already knows [sit, down, here, and wait] around distractions. He is also a CGC tester so if I like his style and we all click I may stick with him for that.

We have checked out about 12 petsmarts and most of them knew very little (it's scary when Ive learned more on this site and youtube about training my pup that these "professionals" seem to know). For instance I asked it one trainer had ever worked with dogs that were to be trained as service dogs. She said that she hadnt worked with a puppy that was going to be training as a service dog but was confident that she could get us to the CGC standard since "you need it for public access" :X when I tried to nicely explain other wise she ignored me so I said no thanks. Another trainer had never worked with a handler who was in a wheel chair and said that my husband should be the primary handler ... that was a no. And another one said that there was zero difference between a handler in a chair vs one who isnt (which isnt true, some things are a little different in terms of training.... for instance heeling is scarier to a puppy who is next to rolling wheels vs feet and pulling or crossing in front of my chair could get her hurt).

In other words talk to a bunch of trainers and take notes, decide what a deal breaker is for you, and what you can work with. : )

Ive read that some folks think the training at petsmart is crap - I dont think it sucks I think you just have to find the right trainer and remember to work on the training at home, 1 hour a week isnt going to turn your pup into the obedient dog you expect him to be ...at least I dont think so - I work with Jordan daily, everytime I see a learning opportunity I put a cue with it and praise or redirect! : )

-Jess
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