Training at pet stores - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Training at pet stores

I've been reading a lot of threads where people go to a petstore and train there. Are pet stores, like Petco or Petsmart, generally okay with this practice, like even if you're not techinically shopping or planning on buying something. Or do you always ask before doing something like this and make sure that they don't mind?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 11:52 AM
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Yes, they are fine with it. But I always buy something when I'm there. It's not like I go there and train daily. It's just distraction training.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 11:53 AM
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I personally don't think it's a good idea, I like or would rather get together with some dogs that I have met in the past and train with them or go to a certified OB class.

You have no control over what kind of dogs will be at these pet stores or what kind of people will be there, I would stack the odds in my favor that it will be a pleasant expierience for the dog.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 11:57 AM
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I've noticed that if you put a thing on them thats says "in training" and is bright yellow most people assume it is a service dog and stay far out of your way .... they don't want to pet him and ask what disability you have.

Some people put things on their dogs that say "do not pet" but that scares a lot of people

((I am not pretending he is a service dog!!!! just letting people see the 'in training'))
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Denali Girl View Post
You have no control over what kind of dogs will be at these pet stores or what kind of people will be there, I would stack the odds in my favor that it will be a pleasant expierience for the dog.
I take fosters and my dogs to pet supply stores for training but I rarely (if ever) let them actually meet dogs there. I am not there to train them to get along with other dogs but to train them to pay attention to me through distractions or to desensitize them to the presence of other dogs (just seeing them not meeting them).
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 12:12 PM
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I bring my GSD to Petsmart, Petco, Tractor Supply & Stienhousers (feed store). I never ask. I am 100% aware of my surroundings. If Mr. Rude with Princess Yappy are in an isle, I'll go down another one. If the Ole' Lady who lives in a shoe that has so many children she doesn't know what to do, is down one isle, I'll go down another. If there is someone that has brought a cat - I'll stay FAR away. A trained dog on a leash in an isle is a great distraction. A person reading lables with no pet, another great distraction. A person who asks permission to pet your dog, is a great socialization tool.

My dog is working from the time I enter the door - always at a heel. The only time I let him off heel (but still on a leash) is if we are 'searching' the store for hubby. And we only play that if the store is fairly empty.

I think it's a very good tool for training, as long as you keep your wits about you. I always purchase a little something while I'm there, because sitting in the line waiting to pay is a good tool as well. I don't permit the employees to treat my GSD.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 12:13 PM
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Do it all of the time. I often train in the back corner, during a low-customer time.
I also practice outside in the parking lot and by the doors. Near the doors are super to practice a down with distractions. I usually work with at least one other person who is the look-out, and/or use a cone or two around my dog (when outside) that says "In Training."
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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This is definately for attention/distraction training. He's starting OB in a week and I really want him to pay attention to me when we're in public. He's 6 months old and I can get him to come at a dog park 70% of the time. If he's really interested in a dog, I don't even bother. He's starting his teenage months so that doesn't help either, but I'm just trying to come up with all possible ideas for training. I like pet stores because all pets are on leash and the owners can control or should I say should be in control at all times or can easily pull their dogs away if necessary. At an off leash dog park you don't get that kind of control and dogs will come up to play, which at this age he will do rather than listening to me. In my eyes that would be the next step after he's good at a pet store to go to a dog park where the distractions are in his face rather than an aisle away.

So do you guys ask to train or just spend an hour at the store "browsing."
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsdraven View Post
I take fosters and my dogs to pet supply stores for training but I rarely (if ever) let them actually meet dogs there. I am not there to train them to get along with other dogs but to train them to pay attention to me through distractions or to desensitize them to the presence of other dogs (just seeing them not meeting them).

Sure you will have no problem with your dogs as they are a bit trained already aren't they? I was under the impression that the OP had a pup with no OB training yet?

I just like to take it slow in the beginning as not to overwhelm the pup.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-25-2011, 12:34 PM
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Sure you will have no problem with your dogs as they are a bit trained already aren't they? I was under the impression that the OP had a pup with no OB training yet?

I just like to take it slow in the beginning as not to overwhelm the pup.
Not my fosters. And I totally agree with taking your time and building up to distractions. It sounds like the OP already has her pup trained better than half the pet owners you find in public.

I think using pet stores on cold and rainy days (or sunny ones) is a great idea as long as you are able to stay aware of your surroundings to make sure it's a positive experience.
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