PetSmart dog trainer interview - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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PetSmart dog trainer interview

Hello,
I know some of you out there are PetSmart dog trainers. I have just been asked to interview for a position. What could I expect from the job? What have your experiences been.

Emily
Skadi, AKA Lady Wolfington, GSD 4.6.12
Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 01:58 PM
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The main thing you should expect is adhering to a very strict training protocol. I was the head trainer at a petsmart for years and that was my biggest frustration. It is completely corporate, and you must do things their way. As lead trainer I tweaked things as much as I could but it is very frustrating to be forced to deal with a behaviour that will takes weeks to fix, when you know you could fix it immediately if you used another method. But you can't. It was a fun job though, and I learned a lot about patience

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 02:17 PM
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Hey Emily, do you feel comfortable with trying to teach other people how to train their dog?
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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I'm a bit nervous about that aspect, yes. It is a dream of mine to become a dog trainer. I just completed a clicker training course online through the Karen Pryor Academy, and Grim and Skadi are very happy with it.

Emily
Skadi, AKA Lady Wolfington, GSD 4.6.12
Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Nervous and excited.

Emily
Skadi, AKA Lady Wolfington, GSD 4.6.12
Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 04:01 PM
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Good luck!
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Zoe and Mikelia.

Emily
Skadi, AKA Lady Wolfington, GSD 4.6.12
Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 05:14 PM
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Thats the part I always wonder about. The teaching. I don't doubt you can train a dog to sit, but teaching someone else to do it is a different kind of skill. Good luck . Hope it works out for you.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Emily
Skadi, AKA Lady Wolfington, GSD 4.6.12
Grim, AKA Bones , GSD 7.7.13
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-13-2014, 05:29 PM
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I don't want to say too much because I started out at a really horrible store, so I know it's not the typical experience. It's been much better since I got to the new store. But like others said, the big things to remember is that there will be a lot of politics, you will have a rather strict curriculum and rules about what you can teach and how you can teach it, and there will likely be a focus on sales that can be annoying at best and absolutely rage-inducing at worst. Just so you know.

I'm not actually sure if I would mention that you attended KP's academy....I've known people with previous training experience to get turned down from the program because the company more or less seems to want blank slates to put through their company program. If I had applied as a trainer instead of a cashier my manager told me point blank I would have been rejected. Even though I knew positive reinforcement, it was a "conflict of previous bias" and they basically didn't want me picking and choosing what I wanted to learn out of their training based on what I thought was a good method or not. If you really want, you could mention it, but I would look closely for their reaction to get an idea of whether you should down play or up play it.

I only ended up with a trainer job because every store needs two trainers and one of ours got pregnant and didn't tell anyone until the last minute. So my manager was scrambling to fill the gap and I was the only one who wanted to fill it. Otherwise, I would not have gotten it.
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