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Discussion Starter #1
Two weeks ago, we started Intermediate Training at our local PetSmart store. I know it's not the greatest program - but it's what we can afford right now. I'd rather have something under our belt then nothing at all.

Anyways, the trainer from our beginner class is no longer there. When I found out who the new trainer was, I was thrilled! I know she has GSD experience because I've met and observed her dog and was amazed! Aside from owning a GSD, I know for sure she has experience training horses, but that's the extent of what I knew about her background. She's one of those people that don't feel the need to follow the petsmart training outline point for point. Like, if we had an off topic question - it would be answered and there was a TON of additional information to be learned from her.

Fast forward to week two. I walk in all excited, thinking I'm gonna have a blast again. Come to find out, due to scheduling another trainer will be taking over our class. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed, but agreed to give the new trainer a try. If we weren't satisfied, we still have the option to change our class (the next one starts in late October).

So the new trainer has 17 years experience, worked as border patroll or U.S marshall or something like that (sorry, I don't remember exactly... but somewhere along those lines) and has bred GSDs who were taken into the police force. I should point out that there were 2 of us in class that day. The other trainer decided to give us an opportunity to get to know the new guy - so she worked with the other dog and he worked with us. HOWEVER - instead of instructing us on what to do to properly teach whatever we were learning, and how to properly correct it - he repeatedly took the leash and worked with our dog himself. Well, by the end, Jaz was doing well at what the trainer wanted him to do... but we still gained no information. It felt like we brought him into a training camp and were by-standers to him being trained.

I guess my question is would it be better to stick with the trainer with 17 years of dog training under his belt that I didn't quite click with (maybe because I was pretty biased and reluctant to like him from the get go) or wait it out for the next session with the original trainer? Outside opinions are very welcome and appreciated :D
 

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That is a tuff one, if it were me I might give him one more class to see how it goes before I decided.
 

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I would stay with the trainer with experience. I find it RARE that PetSmart would get a trainer who seems to be over qualified for the job. Unless he does something you find offensive, I would stick it out. Usually PetSmart trainers are rather inexperienced with a limited amount of training in my experience. Yeah, not really a fan of PetSmart training because I've taken a class there...lol. I'm not a fan of cramming people into their tiny, cubby hole training areas even if they do let you wander the store with your puppy...lol.

If price is the issue, I preferred the park district training programs over PetSmart since their prices tend to be comparable...and they teach you in an open gym. It allowed for a lot of space for healing and working on individual issues since people weren't on top of each other. JMO

Let me know how it goes!:)

ETA - of course you can also get a crappy instructor at the park district.
 

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I would give him another chance but have a conversation and let him know you are there to learn how to handle your dog. He may be totally unaware of what he is doing.
 

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i would give the class another try but i would speak with the trainer about YOU needing to be the one training your dog, NOT him. He's supposed to offer points and be helpful. Not do the training while you sit there and watch.
 

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The trainer Harley had when he was a puppy worked him for the first half hour of the class and then turned the leash over to me. I actually liked it being done that way. He did talk the whole time explaining what he was doing and why. He was also K-9 & Schutzhund trainer.

I'd go again but this time, stop him and ask questions. If he answers them you're good to go, if not, then I'd look for someone else. He might not realize he needs to do more talking and explaining.
 

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If there's an obedience training club in your area, the prices are usually cheaper than Petsmart, especially if you become a member. Ours charges $20 for membership and obedience classes are $30 for 6 wks. It's non-profit, AKC affiliated and all trainers volunteer their time
 

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If there's an obedience training club in your area, the prices are usually cheaper than Petsmart, especially if you become a member. Ours charges $20 for membership and obedience classes are $30 for 6 wks. It's non-profit, AKC affiliated and all trainers volunteer their time
That's a big "if." :(
 

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Try another perspective...the guy is obviously into GSDs...maybe he couldn't help himself (he probaly had a great time!). Next session let him know you really want to work with your dog, and after the session is over, he can have a round with your dog...for free!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If there's an obedience training club in your area, the prices are usually cheaper than Petsmart, especially if you become a member. Ours charges $20 for membership and obedience classes are $30 for 6 wks. It's non-profit, AKC affiliated and all trainers volunteer their time

Great idea, I haven't considered this before. Just found one in the area, but am waiting on a response for their membership fees and class pricing.
 

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Try googling 'obedience training club'- that's what I did and we live way out in the ginky weeds and turns out there is one!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Try another perspective...the guy is obviously into GSDs...maybe he couldn't help himself (he probaly had a great time!). Next session let him know you really want to work with your dog, and after the session is over, he can have a round with your dog...for free!

JudynRich - thank you, that's a good opinion. I guess it's a very good possibility that he just enjoyed working with him lol. We'll give it another shot... hoping for a more positive outcome
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I really should have mentioned this when I first started this thread. Now, it COULD be a miscommunication (i wasn't actually there when this part was said) - but the 17 years of training could be with the Shih Tzu breed. Again, I'm not sure of this - and it might have no standing since it was DOG training anyway. lol. just thought I'd point that out.
 

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I go to a retired military trainer, while he works with all dogs, he is partial to the GSD, the trainer you went to was enjoying himself and like in the other posts, ask questions, I would not leave just yet
 
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