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Discussion Starter #1
Yea, yea, i know, most people despise Petsmart for the money grabbing store that it is but some of us find them useful for some stuff.....!!!!!:grin2:


My wife wants to enroll our 22 week male in their 6 week program, its $120....

Has anyone done it or heard about it???
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What are you hoping to gain?
I have yet to look into it, my wife brought up the idea, as she heard about it at the store... and said its 1 hour per week, for 6 weeks...

Im assuming its basics, but not really sure...



I guess im looking for more reassurance it wont be a complete waste of money! :grin2::wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This is from the website:

6-week class teaches:

Simple cues like sit, come & stay
Basic manners
Socialization with people & other dogs
Loose-leash walking
 

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We did this class just because it was free....if you know anything about training this course is a joke. It’s good for socialization though. It helped us with working and staying focused while out of control puppies were around.
 

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See if there is a local place that offers AKC puppy STAR classes. These classes prep a puppy for the CGC when they are older.
 

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Agreed, look for a STAR class. Petsmart classes are terrible and for that money you can enroll in a nice puppy class elsewhere.
 

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This is from the website:

6-week class teaches:

Simple cues like sit, come & stay
Basic manners
Socialization with people & other dogs
Loose-leash walking
Do you think you guy's could use some help with those things? If not, that's definitely where the waste of money would come in. I've listened to the one guy at the Petco by me and I've seen the Petsmart classes and instructors giving extra attention to people outside the training area. If you are having some problems, I wouldn't look to them for help, but I never notice anything so out of line that it would hurt you with those basics any more then any other group setting. Its always going to come down to the individual trainer.
 

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I'd enroll in the same class elsewhere. Sometimes you will get lucky and get a decent trainer but those trainers quickly move on to places that make better use of their experience.

The criteria for teaching a PetSmart class is focused on selling classes, not actual training. It's a short online Q&A and TADA you are now a trainer. Not only do few of them have actual training experience, some of them don't even own dogs. PetSmart also has strict rules on what type of training equipment they are allowed to use in class and how to teach an activity. Method A is all they allow and if your dog learns better with Method B you are out of luck because you aren't allowed to do that in a sponsored class.
 

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I've talked with trainers at Petsmart and Petco during adoption events when I have hours to kill. I've watched their classes. I even know one of their store trainers -- she is sweet, but she had NO background in training (not even her own dogs) and was a shelter kennel worker/adoption counselor before becoming the store's "trainer." My understanding is that they have weekend seminars that teach cashiers and line employees how to be dog trainers, using their cookie-cutter program. They know how to do exactly what the seminar trains them to do. Nothing more, and they cannot deviate from it. Ask your store's trainer for her background and really delve into it -- has she titled any dog (even in CGC)? Done anything with her dogs? Taken classes outside the Pet* program to broaden perspective? Earned APDT certification?

Watch a class without telling them you're considering signing up. The ones I saw were pure chaos. The dogs are too close together in a little temporary pen set up in the middle of the store. There's no control of dogs or people. Dogs I saw were ignoring people and doing whatever they pleased with each other because they were right on top of each other in the confined space, and no one had any interest in telling them to knock it off or figuring out how to hold their attention.

Aside from inexperience, the store employees seem kind of desperate to fill classes because they seem to get paid based on class attendance. One of the PS trainers yelled -- literally yelled -- at one of our rescue volunteers who was in the store helping an adopter select equipment, including a prong collar for an 85# adolescent, high-drive male, in preparation to attend a different trainer's class. She screamed about prongs being inhumane, said said nasty things about the trainer our rescue works with who routinely teaches people how to use that tool (and who actually owns GSDs, works with problem dogs, and gets the job done). The ironic thing is that our trainer is the most easy going, gentle, patient person I know, but he's a boss--dogs LOVE him; that Petsmart lady was a short-fused loon that dogs were all trying avoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for saving us from that trap!


So far from the AKC star puppy evaluator search there are about 5 or 6 emails within 20 minutes or so of my area....

Are evaluators the "trainers" and i can reach out to them for more details? and if so.... how will i know which is best?
 

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Currently work as a groomer at a petsmart - no clue how the classes continuously sell because they are in no way worth it. Would definitely not recommend. Find a good local trainer, look at the reviews, check out any local IPO clubs to see if anyone has any recommendations based off of training style you prefer.

I'm super happy with the trainer I had for a while (put on hold because of busy schedule). She's absolutely incredible. As an employee of petsmart, I have a free six-week course of my choosing at my disposal. I'll never use it. :p

I will say I do train at my petsmart. On my own. Working on my dog offering engagement in a distracting environment. That's about it, haha
 

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One of the PS trainers yelled -- literally yelled -- at one of our rescue volunteers who was in the store helping an adopter select equipment, including a prong collar for an 85# adolescent, high-drive male, in preparation to attend a different trainer's class. She screamed about prongs being inhumane, said said nasty things about the trainer our rescue works with who routinely teaches people how to use that tool (and who actually owns GSDs, works with problem dogs, and gets the job done). The ironic thing is that our trainer is the most easy going, gentle, patient person I know, but he's a boss--dogs LOVE him; that Petsmart lady was a short-fused loon that dogs were all trying avoid.
The OTHER ironic thing is that a Petsmart employee is yelling at someone for buying a product Petsmart sells. (facepalm)
 

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I've heard that a Petsmart trainer can be fired for using the term "correction". That's like a parent being told they can never say 'no' to their child!

Total waste of money, IMO!
 

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I've heard that a Petsmart trainer can be fired for using the term "correction". That's like a parent being told they can never say 'no' to their child!

Total waste of money, IMO!
Not that it makes it any better, but that's not 100% true - at least not at my store. "Correction" has been uttered (and corrections employed) somewhat regularly depending on the trainer and their methods.

But yeah. Even free is a waste of time.
 

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See if there is a local place that offers AKC puppy STAR classes. These classes prep a puppy for the CGC when they are older.
You may find club that'll offer the AKC puppy star class along with other classes options as you advance. Pricing (in our area) is about $65 ish for 8wks for non members. They'll also have flyball, agility, barn hunt, rally, etc... Many of the trainers at our club have titled dogs in several venues and are open to different training methods and tools.
 

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I went to petco when Tasha was a puppy for training. The trainer I had was good and he gave me one on one training at my request. Yes, it's only the basics, but it's a good start and foundation for further training. You can have a great dog with just basic training. I think it really depends on the person they have doing it. You would have to watch them and decide if it's workable for you. It's been 2 years now and he is still there training.
 

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I worked at PetSmart for a bit, part time. I left for a few reasons, one was the constant upselling and pressure to sell puppy guides and dog training classes. Another was the way they let small animals suffer for a day or two because of their inane health and treatment guides. When I got upset because they were leaving hamsters to suffer and die, I was taken in the back and chewed out. When I explained the situation fully, the manager tried to back track but that was it for me. I also quit because I found full time work teaching, and I was so done with retail. Retail and selling pets just don't mix, in my opinion.

The PetSmart trainers complete an online course and then are sent for two weeks to an "area trainer" to learn in part how to sell classes (you have to sell a certain number of classes during your training or you won't pass), and also how to train dogs (in two weeks, or ten days). Technically, PetSmart is not allowed to take "aggressive" or reactive dogs into their classes.

The classes I saw were pointless, if not counter-productive and the training area was tiny with a very slippery floor. Maybe there are some good trainers out there, but I never saw one of them. I can't recommend against their Pet Hotel strongly enough. Please DO NOT leave your dog there!

I think the advice so far has been good. Find a STAR or AKC training club, or similar local dog training group and work from there.
 
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