I m getting ready to enroll my four month puppy in obedience school and was wondering if anyone else has taken their puppy to Petsmart for obedience training. All I know abut Petsmart is that the trainers are required to complete 120 hours of schooling, but I don't know if hey hay've had prior training experience. I have taken other dogs to obedience school, but it was always held outside with a private trainer. The big advantage of going to Petsmart is that it's indoors. Would it better to get individual or group lessons? Has anyone else taken their dog to Pertsmart for obedience training? How did it work out?
Trust me (as I've done it)- the benefit of "inside" training is lost with anything but distraction classes at Petsmart. They hold their classes IN THE MIDDLE of the freaking store during business hours- I knew it wasn't the best idea after the 6th person squealed, "Looooook at the weeeeeenie puuuuuuuppy!!!!!" during our first class.
That said, we happened to luck upon an excellent trainer- who was new to the area and quickly left Petsmart for a more lucrative and reputable training kennel. She was wonderful, though- and I followed her to the Kennel for his subsequent class. :)
You CAN get a decent trainer- but it's unlikely. For a puppy class? You want socialization anyway. Go in expecting the cooing from the crowds, the distractions, and know that it's unlikely that you'll walk out with a perfectly obedient pup. And unless you find an amazing trainer- go back to a training center for the next class. :)
I have always hired private one on one training for my dogs. I was at petsmart about 2 or 3 weeks ago and had an opportunity to observe the class that was going on at the time.
I was not impressed as I watched them put a cookie on the floor in front of the dog and say don't touch, don't touch, don't touch and they kept it up until the dog got the message. As far as I am concerned they are teaching the dog you don't have to listen the first time and I will tell you over and over again.
I think I will stick to private one on one lessons.
I am blessed with having a trainer that not only does 1 on 1 training in your home, but offers small group classes for those dogs who need the socializtion as well.
She does the temperment testing and training for the local shelter and has been training for over 20 years, constantly attending seminars to learn new things. The fees are very reasonable and well worth it.
I agree on the repeatring of commands, NOT a good thing. Once. That's it. If the dog doesn't respond, a fair correction.
If you have to keep repeating yourself it could prove fatal in some situations. "Sit, Stay & Down, Wait" with a Pyr is a MUST. If you have an open door with an unresponsive Pyr, you may very well end up with a "dog gone", headed right for traffic.
i've done petsmart and training facilities and found the training facilities much more in depth, and got much more for my money. i'd go with professional trainers. i think group classes are better because the dog gets training with some distractions.
I do obedience classes inside a pet supplies store right now (on the cat food aisle actually ;) because the trainer's building lease ran out and the building's owner sold it. She hasn't had a chance to find another building to host lessons yet, so we do lessons at the Montgomery Pet Supplies Plus.
Luckily, the aisle is in the back of the store, not in the front, or in an open area in the middle of the store. Pretty much everyone who's come into the store when we've been in the middle of the class has been very respectful and polite, no squealing 'look at the puppies!!' or anything like that. We have a bloodhound puppy in our class that is very popular, but even then, if people do ask the owner questions, they're very quiet and try to do it when there's a 'break' in teh action.
Honestly, the smells of the cat food are just as distracting for the dogs as the people are. It's a little cramped, and sometimes there area few distractions. But it's not so unbearable that I don't ever want to return. The dog that *is* at the biggest disadvantage in the class is the bloodhound, because she wants to smell *everything*. However her being a bloodhound, I'm not sure that classes outdoors owuld be any less distracting ;)
Note that this *is* different from what I've seen at Petco and Petsmart, which is more along the lines of what Longdogs4me has described. I'm not sure why. Maybe because it's mostly adults who go into Pet Supplies Plus. It's whole families with kids going into petsmart and petco, and kids in particular can be a real serious distraction.
Can not help it I have to say something for PetSmart. We took Cody there and he really enjoyed it. Yes you do have distractions but aren't you going to have them when you take your pup out? I am sure not all of their trainers work the same but we had a really good one, once we had to have a sub. for ours and I really didn't like her as well but I am sure she was fine, just different than ours. Ours did stress that the pup is suppose to listen to you the first time but you have to practice with them over and over till they get it. I feel confident that if Cody can do it any dog can! Cody did get a few freebe treats when we were learning"leave it" but he soon learned the term and now leaves them till told "ok". I am sure every dog is different so choose what is best for your dog. Cody loves to be around other dogs and enjoyed seeing his friends each week, some dogs may not like that and would do better with one on one training. Good luck!
I went thru Petco classes once. We worked outside mostly. It was ok, but truthfully, I have had better luck with classes thru the local community ed program. Cheaper and better run. Also, the one I used, at the end we got to go thru the CGC program and most of us passed.
I had my puppy Cookie in class at Petsmart and my sister had her dog Coach in the same class. I really liked it and Cookie learned the basics and it gave her a chance to socialize and play with other dogs.
Your dog is going to need to learn to listen to you WHILE there are distractions going on right? Your not sitting in a sealed box with your dog all your life. You want him to listen at a busy intersection, while the baby is crying or when there is another dog around. Plus socialization for the little guy will make for a much friendlier and happy dog. I say try it out if it's not for you at least you know you tried, I'm going to give it a try as well with my puppy as well as my 2 year old. Good luck!
i recently signed up for the petsmart puppy class, and yes, the puppies can get quite distracted. my puppy gets really distracted since she LOVES to go meet people. but the real reason i signed up for the class was so that my puppy would have a chance to socialize with other dogs in a more controlled environment. she's not fully vaccinated yet, being 4 months old right now, so i can't take her out on walks to parks or anything yet.
on the first day of the puppy class, it's humans only, where it's more of an orientation for the owners, and the owners each receive a training booklet. to be honest, i already knew everything in the booklet, since i spent so much time reading books and websites. but i figure this class will serve as a reenforcement on everything i've read.
the training and learning is done at home and as someone else mentioned already, the class is a distracting environment, where your puppy needs to learn to listen to you, even with distractions. the class is really for the puppy to socialize with other dogs and humans and for the instructor to give you tips on anything you might be doing wrong.
i see their puppy class as a good crash course really... dunno about their other classes.
I dropped puppy for basic class. The puppy class was all the stuff I'd taught at home already just to get through daily life. At 4 months we were the youngest dogs in basic, but the class worked out far better because the majority of the dogs were 7 and 8 months.
kitsune, I'm a ittle confused about something in your comment. You said your puppy wasn't fully vaccinated yet so you can't take her on walks. Why not? If she can attend obedience classes, I don't see why she can't go out on walks around the neighboorhoood, especially if you have her on a leash. I've been taking my four month old puppy on walks for two months and she also isn't completley vaccinated (rabies in rwo weeks). The vet said there was no problem with me doing it as long as she's not associating with a lot of other puppie.
In order to take your puppy to PetSmart classes it has to be up-to-date on shots. Cody went to Puppy class then onto Advance, the trainer said he wouldn't get much out of the basic ( it is basically puppy class for older dogs)and that he was more than ready for the advance. The socialization is wonderful and he still enjoys going to PetSmart to shop and visit whatever dogs are there. It has been months since we were in class but as soon as we pull into the parking lot he is ready to get out and have some fun! When the doors open into the store he heads over to where we had classes to see if the trainer or his other buddies are there and when he sees they aren't, it's ok and we go about our business. Good Luck !