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enchantingdragon
4th March 2007, 03:38 PM
Has anyone used Petsmart for training classes? Are they worth it? Have you been successful with them? I need to take Ellie to a class soon as she needs to work out her fears but due to scheduling conflicts PetSmart is the only one that my husband and I can do. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

Lani
4th March 2007, 03:41 PM
I have and am very happy with them.

Lucky just started Intermediate classes in Paramus yesterday and I'm very happy with them.

I'm getting ready for a trip so a bit busy today, but I'll PM you with my phone number Jasmine - you can call me if you have questions or want more details, especially since I'm also in NJ.

Harley & Carley
4th March 2007, 04:55 PM
We are almost finished with the puppy class and will be doing the intermediate class next. I am planning to do them all and have worked out a plan with one of the trainers to get any class after this puppy class at buy one space, get one free!!
THere can be several trainers, so I would talk to each of them and ask around to make sure you get the best trainer.
Our PetSmart also has a guarantee that if you arent satisfied with the class you may repeat it for free.
You are given a clicker and a notebook with weeklty handouts as reminders for use at home if you forget something.
We love it and our girls are popular with the employees there.

KingstonsMom
4th March 2007, 07:17 PM
Kingston took the beginner class at Petsmart, and we really enjoyed it. I guess it all depends on which trainer you get and whether or not you like their style. The only negative thing I would say is that they try to get you to buy their products.

Kodee
4th March 2007, 09:03 PM
Hi, Arasara takes Kosmo (the wonder therapy dog I call him) and Faith to it. She has the head instructor (sorry answering for you Sara since I'm here..) and obviously Kosmo has done great. I went and saw Faith in her class last weekend and she is also one mighty well behaved pup! But I do think a lot of it depends on the individual store in terms of who is hired and how busy the store is. Kodee was a little freaked in a store environment and was much better in her class which is in a training room. But then Kodee has been sheltered as she is home alone with me and she is a lot younger. Give it a shot - usually you can get a refund after the first lesson if its not her sort of environment.

Darby's Mom
4th March 2007, 11:38 PM
I agree with what the others have already said. I think the PetSmart classes CAN be good, but please watch a class or two first, and evaluate the instructor.

Darby & I signed up for a Puppy class at PetSmart when she was 4 months old. In our small class were a small terrified chihuahua, a vicious large Heinz 57 mix (all he did was growl & bark at everybody), and a beagle. I must admit I was a little nervous seeing the mix during out first class - with Darby, a sweet (& impressionable) 4 month-old. I was shocked that the trainer was even allowing a dog with outward obvious signs of aggression in a "puppy socialization" class!!!! :shock:

Well, during the "puppy play-time" during our FIRST class, the BEAGLE (not the dog I would have expected in this mix!) latched onto her back viciously growling, started to shake & wouldn't let go (and no, this wasn't "play"). Darby was screaming, and as I lunged forward to separate the two dogs & rescue my baby girl, the "trainer" intervened and told me to "let them work things out on their own." :yikes :yikes :yikes ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!??? Oh Hell, no! Not at the expense of my poor terrified puppy (who was still screaming - & now bleeding!)! :x :x :x Needless to say, I promptly threw the beagle off of her, scooped her up, and after a few *choice* words immediately left the class & demanded a refund!

I was absolutely ABHORED at the reaction of this trainer of what was a traumatic & terrifying event for Darby! Darby didn't need any training (I had already been working with her for quite sometime)... we were strictly going for the "socialization." :bang: This was NOT the socialization that I expected, and did not want to traumatize her to the point of being terrified of other dogs (which she was for a while, after the beagle incident)! Fortunately, I was quick to get her around other friendly and trustworthy dogs for long extended visits, and she fortunately has NO problems any more (she'll walk right up to a snarling Rottweiler now!) :roll:

So, go with your gut, and please find a trainer that you trust and uses correct methods. Needless to say, I learned my lesson.....

arasara
5th March 2007, 05:01 PM
ohh I would have FREAKED if that happened to me Darby!! Kosmo got iin a "tiff" with another dog and I wasn't happy the way my trainer handled it but she later apologized and she's made an effort to keep that other dog away form Kosmo since. He's a golden doodle and he apparently thinks Kosmo is a cat because he tries to roll him and pounce on him when he sees him. We were doing an off leash exercise one day and he got him and scratched his eye :yikes - THat dog is now now allowed off leash ever *he uses a long lead for come when called* and he goes at the front of the line and i go at the back. I make Kosmo walk by him but watch them closely becaues I don't want him to be scared his whole life.

I am really happy with my classes. I got in touch with the trainer originally becaues I came into the store and I went and got a "training package" and seen that on one Saturday they had a "free puppy seminar" that lasted an hour and the trainer basically talked about how to treat puppies, what things to use on them, potty training, crate training etc and she explained who she was, what she did and that kind of thing. After that seminar I felt comfortable with having my dog be in her class so we signed up. It was the best decision ever. There are lots of distractions at pet smart but I think it's a great thing because I can get Kosmo to "down stay" in an aisle with a bunch of other shoppers and I can walk away and not worry about him. It's great to have him respond to me even amidst distractions. It helped me the other day when Faith ran out the door. I put him in a sit stay and didn't bother closing the door and ran after her - he stayed.. woohoo!! And as debbie said Kosmo also got his therapy certificate - they must have done something right for him to pass that test! :)

natalieandmike
5th March 2007, 11:39 PM
Mike will be home with Bianca full-time for training but I am thinking , based on reading this thread, that petsmart or group training might be a good idea as well for socialization purposes. Do you think a day a week at puppy daycare might achieve the same thing or do you like the idea more of training in a group, as Sara said, as so they can behave well despite distractions? I hope I am not hijacking your post, Ellie's mum! Mike's so gung-ho, though...he plays all day with the 'clicker'....
-Natalie
:roll:

Lani
6th March 2007, 12:00 AM
Natalie - I think the advantage of the classes over Doggie Daycare are that:

1) even though it is just an hour, you are there the whole time so you can observe your pup's interactions with the other dogs.
2) you get the advantage of having an experienced trainer as a resource once a week so you can ask questions and get help on any areas of training where you start to feel stopped or frustrated.

I think doggy daycare is great for puppy socialization as well and to avoid boredom. Even if you are home all day, dogs like to have extended play sessions with other doggies and your dog will probably really enjoy this too. I am home with Lucky all day too, but I also have other things to do when I am home and Lucky gets bored. I am trying to figure out a way to build some entertainment and socialization into his days too. Puppy playdates and day care are good options for this, (for daycare this provided you find a day care you trust, since you probalby won't be able to observe the interactiosn as you would with a play date)

In short, if you can make it happen, I'd recommend both. :-)

natalieandmike
6th March 2007, 12:17 AM
thanks for the reply, Lani. I get what you mean...variety is the spice of life...for us as well as for dogs! :) I do see the need for both puppy interaction as well as a 'role model' for training should we reach a sticking point....-Natalie

Shelly91180
7th March 2007, 08:10 PM
Finley is about to have is 4th session there in the puppy class. There is only 1 other dog in it. A lab who has only met 1 dog and that's Fin. It's a Thursday night which I guess isn't really popular, but on the weekends the store is so crowded and loud I thought he would learn better at a quieter time.

I don't know how much Finley is really getting out of it. I think my husband gets more, ie. holding the leash, clicker, treats, and trying to get all the comands right. Although I fear Fin will never get loose leash walking down.

Charley's Mom
7th March 2007, 10:29 PM
We think Petsmart is great. "We" is my daughter and I. As far as I know our PS only has one trainer and she's great. I may be wrong about that but when we began the class I thought we were told that she was the only trainer. We signed up for one class and then realized that we couldn't make it and she let us switch to another. Unfortunately I've been really sick for the last 2 weeks and the trainer was sick the week before that! I haven't been "doing our homework" as much as we should be and that makes a big difference with any training. I'm still not feeling well and I'm going to restart when the weather is better.

The training is good. You get a binder and you are supposed to do your homework with your dog during the week. At the end there is a final. It's common sense training - nothing bizarre- and that's what I like about it too.

Anyway, you learn a lot. I didn't find that the trainer pushed for the PS products - as a matter of fact she'd tell us where we could get things for less money. But being at the store is very convenient and after each class I'd buy things for both my dog and cat. Things that we needed and things that we wanted.

The socialization part is wonderful. The store is setup to allow dogs to walk around - although depending on your dog's temperament that can get sticky. I never had any big problems but Charley is very friendly and just wants to be pet. There have been other dogs that were not so friendly towards him (within the store) and I've steered him clear of them.

There was one miniature doberman that was very unfriendly in the class towards Charley. I just knew to keep Charley away from him. On the other hand every other dog was friendly. We met another Cavalier and they got along great.

We all miss going, my 14 yr. old daughter, myself and I think I can speak for Charley too! I think it's a great deal for the money! I don't work for PetSmart or anything! I was just as surprised myself to find out how much we liked it.

Hope that helps!

IsabellaBugatti
9th March 2007, 05:25 AM
Bella took Puppy, Intermediate, and the Advanced class at PetSmart. We loved them! Being in the store environment was great for her training because it helped her learn to ignore distractions. It is important to find an instructor that is a good match for you.
We are now participating in a local kennel clubs training classes, which are very different from the methods we learned at PS. It is much more structured and "traditional" in philosophy. So, I would say it depends on what you want to get from your training. If you want a dog that will be a good pet (sits, stays, comes when called) and companion and some added socialization, PS is a great choice. If you want more obedience type training (heeling, targeting, etc), talk to a local kennel club about their training style. I've enjoyed getting the perspective of both.
Bella and I just enjoy going to class - it has been a great source of bonding for us. I'm sure you will love it too!!