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Opinion of Pet Smart's puppy training classes.

Discussion in 'Obedience & Sports' started by StevenNeill, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. StevenNeill

    StevenNeill Puppy

    I do much of my own training but I've never had a dog that requires as much responsibility as my pups. I am enrolling them in advanced obedience training with K-9 kennels. They train local police k-9 dogs...but BEFORE that they need a good training regimine. So I have decided to go with professionals all the way with this. For K-9 to begin with the puppy training is $325 for both dogs. However...with my wellness plan at Banfield I get $20 off for training at Pet Smart. Making it $198 for both pups for the same level of training. Is it worth it to go with a $127 savings or should I stick with K-9 all the way. The kennel comes highly reccomended.
  2. Kamdon

    Kamdon GRCH Dog

    Stick with K-9.
  3. MidnightSkye

    MidnightSkye Little Dog

    Wow. That seems like a lot to me. I paid 80 bucks for a six week obedience class and it was great. I don't think you need all that, when it comes to dogs its all about being patient and persistent in what you want them to do and how you teach them to do it. In the class we would learn a few things and practice with them in short intervals and the dogs would pick up on what we wanted them to do pretty quickly as long as you would practice with them.

    So I think your over paying. But that's just me, someone might say otherwise. Plus, its your dog and your choice lol

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  4. StevenNeill

    StevenNeill Puppy

    With K9 I get one lesson a week with each pup plus three group sessions for socialization skill training for 4 weeks. K9 specializes in training attack dogs for the police as well as search and rescue dogs. And training dogs to search for drugs and explosives. They also offer agility training. PetSmart offers one lesson a week for 6 weeks then another course and another...they dont offer agility training nor do they offer advanced training such as personal protection and they specialize in nothing. BUT the basic first class teaches essentially the same things...and PetSmart is $125 cheaper. I have price shopped extensively and k9 is reasonably priced for this area. Pet smart s actually really cheap compared to the others.
  5. StevenNeill

    StevenNeill Puppy

  6. TannerG

    TannerG Boss Member

    I would go with the place that train the police k9 most likely they have a much better resume than pet smart

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  7. StevenNeill

    StevenNeill Puppy

    K9 is the facility that will do the advanced training and the agility training but what I am looking at right now is the beginning puppy training and the 6 month second pupoy classes. After those two k9 will be the exclusive trainers...but is it necessary for such advanced trainers for just basic puppy training or is something more cost effective enough? Though K9 trains ALL breeds they specialize and breed German Shepherds for police dogs.
  8. TannerG

    TannerG Boss Member

    I would go with k9 I'm sure you will get a better training experience if you use the same trainers from basic to advanced

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  9. ShellysBK

    ShellysBK Little Dog

    This, then your dogs are trained with the same techniques all the way..they wont have to relearn. and can build from the beginning
  10. Kit

    Kit Good Dog

    What are you wanting for your end result? Do you want a well trained dog that obeys nicely? Do you want to compete in agility, obed. or personal protection?
    It sounds like you can probably do the basics yourself and want socialization for your puppy(s)? If that's the case, and in the end, you want a well trained dog that obeys, then going with PetSmart would be fine.
    I was planning on doing that with my puppy. I could do the training, but needed the socialization.
    If you're planning on doing more, then I'd probably go with K9, so you get the same methods and they get to know your dogs as well.

    The facility doesn't matter, if the trainer is good.
  11. Jamielvsaustin

    Jamielvsaustin Good Dog

    I couldn't have said it better. OP do you have the option of observing a Petsmart class (with the trainer you would use) before signing up for one? My experience with Petsmart trainers are that they are hit and miss-it really depends on the trainer. In our area there was one for many years-Wisney (yes, his parents named him that) and he was fantastic! I heard many times from many different people how awesome he was. Now he works through a boarding facility and is still just as (if not more) successful. But if you go online and read the reviews about the other trainers people are either dissatisfied or kind of "so/so" about it. I think if you were able to observe a class you'd know right away if that is something you'd be comfortable with doing. It sounds like you're able to teach your dogs basics without help but you want that socialization (like someone else mentioned) and if that really is the case, I agree, Petsmart should be okay. As long as they're not putting your pups over their thresholds and ignoring their "I'm uncomfortable" signals I would imagine it to be okay.

    Also, you could ask K9 what their methods are, and then ask to see if Petsmart's are similar/the same.
  12. StevenNeill

    StevenNeill Puppy

    Thanx Kit. I am planning on advanced training. I want agility training more for the structure and discipline...but I do want them to compete...problem is they are not registered so I dont know how much they would be ABLE to compete. And I am strongly considering personal protection...again for the disccipline more than having protection dogs...and a strong hope that if they do become animal aggressive that the training would dominate the instinct and allow it to be controllable. Thanks to the other comments. I am concerned about the money which is why I was considering Pet Smart. I have limited funds and a lot I want to do with it but in the end...if its best to go with K9 then that may very well be what I do even if the expense is greater.
  13. momtosadie

    momtosadie Big Dog

    If you have done a lot of training with dogs in the past, I think I would just do the puppy training myself and save the cash. Unless you feel they need the socialization and you can't provide it any other way. The puppy classes aren't going to teach them anything very complicated. If you have the time to work with them, I don't see why you couldn't do as good a job as anyone else, if you have gone through training before. I don't think it would make much difference to their future serious training.
  14. davidfitness83

    davidfitness83 Good Dog

    I greatly disagree, you cannot train a puppy at home. It just can't be done, those that claim their dog is trained will see the dog's obedience go out the window when distractions are present. Go with the K9 class, anyone at petsmart can become a trainer. It's like saying you want to send your kid to get a technical certificate instead of sending them to a university. You get what you pay for, with a decent club specially one that trains K9's will get you results, they work with hard breeds not Goldendoodles and labs like most dogs that attend these petsmart classes.

    I'd rather spend the $ and get the job done the right way instead of regretting it later.
  15. LilianaLove

    LilianaLove GRCH Dog

    I know a few dozen people that would disagree with you. If you know what you're doing, you don't NEED a class. That said, classes are great, easy distractions. But if you're willing to put in the effort, training and socialization can be done without a structured class. You just need to get off your ass, go out into the real world, and do it.

    I also will disagree that the 'k9' people are the best people to give you what you want. Police dog trainers are not training dogs to be good canine citizens. They are training HARD dogs using HARD techniques to respond to certain stimuli that a normal dog will not ever encounter. Most dogs would shut down if trained in that manner. These trainers also rarely adjust their techniques to cater to each dog's motivation and learning styles, and you will see dogs fail out of those classes with those trainers because the trainer does not know how to train an individual dog. They train to a mold, and if the dog doesn't fit that mold, it doesn't work.

    If I were a pet owner looking for a well-socialized, obedient dog, I would take a petsmart class over that 'k9' class any day unless I knew the trainers in that 'k9' facility could facilitate a dog that is NOT a GSD/mal, that does not respond to negative physical stimuli, that is not tug/toy oriented in its motivation style, and that may need more time to learn certain skills. Just because you can train a police dog, does not mean you can train any dog. I would not own any police dog I've ever met from the shear fact that none of them could be controlled without a slip lead pop every 5 seconds. That's not training, that's maintenance, and it's not what you want out of a pet dog.

    That said, I think your best bet, if you want to continue your training to more advanced obedience and agility, is it find a training club in your area. These clubs typically have trainers that do obedience, agility, rally, etc. all under one roof. You can typically pay a yearly membership that reduces your training costs per class. You'll be able to build relationships with your trainers and they will be better able to assist you and your dog individually.

    The most important thing to note is that you do not go to a training class to train your dog. You go to class to train yourself. The dog can be the smartest dog in the world, but if you don't apply your learning at home on a regular, consistent basis, all of that in-class learning goes out the window. You're not paying them to train your dog, you're paying them to teach you how to train your dog. The effort that matters most is everything outside of that class.
  16. davidfitness83

    davidfitness83 Good Dog

    I agree with some of your statements, I guess I should have been more specific. When training a puppy you need distractions beyond the walls of your home or backyard. In a class setting you get more than that, you get the smells, the sounds, the strangers and other dogs which in my opinion can be the biggest distraction of all. If you join a superb club you get even more than that. I am sure there are very knowledgeable people that can do this on their on in the street and out in the public. I could probably do it to save money but I still think the class setting is a very good experience. A knowledgeable trainer can provide you with feedback and criticism of your technique as opposed to doing it alone with no feedback. Every dog is different and constructive criticism is key to continue learning technique with dogs, you cannot do that by your self.

    K9 classes may not apply to a bulldog type dog 100% because you are right, they are wired different but the common denominator is dominance and an experience k9 trainer will teach you how to curb these behaviors a lot better than a petsmart online training certificate instructor.

    I consider my self very good with training and I recently fostered a rescue puppy that was adopted out to a new home and this dog left my home with some very good behaviors and fully crate trained by the time he left. I was actually impressed on how much you can program into a puppy after having so many dogs like I have. But I still would absolutely 100% take the puppy to at least 2 obedience classes within the first year of his life and that is exactly what his new owners are doing. To the OP, research obedience clubs and take him to a class that has great reviews.
  17. TannerG

    TannerG Boss Member


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  18. LilianaLove

    LilianaLove GRCH Dog

    Maybe it's just the dogs you own, but I've never had any common denominator in my dogs be dominance, and I wouldn't expect that to be the issue most people are addressing in their puppies.
  19. davidfitness83

    davidfitness83 Good Dog

    How many dogs have you trained, have you obtained any titles? Have you ever been to a real obedience club?
  20. StevenNeill

    StevenNeill Puppy

    Do you have any idea of clubs likeb this in my area? I am near the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex in Texas.

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