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Opinion of Pet Smart's puppy training classes.

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

  1. E Diggy

    E Diggy Big Dog

    As an earlier person asked in a post, can you sit in on a class at PetSmart? I think that would tell you if it was worth your money. I've trained all my own dogs and some were easier to train then others, so I wouldn't be above seeking out formal training for a more difficult dog. What do you get for that training though? Is there a money back guarantee? What if the trainer does the same training techniques that failed you in the first place? You'd just be wasting your money. Does the trainer have credentials? Could you perhaps talk to some owners that have taken the class? Everything I've heard about PetSmart classes was negative but I'd still give them the benefit of the doubt, because every trainer is different and the quality of the class would be different from store to store.
    Regarding training at home. It certainly can be done, but you do get another element of training by going to a class. A novice trainer can train a dog just fine at home, but a lot would depend on how much of a novice the trainer is and what the owner is hoping to accomplish in the training.
  2. davidfitness83

    davidfitness83 Good Dog

    OK so you had 12 weeks worth of class training for your pup, and you are the type of person that I described as being experienced. But you didn't get to where you are doing it independently without what you learned and rehearsed in class. You have the foundation knowledge that you learned from a class scenario and now you can continue building that with your future dogs and you can utilize a range of scenarios to present distractions at your convenience All of this doesn't come that quickly to someone who has never done it. This is why I suggested someone interested in obedience sports for the first time to take a reputable class, maybe they will hit the jackpot with a petsmart trainer but they have a better chance of achieving their goal going to an actual sport club don't you agree?
  3. davidfitness83

    davidfitness83 Good Dog

  4. catchrcall

    catchrcall Good Dog Staff Member

    Awright david, since you seem to be interested in this title BS, may I ask what titles you have earned? Maybe I missed it in the thread. Cause everybody knows you can't have an obedient dog without a title.
  5. skyebird

    skyebird Puppy

    I used to be a trainer with PetSmart. The quality of the class is totally a function of the instructor and it varies so much. Please observe a class before you decide. As for the other training company, the same goes for them. For many years I have helped folks across the country decide on a trainer. I use my network of dog trainers and the professional organizations I belong to. I also used to evaluate websites for a living so I think I do a pretty good job of matching folks up.
  6. TannerG

    TannerG Boss Member

    go back n read buddy nobody is playing dumb all i said was i disagree with u that a dog cant be trained at home if you go and actually read what i said to the OP you will see that i suggested going with the k9 place over petsmart
  7. JJeanae

    JJeanae Good Dog

    Ha. That's mature. I can see there's no point in actually talking to you about this since you seem to be a know-it-all.

    Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 2
  8. MissKitty

    MissKitty Little Dog

    CGC, TDI (which I know is not a title), NW2

    He would have OB titles but is deaf and therefore barred from competing in AKC which has limited my options.

    More important IMO than letters behind his name is the fact that he is an exceptional dog. He manners around dogs/kids/horses/chickens/cats/snakes/people/odd or emergency situations is impeccable.
  9. Kamdon

    Kamdon GRCH Dog

    2 of mine have the same things and are trained at home.... Guess they are junk ass certifications....
  10. ShellysBK

    ShellysBK Little Dog

    Two people I work with..both took their dogs to petsmart..my dog that was trained at home..is all around a better acting/trained dog. He doesnt do as well with distractions as he does at home with just the two of us. But he does better then most dogs that have been in puppy classes, I still have to up my managing of him when we are out. But he is improving and thats what matters to us.

    So yea, much of it is the trainer and you can hire the best trainer possible..but in the end if the handler isnt on it..not gong to be that great of a dog..obediance wise..just sayin.
  11. JJeanae

    JJeanae Good Dog

    And it apparently doesn't count anyways cause they're friends of mine. Like they don't actually exist. SMH

    Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 2
  12. Leslie H

    Leslie H Good Dog

    I think this is ridiculous. And, following your logic David, my opinion counts.

    Titles earned
    Star 1


  13. K9 Love

    K9 Love Good Dog

    Not to be rude or offensive but I don't consider a CGC/CGN to be a title like a CDX. The training that goes into a CDX, even a CD is a lot more intense than taking a 6 month old puppy and having it behave, be friendly and have focus on you. Same with agility training (titles of which I zip, zero, none of), or any other truly structured activity.

    Unless you have taken a dog into the agility ring, or rally ring or obedience, or been tested tracking, its very difficult to guess as to how much time and effort needs to be put forth into training to have that training be truly reliable in a high distraction setting. Roxy was bad ass with every practice track we ever did. I trained above and beyond what was required for her TD, in length of track, how long the track was aged, we even did hard surface tracking and road crossings. We tracked everywhere! She still bombed her TD test with flying colours. Reason? I can't know for sure but in my effort to make things more challenging to ease our test track, I avoided long grasses and stuck to short grass. Our track was in long grass, supposed to be easier as there is way more scent floating about, the only thing I can guess other than contamination is she was overwhelmed because she was so used to really digging deep to find the disturbed vegetation scent. You really just never know what's going to happen.

    I thought I had a good handle on obedience, agility would be a breeze. Both of my dogs had jumping in the general direction I pointed them for years, they both had spectacular send outs/directed jumping. Uhm WRONG! The body language and handling that goes into agility is so very different than obedience, it's extremely complicated, you have to think and move quickly and on the fly and if you want things done cleanly you have to spend a lot of time training on each piece of equipment. It's not as easy and coaxing Fifi onto the teeter and running off into the sunset, at least if you desire is to compete in these activities.

    You think your dog can sit stay? Take it to the entrance of your Walmart this weekend and step to the other side of the door and see how long they stay. You think your dog has a good recall? Go to a school yard while the kids are out playing, leave your dog on a wait (see if they even wait while you walk away 30 feet) and call them front, no encouraging while they come towards you, no double commanding to get their attention, no physical cues (unless you're going solely physical cue with no verbal) etc etc.

    It's not as easy as you may think. I've worked with nationally ranked teams in Canada for obedience and found odd quirks in handlers that when brought up and changed, suddenly the dog doesn't perform the same. Things like "body waves" for recalls, eye contact as a correction for slow sits, straightening up body posture while heeling. Will every judge out there catch these things and ding you? Probably not, but IMO if you want to do something right, you do it right, and for most, people just stepping into dog training, not even sure what sport they or their dogs will really be interested in, a reputable, professional trainer is your best bet to give you a good foundation and maybe a little taste of a few different activities so you can choose what you would like best.

    Once again, not saying there aren't people that can't train competitive dogs in any sport at home. We have a few on this board I imagine that do just that so please don't misunderstand. My point is simply, if you're completely new to "serious" dog training, ie more than just training a great pet, which is very important too, it's so much easier to have someone help you along the way. Heck, sometimes people look for help in training a pet dog, so I guess I don't understand why people find it so unnecessary or outrageous for someone to seek help when they're looking to become involved in competitive sport.
  14. FransterDoo

    FransterDoo Big Dog

    Santa Cruz and Daly City.
  15. 3dogs

    3dogs Little Dog

    Because of where I live, I do train primarily at home. I have to travel about and hour to attend classes. I go when I can, but I end up in classes maybe twice a month. It make performance work more difficult. My dogs are more consistent in shows when I get more classroom time. I think time in busy classes makes more reliable dogs. It isn't the only way to proof a dog, but it IS a really good place to proof one.

    My titles: 7 CGCs 4 TDIs 2 CDs 1 CDX 3 RNs 2 RAs 1 RE 2 NA 2 NAJ 1 OA 1 OAJ 1 GN
  16. FransterDoo

    FransterDoo Big Dog

    and I agree 100% with this. You get all of the distractions in a *GOOD* class and someone to help you both succeed. A good teacher will help with timing, rewards, motivation as well as when and how to give a negative marker.

    Our youngest has never taken a formal obedience class but we've been down this road many, many times before. So when he was a puppy, he came out at events and we had a regular rotation of places to practice and we did meet-ups with other trainer friends. It's actually a lot more work compared to going to class once a week.
  17. LilianaLove

    LilianaLove GRCH Dog

    I guess my point in this whole thing is that it doesn't take a genius to teach a dog basic commands. The part where people fail is the distractions part. And, if I'm being frank, the average pet owner doesn't need their dog to sit outside a WalMart while they're on the other side. They need the dog to stay in the house and not run out the door, to sit nicely for guests, to lay down out of the way of the tv, to not pull on a walk around the neighborhood, to come inside from the yard. Those are the basic commands 99% of pet dogs need to know. And quite frankly, there is no reason those can't be taught at home if someone has even the slightest bit of intelligence. "Oh, if I move the treat above the dog's nose, it sits." It's not rocket science.
    If that is your necessity, at home of pet store training will suffice.

    If your plan is for your dog to compete in a sport, it should train for that sport. I can train any dog how to play flyball in my house, but take it to an event with 500 dogs and it'll lose it's mind. Lily is the perfect example of a dog that knows every single rally skill through the excellent level who cannot title in rally because she has never been into a rally ring (well, and because I get so nervous I almost puke).

    When we started training agility, most of her foundations work we did at home. She knew how to touch a target, how to focus, how to communicate. What she needed to learn was how to work at a distance. Anyone can teach an agility obstacle to a motivated dog, it isn't hard. Lily learned how to weave at home (solely at home) in 3 days. And she really didn't need much work after that as far as distractions go because she was so incredibly motivated to simply work and run agility.

    If your dog truly loves something, for example, Lily and agility, there is no level of distraction that can deter them from work. Lily can compete without question, and without any type of external motivation. She doesn't run trials for treats or even for her tug. She runs because she loves it, and, because of that, her learning curve from at home to in competition was basically nil.

    But I will say, what I love more than anything are the friends I've made through dog training. My best friends are the people on my flyball team. We're a family, and there is no team out there that is as much a family as we are. What I love about flyball is that it is the only team dog sport. So you can train your dog as best as you can at home, but at the end of the day, it will have to compete with other dogs and people. There's no way to train for that except in the flyball lane.

    There are things you can do at home, or by yourself. You can get a UDX or OTCH on a dog without any outside help if you know how. Training obedience is not difficult, it just takes time, patience, and hours upon hours upon hours of distraction work.

    So yes, if I was my team captains, I would be able to say I can train a flyball dog completely at home. But I'm not them, and I don't have a box, and I don't have a 51ft lane with 4 jumps. So I need them. And the best part is, we need each other.

    If I was my friend, I would be able to say I could train an agility dog at home, because she has a full agility course set up in her back yard. But I don't have any obstacles, all I have are 6 weaves. So I need my trainer.

    If I was my other friend, I would be able to say I could train a weight pull dog at home, because she has plenty of harnesses and access to a track. But I don't have any of those things, so I have to go somewhere else.

    Plenty of people can train for competitive sports at home or by themselves. I'm not one of them. But it's possible.

    Where was a going with this? :lol:

    Eh, the point is, it sounds like some people have had their egos bruised, and it's really a shame. That's not what dog sports are about. Dog sports are about having fun, because at the end of the day, your dog doesn't know how many titles its gotten, or who they beat, or what they won. All they know is that they're having fun, they're making you happy, and life fucking rocks at that very moment. If you don't compete with those dogs for those reasons, you need to seriously reconsider why you do what you do. Is it fun to win? Of course. Is it nice to see those letters before and after your dog's name? Totally, because it makes you feel like all that hard work amounted to something. But at the end of the day, your dog is going to get into your car with muddy feet, give you a sloppy wet kiss, take a shit, lick its ass, eat dinner, and curl up in bed next to you and do it all again the next day. If we all approached life and competition the way our dogs did, we'd be much better people.
  18. Leslie H

    Leslie H Good Dog

    To the OP, I would avoid K9 Kountry. Butch Cappel used to be all over the boards, he talked a lot, was very old school heavy handed in his training, and didn't accomplish much. He was involved in K9 Pro-Sports, which last I heard had faded away, replaced by the more challenging and legit PSA (both are non-traditional bitesports). If you're interested in agility, you're not going to gain any skills there. Go to an accomplished agility trainer.
    I'm a big fan of taking classes. I'm an adequate trainer, but if I want to accomplish anything in terms of sports (weight pull and agility) I need feeedback from people more skilled and accomplished than I am.
  19. K9 Love

    K9 Love Good Dog

    The average pet owner is not what the OP was asking about. He said he was interested in agility and I believe some type of bite work, specifically what sport I don't know, but they aren't looking for pet dog training. Your average pet owner also doesn't need a dog that has reliable running contacts, a formal heel, that responds to a formal command solely, that obeys hand signals without verbal (unless you're MissKitty :lol:), hind end awareness or any other needless exercise in some of those sports.

    Having the room, or equipment is another good point Liliana. I practice heeling in the biggest space in my house, I practice heeling in huge fields, basically everywhere, but the funniest story I ever heard was a lab that could only do outdoor trials because she just couldn't perform on the rubber mats. I never met the dog, but she did get a CDX, took her a little longer because we don't have many outdoor trials, haha.
  20. LilianaLove

    LilianaLove GRCH Dog

    It was more of a response to the general statements that were made, not necessarily OP's needs.

    In the case of OP, I couldn't speak more highly of joining a training club. I love our club in the fact that I can train for almost anything there. It's one stop shopping, and there are quality trainers to boot. Membership takes off 1/3 of the cost. The ex is going to be training one of the foundations agility classes so she'll get a key and we'll be able to train whenever we want when there isn't a class in the building. It's pretty sweet. Lily and I have been with the club for over 2 years.

    If I were OP, I would be finding a quality training club in the area and joining them and starting there. Once you get in the game and know people, you'll be able to broaden your horizons. But getting your foot in the door is where you need to start, and training clubs are great networking venues.

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