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1) How old was your BullDog when you enrolled him in class?

2) Has anyone ever attended the PetSmart Session - I was in there with Duke the other day getting him a harness and an instructor told me I should enroll him. The session costs $110 which does not seem to bad - but I am wondering if he is still to young (9 Weeks Old)
 

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They are never tooo young...start work asap..you will be rewarded later..

e :wink:
 

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I agree with start obedience asap, and IMHO, Petsmart classes are very good for socialization, and getting your dog to behave in public situations, however, as a long time Grooming employee of Petsmart, I watched many, many training classes, and feel that they just aren't that great. They teach the basics, the benefits of crate training, and rudimentary clicker training. The last few classes I watched, I was no longer employed, but I take my Giant there for socialization, and the trainer went on for about 15 min on 'how to determine if your dog food is quality food.' It is aimed at the novice dog owner, and they have moved away from any extended training excercises.

Back in the day, training classes were 25 bucks, and I feel that they offered MUCH more. Now.. the training classes are ringed off in the middle of the store, like some spectator sport, with very little room for owners and dogs to go thru their paces, heel, heel/turn, down/stay ect ect. The classes have gone from working with your dog, to listening to a lecture. /yawn

If you are new to owning dogs, and need to get started in the right direction with behavioral training, then Petsmart is a good place to START, but it is certianly not the end all.

Like I said... JMVHO.
 

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first off, at 9 weeks your puppy is to young to be in a public ob class and for an actually employee of pet smart not to realize this shows you the level of training they have. no puppy shud be allowed to enrol in a class until it has recieved it final set of shots and proof of those shots shud be required. sorry but i would not even be taking a puppy that young to a pet store to try stuff on.

as for pet smart classes, i wouldn't waste my money. this discussion has been on this board many times before. altho some of the pet smart instructors actually have a working knowledge of how to train a dog far to many have absolutely no clue.

obedience does, however, start the minute your puppy comes home . and until your puppy is old enough to go to classes you CAN teach him some basics. sit, down, come are all easily trained with motivational techniques in just a couple of days and it will give you a head start when you do actually start classes
 

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I agree with Attitude. Excellent advice.

What does it tell you about Petsmart classes when the classified ads they run for "trainers" state the only requirement is that you "enjoy working with people"? Their standards are obviously very low.
 

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I agree with Attitude also. Your dog is too young to go to obedience training. Your dog is also too young to even be going to a pet store, because of the risk of catching diseases like parvo. They should not be taken there until after their final shots. I don't have any experience with petsmart classes, but I've not heard good things. You can probably find a professional dog trainer that's more experienced than the petsmart people. I've seen the classes when I've gone in there, and if nothing else, they're too enclosed. They were training in the middle of the store in a fenced off area of about 15x15 feet. Every obedience class I've been to is either outdoors or in a large indoor area (like a fairground), and we used a lot of that space. As already mentioned, you can start the learning process now with the basics, like housebreaking, crate training, and curbing bad behavior.
 

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I have heard that Petsmart Trainers are only required to take a 3 week training class to be a "trainer" there. To me, that is hardly enough. Granted some of the trainers there are good, but not enough to know that you will get that good one when you sign up.

They are good for socialization and that is their main focus. But taking your dog to petsmart is a good socialization too and costs you $100 less. There are some good places to get good training for a decent price if you look and call around
 

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Marlee started basic ob at 12 weeks, but only short burst. She doesn't attend everyweek, just now n again :) I'll start full training when she hits 6 mths.
 

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Roxy said:
Marlee started basic ob at 12 weeks, but only short burst. She doesn't attend everyweek, just now n again :) I'll start full training when she hits 6 mths.
can i ask why? consistancy is always very important. i do understand that a three month old has the attention span of a fruit fly but the classes should be tailored to that, and attending once a week with new exercises each week is important. imo, 6 months is to old to start "full training" most of your foundation work should be pretty much done by then
 

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You can go anytime after 12 weeks (once all the shots are complete). Max has been going to the Petsmart class since 12 weeks, and they do have a policy that you have to show your vaccination record.

I actually know the lady who does the class where I live, and she has been a trainer for a LONG time, and has her own business as well outside of the classes at Petsmart, and she's VERY good!! I made sure that we had her as our instructor, and I'm not too sure what the requirements/credentials are though otherwise??

Max is already pretty good with his obedience that we have been doing at home, and we like the petsmart class mostly because it offers a lot of distractions, so he can improve upon his skills. :)
 

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attitude said:
first off, at 9 weeks your puppy is to young to be in a public ob class and for an actually employee of pet smart not to realize this shows you the level of training they have. no puppy shud be allowed to enrol in a class until it has recieved it final set of shots and proof of those shots shud be required. sorry but i would not even be taking a puppy that young to a pet store to try stuff on.

as for pet smart classes, i wouldn't waste my money. this discussion has been on this board many times before. altho some of the pet smart instructors actually have a working knowledge of how to train a dog far to many have absolutely no clue.

obedience does, however, start the minute your puppy comes home . and until your puppy is old enough to go to classes you CAN teach him some basics. sit, down, come are all easily trained with motivational techniques in just a couple of days and it will give you a head start when you do actually start classes
I dissagree, the purpose of petsmart's training class is for the trainer to train the owner mostly and get your dog socialized. Even though it is nice for the trainer to have a past in dog training, it honestly isnt necassary. The owner needs to train the dog, not the trainer. That is just my opinion for basic training, since i have not gone on to experienced training i can not say otherwise. Oh and i agree with the to young thing, but i dont know if you can blame the trainer with all the mutts going around now, the trainer probably assumed she wouldnt bring a dog that young in and figured it was a "minature bulldog"....
 

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Lisa said:
I agree with Attitude. Excellent advice.

What does it tell you about Petsmart classes when the classified ads they run for "trainers" state the only requirement is that you "enjoy working with people"? Their standards are obviously very low.
I definitely agree. Because I was one. And acceptance is the first step to recovery. I think.

I used to be a trainer for Petsmart, when I was 16. They had a self-certification program that consisted of one book (written by or for Petsmart) and one 25 question test (open book). I felt that was a good start for me (because I was only 16). Their entire training method revolved around treats. "Just stick this here treat in their face and you can get them to do almost anything." I now have my own business and do not recommend using treats for training. Maybe with young puppies, but I don't allow them in the classes anyways. My minimum age for classes is 4 months, but I prefer them to be at least 6 months.
Also, I prefer using a park setting. This way you have real life distraction, that aren't oversaturating. The park I use the most has a playground, boat ramp, and is frequented by other dogs. And durring socialization time the dogs get to visit with the kids on the playground; as well as, the other dogs.
By the way, my basic obedience classes are $80 for nine weeks. Durring which we cover: MAINTAINING CALM SUBMISSION, SIT, SIT-STAY, DOWN, DOWN-STAY, STAND, STAND-STAY, RECALL, HEEL, RELEASE COMMAND, AND WATCH ME.
 

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attitude said:
Roxy said:
Marlee started basic ob at 12 weeks, but only short burst. She doesn't attend everyweek, just now n again :) I'll start full training when she hits 6 mths.
can i ask why? consistancy is always very important. i do understand that a three month old has the attention span of a fruit fly but the classes should be tailored to that, and attending once a week with new exercises each week is important. imo, 6 months is to old to start "full training" most of your foundation work should be pretty much done by then
She does full training but not when she was younger. Yup her foundation work is nearly complete. She can sit, 1 min stay, down and recall.

Not bad for 5.5mths
 

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ultimatek9 said:
I definitely agree. Because I was one. And acceptance is the first step to recovery. I think.

I used to be a trainer for Petsmart, when I was 16. They had a self-certification program that consisted of one book (written by or for Petsmart) and one 25 question test (open book). I felt that was a good start for me (because I was only 16). Their entire training method revolved around treats. "Just stick this here treat in their face and you can get them to do almost anything." I now have my own business and do not recommend using treats for training. Maybe with young puppies, but I don't allow them in the classes anyways. My minimum age for classes is 4 months, but I prefer them to be at least 6 months.
Also, I prefer using a park setting. This way you have real life distraction, that aren't oversaturating. The park I use the most has a playground, boat ramp, and is frequented by other dogs. And durring socialization time the dogs get to visit with the kids on the playground; as well as, the other dogs.
By the way, my basic obedience classes are $80 for nine weeks. Durring which we cover: MAINTAINING CALM SUBMISSION, SIT, SIT-STAY, DOWN, DOWN-STAY, STAND, STAND-STAY, RECALL, HEEL, RELEASE COMMAND, AND WATCH ME.
The reason I dislike Petsmart is not because they use treats in their classes, and I disagree with not using food as a motivator with young puppies and even adult dogs who have had no training. In fact, with the female I have here, she did not even eat out of a bowl until she was about 6months old because all her food was fed to her while learning to focus on me and learning obedience commands. The reason I like to use it is because I like to be fair to the dog and I also like to have dogs who are happy doing the work. Without using something to motivate, how can you actually begin teaching youg puppies? Wouldn't you have to wait until they are older and can handle corrections? I know with older dogs it can be done but puppies? Its not like you can yank and crank a young pup into position unless you want to risk ruining in and having a dog that hates doing ob. At least if you teach commands motivationally and make it fun the dog, it will usually want to work for you and you can start VERY early...like 7 or 8 weeks old as soon as it comes home. No time wasted that way.

Don't get me wrong, at some point the hammer must come down, and the dog better be prepared to handle a correction if it gives me the finger (I'm not one of those soft trainers who doesnt believe in corrections), but I beleive the best type of training consists of positive and negative. Balance.

ultimatek9:: why do you not believe in using food in training? I am curious as to your thoughts on this and why you think it is so detrimetanl to training.
 

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[quote="Lisa] ultimatek9:: why do you not believe in using food in training? I am curious as to your thoughts on this and why you think it is so detrimetanl to training.
I did not say anything about using treats being detrimental to training. I actually said
I now have my own business and do not recommend using treats for training. Maybe with young puppies, but I don't allow them in the classes anyways.
I do believe "do not recommend" is completely different that "detrimental".

I said that I agree in using treats/food with younger dogs, say under 4 months old or when the situation calls for it.
But I believe that dogs should work for your praise, affection, and approval. What is the one reward that you always have available to you: toys? no, treats? no, yourself? yep.
I require all of my dogs to work strictly for me and my affection. I have seen too many dogs that are only food motivated due to over-use of treats durring training. And they can become so focused on the food/treat they don't notice anything else. I want my dog to focus on me not food. I am not saying that anyone that uses treats is doing it wrong. I am simply stating that my preference is to not use treats. Also, the types of training that we do (i.e. SAR tracking, personal protection, therapy, etc) you teach dogs to ignore food, treats, etc.
 

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I said that I agree in using treats/food with younger dogs, say under 4 months old or when the situation calls for it.
So, in your opinion, when does it call for it?

I also agree that I want my dogs focussed on me, thats why I always reward them (food or toy) when they give me eye contact and the rewards are reduced as they get older and more realiable in their training.

May I ask what your goals are with your training? Competition ob or pet obedience?

Thanks for the reply.
 

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So, in your opinion, when does it call for it?
I my opinion one of the uses for food in training is when food is used as a motivator for socialization of an abused or neglected dog to get them comfortable around people. Since a lot of these dogs can't handle any physical contact in the beginning. We use food as a reward for approaching a friend or "stranger".

I guess my goal would be considered more working dog obedience. Since all of my dogs are also trained in at least two of the following: personal protection, CGC, SAR tracking, therapy work. or agility.

My five dogs are trained in the following:
Matieca -- advanced obedience (including retrieval by scent and directionals), CGC, certified therapy dog, personal protection trained, novice agility, practical agility, trained to detect gunpowder and marijuana, and SAR tracking trained (land tracking, land cadaver, disaster pile, and building search certified).
Zeus -- basic obedience w/full off-leash, CGC, certified therapy dog, personal protection trained, and novice agility.
Cuda -- basic obedience w/full off-leash, CGC, certified therapy dog, and novice agility.
Eros -- advanced obedience (including retrieval by scent and directionals), CGC, personal protection trained, practical agility, and SAR tracking trained (land tracking, disaster pile, and building search certified).
Jaeger -- in the process of basic obedience w/full off-leash (including retrieval), personal protection, practical agility, tracking, and therapy dog (will certify at 6 months).

As I said before in the types of training that I do, several do not allow the use of food/treat rewards. Most of our dogs' training (i.e. personal protection, SAR tracking, CGC, therapy, etc.) require the dog to completely ignore food/treats, even when offered to them. Therefore, I feel that creating a food drive in the beginning and then having to train an aversion to it later if too confusing. I would rather keep my dogs' training methods uniform and consistent. This is why I prefer not to use treats in training, and do not recommend them (past puppyhood) to my clients.
 

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bigut64 said:
I dissagree, the purpose of petsmart's training class is for the trainer to train the owner mostly and get your dog socialized. Even though it is nice for the trainer to have a past in dog training, it honestly isnt necassary. The owner needs to train the dog, not the trainer. That is just my opinion for basic training, since i have not gone on to experienced training i can not say otherwise. Oh and i agree with the to young thing, but i dont know if you can blame the trainer with all the mutts going around now, the trainer probably assumed she wouldnt bring a dog that young in and figured it was a "minature bulldog"....
doing obedience training/ socializing with other dogs before a puppy has had it's second set of booster shots subjects YOUR puppy to numerous viruses that it should NOT be subjected to. it has nothing to do with the need/abiltiy/ necessity to train/socialize a dog before that age. what it has to do with is keeping your puppy healthy and safe. as for the pet smart training, once your dog HAS his shots, go to the park and find some friends . if you need/want him to play with others you most certainly don't need to spend 120 bucks to do that.
 
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