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1669 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  almitra
Took your puppies to training classes when they were young?

How many of you did some sort of puppy boot camp?

I'm thinking about doing the classes at Petsmart because I've heard good things about them and wanted to know how often this is done by members of SM.

Bernie is having trouble with barking and growling when she hears noises outside or when she is around little kids. She's not aggressive when she gets down to play with them but if she's being held when they walk in, she growls.

Also, we have potty pad trained her because of our crazy work schedules, sometimes one of us is home but the other is out or sometimes we're both out so I didn't want to worry about taking her outdoors. Plus as some of you may know, we have a lot of rain in this part of WA and taking her into the backyard every time she has to go would mean a ton of baths for her and me!

So she's sort of a diva but is having trouble with just getting close to the pad but not on it. I usually reprimand her and show her the pad when this happens but I'm so tired of it and really want to be able to take her to friends' homes without fearing she will continue to "miss" the pad.

Thanks for reading... I guess I needed to vent. :angry:
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I took Casanova to puppy class, but not Bijou. I think you will find it helpful! Our puppy class dealt with potty training as well as basic obedience. The training was primarily for me to learn how to work with my own dog on different things and in different environments. Both my babies are perfect with humans in every way. But Casanova has a bit more trouble with other dogs. So it was good that he learned to focus on learning in a room with several other dogs. We also made contact with some excellent trainers who we took private in-home lessons from later. So I would highly recommend puppy class! Get some instruction and keep at it! You and your pup will do great!
Pepper and I went....enjoyed it a lot. Good op for socializing with other pups, too.
I took mine too since it was the first time I had Malts and wasn't sure of how to deal w/ them being new to the breed.
I think it was a great way to socialize them and they learned so fast. I was working on simple things at when we first got them and they were quick learners. I had them dancing,sitting on command and rolling over at 10 weeks. They were so much quicker at getting things than Amber, our cocker was.Amy and Buffy,our firtst cockers ,we worked on tricks when they were at 12 weeks. They were quicker studies than Amber. Amber was underdeveloped for her age due to heavy worm infestation,once we got her healthy,she really cought up.
I think classes are a great way to bond too,I think it helped our Malts to bond to me instead of to each other which can happen when you get siblings.
Nikki and I completed Obedience 1 and 2. I didn't do it until she was 9 months old, due to finances. It was awesome. I highly recommend positive puppy training. A great way to learn, and a great way to bond.
I am in the middle of puppy kindergarten with Nelson at Petsmart right now. I think we have 3 weeks left.

I really like it. I think a lot of it depends on your trainer too. I really love ours. I also like their satisfaction guarantee. If you don't feel your dog got out of what they should in the 8 weeks, you can go again for free!

I have a feeling Nelson will be going back again, whether he graduates or not. We want him to get socialized with other kinds of dogs. However, when we started the class there were only 2 other dogs, and one just quit coming, so now there is just ONE!! So any other times I go to Petsmart, I see 4 and 5 dogs in a class. So I feel we aren't getting our moneys worth on that part of it. Half of the class is supposed to be devoted to socialization. Well...he's not getting that part. He is however, really smart and gets the commands almost immediately. Doesn't necessarily do them ALL the time EVERY time at home...but we are getting there.

I think he enjoys it. He sleeps well when we come home! But he is crazy with other dogs, so I want him to get over that. I think we will probably be doing the classes over again after July, after he is neutured and see how that goes.

The weirdest part is, his groomer says he is wonderful...doesn't bark at dogs at all. However with us, and at school he does it, and sounds viscious. Bu his trainer thinks its just dominance issues, not aggression. And since he only does it with us, his groomer thinks maybe he is doing it because we are there to "protect" us. So I wonder if that will change too. But I'd defintely recommend it. I like it so far.

In our area too, Petsmart has a really nice closed in training area. Petco does not, and also I don't think they have the guarantee thing too like Petsmart has. And also Petco was 6 weeks, Petsmart is 8. Before you decide though, go find out about the trainers. Our trainer has been doing this for like 13 years, and she is actually the trainer of all the other dog trainers at the Petsmarts in this area. She is wonderful!
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Oh pups go to class from the moment they come home. Soda has gone to classes for most of his 4 years of life.

Reprimanding her for something she doesn't understand is not likely to help. To ensure she gets on the pee pad you can
get a tray she has to step up into
place the pads in a small pen and place her in the pen to potty. The pads should cover the entire bottom so she can't mess
put a leash on her and take her to the pad
Leila did Puppy Class from 16-22 weeks, then did Small Breed Obedience from 24-30 weeks. I also brought her to small breed playgroup and agility a few times. I think it was definitely worth it, especially for her socialization.
I have never had a dog in a puppy class, or had a trainer, but today Lola and I had a 5 hr personal trainer. That was quite interesting. I, and she are exhausted. He does think it could be a good idea for us to go to one of his classes so she gets better at working with a lot of puppy distractions, because on walks the thing that causes her to go off track the most is other pups.
I've used a trainer with Preston but after reading all of your comments we'll be signing up for puppy class very soon. Thanks!!!
Puppy class should be for dogs under 16 weeks of age. After that you should be signing up for a basic obedience class.
Puppy class should be for dogs under 16 weeks of age. After that you should be signing up for a basic obedience class.

It depends where. Like at the Petsmart I go to, I dunno about all. But you can sign up for puppy kindergarten at any age, if you have a small breed. They just don't want 9 month old Lab puppies with 5 month old Chihauahaus...that kinda thing. Like we started Nelson at their puppy kindergarten when he was exactly 7 months. Their "puppy" cut off age is 5 months though. The guy said the puppy and basic obedience class are basically the same exact thing....they just don't want HUGE dogs with tiny dogs for their first classes. So a 7 month old great dane or something probably wouldn't have been allowed in the puppy class haha.
Well that would depend on puppy class really being a puppy class and not just basic obedience with free for all time. I'm assuming a puppy class is truly a class meant for puppies of a certain range of development.
Personally, I would never put my dog in a class with free for all time. Its not safe and is not likely to be a positive experience. JMO
Wow! These are all great comments, I really like the one about the tray that she has to step into. I need to look more into that.

I also like that I received more info re: Petco vs. Petsmart. I need to look into that as well.
Thanks everyone.
We took Basic and Intermediate Obedience in a class full of big dogs. There was supervised playtime 10 minutes before class. All the dogs behaved well. No issues at all with the larger dogs. I kept Nikki leashed during playtime.
Well that would depend on puppy class really being a puppy class and not just basic obedience with free for all time. I'm assuming a puppy class is truly a class meant for puppies of a certain range of development.
Personally, I would never put my dog in a class with free for all time. Its not safe and is not likely to be a positive experience. JMO
The difference is the ages allowed in the class. According to their site puppy education is 10 weeks-5 months. But like I said, we were over the cut off for 5 months when we registered. Nelson was 7 when we started. They said that is fine for the smaller breeds. It would be safer to have him in a "puppy" class with smaller dogs. As opposed to "beginner education" which is their next step up class. Which has no age restrictions. So he may have been a 7 month old Maltese at like with a 5 year old Golden Retriever or something at who knows what weight. THAT, I would be very concerned about. I am very happy they are lenient about the age cut offs with smaller breeds.

They learn the same basic "manners" and commands in each class. Simple cues, such as sit, come, down and others that kind of thing... And in order to go onto the "intermediate education" you need either beginner or puppy class first. I dunno what you think is not good about that? I am very happy with the classes so far, I jsut wish there were more dogs in it :huh:

And I'm pretty sure they let all the dogs play for a few minutes before the class starts, no matter what class it is. That is what we do anyway. It is very structured, but you need to let the dogs interact with each other...that is socialization part of it. The part we aren't getting our moneys worth on haha.
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Socialization means providing a positive novel experience. Whether or not free for all in a class is positive highly depends on the dogs and the class. It can be VERY detrimental if it is not positive. Socialization with other dogs means having a positive experience around other dogs. To teach a small dog that large dogs are good having controlled interactions are much safer than off leash free for all play. Ensuring the large dog is calm and well-behaved goes even further to making that positive. The dogs don't have to wrestle and chase to socialize.
Certainly I see the bad outcomes...but I see enough bad outcomes from free for all play in Petsmart-style classes that I hesitate to recommend a class with this.
My idea of puppy class and yours are probably different. Puppy class to me is about socializing pups to novel people, dogs, sounds, etc. while learning some basic obedience and working on puppy issues - gentling/handling, housetraining, biting, etc. A basic obedience course focuses more solely on basic commands, loose leash walking, recalls, etc.
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I think classes are better b/c your puppy is being socialized and learning to deal w/ distractions.

I've heard very mixed things about Petsmart and other corporate classes. The requirements for the instructors are very low. They are rarely knowlegeable about canine behavior and often loose control of the class. I recently heard of a Lab aggressively lounging at a shopper and her dog, minutes after passing the CGC test under a Petmart employee. Allowing the test to be administered by Petsmart is going to ruin the significance of a CGC title, IMO.

I would look for a local obedience club, if I were you. The instructors are often people who regularly compete in obedience w/ their own dogs and really know their stuff. They are their b/c they love dogs and are paid little if anything.
Took Pepper to one at PetSmart when I first got her (puppy class). All dogs had to be on leash at all times, no playtime (on or off leash), just obedience commands learned. It is interchangeable with the basic obed course for dogs over 5 mos of age--same thing. I loved it, but others there with a different instructor didn't have as positive an experience. It boils down to the trainer, truly.
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