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Discussion Starter #1
I was watching the trainer at petsmart and everything she said was so sensible and smart. I think it would really work for Rosie. They say you can start as early as 10 weeks and Rosie will be old enough next week. It's $105 for 8 sessions. Anyone ever use them or know if 10 weeks is too young to start?

Thanks!
 

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We attended our first class Saturday. Our trainer has a bachelor 's degree, plus certification for training. So far, she has told me that Rocco barks so much because he is spoiled and demanding attention. I knew that much!
There are set goals for each week. If nothing else, Rocco loves the last part of the class where he gets to play with the other pups. Give it a try!
 

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You're going to get very different responses to this question. First - your dog is NEVER too young (or old) to start training. I'd recommend starting and building foundation as soon as possible.

Some may tell you not to take your dog to Petsmart for training that young. It is true that you should definitely take precautions to limit your dogs chances of contracting a dangerous virus until they are around 18 weeks (2 weeks after their final puppy shots). BUT socialization as a puppy is incredibly important for a stable dog.

Early Puppy Socialization Risk vs. Benefit

I probably wouldn't go to Petsmart, but find a trainer nearby in a smaller facility. They are usually more expensive but worth the money to find a very qualified positive reinforcement trainer. You have to make the decision yourself and decide what is best for you and your dog.
 

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With PetSmart, it all depends on the trainer. There are 3 close to me and I've see trainers in action at all 3 locations. I picked the location based on what I saw from the trainer as well as the conversation she and I had.

So far we've been very happy and Tessa is now in her CGC prep class; our trainer is a CGC evaluator. Our classes have been small and the trainer is very knowledgeable and attentive.

Good luck!
 

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In the past I have taken a training course at Petsmart (with a previous dog, a Beagle) and although I thought the training was great at the time, there is no comparison to the trainer London & Preston are going to. Our trainer is CPDT & APDT certified, and most (if not all) Petsmart trainers are not certified other than their little "Petsmart certified" program which is likely nothing more than a few hours of on-the-job training.

The thing is, is that with Petsmart it will really depend on who you get as a trainer as far as which methods they use, etc. They have a general guideline, but each trainer tends to do things their own way. Some use clickers, some don't. In fact, when I took classes at Petsmart, we started with one trainer but then a different one subbed in and used different methods -- it was a mess.

Price-wise, I am paying $60 for London & $50 for Preston's classes, which are 6 weeks long (6 1-hour sessions). So for both dogs I am getting a certified trainer for $110. I would search for a certified trainer on the APDT website, Dog Trainer Search which is how I found my trainer.

Let us know what you decide! :)
 

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Thanks so much girls. I hadn't realized the risks of disease involved. But I feel good about our Petsmart with its small classes. Also there is only one trainer working right now who I like. I really feel Rosie needs to go ahead and get into socialization because she and my 8 yr old daughter play I bit too wild, I think. I'm going to take her with me to learn about training the puppy as well.

Mandy, thanks so much for that link. I do feel it would be better for me to go ahead and take her to class now while she is younger. I've observed the teacher and like her, and the classes are very small - about 4-5 pets.

LJ, I checked the link and there is a trainer in my area! She isn't having classes for about 6 weeks though. So I think I will take the petsmart classes first, then take her to the certified pet trainer too.

Thank you all so much!
 

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I went to take mine to the training class well to sign her up for after 16 weeks in advance and maybe it was just my petsmart but they used this harness thing on their heads that if the dog pulled away it forced their faces into their chest. I googled it because they lady was sitting there telling it me it was a good method but I couldn't help but think those poor dogs and the websites I found said those kind of methods can cause severe stress on the dog. So, I am kind of flipped on the petsmart training I think I will look for a trainer who does positive reinforcement and shows you hwo start with treats but not rely on them.
 

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I would make sure they are positive trainers and another idea. I have been listening to puppy training podcasts from itunes. Along with taking her with me around as much as possible so she can see different things.
 

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Thanks so much girls. I hadn't realized the risks of disease involved. But I feel good about our Petsmart with its small classes. Also there is only one trainer working right now who I like. I really feel Rosie needs to go ahead and get into socialization because she and my 8 yr old daughter play I bit too wild, I think. I'm going to take her with me to learn about training the puppy as well.

Mandy, thanks so much for that link. I do feel it would be better for me to go ahead and take her to class now while she is younger. I've observed the teacher and like her, and the classes are very small - about 4-5 pets.

LJ, I checked the link and there is a trainer in my area! She isn't having classes for about 6 weeks though. So I think I will take the petsmart classes first, then take her to the certified pet trainer too.

Thank you all so much!
I would probably carry my puppy through the store and into the training portion. The dogs that go to Petsmart are supposed to be vaccinated and healthy, but that doesn't mean they always are. Also if there is a "vet" in the store I'd stay away from that section as well. The training section is probably a lot safer than the rest of the store. It is cleaned and not every dog has access to it.

Good luck and I hope you have a good time! Just remember to make all the experiences your pup has positive! If there is anything that makes you uncomfortable be an advocate for your dog and don't do it and speak up. :)
 

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I sighned up today. I've been watching the trainer when I'm in Petsmart (which is too often!) and I've never seen a harness in use. I wouldn't like that either. She always uses positive reinforcement and we are asked to bring treats. There is no vet there either and the training area is fenced off from the rest of the store.

I do take her around everywhere I can with us if it has pets allowed. I also always carry her in Petsmart and try not to let her walk in other areas I think there have been a lot of dogs. I never thought about the stuff on itunes but I'm definitely going to try that! Also, I'm not always great about speaking up to people, so thanks for that reminder!
 

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I think as long as she has all her shots it would be fine, that, to me, is the #1 most important thing. Petsmart people have to go through training classes with their own dogs and learn how to train other people. I think it would be just as good as other private places :)
 

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I would make sure they sanitize the floor in the training area before class. And carry her in. I agree with Mandy...the benefits of socialization win out with me over the risks of disease. I start mine the day they come home (and for my bigger dogs that's 8 weeks of age) - they tag along to the older dogs' classes and start puppy class ASAP.

I am usually hesitant to use a chain like petsmart. However, there are certainly gems within corporate training. If you really like this trainer and have interviewed/watched classes, there's nothing wrong with going to the class. I usually find somebody smaller who has their own place and go with them.
 

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I think as long as she has all her shots it would be fine, that, to me, is the #1 most important thing. Petsmart people have to go through training classes with their own dogs and learn how to train other people. I think it would be just as good as other private places :)
The quality of trainer from this type of corporate production is highly variable. The training is very basic. I would much rather a trainer who is a CPDT which means they have experience and knowledge.
 

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Jmm, there is a cpdt in town but she's not doing classes right now. I will definitely go to her too when she starts classes again. I just want to get her started while she is young. She will be 10 weeks when the class starts.

Cheri, thanks and I love your siggie of Violet! Her before and after pics are so hilarious and adorable!
 

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We took the Petsmart beginner class this spring. Originally I wanted to attend classes at our local dog training club and was skeptical of Petsmart. But their classes were full and I felt it very important for Sophie to get into a class right a way.

The classes were wonderful and the trainer knowledgeable. The Petsmart training is absolutely based on positive reinforcement and they do not believe in any kind of "punitive" training.

For further classes I will most likely go to the local dog club with certified trainers but for us it was what we needed, when we needed it.
 

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Rose is only 10 weeks old, she does not have all her
shots. IMO you are taking a risk with her health and
other dogs health. I'm actually surprised Petsmart
will allow it.
 

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Rose is only 10 weeks old, she does not have all her shots. IMO you are taking a risk with her health and other dogs health. I'm actually surprised Petsmart will allow it.
Did you read the link I posted about Early Socialization - it explains the reasons why they would "allow" it.

Jackie also posted in agreement with that and the precautions to take to limit the risks. (See below) Honestly - if you wait until the dog is 18 weeks old, when they have finished their puppy shots, you have missed out on the most crucial socialization period. I would rather take the very small risk of disease versus that of a dog that was not socialized properly.

I would make sure they sanitize the floor in the training area before class. And carry her in. I agree with Mandy...the benefits of socialization win out with me over the risks of disease. I start mine the day they come home (and for my bigger dogs that's 8 weeks of age) - they tag along to the older dogs' classes and start puppy class ASAP.
 

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Did you read the link I posted about Early Socialization - it explains the reasons why they would "allow" it.

Jackie also posted in agreement with that and the precautions to take to limit the risks. (See below) Honestly - if you wait until the dog is 18 weeks old, when they have finished their puppy shots, you have missed out on the most crucial socialization period. I would rather take the very small risk of disease versus that of a dog that was not socialized properly.

Yes I did, once again IMO I wouldn't do it. I know where
my dogs have been but not the others. Wouldn't take
a chance of parvo. IMO
 
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