Opinions of PetsMart's dog training classes?

I’m getting a pup very soon and want to start training it immediately.

The local PetsMarts all offer dog training classes for $89. Does anyone have an opinion on them? Are they worth bothering with?

Money well spent?

It isn’t a bad training program.

I worked for an animal shelter that has a location inside of a PetSmart, and I saw what went into the training program. The trainers have very intensive training in what they do, and during the sessions, the dogs have run of the entire store.

The quality of training available at PetsMart really depends on the individual trainer. They do not require their “trainers” to have any experience when they hire them, and although they do go through several weeks of courses, it’s not enough for more than a superficial understanding of dog behavior and training techniques. But at the same time, you run into some people who have been training for pet and competitive obedience for 20+ years teaching at PetsMart for fun. So you really need to talk to the individual instructor to gauge their qualifications.

Dog training really isn’t for the dog-- it’s for you. The training teaches the owner how to tell the dog what they want and what to do to reinforce the training. Once the owner knows the *]techniques * of dog training, they can teach a dog almost anything.

You are the most important part of the equation. You could spend $1000 on training the dog, but if you don’t stick to it, you’ve wasted your money.

I like their training progaram a lot. It is based entirely on positive reinforcement operant conditioning. They do not allow aversives, other than a no reward marker, which isn’t really an aversive.

I really like that they show the pet owner how to train a dog in a positive manner, resulting in a dog who is willing and happy to work for the owner. You will not be permitted to use choke collars or punishment.

I’ve taken my various dogs through many methods of training, and this is the way to go. Of course, Petsmart isn’t the only place offerering this type of training, but they are available, and do have a satisfaction guarantee.

What Mirabella said.

If you want to take Calliope’s advice, you might want to think about how difficult and confusing and frightening it would be to learn how to drive if your instructor only told you what you were supposed to do when you did it right.

Positive-reinforcement-only training methods can be very very cruel when practiced by poor trainers. Dogs like to know where they stand.

Do you have a vet picked out? You could ask for recommendations.

I know the breeder personally, so I’ll be going to the same vet. He just lives out in the boonies.