Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

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DianeLDL
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by DianeLDL » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:32 pm

Wes wrote:Mayume, just keep reading and researching and question everything. Most of what I learned, I learned on this very forum and applied it to my classes. There's a sticky list of good books to pick up as well I believe in the training section.

Diane, I can bring it up with my DM, but we're quite far away from NM. There should have been a representative from the district (likely the mentor) at Summit this year, so hopefully things have been squared away by now. He would not get away with it in my district, that's for sure.
Mayume and Wes,

One thing that Mayume stated in the guidelines were not to admit dogs with behavioral problems. So, in reality, the trainer should have discouraged us from signing up in the first place. We had just gotten Sandy, a deer chihuahua mix from the shelter at age one year, and he had some very strong fear aggression problems. Just being in the store caused him stress and when with the class, he was not allowed to enter the ring and so we were isolated from all the other dogs, he was so stressed from the classes,that finally, we just had to keep him in the car and try to get whatever information we could.

We tried one on one, but every time another dog entered the store, Sandy was too stressed out to learn anything.

So besides, the trainer's methods not being good for a chihuahua with fear reactions, the whole environment was not conducive for Sandy to learn anything. For example when he was on the extra long leash and had to find me, Sandy was in a panic looking for me. That definitely didn't do much for recall training.

So, really observe each dog that comes in for training to see if the dog is a fit for the class as well as the environment.

We have learned that Sandy cannot be within 50 ft. Of another dog without reacting out of fear. So, his fear of other dogs should have told the trainer that Sandy was not a fit for PetCo,

Obviously the classes are geared more for socialized dogs who do not react around other dogs. Even when we go to the vet, we get first appointment, and they know he has to be taken immediately back to an exam room. They always have a dvd of a dog show and sandy even reacts to that.

Good luck to both of you. And make sure that each dog you check out before admitting to a class is a good fit. We lost a couple of hundred dollars that we were told we could not get returned. So, don't do that to any other dog owners, please.

Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

gwd
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by gwd » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:58 am

kinda proud of my irish girl at the dog show today. when I started working with her she was a chronic leash puller and when i'd try and stack her she'd spin in circles.

today she gaited beautifully and it was with a loose lead and not strung up as seems to be the fashion on late. she also stacked well, AND HELD THEM!!! it's been a process with her as I what her to keep those high spirirts and zest for life..........that's what will make her a good show dog and not become robotic.
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DianeLDL
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by DianeLDL » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:53 am

gwd wrote:kinda proud of my irish girl at the dog show today. when I started working with her she was a chronic leash puller and when i'd try and stack her she'd spin in circles.

today she gaited beautifully and it was with a loose lead and not strung up as seems to be the fashion on late. she also stacked well, AND HELD THEM!!! it's been a process with her as I what her to keep those high spirirts and zest for life..........that's what will make her a good show dog and not become robotic.
gwd,

Wow! Fsntastic. Good going for Irish girl! :D :D :D

Any photos? :?:

Keep up the good work, and I can imagine how much work it has been. You deserve a treat for you. :wink:

Soon she will be bringing in the ribbons. :D

Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

Mayume
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by Mayume » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:56 pm

OHHH! We got the Greyhounds in today! Oh I love retired racers so much., cute little deers :3 Can't wait to have my own home so I can foster like my parents did when I was a kiddo. :)

"
Obviously the classes are geared more for socialized dogs who do not react around other dogs. Even when we go to the vet, we get first appointment, and they know he has to be taken immediately back to an exam room. They always have a dvd of a dog show and sandy even reacts to that.

Good luck to both of you. And make sure that each dog you check out before admitting to a class is a good fit. We lost a couple of hundred dollars that we were told we could not get returned. So, don't do that to any other dog owners, please.
"

That's why we have Puppy Play Time and Seminars. We ideally get people who have socialized dogs from the PPT, Puppy 1&2, and can be around other dogs. I agree that the trainer should have considered that, you were probably just a sell to him. Honestly, I would have recommended private classes. So YOU can train your dog, have that bond with your dog, without the distraction of other dogs.

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Nettle
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by Nettle » Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:19 am

I don't know what the Puppy Play Times are like at Petco, but these are classes that have the potential to cause a lot of problems behaviourally, and in UK vary from the dreadful to the excellent - so again, something to be aware of.
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Wes
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by Wes » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:40 am

Nettle wrote:I don't know what the Puppy Play Times are like at Petco, but these are classes that have the potential to cause a lot of problems behaviourally, and in UK vary from the dreadful to the excellent - so again, something to be aware of.
This is exactly why I refuse to hold Puppy Play Group in my store. Puppies won't learn manners from other puppies and it's too much of a free-for-all.

k9Queen
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by k9Queen » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:48 pm

I have yet to meet a trainer from Petco that genuinely understands Positive Reinforcement. Most of them seemed to believe that CM's methods ARE positive methods. The ones that I have encountered seemed to be urked by any opposing opinions and went into defense mode. Maybe not all AKC certified trainers are like that, but this was a recent experience and I was urked by the advice I was receiving. I won't be supporting the AKC or their "certified" trainers. I would rather go elsewhere or learn on my own. This forum has been wonderful, some things I don't agree with or question, but overall, I find whatever I'm looking for on here or someone is kind enough to point me in the right direction. :)

Mayume
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by Mayume » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:14 pm

I have yet to meet a trainer from Petco that genuinely understands Positive Reinforcement. Most of them seemed to believe that CM's methods ARE positive methods. The ones that I have encountered seemed to be urked by any opposing opinions and went into defense mode.

I wouldn't assume all of us think CM is right, because we don't. I believe Patricia McConnell had a hand in writing our training books, so if this is something in your area, you might want to consider getting ahold of the district manager and tell them what is happening - it's likely the mentors fault and personal beliefs they are imposing on their trainees. My trainers in my area are not like that at all, and I am in Colorado.

Windchyme
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by Windchyme » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:43 pm

I have learned not to be a fan of Petco's training system .... I am a private service dog trainer of about 20 years- I started helping others about the time the ADA was passed allowing for different kinds of service dogs....my own service dog was fully trained prior to the ADA. I have been training dogs and other animals my whole life. I earned my status back in the day when you learned under others and proved your worth by what you produced kind of thing, before there were schools to go to.

Anyway here is what happened.

So right before I got Jingle (the new pup I am working with) I had gone into Petco to shop. I had heard about a "service dog trainer" at Petco but had never seen her in action or met her. That night that I went in to shop she was holding her class.

I watched with interest as she pushed a woman in a wheelchair around the tiny circle that makes up the walkway of the store and listened to her tell the woman to correct her dog when it looked at my dog (who was watching keenly). Another older woman was there with her mini schnauzer. I had heard them talking about how the dog did not know its stay yet when I first walked in. I did a bit of shopping but was soon done, but my daughter was not.

I took a position out of the walkway to wait and watch what was going on. I noticed that both dogs were in service dog capes with patches on them that said SERVICE DOG. I couldn't see an in training patch on the bigger dog though I suppose I could have missed it. On the schnauzer though I'm sure there was none as she walked the schnauzer round and round near me. A dog that can't stay yet was being identified as a service dog with no qualifications.

Ok, I get that the dog is in training....no problem..it was a nice little dog. But identifying it as a service dog and not a service dog in training is a problem. When it makes mistakes, people are going to look at it and assume it should know better. This makes a bad name for us all. I can't say the trainer did not address it, I wouldn't know, but obviously not strong enough to make an impression obviously.

So I am standing there working on my dog who is very interested in other dogs and enforced that she had to stay in place and move calmly backward and forward as needed to give them respectful room to work. It was a good opportunity to reinforce this with her.

Then the older lady who is working her schnauzer behind us lets her dog walk up and begin sniffing my dogs rear. My dog went to whirl around and I corrected her to stay put and she did for a good bit of time. The lady didn't pull her dog away and make it stop though and it continued to inspect my dog's back end. Finally after about 30 seconds my dog could take no more and went to turn around again and again I corrected her.

As I was correcting her the trainer walks up and says to me "We're trying to have a training class here and you need to not be interfering with it, you're a distraction and you need to leave". Excuse me? I was waiting for my daughter and maintaining my dog's proper behavior in the face of other dogs while I did. If anyone was interfering with anything it was her student and their dog.

Now it isn't my place to correct her student AND I believe a service dog ought to adjust to the world and society as the world and society are not going to wrap themselves around my dog. My dog needs to behave herself and remain measured and calm no matter WHAT happens. This was a great opportunity to enforce that with her and a good example of what can happen in public that a dog has to deal with.

Of course I complained to the manager on duty then wrote a letter to the main manager basically saying excuse me? And they have apologised several times and said the trainer had a good talking to.

I found out also that apparently the local animal control is playing god with who can and can't train a service dog BECAUSE of this trainer. I was around before she was and they didn't much like that >I< was training service dogs and looked for a way to deny me back then. Now they've started actually denying people service dog in training tags...they've gotten brave. Since I just sent in the app for Jingle I am wondering what they will try to pull with me that I will then have to fight.

I had been wondering what this trainer was or was not doing to have riled up animal control so badly. Now I understand. Going round and round in a little circle with the dog heeling (well I might add) next to the wheelchair teaches a service dog in training very little of all of what it needs to know in total. I am guessing that she doesn't take them out on field trips to actual situations. With that attitude of you shouldn't be distracting my dogs....exactly how are these dogs going to function in public when they meet me in another store- is she going to run around and remove all distractions from their path to ensure they can do their work properly for the rest of their working lives? And task training....where does that come in? And the fact that she is allowing at least one of her students to be out there misidentified and likely causing a problem for the rest of us. I was not impressed at all with what I saw- even for a pet obedience class. I was equally unimpressed with her imperious attitude going after me for standing and waiting for my daughter where I had every right to be standing and waiting for my daughter- the store is small and I wanted to wait up by the front so my daughter would know right where I was. As it was I was moving backward and foreward by a couple steps in the little space between displays I was in as they passed by to give them plenty of room.

So needless to say the group obedience class I am taking Jingle to Saturday is a privately run group class that has nothing to do with Petco. Even if this trainer had not ticked me off, there are only a few people that take the Petco classes and the whole reason for these classes in my case is the other people, dogs, and the distractions they bring. How much could MY dog learn going in a little circle around a store. I can do that for free frankly. I need lots of people, lots of activity, interactions and especially distractions of every conceivable kind- bring it and bring it hard is what I say, I want MY dog bombproof if possible, but then again I actually AM a service dog trainer.

Ari_RR
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by Ari_RR » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:57 pm

:roll:

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Nettle
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by Nettle » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:36 am

Windchyme wrote:Then the older lady who is working her schnauzer behind us lets her dog walk up and begin sniffing my dogs rear. My dog went to whirl around and I corrected her to stay put and she did for a good bit of time. The lady didn't pull her dog away and make it stop though and it continued to inspect my dog's back end. Finally after about 30 seconds my dog could take no more and went to turn around again and again I corrected her.

I'm really surprised you allowed this. I would have thought you would have protected your dog by moving her away from the rude dog and thoughtless owner, rather than allowing her to break her 'stay' because she was in a stressful situation. Rather than correcting your dog for protecting herself, next time would you consider protecting her instead by moving her to a safer place or stepping forward to block the other dog?
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Ari_RR
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by Ari_RR » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:51 am

Assuming that was a real post... There is something about generalizing based on 1 instance that doesn't sit well with me..
My 2 cents - set expectations right, and you won't be disappointed.
Petco and such classes offer an easy way to get together with other puppies and their humans and experiment with training. It's not suitable for problem dogs, but that's where common sense comes in to play.

Why would anyone be standing next to a class with her own dog "observing" - I don't quite understand. Conducting the class is hard enough, especially for a young inexperienced Petco trainer. To give her dog some practice in handling distractions? And who cares if this gets in the way of all those puppies and new owners and the inexperienced trainer just trying to do the best she can? "I have a right to be here...." I don't think so. Inside the store is not public property. But even if it was, common sense should still be applied.

You want to practice and you need distractions - that's fine, but find other settings than a bunch of puppies, new owners just starting to feel their way in dog ownership, and a Petco trainer to practice on...

I doubt that it was a real post, though.

WufWuf
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by WufWuf » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:37 am

I think this is a real post as there's a site for service dog training with the same user name. Infact this story is in the blog section.
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Ari_RR
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by Ari_RR » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:54 am

I remember myself, with the first puppy.. Everything new. No clue really... Petco-like class was the first step in the right direction. And not because the trainer didn't teach any corrections or dominance (rather how to keep your puppy in a sit with a bunch of treats). But because it was a place to get together with similar newbies in a low pressure environment, where mistakes are forgiven for humans and puppies, and everyone is comfortable not knowing much.

Looking back I appreciate people there offering a smile or a thumbs up, or a "great looking puppy!"... But mostly staying back and not interfering, and keeping their big dogs at a distance. For us, walking in a little circle around the store was a huge accomplishment...

Someone using such group of inexperienced and confused humans and puppies as a laboratory for their own advanced training agenda - I don't know..... :?
Windchyme wrote:Even if this trainer had not ticked me off, there are only a few people that take the Petco classes and the whole reason for these classes in my case is the other people, dogs, and the distractions they bring. How much could MY dog learn going in a little circle around a store. I can do that for free frankly. I need lots of people, lots of activity, interactions and especially distractions of every conceivable kind- bring it and bring it hard is what I say, I want MY dog bombproof if possible, but then again I actually AM a service dog trainer.

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Nettle
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Re: Petco/Smart Dog Trainers

Post by Nettle » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:50 am

I wasn't sure about whether the post was genuine either, but thought I would put my point for the sake of anyone reading who might think the incident as described was the best way to manage such a situation.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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