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Discussion Starter #1
Hey so I've been taking Loki to Petsmart for training for about 3 weeks, and it really doesn't seem like it's working out for us. Hopefully I can maybe get my money back if we haven't even been to half the classes.

The trainer seems okay, and that's the problem lol her dog she uses to demo is pretty well behaved but it seems like it behaves how a normal persons dog would act, not someones who's been a trainer for 40 years. The trainer often has to say her dogs name several times to get it to look at her, and the dog has also snapped at Loki and other dogs in the class during all 3 classes we've been to.

Loki is also a veryy stubborn and excited/anxious dog and I just feel like this trainer isn't a right fit. The only thing that hasn't gotten better is him constantly biting when we're playing no matter how I try to teach him he just doesn't seem to get the idea...

I was wondering where a good website or place would be to find good trainers and training schools? I've googled it and I found 2 other schools where classes had already started, but I live in Southeast Michigan so I feel like there has to be more out there than what I'm finding. Is anyone from around my area that could help out? I'm looking for places around Flint, or even the Grand Rapids area since that's close to where I go to school.
 
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The problem with Petsmart is anyone can be a trainer there. They can take a 6 week course and become a trainer. Also, I never beleive most people when they talk about years training or owning a breed, as most people start counting from when they were a kid in 4H.

I would try the GrandBlanc old Petsupplies plus, it is now a Training Center in the Back. The head trainer is Connie crowley who has over 30 years into training and knows pits and staffies(she has done advance obedince and flyball). Her partner is John Skowski, who is a retired police K9 trainer( he has done SchH and USPCA). Both are experienced and know the bull breeds. They use both force and motivation.
 

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Panda and I are attending the petsmart class on wednesday, apparently the trainer has 3 pit bulls and he knows how to train the breed very well, he seemed very confident of himself and the first class is free so why not. I live in the Chicago area and i've noticed that most trainers want to do like a two week boot camp where they actually TAKE your dog, but how is that beneficial if i want to see the progress and learn how to train them correctly too. Here is a trainers website, you can see if any are in your area this way. Good luck, it sounds like were in the same boat right now! Association of Pet Dog Trainers - Dog Training Resources
 

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You can also check with your local dog boarding kennels or daycares, see if they offer obed training as well as other training classes, like Conformation, Agility, Advanced/Competition Obed, etc. You want to look for someone who's got experience with the breed, or bully breeds in general, as they will know better how to handle Loki. I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but I live in TN so I can't really direct you to someone in your area. But you can definately call around. Maybe ask your vet if he/she knows of any trainers with experience in the breed, too.. see if they can refer you.
 

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Hello guys, I'm new here!

How to find a trainer is a great question. Many people do not know what to really look for, and until you look around you won't know the difference.

I used to be a trainer at Petsmart years ago so I can tell you this, they are not a professional dog training establishment, they are a retail store. The training is not even 6 weeks, it was less than 3 weeks (90 hours) with another Petsmart trainer. And that's a person walking in the door with zero experience and possibly never owning a dog-- that is a joke! If you want quality training avoid retail stores, it's a waste of time and money.

Being a trainer in Chicago, we train so many Pit Bulls, but really any trainer who is any good should have experience with them as they are a popular breed. They are really not too different than training any other breed, but I agree you want to find a trainer who is not "prejudicial" to the breed or will lump them all together. Avoid someone who makes blanket statements like "Pits are all stubborn" or "Pits are all dog-aggressive," every dog is different!

There's a lot more I could tell you about finding a good trainer, but I won't go on and on. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I feel like I've heard the name Connie Crowley before I'll check it out there...my dad keeps telling me I should stick it out but the fact that her dog has tried to attack puppies in the class really bothers me. There was a time when if she hadn't physically pulled her dog away I'm pretty sure we would've had a toy poodle mess on our hands.

Thanks for the vet idea LadyPit I haven't asked there yet..and I've been looking for a reason to take him there just to have a treat and say hi :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The problem with Petsmart is anyone can be a trainer there. They can take a 6 week course and become a trainer. Also, I never beleive most people when they talk about years training or owning a breed, as most people start counting from when they were a kid in 4H.

I would try the GrandBlanc old Petsupplies plus, it is now a Training Center in the Back. The head trainer is Connie crowley who has over 30 years into training and knows pits and staffies(she has done advance obedince and flyball). Her partner is John Skowski, who is a retired police K9 trainer( he has done SchH and USPCA). Both are experienced and know the bull breeds. They use both force and motivation.
Hey where is that located? I tried looking it up online and I couldn't really find it, we ended up at their new one and nobody working there knew where the old one was
 

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the fact that her dog has tried to attack puppies in the class really bothers me. There was a time when if she hadn't physically pulled her dog away I'm pretty sure we would've had a toy poodle mess on our hands.
And no one got up and left the class?
No one stood up and called her out for not knowing what the ---- she was talking about?
No one went to the manager of the store and said "If this is how the animals that you train act, I'll be needing my money back"?
There's no way I could have taken that sitting down, it would've been all I could do not to explode right there in the class.
Unbelievable.
But you know, if it had been your PITBULL pup that had been involved, they'd have thrown you out.

Sometimes Dads tell us we should stick things out just because that's what Dads do. Explain to him that this could cause permanent scarring to your pup, and I think that he will support your decision once he understands more.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And no one got up and left the class?
No one stood up and called her out for not knowing what the ---- she was talking about?
No one went to the manager of the store and said "If this is how the animals that you train act, I'll be needing my money back"?
There's no way I could have taken that sitting down, it would've been all I could do not to explode right there in the class.
Unbelievable.
But you know, if it had been your PITBULL pup that had been involved, they'd have thrown you out.

Sometimes Dads tell us we should stick things out just because that's what Dads do. Explain to him that this could cause permanent scarring to your pup, and I think that he will support your decision once he understands more.
That's what I was saying!
I was soo close to saying something right to the trainer last week because she had us walking heel in a circle and I wanted to tell her Loki might do better if HER demo dog didn't snap a little every time we walked by. I'm going to the vet today to see about other trainers and I'm going to try and get my money back from Petsmart, my dad didn't think I would be able to.

I feel like I've tried to explain it to him he's gone to classes with us since I'm here for the summer and he says he hasn't seen it...but every time we leave or re-enter the little "arena" to do training in the store her dog will snap at Loki and another Lab puppy in the class because they are being rambunctious.

He tried to defend the trainer the other day about the poodle saying that even she seemed surprised, but to me that's even more of a warning sign?

He also says things like she's still training her dog, her dog is a rescue, sometimes other dogs might just be aggressive, which I tell him then the trainer should know that it's clearly not the right dog to bring to puppy obedience classes that are supposed to be teaching them socialization...

Thanks guys my dad knows Loki's my dog so he told me it's up to me how I want to handle it but hopefully I can show this to him and he'll see that it's not just me being overprotective of my puppy.
 

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He tried to defend the trainer the other day about the poodle saying that even she seemed surprised, but to me that's even more of a warning sign?
IMHO, it doesnt matter if the trainer was surprised or not, perhaps it is worse that she WAS surprised.

He also says things like she's still training her dog, her dog is a rescue, sometimes other dogs might just be aggressive, which I tell him then the trainer should know that it's clearly not the right dog to bring to puppy obedience classes that are supposed to be teaching them socialization...
And that's exactly why I'm leaning towards her surprise being even more suspicious. A good trainer would only bring her best, most well behaved, experienced dog to this type of training session, because the trainer would understand the huge impact that DA can have on puppies.
As far as her still training her dog, I dont buy that. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the trainer is being payed for the sessions, which makes training the CUSTOMERS dogs her responsibility. She should not bring an untrained or half trained dog to the session, she's got enough to worry about. She can train her dog on her own time.
I dunno, maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I'd definitely be out of that class. If you raise enough hell, loud enough, INSIDE of PetSmart, you'll get a refund. They'll want to keep you quiet.

Good job looking our for your pup, by the way. :) You're obviously paying closer attention to your dog's socialization than your classmates are.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Haha I'm glad you're being harsh because I was starting to feel like I was just making too big of a deal out of it. Loki already plays rough with other dogs even after they've showed him they don't like it sometimes so he really doesn't need to be learning any aggression at his training classes.

I think my dad's big thing is he doesn't necessarily think that her dog is NOT wrong, but he thinks that Loki is improving all the same and that's all that matters so we should just stick with it. I know that he's improving by us working with him using methods I could've found on the internet or through any other trainer.
 

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I have been clicker training Argos and it seems to be working very well, but on the other hand, I have been blessed with an alarmingly calm puppy. lol
Youtube has a lot of dog training information, I would personally recommend the user "Kikopup" as one to check out. Her videos are short and to the point, and she has been a huge source of information for me, as has this forum.
Hope it works out for ya, whatever you decide to do, and keep looking out for your dog, cause no one else will!
 

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If the Petsmart trainer's dog was being aggressive, you should contact corporate and make a complaint. That is highly unprofessional, and it scares me that this trainer is "training" other people. I'm not saying they're all bad, but sure I would not go there. You could go get a job as a trainer there right now, as long as the manager thinks you will sell the classes and contribute to their store performance in sales.

Two of the most unprofessional conversations I've had with Petsmart trainers... One, while shopping the trainer approached me and asked "What kind of dog is that?" Uhhh, it's a (sable colored) German Shepherd, you don't recognize the breed? I asked her what kind of dog she had, to which she replied she did not own a dog, but had thought about getting one someday.

Two, a co-worker of mine while at Petsmart started accepting dog-aggressive dogs into his classes. When I remarked that we did not have the capabilities to do this, and were not allowed by store rules to accept aggressive dogs, he said his plan was to teach the dogs "leave it" and give them treats for not being aggressive. The trainers own dog was pulling him through the store on a body harness, but could do simple tricks like paw and roll over, as if that was going to be a good example. I left and got a job at a real training facility.

Don't let other dogs correct your puppy, only let him socialize with calm and friendly dogs who will not bully him.
 

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If the Petsmart trainer's dog was being aggressive, you should contact corporate and make a complaint. That is highly unprofessional, and it scares me that this trainer is "training" other people. I'm not saying they're all bad, but sure I would not go there. You could go get a job as a trainer there right now, as long as the manager thinks you will sell the classes and contribute to their store performance in sales.

Two of the most unprofessional conversations I've had with Petsmart trainers... One, while shopping the trainer approached me and asked "What kind of dog is that?" Uhhh, it's a (sable colored) German Shepherd, you don't recognize the breed? I asked her what kind of dog she had, to which she replied she did not own a dog, but had thought about getting one someday.

Two, a co-worker of mine while at Petsmart started accepting dog-aggressive dogs into his classes. When I remarked that we did not have the capabilities to do this, and were not allowed by store rules to accept aggressive dogs, he said his plan was to teach the dogs "leave it" and give them treats for not being aggressive. The trainers own dog was pulling him through the store on a body harness, but could do simple tricks like paw and roll over, as if that was going to be a good example. I left and got a job at a real training facility.

Don't let other dogs correct your puppy, only let him socialize with calm and friendly dogs who will not bully him.
"what kind of dog is that?"...??
Ugh it bugs me how useless some people can be I mean I'm sure that girl was good at SOMETHING in life why waste your own talents and everyone elses time by getting a job in something you know nothing about...

Anyway 3 managers know about it now and they're giving me a refund for the remaining 5 classes since he's been to 3 already...probably should stop shopping there at least until I know that dog is gone but I'll have to wait till I run out of the coupons i got from the humane society lol
 
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