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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Petsmart training

My vet recommends a particular non-pet store local training place for classes, even though it's about twice the price of Petsmart and Petco. I was briefly wondering if we really needed to spend the extra on the non-pet store place, until we stopped in there to pick up some bitter apple spray and had a run in with one of the trainers. Of course Trooper was with us (carried him since he has had just one set of shots) and the trainer lady came to visit with us and to promote the puppy class. Of course she oogled and googled over his cuteness.

I got the final confirmation that classes there were not an option for us when...

after asking what breed he was and I replied he's a Havanese, and her reply was "Oh, they're so cute. Back east they have BIG Havanese...like 30 pounds...back here they're smaller."

UHHHHH I don't know if she was really thinking of Havanese or if she was getting breeds confused or what, but that's the silliest thing I've ever heard. With as many east coast forum friends here, I've seen a lot of photos, and even I know better. Good grief.

DUMB. If she doesn't really know the breed, she is not training my puppy, thank you very much.

*sigh* Totally going with the non-pet store place that the vet recommends. The money will be well worth it.

Last edited by angiern2004; 03-09-2012 at 01:32 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 01:24 PM
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I dont blame you. I am amazed at how many so called professionals dont really know about the havanese. Good luck
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 02:00 PM
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Perhaps she was confusing Havanese with Tibetan Terriers. TT's look a lot like Havs but are taller and heavier and, of course, have no relation to Havs.

Havs are still pretty rare around the country. Most people I have met were not even aware of the breed, including some trainers that were good at what they did.

I am not saying you should change your mind and go to Petsmart for training because the Vet's recommendation is probably really valuable. You are probably going to have a trainer with a lot of experience, and many of the Petsmart trainers tend to be new to the occupation. Just make sure that your trainer methods use Positive Reinforcement.



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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angiern2004 View Post
My vet recommends a particular non-pet store local training place for classes, even though it's about twice the price of Petsmart and Petco. I was briefly wondering if we really needed to spend the extra on the non-pet store place, until we stopped in there to pick up some bitter apple spray and had a run in with one of the trainers. Of course Trooper was with us (carried him since he has had just one set of shots) and the trainer lady came to visit with us and to promote the puppy class. Of course she oogled and googled over his cuteness.

I got the final confirmation that classes there were not an option for us when...

after asking what breed he was and I replied he's a Havanese, and her reply was "Oh, they're so cute. Back east they have BIG Havanese...like 30 pounds...back here they're smaller."

UHHHHH I don't know if she was really thinking of Havanese or if she was getting breeds confused or what, but that's the silliest thing I've ever heard. With as many east coast forum friends here, I've seen a lot of photos, and even I know better. Good grief.

DUMB. If she doesn't really know the breed, she is not training my puppy, thank you very much.

*sigh* Totally going with the non-pet store place that the vet recommends. The money will be well worth it.
I think it's good that you are going with a private training facility for a couple of reasons. First, IN GENERAL, the training staff will be much more knowledgeable. Second, even after all puppy shots, I don't like my dog on the floor in Petsmart and Petco. There is just no way for them to control who brings pets in and whether they have had all immunizations, etc. There was one day that I walked through and a woman had this dog in there who was so filthy that you could smell him in the next aisle!

Do make sure that you visit and watch a class at the place you are thinking of though. Just like I don't think you go to vets for advice on nutrition, Vets, in general, know even less about training. Make sure that the training center you choose, and the specific trainer you work with, uses positive training methods. No choke or prong collars, no yanking or snapping leashes... Will at least introduce you to clicker training, and uses LOTS of fun, positive (food and play) reinforcement with the puppies to start building a really strong relationship with them.

A good puppy K class will also include lots of off-leash play time, with mixed size/breed dogs so that puppies learn to get along with all kinds of other dogs. If it is well supervised, the trainer should be able to keep your little puppy safe and keep them from being traumatized, even if the majority of other puppies are large breed pups.

That said, while what the Petsmart trainer said was stupid (she should have kept her mouth shut if she didn't know the breed better) a person doesn't have to have an intimate knowledge of all the different breeds in order to be a good trainer. Dogs are dogs, and each is an individual. There are certainly some breed characteristics, but it can be a mistake approaching any individual animal assuming you know what they will be like based on the breed. Any specific individual might very much surprise you!


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 04:25 PM
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I agree with go watch the classesat the training facility before you jump in. I also agree with the above comments about pet store classes. You might look into whether an all breed club or an obedience club has classes. Both of the all breed clubs in my vicinity have classes and neither city (town) is that large. Here, there are too private ones, some are great and others lacking

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarrLhasa View Post
Perhaps she was confusing Havanese with Tibetan Terriers. TT's look a lot like Havs but are taller and heavier and, of course, have no relation to Havs.

Havs are still pretty rare around the country. Most people I have met were not even aware of the breed, including some trainers that were good at what they did.

I am not saying you should change your mind and go to Petsmart for training because the Vet's recommendation is probably really valuable. You are probably going to have a trainer with a lot of experience, and many of the Petsmart trainers tend to be new to the occupation. Just make sure that your trainer methods use Positive Reinforcement.

Aside from what the lady said, THIS is the primary reason we're going to the non-pet store place.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-09-2012, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by krandall View Post
I think it's good that you are going with a private training facility for a couple of reasons. First, IN GENERAL, the training staff will be much more knowledgeable. Second, even after all puppy shots, I don't like my dog on the floor in Petsmart and Petco. There is just no way for them to control who brings pets in and whether they have had all immunizations, etc. There was one day that I walked through and a woman had this dog in there who was so filthy that you could smell him in the next aisle!

Do make sure that you visit and watch a class at the place you are thinking of though. Just like I don't think you go to vets for advice on nutrition, Vets, in general, know even less about training. Make sure that the training center you choose, and the specific trainer you work with, uses positive training methods. No choke or prong collars, no yanking or snapping leashes... Will at least introduce you to clicker training, and uses LOTS of fun, positive (food and play) reinforcement with the puppies to start building a really strong relationship with them.

A good puppy K class will also include lots of off-leash play time, with mixed size/breed dogs so that puppies learn to get along with all kinds of other dogs. If it is well supervised, the trainer should be able to keep your little puppy safe and keep them from being traumatized, even if the majority of other puppies are large breed pups.

That said, while what the Petsmart trainer said was stupid (she should have kept her mouth shut if she didn't know the breed better) a person doesn't have to have an intimate knowledge of all the different breeds in order to be a good trainer. Dogs are dogs, and each is an individual. There are certainly some breed characteristics, but it can be a mistake approaching any individual animal assuming you know what they will be like based on the breed. Any specific individual might very much surprise you!
THIS is the other reason we're going to the non-pet store place. Thinking about the floors at the pet stores really gross me out. That's probably the nurse in me, but YUCK!

I do realize that trainers do not need to be experts in every breed. You'd think they'd know some basics about them though, especially if you claim you've had a decent number of them in classes.

I don't know, I'm probably being over picky about it, but if you make yourself sound like you don't know what you're talking about, I'm not sure I want to spend the money on your services hoping you know how to do what you do.
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