Training advice needed

10 replies [Last post]
Bashman's picture
Joined: 2009-08-12

Hello everyone,

I have a 14 1/2 week old red female. I want to start on the training but need a little advice.
There is a place near my house, where I can take her and get one on one training for $250. This will consist of 8 sessions for 30 minutes each. This will be for obedience.
The other option is taking her to Petsmart and do group seesions for $109. This will also consist of 8 sessions, 30 minutes each. I have been told Petsmart uses a clicker for training.

Any thoughts, advice, recommendations?
Thanks in advance.

I think you would be better off doing the other training pet smart doesn't offer quality training. I would look around and see what options you have and maybe go check out a session. Clicker training is great but petsmart is not the place to get it at.

SnoopyDobe's picture
Joined: 2009-07-01

Pet Profiles

I took Snoopy, he is 7 months now, but I took him to the Petsmart clicker training when he was about 16 weeks until just recently.  I think that it was good for socialization, but I would not do it for actual obedience training even though that's what they say that it is.  we finished the course but I have learned just to do my research on how to train a Doberman and have had better luck with that.  I don't knock the Petsmart thing I just know that it did not do much for my pup.  Now there is all sorts of trainers that will even come out to your house and work with you and your dog for an hour each session, and the prices are pretty comparable.  I myself just have been doing alot of research and chose to try and do it myself.  I have learned alot and I think it has benefited Snoopy and my relationship drastically.  That just my opinion.  Just know that Dobies learn really quick and you can also train your dog yourself, maybe not to be a showdog, but as for obedience and manners i think that it is quite achievable especially with a Dobie.

jabberjaw's picture
Joined: 2009-08-11

As was stated, Petsmart is good for socialization but that's about it.
I took my Belgian there and that's really all I got out of it. I did better
on my own. I have Sabbath with a personal trainer in my area and he is really good.
Sabbath will be getting his CGC very soon. :)

BlueDobie's picture
Joined: 2009-07-02

Yes, I agree, look for a professional trainer that has a lot of experience and certificates. I am a dog trainer at Petco and I still have to look up things on the internet to train my Dobe. I have only been there for a couple months and they don't require any experience to become a dog trainer. All I had to do was read a thick binder which most of the stuff I already knew just from watching Cesar Milan, then I take a test and I don't even think they grade it. I am pretty disappointed that I was never really properly trained, so I have done most of the research on my own, so I can be somewhat helpful when teaching a class. Although I must say, most people that bring their dogs in know almost nothing about raising a dog, so I feel at least that they are gaining something, however if you know the basics of leadership and potty training and how to teach basic commands, then find a 'real' trainer that can pinpoint areas you need help with.

Bashman's picture
Joined: 2009-08-12

Thanks for all the info. It really helped my decision making. I do need her to get more socialized with other dogs and people. Instead of forking out $109 at petsmart, I can take her to a dog park.
I went in to make my first appointment with my new vet today. She recommended a trainer that she had dealt with great results. 

Thanks again.

Q Tip's picture
Joined: 2009-03-22

Pet Profiles

Hi Bashman :) I think the socailisation at obedience class is a lot different from just socialising at the park.  The dogs are aware of one and other but not allowed to play or do all the doggy interactions. It actually teaches great restraint in the dog. My pup now stays to heel despite other dogs being around when we are out for walks unless i tell him otherwise. We are working towards our good citizern and can attend as many classes as we like. Thats not bad for a yearly fee of $85 kiwi dollars. :)

The dog park IS NOT A GOOD PLACE to socialize a puppy! What you want to find is a group training session to bring your dog to. Their are WAY to many bad things that can happen at a dog park and ruin your dog for life. I have posted many times on this list a article that is on the DPCA website that goes through all stages of your dogs growing and development and what to expect. It gives good solid advice on how and what to do with your dogs through each stage.

If you are wanting to socialize your puppy or dog their are many good ways to do this rather than ruin your impressionable young dog for life. I don't have a lot of time to write anymore tonight I'm hoping that someone else (RGREEN) will chime in with some great ideas for you. I will check back later this weekend.

rgreen4's picture
Joined: 2008-10-26

I wasn't on last night. I am not the best source of how to socialize a dog, because mine are all done at home, since I have multiple dogs. A lot of it depends not only on the dog, but the owner. If the owner is apprehensive when a new dog is introduced, the the dog will be apprehensive as well.

Another advantage I have had, is that being gone over weekends about a half dozen times a year, all of mine are boarded at the vets, and get to become accustomed to other dogs and people.

I also have the advantage of living out in a rural setting on 4 acres of land, about half of which is grass and half of which is woods. When the weather is good I take Red and Princess out back where there is a back fence to mark the back boundry. They then have a large open area to run around, yet I can still keep them somewhat contained.

My big challenge was getting Princess to play nicely with older small dogs (my Schnauzers) who do not like the other large dog in my household (Red).

It has been over 25 years since I have only had one dog, and have never had a problem between my dogs and others. It also helped that while my sister was alive when she came to visit, she brought her dogs so mine became accustomed to other dogs coming to stay in the house. (excluding Princess).

The problem you encounter in attempting to socialize in a dog park from what I have seen, is that the dogs are basically on their own, and you have little control on the other dogs yours encounters while still at a tender age. This is best done in a controlled situation, among dogs at a puppy class or among dogs of friends whom are willing to work with you.

trophy13's picture
Joined: 2009-08-30

petsmart training is a great way to socialize your young puppy, a crucial step in raising a well rounded doberman. however, i think they may rely on "treat training". Obviously a matter of preference, personally i disagree with this tactic. Mainly because it establishes that its ok to take food from a human, and in the natural world, giving up food doesn't establish dominance as a pack leader, also crucial for a well mannered and controllable doberman. so check out petsmarts training methods, because like i said its a great way to socialize your dog.

I have to add a few things to this. If you live in a town that is big enough to have a petsmart then you have to have a dog training facility close by. There is a HUGE difference between the training you get at petsmart/petco and what you will get at a dog club/training facility. Check around with vets ask for references, visit the facility and see how they run the classes.

You purposefully need to get the dog out in CONTROLLED situations that enable socialization. Many things you can do such as taking the dog to grocery stores, malls, Lowes I'm not talking about taking them in the store but outside in the parking lot. Tell people you are trying to socialize and ask if they would be willing to pet your dog, bring treats for the people you ask to give to your dog. Dogs do not need to run wild at a dog park to socialize. If you look up on the internet the dangers of dog parks you will find many reasons why that is not a good idea. Try bringing your dogs to parks where their are not loose running dogs that may scare him/her. If you have friends that have well behaved dogs that will not harm your young puppy introduce them that way. The key to the situation is CONTROLLED enviorments that have been purposefully planned on your part until your dog learns confidence, trust, and control of his or her own actions through obedience. Through purposeful planning, socializing you will have a great dog!

There is NOTHING wrong with using treats in training providing you wean off of them and reward every now and then. Some of the very TOP trainers use treats. I hate to disagree with the previous poster but this is an excellent way to train the dog. There is nothing wrong with taking food from human hands, the kind of treatment described in the last post sounds like training from the 70's early 80's the old jerk and pull method, you are going to do it because I said to do it and I'm the human. Their are so many different ways to establish dominance while still using treats. Their are MANY different ways to train and I happen to use a wide combination with my dogs. If you have ever looked at my website my daughter and I both compete in many different events with our dogs. They are well socialized pets that are respected and praised for their obedience when in public. Read my recent post about our round robin event at the fair. A well trained dog will except the circumstances that you put it in due to trust respect and proper training.

Most of all have fun with your dog it is all about the adventure, you will be so surprised at what this breed is capable of doing.