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Thread: Harlea's First Puppy Class

  1. #1
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    Marine91's Avatar
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    Default Harlea's First Puppy Class

    I apologize in advance for the long rambling post.

    Harlea started her puppy classes at PetSmart the other day and I was pleasantly surprised at how it went. I am well aware of the bully that died after a PS training class so please don't judge as we did our research and after talking with many trainers the PS trainer was the only one Harlea felt comfortable with and would allow us to do the training with a harness and not a collar. Anywho.... enough of that. The main reason we did this was to help reinforce the things that we have already taught Harlea and for assistance on things she is just being a typically bully stubborn with. The class we signed up for is supposed to be a group class, but to our surprise we are the only ones in it so we are getting private lessons for the group rate which fine with me but I hope a few other pups join next week.

    I can't say enough about the girl that we are working with. She is young, but she really took the time to understand what we are looking to get out of Harlea taking the classes and and our concerns relating to problems we had heard of in the past about PS trainers being rough with fur babies as well as explain her history with training and the methodology she like to use. As this was a more of a get to know your pup session we told her what Harlea has learned so far (sit, down, hi five, speak(ewok) and tickle monster) and she started to run Harlea through the paces to see for her self and Harlea responded perfectly. Being cautious parents we are we brought treats from the house while working with her for both us and the trainer to use during the classes. We had an even bigger surprise when the trainer pulled out a bag of the Fromm's cranberry grain free treats that we use that she had bought on her own accord after she had talked to us on the phone when we signed up so we didn't have to worry about Harlea getting something she shouldn't have. After i was over the shock and trying to get her to let me reimburse her for the treats we moved on to the lesson of the day.

    As Harlea already knows many of the basic commands we started with the "watch me" command. All i can say is wow. She started by using treats while performing the command as she was showing us how to do it and then gradually stopped giving pieces of treats after a handful of attempts and Harlea picked it up right away. I was in shock. Next it was our turn. It was funny because by now there are some more pups roaming around the store starting to distract Harlea but like a trooper she performed the action with only a few corrections and even started to sit on her own as the command was given. We continued this for a few minutes and then we started moving around the store practicing the command but starting in an empty isle and then progressing to areas that had more distractions like the birds, kitties for adoption, fish and finally the checkout area. The checkout area and the kitty area were Harlea's kryptonite. She really struggled in those areas but with consistency and patience she still performed the commands as asked and by the time we were done with the lesson itself she was performing the action on command without having to use a treat so as a special treat she got a small piece of a Kong grain free treat as something different.

    All in all it was a great night and I do honestly believe that we picked the best trainer for us and Harlea. We have been working on the command at random times since the lesson to make Harlea think it is part of the daily routine increasing the time we make her watch us each day and she is now up to about 20 to 25 seconds before she gets a bit frustrated but she is being so good about it. To all the peeps out there that say bullies can't be trained... I have this for you.... as me and the wife are with happiness right now.
    Bulldogs are like potato chips. You just can't stop with one.

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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    That is so WONDERFUL!!! She sounds like a trainer that actually cares about the pups she has under her tutelage!

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 4

    R.I.P. Duece Man 9-13-14 Gone but not forgotten, always in our hearts! Till we meet again over the Bridge, Mommy misses you.

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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    YEAH for Harlea!!! I'm so glad that you found a great trainer that was willing to work w/you. Todd I used PetSmart for training w/two of my dogs, and I got lucky & had a wonderful trainer!!! I think that unfortunately people will judge them based on what happened, and now chain pet stores will suffer.

    Winston is in training as well (not at PetSmart), and yesterday at his class I mentioned to the trainer about that bully who had died... She was very honest w/me & told me that her very first dog that she had she accidentally killed trying to train him using one those slip collars (the ones that wrap around the neck). She was only 18 at the time, but she told me she was unaware of the danger of snapping their esophagus. I felt so bad for her, she was getting teary eyed... I'm wondering if this is something that a lot of new trainers are unaware of ?!! She has never used one since, and she's pretty adamant about it & using prong collars that are too tight!!!

    Anyhoo Winston is doing great too, it just takes time and patience... I agree bullies can be trained!!! I think I took Bella too early for training at 12 weeks, Winston is 8 mos old & he seems to be catching on quicker...

    "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
    RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie

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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    Sounds like one smart bully pup. That's awesome.

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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    So glad you guys found the trainer for you and for Harlea!! She seems like a very smart pup! (great parents don't hurt either)

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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    I am so happy that you posted this, I was just getting ready to start a thread asking about people's experience with training at petsmart. I just enrolled Tucker in the set of sessions that Harlea is taking. Tucker and I have some work to do this week to get him ready for his first class Friday, but after meeting the trainer in the store today, I am optimistic about the classes.

    I'm glad Harlea is doing so well with her training, you both really give me something to shoot for with Tucker

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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    for doing your research first before choosing a trainer to work with. It sounds as if she really is an excellent trainer, and I can't wait to hear how his training progresses.

    Of course, you do realise we need video of this now don't you!!!

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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    That's great!!

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    Marine91's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    Quote Originally Posted by kazzy220 View Post
    for doing your research first before choosing a trainer to work with. It sounds as if she really is an excellent trainer, and I can't wait to hear how his training progresses.

    Of course, you do realise we need video of this now don't you!!!
    We plan on putting a video together after classes are done. It will be posted here and on our vets website as they asked if they could host it as well for thier owners who don't bother to train their bullies because they say they are too stubborn to train.
    Bulldogs are like potato chips. You just can't stop with one.

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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    How wonderful! First experiences are so important. I've heard good things in general about Petsmart training. It is like so many other things, it's an individual matter..each location nd trainer could be different. What matters is, Harlea responded so well and now she's on her way!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    That's awesome, Todd! Tate and Finn also went thru the training classes at Pet Smart and I think they learned a lot (tho they could use a refresher course)! btw, I believe it was Petco that was involved in that tragic bulldog death you referred to.




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    Default Re: Harlea's First Puppy Class

    We just took our 13 wk old Stella to her first puppy class yesterday at Petsmart. It went great. It was a small class of only 3 other dogs. She listened very well, and growled at all the other dogs that were all bigger than her, just like the alpha she is!!

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