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Went to Petsmart yesterday to look into a beginner class for Rumor. Was talking to the store manager who was trying to convince me to bring both dogs. I was explaining some of my concerns and the more we talked, the more I'm pretty sure he's not very knowledgable about greyhounds. ( He's not a trainer by the way. I have the trainer's card and will call and ask my questions to him). Anyway, I'm concerned about taking my dogs into Petsmart because I don't know if my dogs are small dog safe ( or any dog safe for that matter) and I think they have a pretty strong prey drive based on how they react to rabbits and cats (and toads, and bugs, etc, etc). The guy said they absolutely wouldn't allow the dog to be muzzled in class (I tried to explain about greyhound muzzles but he wouldn't hear it). He also said you could get rid of prey drive with training. I don't believe that - they were bred and trianed to chase furry things. I've had greyhounds for over 10 years and have read a lot but am certainly no expert on the breed or training. But, if I take a class I need to be confident in what I know. So, has anyone muzzled their hound at Petsmart training (at least to start until you have a better feel for things. It's other people doing something stupid that I worry about) and what about the prey drive thing? It would be fun for DH and I to take both dogs but at the same time but I worry about Marlow.

<p>Kim and the hound - Rumor
Missing my angels Marlow, Silver, Holly and Lucky

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Talk to the actual trainer who will be running the class and ask these questions.

 

Prey drive and being safe around small dogs/animals are sort of two separate things. As are being tolerant of them inside one's own home and NOT tolerant outside of it. Prey drive - the desire to chase down prey - is genetic and not really something that can be trained either in or out. You can dull the effects with some dogs with time, but certainly not all of them.

 

IMO, if your dog will need to be muzzled in a class, it will be way to distracted (by the smaller dogs) to really learn anything. See if they have a class of all larger breeds, or try and locate a greyhound specific class in your area. Ask if you can bring your dog to an already running class first and just sit in and see how he/they react.

 

The classes at Petsmart are usually good, positive training sources, but the environment can be loud and chaotic. There can be lots of barking and echo-y noise in the store. The floors are slick. People are looking in the training area all the time from outside the class pen. Many of the class participants have never had a dog or this is their first class, and their dogs are not the best behaved ones. :rolleyes: Not every greyhound will do well in this sort of situation.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Always try and watch a training class and talk to the trainer before enrolling. It is entirely possible to have a class with mixed sizes, drives, and issues and have it work out, IF the class is set up correctly and the trainer knows what they are doing and has the appropriate assistance. Visual barriers do wonders, and help the reactive dogs learn to control their behavior in the presence of the trigger. I've been in classes with dog-reactive dogs, high prey-drive dogs, and scared dogs, and never had a problem. I've been in a class with both a dog-reactive pit, and a human-aggressive pit (two different dogs), and not had any issues. I will say that I have not done PetSmart classes... I wouldn't want to try starting an obedience class in an area with such a high distraction level. I'd take private (as in someone not at PetSmart) classes first to get the foundation down, and then use a PetSmart class to help proof the behavior, if you wanted to do that.

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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Honestly, I'd look for something with a private business that specializes in training. Visit a class by yourself first (any reputable trainer welcomes observers) and make sure they are using positive methods (no collar popping!).

 

I just did basic obedience with Clarice...doing it at Petsmart would have been so distracting for her that it would have been a giant waste of money.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Guest BiancasMom

Not sure if all Petsmarts are the same but around here, they will hire anyone to be a "trainer". Make sure to find someone with actual credentials.

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If you have had Greyhounds for 10 years, what do you think you're going to learn from some kid at Petsmart in a class?

 

Train him yourself at home! Save yourself some $$ and teach him what you know he needs to know!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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