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Press release from Business Wire

PetSmart® Celebrates “National Train Your Dog Month” with Tips to Help Pet Parents Alleviate Common Challenges with Their Canine Companions

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

PetSmart® Celebrates “National Train Your Dog Month” with Tips to Help Pet Parents Alleviate Common Challenges with Their Canine Companions07:00 EST Wednesday, January 04, 2012 PHOENIX (Business Wire) -- The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP) revealed that 96 percent of dogs relinquished to shelters had not received obedience training. PetSmart® (NASDAQ: PETM) is celebrating National Train Your Dog Month in January by educating pet parents and newly-formed families on common behavioral challenges with dogs that can be resolved with training. “Training, or lack thereof, is one of the primary reasons dogs are turned into shelters, making National Train Your Dog Month a good time to focus on this important topic,” said Debbie McKnight, training expert for PetSmart. “We want all pets to stay in their homes forever and helping pet parents and their pets learn good habits through training is the perfect place to start.” Helpful Solutions Common struggles are often offset through easily-learned training techniques. Pet parents can curb these problems with dog training and reinforcing this training at home. Leash pulling: Pulling during walks can keep pet parents from enjoying a stroll with their dog. This video demonstrates how to train dogs to “loose leash” walk and make the walk fun for the pet parents and the pet. Potty training challenges: This issue can be a challenge for new and seasoned pet parents alike, and crate training can be a help. A crate uses a dog's natural “denning” instinct to keep him from going to the bathroom until he is out of the crate. This video demonstrates how to teach a dog to go into and be comfortable in his crate. Anxiety: This behavior can present itself as socialization issues, such as fear or aggression. Teaching pets the “watch me” cue is the basis for many training techniques and can help build trust between the pet and pet parent, increasing confidence in the dog. This video demonstrates how to teach this cue, beneficial when dogs are introduced to other pets or out of their normal surroundings. Whether a newly-adopted puppy or an older dog who needs to learn new tricks, PetSmart's training classes use positive reinforcement training to reward dogs for doing desired behaviors. Linking visual cues to motivating rewards is not only an effective way to train but is also the most humane and fun for both the pet and pet parents. In fact, one of PetSmart's trainers was recently recognized through PetSmart's “Happiness In Store” contest for helping pet parent, Katie, who was having serious concerns about her dog Logan's aggressive behavior. PetSmart trainer, Wendy, suggested Logan attend her puppy training classes and after a few short weeks, his behavior significantly improved. Three years later, Logan is still a happy, healthy dog. Meet Logan, Katie and Wendy in this video. PetSmart trainers complete a rigorous accreditation program that was developed with expert pet trainers and animal behaviorists. Group training courses for every lifestage as well as private training classes are available at all PetSmart stores. PetSmart also offers the Smart Pet Promise℠ allowing pet parents who are not 100% satisfied to take the class again for free. Additional Pet Parent Resources Test your puppy training IQ: Can your dog do this? Behavioral quiz: For more information about PetSmart's training classes, visit About PetSmart PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company employs approximately 50,000 associates and operates more than 1,210 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, over 185 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities and is a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information ( PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day CampSM day care services and pet adoption services. Since 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc., an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization and the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, has provided more than $134 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations. Through its in-store pet adoption partnership with PetSmart Charities®, PetSmart has helped save the lives of more than 4.7 million pets. Follow PetSmart on Twitter @PetSmart Find PetSmart on Facebook See PetSmart on YouTube: GolinHarris for PetSmartAnuradha Koli, 972-341-2578akoli@golinharris.comorPetSmart Media