That depends on how you define ‘good’. Most of their trainers are amateurs just starting their careers. And a majority of them never completed a ‘real’ canine behaviorism school… 3-4 weeks of classes is not, in my opinion, a real education. Places like tripple crown have 3 months of intensive study in the BASIC bahaviorism program… on campus, 6 days a week, 6-8 hours a day. Live training with real dogs and puppies. The advanced courses are another 3 months and specialized classes (like police and service dog training) are another 3-6 months.
So compare a true professional trainer to the ones a petSmart and you could never consider them ‘good.’ Maybe one in one hundred went to a true canine behaviorism school, though graduates usually demand (and easily get) a much higher wage than PetSmart is able or willing to pay.
As far as basic puppy classes go, they are adequate if you have never trained a dog before or are just interested in the socialization aspects of puppy kindergarten. If you are interested in advanced obedience, major behavioral modification, or anything other than the basics, you will want to find somewhere else.
Er… let me clarify that… PetSmart is more than good enough for puppy training. The price is usually pretty reasonable too. Just don’t go there with a Cujo and expect them to have any experience with unusual canine problems. I’m sure they’ll know some of the theory, but they just don’t have the experience or proper training for that.

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Comments

  1. tripfory

    I’ve heard that their classes are really only as good as the instructor and it varies wildly. Some people have reported having 30-year veteran trainers as instructors, others have had teenagers with almost no ability to train.
    Go and observe a class by the instructor you’re thinking of signing up for and see if they seem to know what they’re talking about. When someone asks them a question, how do they answer? Do they hesitate and hem and haw a lot or do they sound like they know what they’re talking about?

  2. tenzo0

    Petsmart claims that they have an expert approach which combines the disciplines of pet training with animal behaviorism, so that you’re able to first understand why your pet behaves in a certain way, and then how you can take that information and effectively and humanely train your dog.
    They indicate that their instructors are accredited experts trained in canine ethology, learning theory & interpreting canine body postures.
    That they use positive reinforcement techniques so learning is both fun and effective.
    That their learning center has a real world environment that enables your dog to learn despite distractions.
    That they have classes for every lifestage and skill level.
    That they even have a SmartPet Promise that if you’re not 100% satisfied, you can take the class again for free!
    PetSmart stores offer a variety of classes to meet your needs.
    They also offer a free coupon for a free training consultation with one of their accredited pet trainers.
    I’d like to add that you may want to visit one of their stores during the pet training class as you can observe how well the trainers teach the owners and their dogs and if their training style appeals to the direction in which you want to take your dog.
    I’ve observed a few pet training classes when I just happened to be in three different Petsmart stores and they seem to give basic guidance to new pet owners and established pet owners with various tips and tricks. My dog also enjoyed watching everyone struggle with their dogs and watching the owners get people trained.
    Good luck and post some videos of your pup on YouTube so that we can all see your dog.

  3. Vireo Sys

    ALL the Petsmart ‘trainers’ I have watched have NO BUSINESS teaching dog classes! When I went there recently, the ‘trainers’ were giving a seminar. I felt kinda bad for them, they were so clueless.
    They ONLY hire people who haven’t done it before. If your standards are really low and you are of the furbaby crowd, it may be fine, but I wouldn’t expect any help if you have a real problem.
    Go to a REAL training club.

  4. countpet

    um I’m not quite sure but i know that petco really has a good training program i tried it before and my dog came back great! and always obeyed me! so i recommend petco! but I’m not saying petsmart is bad ether but good luck!

  5. doglover

    We used their training for our dog and we enjoyed it. The only thing is with any training you have to practice at home what you are taught. they don’t do all the work for you. It takes time at home to practice and then attending the training to get the results you want. I would recommend it.

  6. leftygir

    For the puppy starter classes and such they are great. For socializtion and basic stuff they are great. They are not equiped to handle serios behavior issues and those would be better handled in a one on one setting with a behavioral trainer.

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