Im interested in taking my dog to obedience training at Petsmart. If anyone has taken the classes Id like some feedback….. was it worth the money? did it seem like they were training your dog hands on? did the trainer personally helped with issues, or did he/she just basically read out of a book out loud to everyone? how did the trainer interact with each student? did it feel like a personal session or di it seem overcrowded and hard to keep up? thanks in advance.


  1. Nancy M

    It will depend on the specific Petsmart as it will depend upon the person they have hired as a trainer. I know some Petsmarts who have a person that has some clue and then there are others who use any little person that has some pseudo-‘certification’ they have set up. I personally do not refer to their classes if there is any other reasonable alternative at all. I personally would drive a far distance rather than go to one of their classes but then I realize that obedience classes are a once a week thing and they should be directed at training YOU and not the dog since the training of the dog comes when you take the dog home and then out to other places during the rest of the week on at least a daily basis to train the dog. Check the classes out – go and watch and ask about the trainer – how many dogs they have trained to what titles and what variety of techniques have they personally used and trained others to use successfully.
    add: DO NOT ‘just pick up a book’ particularly not Kohler’s and start jerking your dog around. Petsmart is likely not at all useful for serious training but it, again depending on the trainer they hired, better than doing some do it yourself training from some antiquated book using an antiquated and proven overall dileterious methodology. I never recommend, not silly enough to, someone to get a book or dvd or watch a show and train a dog.. you need someone watching you and giving feedback as to what you are doing.

  2. bully4me

    Their “trainers” are barely trained themselves, and that is fact not fiction. Add to this that the corporation SUPPORTS BSL (breed specific legislation); as in no bully breeds allowed and no aggressive anything. I ask you, who needs training more than the aggressive dog??? If a trainer can not help a student with dog aggression, what good are they??? About all their classes are good for is puppy socialization, and you can do that yourself without putting out a penny.
    That being said, serious obedience training is highly recommended for ALL dogs. Find a local dog club in your area and ask them who they recommend? Attend a dog show near you and talk to some of the obedience competitors, they should be able to point you in the right direction.
    Their are wide differences in training classes. Look for a class that offers on and off leash control and problem solving. Without off leash control, your dog isn’t really trained at all. Do your homework and find the best class. Go to:
    They may be able to recommend a Koehler trainer in your area. Or just pick up the book, The Koehler Method of Dog Training by William R. Koehler. Good luck.

  3. Aussie mum

    Personally I dislike them simply because the trainers generally have had a 3 week class, and that’s it. No other experience necessary.
    As such I find them to be unable to help with different issues, unsure how to use different methods if necessary, and at times unable to help an individual properly (such as I’ve met 1 out of 4 that could help me properly with a pinch collar, and not suggest the haltis I hate so much).
    Their decent for new dog owners, but I don’t think they help enough, and I would generally suggest going somewhere else to get a good trainer with credentials that has had more than a 3 week crash course in the subject.
    Just my 2 cents.

  4. WP Robot Autoposter

    I took my dog, Harley, to petsmart for obedience. I ended up in a class with 6 other dogs. One who was tiny and aggressive, one who was deaf, and one who constantly barked. Needless to say the rest of us got little to no attetion from the trainer. Since I have been a dog owner for the majority of my life I feel like I didn’t learn anything. I’m sure that in the higher level classes I would though. The trainer we had left about 5 minutes at the end of every session for questions. She was very hands-on and would demonstrate things with one of the dogs in the group. I think if you’re new to doggy training and have no major issues then petsmart would be useful. The in-store environment can be distracting though. Personally, I prefer to take training were things are a little more quiet so that I can focus on my dog and my dog can focus on me. Best of luck!

  5. Thinkabo

    From the previous answers…it sounds like it depends. I have a great trainer that teaches the class as a whole and does one on one as necessary. She’s spent extra time answering questions and helping train my dog without having to pay extra. She’s always willing to give me different ideas with my concerns even if they’ve never been brought up during a training class. I would recommend meeting the trainer first and then deciding if they can offer you what you are looking for. Best of luck!

  6. hunterdo

    If you are really interested in OBEDIENCE vs. the manners they teach at petsmart, find a local training club in your area.
    Go to or Search the club listings. They are by state and type i.e. agility, obedience, conformation. The clubs are listed under the “Dog Events” tab on the UKC site.
    The people that teach at the local clubs do not do it as a job. It is a hobby/passion for them. Most of them have trained/titled their own dog(s) in obedience.
    To see what a typical club is go to: It’s the website for the Tulsa Dog Training Club. Train my dogs and instruct there. You will find people with 20+ years of experience teaching the classes. They are open to different methods not just the “approved” method Petsmart uses.

  7. viktoria

    I took my Jack Russell Terrier Mix to the PetSmart dog training. He really learnt alot there. They helped us alot and showed us what to do with one of the dogs in the group. It was really fun to go to with my dog and I even learnt alot from it aswell as my dog. There was about nine of us in the group and it still went good. For the $100 it was when we took him it was well worth it.

  8. marci knows best

    I think they do fine for basic training of fairly easy to train dogs with no special issues. Some of their trainers are really good, and some are not. I don’t like the idea of training out in the middle of the store.
    Association of Pet Dog Trainers is a better resource for experienced well trained trainers.

  9. Luvsdard

    We’re on our 5th week now and we paid $109 for the beginner class. It’s ok but my 8 mo old already knows all the stuff and we should have actually gotten into the intermediate class. I taught my dog LOTS of stuff while he was just a baby, like sit, down, stay, come, leave it, drop it and we walk on the leash all the time. So if your dog knows all those commands, then talk with the trainer about the next step up cause that’s what we’re learning in this class. There are 5 dogs in the class and only 2 of us are really serious about this stuff, others just let their dogs do whatever they want which is why their dogs don’t behave in the first place. Ppl laugh at me cause I just look at my dog and he knows what to do but I’ve been working with him and he knows that I’m serious. Oh and we are doing clicker training which in my opinion is a pain in the butt. I have to hold his leash, have a treat in my hand and the stupid clicker and juggle all this. I’m too old for all this stuff. My dog loves to get rewarded with a treat and a “good boy” from me. He doesn’t care about the clicker. One good thing about it is that he has associated the clicker with the treat so if hes in another part of the house, I click the clicker and he comes running if he can’t hear me he hears the clicker. If you know how to train the basics to a dog, then you dont’ need this but maybe the intermediate class would be better.

  10. goldenretrievermom

    i agree with you luvsdard, i think I know which store you are talking about. The trainer only knows how to train with clickers and really she should not even be in the business if that is the only way she can train.

    a good command and a treat is good enough for my dog too, actully you really should not even train with a clicker unless you are a real certified trainer, you need to know what you are doing because you can really confuse the dog and what the heck did they have you using a treat and clicker and leash????? sounds like the trainer needs retrained lol.

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