PetSmart Dog Training Reviews (2024) Not What I Expected!

Last Updated on July, 2024

If you think that PetSmart can make your pet smarter, I think you should go through this whole article.

I’ve personally enrolled in Petsmart Dog Training Classes to train my little champ Panther, who is a 7-month old Canis Panther.

And in this Petsmart Dog Training Review, I’ll share everything that I experienced in Petsmart training class, along with other important things you should know before enrolling in its classes.

So keep reading to find out whether Petsmart Dog Training Classes are worth it or not.

Here are the 3 key points from this article:

  1. Petsmart offers Puppy Training, Beginner Training, Intermediate Training, Advanced Training, Tricks Training, and Therapy Training.
  2. Petsmart Dog Training Classes cost $119 for 6 weeks.
  3. Petsmart Trainers use only punishment-free training techniques.

TLDR: Petsmart Dog Training Classes are not worth it. The trainers are not experienced, the training space is too small, and the classes are way too short to learn anything substantial. If you’re thinking of enrolling in Petsmart Classes, I recommend you look for a personal trainer or try out a dog training program online.

What Are the Classes Available in Petsmart Training?

dog near a dog training school

Before we get into more detail, it’s vital that you know about the classes Petsmart offers. So let’s take a look at them first. (1)

Petsmart Puppy Training (10 Weeks To 5 Months Old)

This is a starting point. Here you’ll learn how to communicate with your furry ball, primary techniques, and skills like Loose-Leash Walking & Come when called. Plus, this class will also improve your dog’s socialization.

Beginner Training (5 Months & Older)

Beginner training is for older dogs with no previous training, covers basic manners with impulse control, skills, and techniques like Focus, Loose-Leash Walking, Leave and Come When Called.

Intermediate Training

For dogs who’ve already got the better of the beginner training and puppy training.

It also helps to improve the skills you learned earlier even further with more advanced and challenging situations.

Advanced Training

Advanced Training promises to Strengthen skills to focus more on a variety of situations for faster responses. Teaches and improves Manners while outside along with training such as Strike a pose, Heel.

Tricks Training

Teaches fun and playful tricks that will be fun for your dog, such as Crawl, Spin, Bow. These tricks will improve your dog’s confidence and concentration.

PetSmart Therapy Dog Training

It improves your knowledge of understanding and reading your dog’s body language and will enhance your communication and reliability with your pup.

As you can see, there’s a good amount of classes that Petsmart conducts. It is also worth noting that, Each one of them takes 6 weeks to fully complete.

By the way, Trainers in Petsmart use only punishment free training techniques instead of harsh punishments. So if you’re someone who hates punishment-based training like me, that’ll be positive.

Related: PetCo Dog Training Classes Review

How Much Does Dog Training Cost At Petsmart? (And Refund Policy)

petsmart dog training image

Every Petsmart Dog Training Class costs $119 for 6-weeks.

Each Petsmart group training classes continue for 6 weeks and an hour per day.

The prices are relatively low for group classes, ranging from $15- $30 per hour.

This price range, when compared to many other dog training classes, is very cheap.

But when it comes to the private Petsmart Training Classes, this is where it gets a bit expensive. It ranges from $70 – $90 per hour.

Petsmart also provides an option where you can privately train your dog’s individual needs with a Certified Trainer for $45 (30 minutes), $89 (1 hour), and $219 (4 hours). The program can be tailored the way you want and how you want to work with your dog.

There is no refund in any of these classes, but if you’re not completely satisfied, they’ll retake the class for no extra cost (Free).

If you’re unsure what to teach your dog or think your dog won’t fit the group classes, there is a 15 minutes consultation offered for free by Petsmart where the trainer will inspect your dog and suggest what’s best for him.

How Good is Petsmart Dog Training Class? (My Personal Experience)

That’s everything you need to know about Petsmart Dog Training Classes.

But the question is, how’s the actual experience and is it worth paying that $119?

Keep reading to find out… 

Panther is my second dog and has been a perfect canine companion ever since I got him. Even Though he has mastered all his basic training and is pretty much housebroken.

I wanted to try out a group class just to see how well he behaves around other dogs and to know whether he needs any further training.

For this reason, I straightaway signed up for the Intermediate class without wasting my money on the beginner training.


Also, Before actually signing up, Just to make sure, I read some reviews circling around the internet, and surprisingly I found out that most of them were mixed. However, I completely neglected all of them and signed up.

And once the day arrived, I was so nervous because I’d never trained my dog in front of other dog owners, and it was my first time going to a dog training class.

As nervous as I was, I was also excited at the same time because Panther would be able to make a lot of friends.

I arrived at the class in high hopes, but immediately they were shattered.


Because there was only a lady with her Golden Retriever in the class. Not only that, the space we were about to start training in was insanely small, and there’s no way it could fit in more than 4 dog owners.

I even came across similar complaints like this while I was reading the reviews. And it seems like they’ve not taken care of it yet.

Walking a Dog Inside a Pet School

However, for me, this was a non-issue because there was only one trainer along with me.

But, keep in mind that It may not be the same for everyone. And if you have a large pooch and get stuck in a space like this, it might probably be tough for him.

But, on the plus side, it’s essential to know that there are many rooms in one facility and they might be larger than the space I got.

Also, this problem may not exist in all the locations, so before enrolling, make sure you do some research about Petsmart in your area.

And by the way, I signed up for the Petsmart in New Hyde Park.

Apart from all this, there was one big problem, that is the noise and smell coming in from the Petsmart Pet Store, which was unbearable. This can be good or bad based on the dog.

Anyways, at this point, I cannot do anything unless standing still and waiting for the Petsmart trainer to arrive. And that’s what happened after precisely 10 minutes of troublesome waiting.

A man arrived, and by the looks of it, he was fairly young. At first, I did not know that he was the one who was going to train us.

Only after he started the training, I find out that he was going to be our teacher. All this confusion was because of how young and inexperienced he looked. He even failed to introduce himself.

Either way, we started off the session by refreshing the basics like sit, stay, and lie down. Once that was completed, we started to work on the leave it command. As Panther was already flawless in this command, I did not have much work to do.

Even my classmate Golden Retriever completed it successfully. And at the end we were given homework too, that is to work on Heeling. And to be honest, I’ve never taught Panther to heel, so this was kind of a real test for us.

So, this wrapped up day 01. However, the only thing we learned was the “Leave it” command which was a shame. I thought we could cover at least 2 commands, but sadly that was not the case.

About the Quality of the Trainer and Their Training

A good class needs a good teacher. But, unfortunately, that’s certainly not the case for the Trainers in Petsmart.

First of all, Petsmart proudly represents their Trainers as Certified Pet trainers. However, even though this claim is valid, the trainers do not seem to live up to it.

The young man we got is a great example. The trainer seemed to have the skills, and he also used positive reinforcement techniques, as Petsmart mentioned.

But the problem is, from everything I’ve seen, he does not seem to have the experience, and most importantly, he was not a good teacher.

On the first day, rather than guiding us properly, he came inside, explained a little bit of the leave it command, and left the room.

Petsmart dog training

But thankfully, we did not need his help because we had already mastered that command.

However, for about 20 mins my classmate and I did nothing.

And in the final 10 mins, he came back, talked about what heeling is and told us to work on it at home.

And as I said before, I know nothing about “heel”, and that guy did not even bother to give us some tips on how to start working on it.

Needless to say, he only explained what is Heel and Leave it the whole day.

However, while the training sessions went on, he became a bit friendlier than he was on day one. As a result, we were also able to complete a little more training, and I even asked my doubts about Heel, and he explained it very well.

But he was not wholly perfect. He failed to correct our mistakes, looked like he was always in a hurry and failed to guide us correctly during the particular training.

Instead, It was me who always had to reach him and clear all the doubts I had. He never bothered to come and help us.

I said the trainer was in a hurry. This is because he had his eyes on his watch basically every 5 minutes. It was very annoying, and it looked like he didn’t want to be there.

I’ll never forget the space we trained for the whole 6 weeks, and it was a nightmare. I thought they’d change the place of training every week, but that did not happen.

Also, I have to say that I did not learn much. This is primarily because of the short 6 week time period. In my opinion, all the training periods should be at least 8 weeks and 6 weeks is probably isn’t enough to learn a lot.


Not only the time period was an issue, the trainer was too because he was always in a hurry. And, due to this, every session wrapped up super rushed.

Overall, me and even my classmates were not happy with what Petsmart offered at all. Its trainers, facilities and everything I experienced was a literal mess. I never thought it would turn out to be this bad.

But you’ll need to keep in mind that all these are my own experiences, and your experience can be completely different from what I’ve gone through.

Anyways, from everything I’ve seen, recommending Petsmart Dog Training to anyone is a tough choice. Because no one knows what they’re supposedly getting into, and the trainers can very much be a hit or miss.

Related article: sit means sit pricing and complaint

Petsmart Dog Training Pros & Cons

Let’s take a look at some of the Pros and Cons of Petsmart Dog Training.


Working with our dog: the most significant plus when attending classes like this is the luxury of working with your dog. There’s a lot of advantages to this, and one of them is, it increases the bond between you and your dog.
Making new friends: joining a Petsmart Training Class is like going to a park full of dog trainers. We can make loads of friends and can even learn from them. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen to me.
Socialization: your buddy can make new friends too and can learn to behave in public.
You can witness how others with their dog behave: this is a rare opportunity. Witnessing how other dogs behave can help us learn from it and correct our dog’s behavior.


Price: other than the group classes, the private classes cost way more than I expected. Rather than signing up here, there are much better and cheaper dog training programs online.
Training Facility: The training space I got was not great, this is mainly because of the size of the room. It was too small. That simply didn’t look like a training place to me (but I don’t think every classroom is the same as this).
Trainers: first and foremost, they should look into this. As I said, the trainer was the one who ruined my experience. They said he was a professional but actually didn’t seem like it. I never experienced my trainer giving any extra tips or some further knowledge in the specific training drill. He failed to correct us too. But you know what, all these are based on what I’ve experienced. This may entirely be different for you. You might get a perfect teacher.
Environment: Thankfully, my classmate’s dog was fine, but the smell which came from the pet store was Ahh!! You know how it smells. If noises easily throw your dog off, this might not be the right place for you because there are some dogs barking and others walking with their dogs in the store every time.
The Lesson Plan is very strict: You cannot ask any questions unless it’s from what you’re learning at that particular moment. The trainers put out a training plan beforehand, and you have to follow it even if you don’t consider it very important.

Things You’ll Need to Bring to the Petsmart Classes

If you’re thinking of enrolling in Petsmart Classes, you’ll need to have some important equipment beforehand. These are very important, and you’ll need to bring them for every class.

  1. Proofs of vaccination.
  2. Treats.
  3. Leash. Only a 4 or 6-foot leash is approved. Also, the leash should be a non-retractable, non-chain leash.
  4. Collar or a Harness. Anything other than choke chains, pinch, prong, and electronic collars are allowed.

Reviews From Other People Who’ve Enrolled to Petsmart Classes

I’ve included some of the other Petsmart Dog Training reviews I came across online. I actually discovered a lot, and as I said before, they were mixed. Some found it very helpful, while the others were frustrated and got nothing out of it.

As you can see, it’s all about the trainers. If the trainer is not perfect, then the whole experience will not be worth it. And it’s precisely what happened to me.

Is PetSmart Training Worth it?

not recommended tag

For me, it was a complete waste of money, but I can’t say the same for you, because you might get a different training space and a totally different teacher.

Other concerns are the time period. 6 weeks is just not going to cut it off if you have a lot to learn. For the most part, you’re likely to master only one or two skills within the time. Other than that is a bit questionable.

Also, if you’re relatively far away from a Petsmart and considering joining one, I recommend you look for a personal trainer or try out a dog training program online, which by the way, covers the same amount if not more than what Petsmart classes offer.

The only positive I would take away from the Petsmart classes is its environment. Even Though it’s bad, it’s a great place if you want to socialize with your dog and make new friends.

Other than that, there is nothing I can say about The Petsmart classes. And it’s up to you to make a good decision.

Cheaper and Better PetSmart Alternative

This has been my go-to training program ever since I adopted a dog. K9 Online Training Institute is what I’m talking about.

It is an online dog training program, and if you’re looking to train your dog in the comfort of your house, this can be a life-changing program.

I trained my first dog using this program and taught Panther all the basics and house training. All through this program, It has been a massive success.

I’m not the only one who’s had great success with this program. In fact, this K9 Online Training Institute is one the best-reviewed online dog training programs on the internet.

If you’re ok to train your furry friend right at your home, then I’m pretty sure you’ll love this program, and I promise it’ll work for you.

There’s a lot to say about this program, but before we get into that, I have to say that the K9 Training Institute is completely FREE!

Would you believe that?

An online dog training program in this day and age being completely free. 

However, that’s just half of the story, the amount of content the program provides will probably blow your mind. Below is everything you can train your dog with K9 Training Institute for absolutely zero cost:

  • Dog Potty Training. 
  • Tips and techniques to teach your dog not to bark unnecessarily.
  • How to teach your dog to alert you to strangers without even barking at least once.
  • Advanced leash training plus tips to alleviate pulling while walking.
  • Teaching your dog to come when called all the time.
  • Ways to alleviate jumping on people.
  • Techniques to help your dog neglect distractions.
  • How to teach your dog to understand body language which in turn will help them understand verbal commands in public places without you having to raise your voice.
  • Training the dog to follow your commands all the time, but much more.

All this and even more for absolutely free and on top of that, dog’s of any age can be trained with this program, no matter if you have a 8-week old puppy or a 5-year old senior.

K9 Training Institute will work.

When it comes to a training program, the methods used for training play a big role and this program scores in that aspect too.

K9 Training Institute uses positive reinforcement for training instead of dominance which most other programs resort to. 

a human training a dog

That said, no method will work if the trainer isn’t adequately knowledged, in that K9 Training Institute is put together by two highly experienced dog trainers, Eric Presnall (host Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”) and Dr. Alexa Diaz (PhD in animal behavior) are your trainers. 

Experience wise, both of them are up there with the best, however, most importantly both of them are excellent teachers and the way they’ve put together the program makes it much easier to follow through even if you’re new to online dog training.

Online dog training has a load of benefits to it, unlike petsmart classes you get to teach everything by yourself at your own pace and most of all, it increases the bond between both of you even further. 

And there’s no better way to experience it other than the K9 Training Institute. It’s from two experienced trainers with a boat load of contents and most of all, costs absolutely $0. 

If you’re dead set on training your pooch via a dog training class, I would say Petsmart is worth joining. But if you’re on the fence about it, I’d say, just give K9 Training Institute. Cause you know, it’s FREE!


If you like to visit a Dog training class, then Petsmart is a great option. The group classes’ price range is excusable even though it isn’t a good value for money.

From what I’ve experienced, Trainers seem to be skillful but not experienced. But it cannot be the same for every trainer; each one of them can be different from one another. But the choice is in your hands. I’ve shared everything I know about Petsmart Dog Training Class.

I recommend you just give K9 Training Institute a chance, cause it costs nothing and it literally covers everything needed to get your dog trained as a perfect canine companion right at the comfort of your home. 

This course has everything that Petsmart Training has but for literally nothing plus you get to learn from two expert trainers.

And if you’re still not sure what to decide, I recommend you to check out our complete review on K9 Training Institute, where we’ve covered everything that a buyer needs to know.

I hope this walkthrough helped you make a clear decision. And thank you for taking a look at my review.

Take care, and stay safe.

Other dog training program we’ve reviewed:


Better alternative
k9 Training Institute
k9 Training Institute logo
Ease of Training




Overall Score


The institute has a free online dog training workshop.
Training works well for both puppies and adult dogs.
It is suitable for any type of dog with behavioral issues.
The Master Class offers unlimited personal coaching for specialized training.
Get the FREE ACCESS valid until the end of July
The paid dog training program can be a bit expensive, but there is a free workshop too.



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Lauren Klein
Lauren Klein is a freelance writer who originally comes from rural Arkansas. She has a Canis Panther Dog Breed. She loves to visit pet training schools with her pet, and give her fair share of thoughts through IPetGuides.

7 thoughts on “PetSmart Dog Training Reviews (2024) Not What I Expected!”

  1. Thanks so much .I appreciate the honesty . It was very informative. It made my decision a no brained or should say A Brainer choice thanks again

  2. I totally agree with what you are saying. Me and my family did the puppy class after getting our Morkie Zoe a year ago. We got nothing out of it and it may have worsened her behavior by showing her that you only need to listen when we have treats. I would not recommend it to any dog owner no matter the dog.

    • I so agree! The same thing happened with us in our Petsmart class. My puppy will only do what I ask her to do if she knows I have treats. She will look at me like, “If you don’t have something for me I’m not going to listen to you.” Our instructor gave my dog treats to “teach her not to bark.” Really!! Now she barks when she wants me to give her something. She did not that before this class, and we have always been careful not to feed her from the table or do anything that teaches food begging. I’m ticked. I have to find a real trainer and school so that I can teach my dog for real. Such a waste of money Petsmart training classes are. I tell people to stay away from them and keep their money.

  3. I’m currently taking Oakly to Puppy/ beginner class at Petsmart. He was 3.5 months old when we started. He is a Newfoundland. It has been a horrible class. The instructor sits and texts. She has had her husband and spouse visit and pulled her away once. She developed the squalling noise to gain his attention and he has become more responsive to it than his name. I went to the manager and the next class she came in and told me if I had a problem with her, to tell her not the manager. She then told me that “what happens in class, stays in class”. She then proceeded to call the manager and tell her that she was upset.. She ended up walking out of the class. She called in tonight that she had a family emergency

    • Wow, that’s totally pathetic. Our instructor would be late to class and dismiss us almost 10 minutes early at times. Petsmart is a joke.

  4. I advise dog owners to avoid training classes at Petsmart, at all costs. Especially if it’s a puppy class. The one I attended was in Jackson, MI. The trainer was not always clear. Sit and watch were the first commands taught, which was good. But then we suddenly launched into loose leash walking with our hyper, unfocused puppies. They had us train our dogs in the store aisles on busy Saturdays!! My puppy was new to all of this and with her strong sense of smell she was all over the aisle, sniffing everything. And then customers and dogs would come down the aisle and she would be further distracted. What a stupid idea! When I signed up for their classes I was not show the training area. I assumed it would be some kind of area in the back part of the store. NO!! The training area was about 12 feet by 8 feet, with EIGHT stools crammed into it. And we were all told that our dogs were forbidden to even touch noses, which I get. But in the dinky space how on earth is that supposed to happen?? And trying to control the dog while the instructor is rattling off instructions you can’t fully listen to while you’re trying to get your puppy under control. Save your money!!! Even with $50 off the regular price (which is probably a regular gimmick) it was still too expensive for what this was. It was a joke. The instructor kept avoiding my dog and me when she realized my dog’s sense of smell was stronger than some and my puppy was unable to hear me or focus on anything the instructor had said to do. When my puppy began barking in class constantly (I think because she hated it there) the instructor would “scatter treats” to teach her to be quiet. My dog then began barking regularly at home (something she had never done), thinking I would scatter treats for her. So, the instructor taught my dog to bark and think it would give her treats!! This class is a joke. Also, her method was so “positive reinforcement” that some of her commands just didn’t work for my dog. 40 years ago, as a teen, I trained my dog at a professional dog school alongside 10 other dogs, in a large open environment where we all walked in a circle, teaching our dogs the commands, sometimes including having to pull the collar a little or gently press the puppy’s back end to remind them what “sit” means until they fully learned the word. This instructor’s method was a joke. She even said that dog’s hate collars. Well, they probably do since in the wild their ancestors didn’t have them, but with all the domestication in dogs today and them getting used to having a collar on, it isn’t the end of the world. Just save your money and find a professional place in your town with high quality, certified trainers who know what they’re doing and understand what your dog’s needs may be.

    Oh, and I’m leaving this review here rather than on Petsmart’s training page because I can’t find any directions there on how to leave a review. Probably planned that way by them.

  5. Forgot to say that I wish I had seen your article before I signed up for Petsmart puppy classes. One of the Petsmart associates (I think she was the manager) kind of zeroed in on us when we were looking at puppy toys and crates. She instantly recommended their classes and how helpful they would be. I should have known. Live and learn. I will never recommend their classes to anyone.


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