PetSmart Training Cost
Every dog should be trained. Do you do it yourself? Take it to a puppy class? Hire a private trainer?
The answer is yes to all of these. But it depends on how you budget and time allow.
Often many pet stores will either offer their own classes, or be affiliated with someone that does. 6-week training courses run by pet stores vary in cost between $100-$150.
PetSmart (previously known as Pets Mart) is a pet supply store with over 1,500 locations. More recently they have focused on services such as: training, grooming, daycare, and even vet care and adoption.
A brief look through Consumer Affairs reviews presents a bad reputation for their grooming services. This is not uncommon with larger retail chains compared with smaller independent groomers.
But what about training?
Group Training Options
PetSmart offer the following training options:
- Puppy Training
For 10-week to 5-month olds. Runs for 6 weeks. Focuses on the basics (such as leash walking, coming to call, and socialization.
- Beginner Training
For 5-months and older dogs. Runs for 6 weeks. Extends on the puppy class, but still covers the basics.
- Intermediate Training
For dogs who already know the basics. Runs for 6 weeks. Focus on “heel”, “go to bed”, extending out stay commands.
- Advanced Training
This 6 week course is all about improving your dogs response, advanced heel, and ignoring distractions.
They also offer a 6 week therapy dog training program.
Not all classes are offered in each store.
Given that each session is about an hour – costs for a course is about $20 per hour., and classes will be in a group context.
PetSmart Private Training
PetSmart also offer one-on-one training. Prices are considerably higher:
- $45 for 30 minutes.
- $89 for 1 hour.
- $219 for 4 hours.
These classes are customized to you, as well as being flexible in scheduling.
If you have your dog stay with PetSmart (called the PetsHotel), you can ask them to train your dog for you (with prices starting at $35 for half an hour).
This can seem like a good option, but dog training is about training you – the owner – as well as the dog. However it could be helpful for correcting behavioral issues.
When it comes to training a dog, choosing the route of puppy classes or hiring a private trainer can significantly add to the cost of owning and raising a new pet.
PetSmart Beginner Training Review
The owner of English Setter Ivy has a great write up of the group training process.
This is what is covered:
- Maintaining “Sit” during Distance, Duration, and Distraction
- Right Turn “Heel” and Left Hand “Heel”
- “Place” or “Settle” with Distance, Duration, and Distraction
- Loose Leash Walking Overall
Conclusion: “During our first six weeks in the Beginner class, Ivy improved by not jumping on people, sitting, staying, laying down, and watching me for further cues.”
So What Do You Choose?
Beyond that, it depends entirely on you, your dog, and your budget.
Sometimes the experience of a group class can be positive or negative depending on the trainer, and the behavior of other dogs.
Do have a go at training your dog yourself.
Consider Video-based Training
Adrienne Farricelli is a CPDT-KA certified dog trainer. She now offers a complete online course made up of seven different video-based modules.
Called Brain Training 4 Dogs, the program is particularly successful in correcting bad behavior. It is focused on playing games with your dog, to build trust and confidence
When To Call An Expert
Dogs all have unique personalities. They also develop anxieties and fears just like us humans do. Sometime events from their puppyhood can eventually lead to difficulties in adulthood.
If you have behaviors that you can’t remedy (such as jumping up, excessive mouthing, inappropriate barking, not coming to call, etc) – then it’s time to pay for some private training.
Training is essential for making sure that you and your pup will be able to coexist happily. Dogs need to know their boundaries and what is expected of them.
Without thorough training a dog can become an owner’s worst nightmare, wreaking havoc on their house and mental well being.
If you don’t yet have a dog, take as much time as you can in choosing the right breed for you. Ask questions like:
- What is your home like?
- Is there plenty of room to run or will chance to burn energy be limited to scheduled walks?
- Are you a single person or a family?
- Do you have young children?
All of these things will play a significant role in how well your training efforts will go over.
If you have kids under 5, it is often suggested that you consider waiting a few years. A new pup is like having another child!
Little kids do not know how to be consistent and you will need to train them as well as the dog.
You will also want to match your dog’s disposition to the amount of effort that you want to put into their training.
Spend a little time researching the breed and what kind of time and energy efforts you are going to need to put out in order to get them properly trained.
Once you have picked out your new pup and have brought them home, you can start their training. As soon as a pup is old enough to be taken away from its mother and litter mates, it is old enough to start learning obedience and what is expected of them.
Start small and be as gentle and loving as possible. Remember that they are just babies and you will not be able to expect a lot from them at first.
Puppy Basics 1: Chewing
Your pup will need to learn what is appropriate and acceptable to chew on.
Be sure to have plenty of toys available that they can chew on and every time that you find them with something they shouldn’t have, switch it out for a chew toy.
The sooner your pup learns what they can and cannot chew on, the better off your house will be.
This will also help to minimize health hazards that can occur from your dog swallowing an item that could cause a blockage and require surgery to remove.
Puppy Basics 2: House Training
House training is also an important concept for your dog to catch onto early on. There are several simple and very effective methods that can be used to teach your dog that they should only void outside.
Taking them out first thing in the morning and before bed as well as before and after nap or crate times.
Using a crate is a wonderful way to help your dog learn to not do their business inside. Dogs are naturally wired to avoid eliminating in their sleeping areas.
Make sure that your dog’s crate is only big enough for them to turn around in.
If you have purchased a large crate (see the best crates comparison) so that your pup can grow into it, block off the excess areas with cardboard or fill up the extra space with a box so that they are limited to only the area in which they will lie down.
If you provide them with too much space, they might be willing relieve themselves if they can get far enough away from it to lay down and sleep.
Puppy Basics 3: Simple Commands
Once your dog is ready to start obedience training, begin with simple commands.
It is important that they learn impulse control early on and this can be taught with commands such as sit and stay.
Teach them how to come immediately when called and make sure that they know how to drop items that they are not allowed to have.
The drop command can save your dog from harm or even save their life if they pick up something dangerous.
Puppy Basics 4: Walking and Exercise
Be sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise.
Dogs that are not given enough activity will become frustrated and this leads to bad behavior and difficulty in training. Help them out by encouraging them to use their energy in productive ways.
Puppy Basics 5: Be a (calm) Leader
Dogs instinctively follow leaders. In packs, one dog will assume the alpha position and the rest will follow. It is important, above all else, at the beginning of training, that you establish yourself as your dog’s alpha.
Remember that with consistent training and plenty of positive reinforcement your new pup will soon be learning to obey your commands.
Be patient – pups have short attention spans. The moment you start getting impatient or frustrated – it’s time to stop.