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Training needs to begin soon after you bring your new puppy or dog home, but many owners, especially first-time puppy owners, should consider pet training classes with a professional dog trainer from the start.
There are many places to find dog training classes, from large pet store chains to private trainers to even your local Humane Society. Most dog training programs now use the positive reinforcement method, as research has proven this to be the most effective
Next, you’ll want to consider your budget (both time and money), the age of your dog (determines which training classes are available to him/her), and the trainer’s certification, if any. To help you choose the best training classes for you and your dog, we’ve compiled a comparison between group dog training classes at retail stores Petco and Petsmart.
Table of Contents
Petco Dog Training
Does Petco Train Puppies? Do They Train Older Dogs?
Petco is a well-known pet-focused retail store that offers a few basic obedience training classes for dogs ranging from puppies to older dogs, including:
- 2 levels of puppy training classes
- 2 levels of adult obedience classes
- 1 separation anxiety course
Petco Group Training Classes Cost How Much?
The price of each Petco dog training class is slightly higher than a single Petsmart class (as of October 2022). However, if you’re looking for several training classes anyway, you might consider buying a Puppy / Adult Dog Essentials ($249) or Puppy / Adult Dog Complete Package ($379) to save about $50.
As of October 2022, Petco Puppy Level 1 and 2 are each $149, Adult Level 1 and 2 are each $149, and the Separation Anxiety Course is $99.
What Do Petco Training Classes Teach?
Petco’s puppy training classes focus on typical puppy behavior problems and how to handle them, as well as the importance of socialization and routine. The adult classes are more obedience-focused, but also include tips on handling common behavior issues and even fun games to help entertain your dog!
How Long Are Petco Training Classes?
The puppy training and adult training classes are 6 weeks long. In addition, Petco offers a 4-week course on separation anxiety for dogs.
How Old is Your Dog? Petco Training Classes by Age
The beginner puppy class, Puppy 1, is for puppies between the ages of 2-4 months old. The next level, Puppy 2, is for puppies between the ages of 4-6 months. The adult training classes and Petco separation anxiety course are for puppies over 6 months old. This is important to remember when choosing the ideal course for your dog, as the behaviors worked through in each training class will be specific to the dog’s age.
Petsmart Dog Training
How Long Are Petsmart Group Training Classes?
Petsmart is another well-known pet retail store offering a variety of dog training programs. They offer one-time, 1 hour-long group workshops up to 6-week group classes. They even offer specialty long-term courses on various topics you may want or need to pursue with your dog!
Petsmart Group Training Classes Cost How Much?
Petsmart currently offers the least expensive group classes in retail stores, ranging from approximately $20-25 for a 1 hour group class to $139 for a 6-week training course.
Which Petsmart Classes Are For Puppies?
What Do Petsmart Group Dog Training Classes Teach?
The puppy course is similar to Petsmart’s beginner adult training class for dogs over 5 months old, but the adult beginner course focuses more on impulse control and other behaviors an older, untrained dog may have developed. After completing one of these 6-week beginner courses, owners can move on to intermediate classes, then advanced training courses. These courses focus on increasing the speed and reliability of the learned behaviors and commands.
What Additional Group Training Classes Does Petsmart Offer?
Petsmart also offers focused group classes to meet a variety of needs. The only focused course without a prerequisite is the Stress LessTM Training to help dogs with separation anxiety and other anxious behaviors. Petsmart’s Stress LessTM Training is also the only 3-week long training–the rest of the focused training programs are 6 weeks long.
Dogs who have completed Puppy or Beginner training can move on to Trick Training to continue building a bond between humans and their dogs. Once they have completed the Intermediate training class, dogs can complete Brain GamesTM Training, a 6-week program teaching humans various games to play with their dogs that increases mental stimulation and helps with hyperactive and bored dogs. Finally, dogs who have completed Advanced training can continue with Therapy Dog training and learn the skills necessary to complete Therapy Dog Evaluation.
To learn more about each Petsmart class (and current pricing), check out Which Training Class is Right for My Dog?
So, Which is Better for Group Classes? Petco or Petsmart?
The ideal dog training classes for your pup will ultimately depend on the dog’s needs. Are they an adult dog needing to work on obedience? Have they recently developed separation anxiety from a change in schedule or routine? Did you just get a new puppy who needs work on socialization and the basics? Considering these questions, as well as your budget, how much time you can realistically dedicate to training (as well as the cost if you DON’T train), and desired trainer certifications, will determine the best group dog training classes for you and your favorite pet.
Petco and Petsmart Dog Training Classes Comparison
|Dog Training Class||Cost||Petco or Petsmart?||Dog Age||Time Commitment||Required Classes||What You Will Learn|
|Puppy Level 1||$149||Petco||2-4 months||6 weeks||None||Typical puppy behavior problems and how to handle them, the importance of socialization and routine|
|Puppy Level 2||$149||Petco||2-4 months||6 weeks||Puppy Level 1||More typical puppy behavior problems and how to handle them, the importance of socialization and routine|
|Adult Level 1||$149||Petco||6 months and older||6 weeks||None||Mainly obedience, but also includes tips on handling common behavior issues and fun games to help entertain your dog|
|Adult Level 2||$149||Petco||6 months and older||6 weeks||Adult Level 1||More obedience, but also includes tips on handling common behavior issues and fun games to help entertain your dog|
|Separation Anxiety||$99||Petco||6 months and older||4 weeks||None||Proactive solutions to address separation anxiety and teach your dog how to be home alone and relax. Your dog will learn how to:|
– Relax when left alone
– Calm themselves when stressed
– Develop healthy routines
|Puppy Essentials Package||$249||Petco||2-4 months||12 weeks||None||Includes any 2 classes, AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Test|
|Puppy Complete Package||$379||Petco||2-4 months||18 weeks||None||Includes Puppy Level 1, Puppy Level 2, and any 1 Adult class, 45 minute private session, and AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy Test|
|Adult Essentials Package||$249||Petco||6 months and older||12 weeks||None||Includes Adult Level 1 and choice between Adult Level 2 or AKC Canine Good Citizen Class, and Adult AKC Canine Good Citizen Test|
|Adult Complete Package||$379||Petco||6 months and older||18 weeks||None||Includes Adult Level 1, Adult Level 2, AKC Canine Good Citizen Class, 45 minute private session, and AKC Canine Good Citizen Test|
|Puppy Beginner Training||$139||Petsmart||10 weeks-5 months||6 weeks||None||Basic obedience skills, as well as socialization and handling common puppy behaviors|
|Adult Beginner Training||$139||Petsmart||5 months and up||6 weeks||None||Impulse control and other behaviors an older, untrained dog may have developed|
|Potty Training Seminar||$20||Petsmart||All||1 hour||None||Potty training tips & techniques|
|StartSmartTM Training Workshop||$25||Petsmart||All||1 hour||None||Crate training, potty training, socialization and vet / groomer visit tips|
|Stress LessTM Training (Separation Anxiety)||$79||Petsmart||10 weeks and up||3 weeks||None||Ways to comfort your dog & get tips to help them feel more confident & secure|
|Trick Training||$139||Petsmart||All||6 weeks||Puppy or Adult Beginner Class||Fun tricks that continue building a bond between humans and their dogs|
|Intermediate Training||$139||Petsmart||All||6 weeks||Puppy or Adult Beginner Class||Reinforces and builds on foundational behaviors|
|Advanced Training||$139||Petsmart||All||6 weeks||Intermediate Training||Strengthens behaviors to provide faster and more consistent responses and reliability|
|Brain GamesTM||$139||Petsmart||All||6 weeks||Intermediate Training||Teaches humans various games to play with their dogs that increase mental stimulation and help with hyperactive and bored dogs|
Petco vs PetSmart Beginner Group Dog Classes Comparison