I've talked with trainers at Petsmart and Petco during adoption events when I have hours to kill. I've watched their classes. I even know one of their store trainers -- she is sweet, but she had NO background in training (not even her own dogs) and was a shelter kennel worker/adoption counselor before becoming the store's "trainer." My understanding is that they have weekend seminars that teach cashiers and line employees how to be dog trainers, using their cookie-cutter program. They know how to do exactly what the seminar trains them to do. Nothing more, and they cannot deviate from it. Ask your store's trainer for her background and really delve into it -- has she titled any dog (even in CGC)? Done anything with her dogs? Taken classes outside the Pet* program to broaden perspective? Earned APDT certification?
Watch a class without telling them you're considering signing up. The ones I saw were pure chaos. The dogs are too close together in a little temporary pen set up in the middle of the store. There's no control of dogs or people. Dogs I saw were ignoring people and doing whatever they pleased with each other because they were right on top of each other in the confined space, and no one had any interest in telling them to knock it off or figuring out how to hold their attention.
Aside from inexperience, the store employees seem kind of desperate to fill classes because they seem to get paid based on class attendance. One of the PS trainers yelled -- literally yelled -- at one of our rescue volunteers who was in the store helping an adopter select equipment, including a prong collar for an 85# adolescent, high-drive male, in preparation to attend a different trainer's class. She screamed about prongs being inhumane, said said nasty things about the trainer our rescue works with who routinely teaches people how to use that tool (and who actually owns GSDs, works with problem dogs, and gets the job done). The ironic thing is that our trainer is the most easy going, gentle, patient person I know, but he's a boss--dogs LOVE him; that Petsmart lady was a short-fused loon that dogs were all trying avoid.
Last edited by Magwart; 01-17-2018 at 06:11 PM.