Build a lifetime bond with your dog through fun and positive classes.
Proper training is essential for a long, happy and safe relationship with your dog, setting the foundation to ensure your dog stays physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged and emotionally happy. To make dog training an enjoyable and fulfilling activity, our approach is positive, rewards-based, fun and effective.
More About Petco Positive Dog Training
At Petco, we encourage pet parents take a positive approach to make dog training an enjoyable, fulfilling activity. By nurturing bonds with dogs through positive reinforcement, the training process becomes easier for everyone involved.Petco Positive Dog Training
- Offers fun, educational classes in a safe setting
- Teaches pet parents how dogs think, learn and communicate
- Provide advice on how to encourage and reward polite dog manners in real-world situations
- Promotes a relationship of mutual respect and trust
Our Professional Dog Trainers undergo an intense 16-week training program that is updated yearly with the most cutting-edge methods, ideas and principles. Classes utilize proven, science-based training principles based on research conducted by internationally renowned psychologist and behaviorist, B.F. Skinner.
To help dogs retain positive behaviors, our classes keep a dog's mind engaged and in a constant state of learning while our trainers closely observe how dogs are responding to their pet parents to optimize training. This includes:
- Dog-friendly communication – rewarding good and ignoring inappropriate behavior
- Instruction – guidance from our professional dog trainers on how to teach a behavior and cater to a dog's specific needs
- Enrichment – keeping a dog's mind engaged by encouraging dog to identify what behavior is being rewarded
- Environmental Management – setting dogs up for success in any situation
- Compassion – strengthening the bond between pet and pet parents
Training and classes are for dogs only. Current vaccinations required. Available in select locations. Class selection may vary by location.
Find the best fit for you and your dog.
For puppies 2-4 months old
This 6-week introductory group class focuses on socialization and is designed to teach your puppy basics including "sit," loose leash walking and to come when called. This dog training class also covers problem-solving ideas for potty training, chewing, teething, digging and more.
For puppies between 4-6 months old
This 6-week group class expands on lessons learned in Level 1, phases out the use of treats so you can have a well-mannered puppy all the time and introduces fun activities to help keep your puppy's mind active!
This comprehensive two-class package covers the basics of your puppy's educational needs. Includes puppy level 1, puppy level 2 and AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test.
This comprehensive package gives your puppy the very best in training. This three-class package includes puppy level 1, puppy level 2, one of our adult dog classes, a private lesson and AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test.
For dogs over 6 months old
This 6-week introductory group class is designed to help you better communicate and train your older puppy or mature dog. Dogs will learn skills such as "leave it," "wait" and walking on a loose leash. This class also addresses challenges such as jumping, barking and digging.
For dogs that have graduated from Adult Dog Level 1
This 6-week group class expands on lessons learned in Level 1, introduces distractions so your dog will learn to listen in any situation and teaches you fun games to play with dogs of any age.
For dogs that have graduated from Adult Dog Level 2
The American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen (AKC CGC) certification is recognized as a high standard of dog behavior and is an excellent way to prepare for therapy dog training. This training class prepares you and your dog to take the AKC CGC test as well as improve on behaviors already learned.
This comprehensive two class starter package for your dog includes adult level 1 and adult level 2 or AKC Canine Good Citizen class and AKC Canine Good Citizen test.
This comprehensive three class package for your dog includes adult level 1 and adult level 2, AKC Canine Good Citizen class, a private lesson and AKC Canine Good Citizen test.
The Petco Positive Dog Training program promotes a relationship of mutual respect and trust between the pet and pet parent by using positive, rewards-based training methods to teach how our dogs think, learn, communicate and how to encourage appropriate behavior for real-world applications.
Our 1-hour workshops teach hands-on solutions to common behavior issues and are designed for busy pet parents, so you can make progress on your schedule. Workshops are suitable for all dogs with no prerequisite classes required.
Current vaccinations required.
Leash Manners workshop
Dogs that walk easily on a leash are more likely to get the exercise and socialization needed for a well-rounded life. Learn loose-leash walking and leash manners, so you can practice and enjoy walks together.
Sit and Down workshop
Learn two skills that help correct non-preferred behaviors. We’ll give you the tools you need to practice and perfect "sit" and "down" using positive reinforcement.
Help your dog stay secure in off-leash situations at home or in public using the "stay" cue. This can be a challenging cue to teach, depending on the dog’s age and the number of distractions in the environment. We’ll give you the tools you need to practice and perfect "stay," with and without distractions.
Greeting People Politely workshop
Dogs that know how to greet people politely make a great first impression at home and in public. Learn how to correct jumping up behaviors, so you can practice and perfect this skill together.
Potty Training workshop
We’ll give you the tools you need to make this essential routine easy for you and your pet. Learn to organize, plan and establish a new potty training routine.
Behavioral Substitution workshop
Dogs that chew, bark and dig can create a lot of stress in the home, but with understanding and patience, these common behaviors can be corrected. We’ll give you the tools you need to practice and perfect behavioral substitution.
Crate Training workshop
Let us help you create a positive crate training experience for you and your dog. Crates serve as a den-like space where dogs can go to sleep and relax. They’re also helpful in keeping dogs comfortable while you’re away. Learn to crate train your puppy or dog using positive reinforcement and useful rules for safety.
Wait and Leave It workshop
Help your dog understand two essential cues, "leave it" and "wait," which are different cues than "no" or "stay." We’ll give you the tools you need to practice and perfect these skills together.
Learn more about the programs we offer.
We offer group classes for dogs of all ages where you and your dog can learn valuable lessons while socializing with other dogs and people in a fun group setting.
AKC Canine Good Citizen Certification
Prepare for the AKC Canine Good Citizen certification, a widely-recognized high standard of polite behavior and excellent preparation for therapy dog training. We also offer the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test.
Seminars & Workshops
We provide workshops and free 30-minute seminars that are positive, fun and informative.
Looking for customized training solutions and one-on-one instruction? Private lessons can be tailored to you and your dog's needs.
Meet a TrainerLearn more about our trainers
More About Our Trainers
Petco Dog Trainers undergo an intense 16-week training program which includes 12 weeks of hands-on training in actual dog training classes. The Petco Dog Training Class Curricula and Petco Dog Training Apprentice Program were created by Fanna Easter, reviewed by an independent Board Certified Veterinarian Behaviorist and are updated annually so Petco Dog Trainers learn the most updated training methods, ideas and training principles. Easter is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT- KA), graduate of Karen Pryor Academy (KPA CTP), Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (ACDBC) and graduate of Purdue DOGS course.
Key attributes of the program:
- Strong focus on learning and interpreting dog's body language to set a dog up to succeed.
- Encourages positive reinforcement for pet parents.
- Uses positive reinforcement training based on learning theory.
Learn the BasicsOther common training topics
Other Common Training Topics
Loose leash walking is a common training challenge for many pet parents; however, it is fairly simple to teach. If your dog pulls, stop walking. When your dog stops pulling, walk forward. This is just like a game of "Red Light, Green Light." Dogs can be rewarded with treats when they do not pull. Treats can be viewed as your dog’s paycheck.Safely Approaching and Interacting with Dogs
The first thing people need to understand is how to properly greet a dog. To approach a dog walking on a leash with their pet parent, Petco Certified Dog Trainers recommend that people follow the "SAFE" method:
- S – Stop, stand still, and turn sideways before getting close to the dog.
- A – Ask the pet parent for permission to pet the dog first.
- F – Fist, offer a closed fist for the dog to sniff while standing still. Allow the dog to approach you. If the dog is friendly, pet the dog under its chin.
- E – Exit slowly away from the dog by backing up, then walking away.
To avoid startling a dog, people should not run up to any unfamiliar dog or pet the animal on the top of the head or face. Using the "SAFE" method ensures that a dog has a moment to meet a person and approach them if they feel comfortable.
If an unaccompanied dog approaches a person, they should "make like a tree" by standing as still as possible, keeping their hands by their sides or behind them, looking down at the ground and staying quiet. Dogs will most likely lose interest and walk away, but a person should stay in this position until they can no longer see the dog. It's important to never try to pet a dog that is running loose without a pet parent nearby.
Potty Training Tips
Loose Leash Walking Tips
Because pet safety is our first priority, we require all pets being socialized in our dog training classes be current on their vaccinations. All required vaccinations must be administered at least 24 hours prior to your pets appointment. Vaccination requirements vary by state & city, please contact your local petco for details.