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Hi all! Anybody know how the trainer positions work at Petco and Petsmart? Whats an average day like, pay rate, training methods used, benefits, etc.

I am an experienced obedience dog trainer and looking for a stable and flexible position (I'm a full-time student).
 

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I can only help you out on Petco's policies. And I can only give you a general idea because it's really up to the General Manager of the store, the District Manager and the Regional Pet Services person. But I can give you some general idea. You'd have to apply and be hired first (after hire there is training EVERYONE has to do, no big deal). Because you're experienced, I would make an educated guess that you could possibly skip the actual training program and maybe just attend a few mentor type classes with an experienced Petco trainer (this is what my current trainer did, he had prior experience, he got hired in my grooming salon and then had a phone interview with the pet services person for my region. Then he attended another trainer's classes to get an idea for how we run our classes and he's set to teach his own classes) after interviewing (to determine what type of experience you have, ie positive reinforcement? ever taught in a classroom setting? etc). Average day would be tough to define. Usually, in my district at least, dog trainers are associates first and dog trainers second. That means they run registers, bag fish, run stock, help customers, etc. My current trainer is a bather-brusher first and a dog trainer second. Some stores are lucky to have the hours to have a dog trainer that can be JUST a dog trainer. I'd love to transfer to one. Pay rate is whatever your hourly rate is. HOWEVER, there is an incentive for teaching classes. This is a set amount you get for every dog that comes to class. So that's nice. Training methods are positive reinforcement only. No chokes, no pinches. Luring is the main method with maybe some gentle shaping. Positive is the key word. Benefits aren't terrible. There's a benefits guide for part time and a different one for full time. I'm full time and couldn't tell ya offhand what the part time one's are but I have medical, dental and insurance. There's 401k and HSA and the child care account one too (the name escapes me right now). One of the nicest perks is the PTO. I'm sitting on 6.5 WEEKS of PTO right now. Stability wise I'd say it's not a bad job, people always want to get their dogs trained. Flexibility is usually not a problem with Petco, though keep in mind your customers are going to want to come to classes when it's convienent for them. That's variable depending on your area but weekends and evenings are usually the times that get the most business. Hope that helps
 

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Thanks for the response! How much us the hourly at Petco for trainers? I went through the interview process at petsmart once and they were starting me at 12/hr as a trainer in training plus commission.
 

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Thanks for the response! How much us the hourly at Petco for trainers? I went through the interview process at petsmart once and they were starting me at 12/hr as a trainer in training plus commission.
Your hourly rate would depend on the GM. Our previous trainers were store associates first and trainers second so they got typical associate rate (not near the $12/hour but no one but management is making that at my store anyways). My current trainer is paid what we pay our grooming assistants (basically minimum wage or commission, whichever is higher).

I was looking at that too, but was wondering about teaching outside of working there.... can you do that?
When you become a Petco dog trainer (or even enter the training program to become one like I technically am) you sign a non compete (plus there is an annual Code of Ethics all associates have to sign) that would prevent you from even working someplace that offers training comparable to what Petco offers (so for example if you worked teaching tracking or PPD or something Petco doesn't offering you might be ok but if you're teaching pet type classes then that'd be a problem. However, if you're only volunteering your time, like with a rescue, you're not being paid for your time and should be good). It's seen as a conflict of interest if you're doing the same work somewhere else and at Petco. Our groomers have the same thing.
 
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