As a PetSmart trainer, I'd like to clarify…
Yes, we have to do a lot of reading. And watch a lot of videos. 16 hours, in fact! Then we get quizzed by our managers before they approve us for a two week on-site training with a district trainer (that's 80 more hours). Then the district trainer gives us a test and written evaluation. It's a lot like student teaching. You start by observing and helping out where needed, and by the end, you're running all the classes.
Associates are generally picked to be trainers because of their rapport with dogs, ability to sell classes, and history of good customer service. While I'm sure not every trainer lives up to the desired standards, the ones that I have met and continue to work with only have the dogs' best interests in mind. We can also have dozens of dogs on our minds in any given week, so ask us if you have any questions or concerns about the progress of your dog!
Basenjis ARE trainable, and part of that involves careful socialization. Cooper now works 14 hours a week with me at PetSmart. He's gentle with toddlers, flirts with old ladies, and reminds teenagers and puppies to use better manners. He knows that he needs to tolerate other dogs in the store, and now even makes a point to greet each one. But if he misses a week of work, he is snarky on his first day back. Constant socialization is needed to keep him on the ball.
I'd also like to note that, at least in my store, training sales are well below what they should be at this time of year. With economic stress (especially here in Michigan), people are still getting puppies, but they have no intention of training them. $100 in the short term can save your furniture, shoes, leashes, carpet, and more in the long term! It really makes me worried that if the economy continues to decline, we will end up with a lot more shelter dogs.