The vast majority of dog owners that you meet love their pets and want what is best for them. The best thing for you and your dog is to build a strong relationship that includes love, friendship, and obedience. Normally, the first two are very easy. You love your dog and most dogs naturally love their owners and want to please them. In fact, for most dogs and their owners, the first two things come naturally and are there from the very beginning of the relationship.
It is the third aspect of the relationship mentioned above, obedience, that can be a challenge. As mentioned above, most dogs have an innate desire to please their owner but they do not always have the skill or the know-how to accomplish that desire. Obedience is the key ingredient that helps a dog please their owner but it is also a trait that has to be learned through skill, patience, and consistency.
Usually, the first step in teaching your dog to be obedient and to learn commands is taking them through a dog training class. Some owners have the ability and time to train a dog completely on their own, but that is not the norm. A training class allows dogs to experience expertise from trained teachers as well as potentially the ability to socialize a dog. They will learn simple commands and gain the foundations that will make them obedient and good dogs for the rest of their lives. The rest of this article will answer the question, “How much does dog training cost?”
Why Dog Training Is Important
Maybe the most important consideration for answering the question, “How much does dog training cost?” is why it is important. Many dog owners shrug off the idea that a dog trainer is even needed for their puppy believing that they can accomplish everything on their own and with their own dog training techniques.
The truth is, dog training, starting with puppy training, is important because it lays the foundation for your relationship with your dog for the rest of your life. It is more than just figuring out how to get a dog to sit, teach a dog its name, how to interact with the older dog in your house, or even to use a dog crate. Getting your dog into a formal training environment can give them the skills and resources they need to conquer any challenge and to be the dog that you want them to be and that they want to be for you.
What Factors Affect The Cost Of Dog Training?
There are multiple factors that could affect the cost of dog training, but some of the most obvious and most direct factors are listed below. You can choose and change some of the factors (ie the type of dog trainer you use) while others are more set (ie your physical location) and cannot be worked around as easily. Make sure that you think through each of these prior to choosing the type of dog training you want.
Every dog owner lives in a specific place. If you live in the city, it can be more difficult to find open spaces for your dog to play but it can be really easy to find a dog trainer. On the other hand, if you live in a more rural area, your dog could roam around forever but finding the right trainer may be much more difficult. Generally, because of competition, supply and demand, and simply because there are more people in crowded cities, if you live in a large city you can expect to pay more. You will have more options like big pet stores, more group classes, and more available trainers, but the cost of each will be more than those found in smaller, rural communities.
Advanced or Basic
If you are looking to accomplish simply the basic commands and learning for your dog, you can probably find a reasonable group class that will not be too expensive. Places like Petco, for example, will have numerous options for dog training including private, group classes, and even online dog training classes. On the other hand, if you wan to train an aggressive dog advanced tricks, or your dog has behaviors that need to be modified quickly then you can expect to pay a premium for those types of services.
Skill and Certifications of The Trainer
This is actually a little trickier than what you might realize. Dog training is not a governmentally regulated profession, and as such, it can be difficult to understand which dog trainers are really “experts” and which ones just consider themselves that. To make things even more complicated, the average person cannot necessarily even tell the difference between the true, advanced training certifications and those that can be found online with little to no effort. The point is that, when it comes to dog training, you do not necessarily get what you pay for. You could easily overpay for someone who is much less qualified than they communicated, or you could find a great deal with a dog trainer who is reasonable and good. It is up to you to find reviews, endorsements from people you know, and someone that is both a good trainer and is not trying to overcharge you.
The Number of Dogs in The Class
Of course group dog training will be less expensive than private dog training. It is the same way with any instructor in any field. There are some definite positives to private dog training, but in general, the one-on-one nature of this type of training will make it more expensive. In addition, the big box pet stores will generally be less expensive but there is the potential that your classes could be overcrowded and therefore not as effective. There are also independent trainers who will take on a class while capping it at a certain size. Generally, these will be slightly more expensive than the larger stores but will include more specific training for your dog.
4 Types Of Dog Training
We have narrowed down the types of dog training into four different scenarios. These different types of dog training can greatly affect both the price you are going to pay and the effectiveness of the class, but there are definitely pros and cons to each type of training below.
Private Dog Training
The dog training cost of private lessons will generally be the highest of any type of dog training available. There are some real advantages to private dog training, however, including but not limited to:
- Training specifically for your dog’s needs.
- An expert trainer who has been able to build a business on their own.
- In-home training so that your dog is in its normal environment.
- Training for the owner as much as for the dog.
Estimates for private training can range anywhere from $100 to $500 per hour depending on different factors and as laid out by each dog trainer.
Group Dog Training
Group dog training can mean anything from two dogs in a class to 20 and the size of the group will directly affect the dog training cost. The average class size is between six and ten dogs per class. There are places, like the larger box pet stores, that charge a specific price regardless of how many other dogs sign up for the class. In these cases, you can get lucky and be in a small class for an inexpensive rate or a very crowded class that makes it feel like you are overpaying for the service provided. There are also group training classes where a set number of dogs are invited or where you can choose the other families/dogs that are allowed to attend. For the vast majority of dog owners, group classes is the way to go because it is less expensive while still effective at teaching your dog the basics of obedience training.
Board And Train
The board and train option is the most expensive and it is generally for those dog owners who do not have enough time to be a part of normal dog training or who need a more serious intervention than what normal training provides. Under this scenario, a dog can be dropped off in the morning for a day of fairly intensive dog training. The owner can then come back in the evening or afternoon to pick their dog up after they have been taught new behaviors. This type of training can be as minimal and simple as a one-day class or as in-depth as daily training over the course of a week or more. This training is not ideal for all owners because they cannot be a part of the training process. On the other hand, the “board and train” option is great for those owners with very limited time or very intense issues with their dogs.
Online Dog Training
Online dog training has become a great option for dog trainers and an excellent solution to the question, “How much does dog training cost?” It can help keep costs down while giving people the option to train their dogs even in the midst of a global pandemic. Online training can even be done through video-based teaching though having a live teacher over a video chat is considerably more effective. In addition, online dog training can be done on an individual or group basis and the cost will be affected by which of these options you choose. You can train your dog in the comfort of your own home and with the expertise of a professional dog trainer.
How much does it cost to professionally train a dog?
This question is too broad to answer completely, but the key is to first decide if you want private or group training. With private training, you can expect to pay approximately $100 to $500 per hour while group training can be as inexpensive as around $80 for a group of sessions. It is really up to each owner to decide how in-depth they want their dog’s training to be and how much they want to spend on that training.
It is also important to know going into your training what you hope to accomplish in the training sessions. If you want to teach your puppy the simple foundations of obedience and training, then you can expect to keep your costs to a minimum. However, if your dog is aggressive or troubled, or if you want to teach your dog more advanced tricks then you can expect to pay more for those options as well.
Is a dog trainer worth it?
The short answer to this question is an absolute yes! A dog trainer is worth it for probably 99% of dog owners out there and one would probably be worth it for you as well. Not only do they help your dog learn the initial behaviors that are important to all owners, but they also help to build the relationship between dog and owner as each grows throughout the process. These classes will usually help your dog learn their name, teach them to sit, allow them to learn from positive reinforcement, and other things as well, but these short-term goals are not the only thing a dog learns. Just like in school for children, learning how to learn and how to build on knowledge is one of the most important things that dog trainers will do for you and your dog.
How much does PetSmart charge for dog training?
PetSmart divides its training classes up into groups as follows:
- Group training classes
- Private training classes
- Virtual training classes
Within each group of classes, there are additional options that can affect the price of each class. In general, you will spend around $100 for a series of group classes, $35/class for private virtual classes, and then more for private in-person classes. Just like all of the other options listed, the price depends on what you want your dog to learn and the environment in which you want them to learn it.
How much does Petco training cost?
Petco, just like PetSmart, employs dog trainers to help owners learn how to work with their puppies. Petco divides its dog training options into two options: in-store and online. The in-store options are then divided into either group or private sessions as follows:
- One private session is $89.
- Four private sessions are $219.
- Six private sessions are $299.
- Group classes are between $149 and $375 per course with each course lasting between one and six months.
Petco then also offers virtual classes for $99 for a four-class session through Zoom .