Training your dog is a lot of hard work. Many dog owners often want to hire professional dog trainers to do the things they cannot seem to do. Knowing this, you research the average cost of dog training. Really, how much does dog training cost?
You may even be suffering from an injury that makes it hard to physically put in the energy to work with your dogs. In any of these situations, professional dog or puppy training may be a good option. And the next question that comes to mind is, “How much would dog training cost me?“
Professional dog trainer fees do cost a significant amount of money. It is important to consider what type of training is the best for you, the cost, your dog, and your budget.
Types of Dog Training
There are several types of dog and puppy training options to choose from to help your furry friend behave socially and learn advanced skills. And several options on how to train your dog are available too. These options include private dog classes, group dog training, board and train, and specialized lessons for a service dog and therapy dog.
Plus, there is online dog training, a seemingly innovative trend amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, where dog or puppy training classes are done virtually.
Each of these options will vary in price, time commitment, and effectiveness for your pet.
Private Dog Training
Private training is when a dog trainer works one on one with you and your dog. The private lessons can take place at your house or the trainer’s facility.
If you are familiar with the dog trainer Cesar Millan, this is the type of training displayed on his show, The Dog Whisperer.
It is like getting a personal dog trainer exclusively for your dogs. This can be very effective if you, too, would like to learn how to interact better with your pup. It can also be the best option if your dog is showing signs of aggression that would make interacting with large groups difficult.
Another advantage of one on one dog training is that the private training sessions may be tailored depending on your dog’s needs or what you want your dog to learn. The focus may be on basic dog commands, obedience training, or addressing your pet’s behavioral issues.
Cost of a Private Dog Trainer
Costs for private dog or puppy trainer vary a good deal. Some pet stores, such as PetsMart, advertise private training as low as $90 an hour. Other private trainers or personal dog trainers can range up to $400 an hour.
Many trainers provide a discounted cost when you purchase several training sessions upfront or when it is an in-home class. While this is not the cheapest option, it may be one to consider if it is the best fit for you and your dogs.
Group Dog Training
Group training consists of a small group, usually between six to ten dogs and the dog owners, in a public space or private dog training facility. These are generally socialization classes and are excellent opportunities for your pup to socialize with other dogs and humans.
These group classes are especially beneficial if you have a young puppy. Through socialization, the young pups would learn basic manners and correction of minor behavioral problems. Other classes may be designed to help dogs who are aggressive toward other dogs.
The focus of dog group classes depends on the ages of your dogs and the facility offering the service.
Some classes are geared towards basic obedience training classes and learning basic commands such as “sit” and “stay.” Others focus more on positive reinforcement and reward-based training.
Some advanced group classes may even work on agility or scent recognition. More specialized training may teach advanced training skills like flyball and other dog sports.
For advanced group dog training classes, it is necessary that your dogs should have mastered some basic skills and commands already.
Cost for Group Classes
Group sessions typically cost much less than private sessions. PetsMart and other local pet stores offer these classes on a rotating basis and run around $125 for a 6-week class.
Private training facilities range in price, offering classes in a 4-to-6-week time span running between $150-$300.
Board and Train Programs
Board and train may be an option to consider if your dogs have some severe behaviors that make learning at home very challenging.
You take your dog to a facility or dog and puppy training camps for either day boarding and basic obedience training or for several days at a time. With a well-trained trainer, this type of boarding can help give a jump start to helping your dog learn desired behaviors.
One of the biggest things to consider is that you have to send your dogs away from home for days or weeks. When your pup comes back home, you will need to continue reinforcing the same skills they worked on during boarding.
Be sure to discuss your dog’s specific needs and goals with the trainers to see if this type of training will best help your pup.
Cost for Board and Trainig
The cost of board and train depends on the amount of time your dog is with the trainer. The average cost is between $1,000-$2,500 for two weeks of boarding and training.
This is not the cheapest form of professional pet training, but it might be a good fit for you and your dog.
Online Dog Training
Online dog training is a relatively new option to help you and your pet. Although it seems like it may be difficult to do, it provides a mix of reading and video interaction to help you and your dogs along the way.
Most online classes allow you to participate in three ways: auditing, participating in online forums, and a working spot. The working spot is where you can submit video recordings and receive feedback from a certified dog trainer.
Typically the online classes are designed to work on one specific goal or skill. So, this may not be the best option if you have a new puppy who needs to learn many skills as well as socialize.
Cost for Online Training
To find an online pet training course, have a look at our review on the best online dog training we did for you! These trainers offer class options ranging from $90-$350.
There are also many free online resources for pet training. Doing a YouTube search for dog training on a specific skill will allow you to view experienced trainers working with dogs. This may not be an interactive system, but it may work as an additional aid to your training process.
Specialized Dog Training
There are other pet training classes you may enroll your dogs in for a specialization. These specialized dog training classes cater to those who need to have their dogs learn special skills. An example of this is training your pup to be a service dog.
Service dogs are trained to assist individuals with disabilities. These dogs attend private classes for service dog training where they learn to perform necessary skills, such as guiding individuals who are visually impaired, pulling a wheelchair, or giving assistance to people with mobility issues.
Another example would be service dog training for therapy dogs. Therapy dogs provide comfort and companionship to people in various settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, at schools, and even at home. They are trained to be friendly with strangers to help reduce stress and anxiety and provide emotional support.
Search and rescue dogs also undertake this specialized training.
Cost for Specialized Lessons
Since these classes are unique and specialized, a dog owner should expect a higher dog training cost compared to other private training costs. Some dog schools charge an average of $25,000 for training a pup to be a service dog and around $250-$300 for training one to become a therapy dog.
Summary of Average Cost of Dog Training
|Types of Dog Training||Average Price Range|
|Private Dog Training||$90 – $400 per hour|
|Group Dog Training||$150 – $300 per class or course|
|Board and Train||$1,000 – $2,500 for a 2-week package|
|Online Dog Training||$90 – $350 per class or course|
|Specialized Dog Training|| $250-$300 for training a therapy dog|
$25,000 for training a service dog
No to Punishment-based Dog Training
When enrolling dogs in training programs, pet parents should be wary of avoiding those that employ punishment to correct dog behavior issues and to learn new skills. Some private dog trainers still resort to training methods that involve the use of punishments.
However, we still believe that reward-based dog training is still the most effective method for training dogs. Whatever type of dog training you enroll your pups into, make sure that punishment is not a part of it. Positive reinforcement techniques are better alternatives to training dogs.
How do I find a Dog Trainer?
Once you decide what type of training will be most suited for you and your dog, it is time to find the right trainer and get your dog trained. Searching on Google with terms like “trainer for a dog near me” or “dog trainers near me” is sure to bring up results of dog trainers you can contact. Be sure to research the facility and trainer you choose.
We have also created our very own matching service to help you find a dog trainer near me.
Many trainers will let you tour the facility to see them working in action. Pet stores may also have group classes you can observe behind clear glass classrooms.
You want to ensure that your trainer has legitimate certifications and is well-trained to work with your pet. The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists is a great place to find a local trainer in your area.
You will be able to find a board-certified trainer who is specifically trained to work with your pet and how they interact with you and their environment.
If you are opting for positive reinforcement training techniques, be sure that your trainer matches your style. There are still some trainers who use tools such as shock collars or techniques that involve more physical manipulation.
Remember, it is your pet. You would want the trainer to treat your furry friend like you do!
Additional Costs to Consider
In addition to the private dog trainer cost, keep in mind there may be some “extras” a professional trainer would suggest you purchase. For example, they may suggest a specific collar or harness that ensures proper leash behavior.
The trainer may also work with clicker training and suggest you follow through with a clicker of your own. Dog treats will also likely be a part of the training regimen.
Although none of these training tools are expensive, they are additional costs to keep in mind.
It’s all Worth it!
Is paying for dog training worth it?
The training costs you would spend to teach your pups some obedience and other skills in private dog training classes are definitely worth it.
Training your pup is one of the most important aspects of having a happy and healthy pet. Opting for a dog trainer may help create a positive bond between you and your dog.
Consider which type of training is best suited for you and your dog, as well as your wallet.
Bear in mind that whatever costs it may entail are all worth it when you and your dog are more comfortable with each other because of these training classes. As with all aspects of dog training, remember to be patient and enjoy the process with your furry friend!