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How Much Does Dog Training Cost?

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How Much Does Dog Training Cost?

When working with in-person clients in one-on-one personal lessons, one of the most common questions that comes up in the first lesson is: How much will this training program cost?

Of course – we all have limited resources in some way. Limited time, limited money and last but not least also limited emotional and mental availability for dog training. And as everyone with a dog training issue knows – the faster and more efficiently it can be solved, the better.

dog training cost

Whether you are trying to crate train a puppy who cries in his crate every night, dealing with a reactive dog or teaching your dog to finally come when called – ideally the training should be fast, with lasting results and not cost as much as your mortgage.

Stay Away From Big Cost Programs

There are a lot of programs on the market that require you to pay a large sum (often upwards of $500, some as much as $1,500 and more) upfront before the very first training session.

These programs usually include the use of a training collar or some other coercion-based training tools and strive to make you commit to their entire course instead of letting you decide after the first lesson whether or not you like the approach.

Do not go with this – dog training does not have to be that expensive and it should not lock you into a program with the first lesson.

There are several obvious downsides to these type of training setups:

No Individualized Timelines

dog jumping up for ball

Every dog is a unique individual – that is what makes them so fun and interesting, right? If every dog was the same we might as well have robots.

No trainer can foresee exactly how long your dog will take to learn a specific skill, how he might struggle or excel at it, what he will need extra help with and what follow-up questions you as the owner might have.

A $1,000 program might be designed to contain 6 individual training session that will teach your dog for example a perfect recall.

Some dogs might only need 4 training sessions (and of course, daily training at home) until they have improved quite a bit. Others may require 8 or more – especially if not coming when called has become a very ingrained and previously highly reinforced behavior.

The last thing you want is to be locked into a cookie-cutter timeline that leaves no room for accommodating your dog’s individual progress – How many sessions (and how much money) will be required for in-person training will only be apparent over time.

No Individualized Schedules

Life happens, and as much as we would like to always stay on top of our dog training schedule and keep up with our dog training homework – sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

coffee cup with notepad

Once you are locked into a program that expects you to have a weekly one-on-one with an instructor, you will waste a lot of money when you are not able to practice in between sessions.

It is no use to see a trainer when you haven’t been able to rehearse your new skills since the last training session. He or she cannot teach your any new skills that built on the ones you learned in the last training together.

Individualized schedules are key to a successful training program.

Look for a trainer who will inquire about and acknowledge your work and family schedule and suggest a training schedule based on this.

While daily training at home lets you progress the fastest, your trainer should always be able to accommodate the amount of time you have available for training.

No Option To Cancel

While ideally you would immediately bond and connect with your trainer, reality is that not every person likes every other person.

different people

Sometimes a client and dog trainer just are not on the same wave length.

And that is ok!

Dog training is a very personal journey. After all, you have to let the trainer into your house, tell him about your routines, open up about what you are struggling with.

If you do not feel comfortable with the trainer you hired, you should be able to opt out. Nothing will be more frustrating than being locked into a contract with a trainer you really don’t like.

It is not always possible to know upfront if your personalities are going to mesh or not. You do not want to be required to go through your hundreds of dollars worth of training with someone you dislike.

Cost Of Individual Sessions

You should start out with a single one-on-one session with a trainer to determine if you are going to want to train together.

dog with money on head

The cost of private training session will vary based on area and qualifications, however you can expect to pay around $100 for one hour of training. For highly accomplished trainers or in high-income cities this can be as high as $200/hr.

If you are unhappy with the type of training or depth of information you receive, look elsewhere. There is a huge variety of dog trainers and approaches – and you should pick what you like the best.

Cost Of Group Classes

Group classes are an affordable alternative to private lessons. Not all issues can be resolved in group classes – but if you are looking for a general obedience curriculum, a group class will work great.

dog learning to sit

Puppy-specific group classes often also cover the most common puppy problems, such as how to stop puppy biting.

A group class like this runs around $20-30 per lesson. The classes are usually sets of 4-8 lesson, meaning that a course of group lessons costs anywhere from $80-$240.

If you find group classes that are distinctly less expensive – such as $8 or $10 per lesson – be wary. Often these classes are either taught by very novice dog trainers or have a large amount of dogs in one class.

Some big dog training companies have as many as 30 dogs in one group class. If you come across these – run! There is no way the trainer can give 30 students adequate feedback while at the same time teaching a comprehensive curriculum.

There is no way the trainer can give 30 students adequate feedback while at the same time teaching a comprehensive curriculum.

So How Much Does Dog Training Cost?

Pretty much – as it costs as much (or as little) as you want to spend on it. From $20 for a group class to $200 for a private lesson with a highly respected trainer, you will find a lot of variety in how much dog training actually costs.

Here’s the good news though: Because we know that training can be cost-prohibitive and every dog benefits from training, we are offering the most affordable professional training you will find anywhere on the web (or in-person!).

Check out our online classes and find your match – we have one for any dog, with any skill level!

We can make online dog training inexpensive (and super effective!) at the same time. Check out our free 14-day sample course by signing up below and dive in.

And don’t spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for any dog training program again.

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