If you recently got a pet dog or if the one you already have has started exhibiting unusual behavior or never learned the basic commands, you have plenty of reasons to consider professional dog training.
In an independent survey conducted by the website Pet365.co.uk, it was found that out of 1,000 respondents from all over the world (mostly from the U.S. and the U.K.), 53.1% of dog owners have never been to a dog training class.
However, 94% said that they do at least some form of training with their dogs on their own. Surprisingly, about 6% of the respondents reported that their dogs were perfectly trained.
Regardless of whether these dog owners are blessed with a perfectly trained dog without undergoing any training or not, it’s still important for dogs to be trained.
Cost of Training a Dog
Dog training can get quite pricey depending on location and what the training is needed for. Meaning, if you live in Los Angeles and have a dog that is showing aggression, expect to pay considerably more per hour for a private trainer versus if you live in a rural area or smaller city and just need basic obedience training for your dog.
The price for basic obedience training commonly ranges from $70 to a few hundred dollars an hour with a private trainer. For a group class, expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $200 for a six-week package in basic obedience. For a board and train program where the dog actually goes and lives with the trainer from anywhere to a week to several months, you can expect to pay from $1,000 to $7,000 depending on the nature of the training.
Types of Services Offered by Dog Trainers
Reputable trainers offer a wide variety of services in order to cater to the different needs of dog owners.
Training a dog the basic commands and tackling unruly behaviors, such as jumping or excessive barking, is a must if you want your dog to live peacefully within your home and community.
Dog training nowadays usually involves fun and engaging activities for both owners and pets. Not only that, the manner in which dogs are trained has also experienced a great change as trainers no longer implement a “punishment-based system.” Instead, they have opted for a “reward-based system” wherein the goal is to teach dogs in a way that is satisfying and fulfilling to both sides.
Usually, the services rendered by a dog trainer revolve around the following:
- Private Lessons
One of the most popular services offered by dog trainers is a one-on-one training session. This usually happens at the dog owner’s home or at the trainer’s. Regardless, dog trainers charge by the hour and private sessions typically cost around $65 to $175 per hour. Again, location and degree of expertise needed to work with your dog dictates price more than anything.
Private lessons are typically sold in packages of five or six sessions and require a weekly meeting with the trainer. For simple, basic obedience, expect to pay about $450 for six sessions conducted in your home.
Trainers may charge less if they have a facility or space in their home for training that doesn’t require travel on their part.
- Group Classes
This is certainly the most cost-effective type of service offered by dog trainers. Here, dog owners join a group class shared with many other dogs and their respective owners. Most of the time, group classes focus on dogs who need to learn basic commands or have simple behavior problems.
Group classes can take place at pet stores, doggie daycares, community centers, or a training facility. There may be a price difference for puppy classes versus more advanced classes for adult dogs, but that isn’t always the case.
Expect to pay around $150 to $200 for a group class and to meet once a week. These classes typically revolve around basic obedience, proper socialization, or even just play time.
- Obedience Boarding Schools
This is probably the most expensive option for dog owners. Here, dog owners leave their beloved pets and have them stay at the trainer’s house or at a boarding kennel for a few weeks. Once there, the dogs would receive several hours of training a day.
Once again, the price is dependent on the length of the dog’s stay inside the boarding school, the complexity of the training needed, and location. Expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000 for a board and train program but know that prices aren’t always set until after the trainer has a consultation with you and your dog.
Some trainers offer what’s called day-training, which includes a day-time drop-off system wherein the owner leaves the dog for a few hours during the day for training. This option is offered by HouseOfDogTraining.com, providing a more cost-effective mode of training with prices starting at $60 a day.
Miscellaneous Costs of Having Your Dog Trained
- If a dog exhibits too much uncontrollable behavior, a trainer might ask the owner to see a behaviorist to evaluate and assess the pet. Veterinary dog behaviorist fees are charged by the hour and may cost $300 and more depending on the amount of hours the consultation takes.
- You may also need to buy a few training aids for your dog such as a clicker (an instrument used to mark when a dog has given the correct behavior you asked for), a leash, and some doggie treats to serve as a reward whenever your dog does something good. These items may cost you about $37 in total.
Factors Affecting Dog Training Price
- There are several cost drivers that may affect the price of dog training beginning with the dog’s age. It’s recommended that dog owners train their pets while they are still puppies. This is because problems like biting, chewing, barking, housebreaking, and digging are easier to address while they are still young.
- Not only that, a dog’s age also reflects the type of needs that it has and the kind of training that should be done.
- Another cost driver for dog training is the location where the training will take place. You or the trainer may need to drive quite a distance so keep that in mind when pricing out a trainer. If you travel to the trainer’s place to have the session privately, then it can surely reduce your training fees versus the trainer charging for additional travel time to come to you.
- A trainer’s certification can also affect the price of the services. While dog training isn’t a regulated profession, trainers can partake in several programs in order to boost their credibility and skills. Some trainers who hold certifications from renowned and trusted institutions may impose higher fees.
Not Every Dog Is the Same
Dogs have a wide spectrum of behavior and personalities. There are dogs that are naturally lax and obedient while there are dogs that are too playful or aggressive. Some dogs have impulse control problems that often give their owners a headache.
These behaviors need to be corrected in order for both the dog and the owner to live harmoniously together. However, it’s also important for owners to understand that dog training is a give-and-take process.
Dogs and owners need to find common ground. And with dog training, these pets aren’t just the ones who are taught to change their ways. Dog owners, too, need to make the necessary adjustments in order to accommodate the needs of their pets.
Haven’t Decided Yet? Here’s Why You Should Train Your Dog
- Stronger Relationship
One of the foremost reasons why dog owners should train their pets is because by doing so, they are able to develop a stronger bond. Dogs are loyal companions and their loyalty can be further enhanced with dog training.
Not only that, through effective training, dogs learn early on that you are the provider of shelter, food, and fun. In return, your dog will begin to display the appropriate behaviors needed for him to live successfully in your home.
- House Rules
Through dog training, you can establish basic house rules for your pets to follow. Doing this can save you from the headache caused by chewed-up slippers, endless holes in the backyard, and the ear-splitting barking, among many others.
- Social Interaction
When dogs enter a group class or obedience boarding schools, they are able to enhance their social skills and behavior in the presence of other people and dogs. This can help your dog become more comfortable interacting with its own kind.
Furthermore, you can also socialize with other dog owners in the group.
- Common Language
Dogs can’t understand English, which means that there is a big communication barrier between dog owners and their pets. Thankfully, with the help of training, both owners and pets can find a common language that they both can use to understand and communicate more effectively with each other.
Dogs, no matter how adorable and loyal they can be, are still subject to their animal instincts. By training them and correcting wrong behavior, you, as a dog owner, will also be promoting safety.
A dog that is taught not to bite, scratch, chase, or jump on people would help prevent tragedies from occurring. This not only protects the people around the dog, but the dog as well.
The Bottom Line
If you’re having doubts about paying for dog training, think again. Unless you’ve been able to successfully train other dogs on your own, the cost of a professional trainer is well worth it. If you decide to raise a dog without any training at all, you may be looking at a liability. Your dog may jump up and injure someone or even bite a child without having ever learned that those behaviors are not acceptable.
When your pet misbehaves, it doesn’t mean that your dog is being bad because that’s his nature. Most of the time, it is poor communication and a lack of training that causes dogs to misbehave.
Further, we should remember that dogs have their own needs that are different from our own. Dogs like physical activity like chewing, playing, running, and other exercise. When we neglect their needs, dogs try to find satisfaction on their own, which often results in bad behavior.
This is where dog training comes in handy. Through effective training, both the dog and the owner will find a common ground and language in order to understand each other better.