There are many reasons to consider training for your dog. Not only does it help your pup, but it helps you too. Whether you have a puppy or an older dog, your furry friend can still learn communication skills and proper manners, and it can help solve inappropriate behaviors.
While the idea of training sounds great for most dog owners, it can also be a little daunting to some because it is an additional cost on top of the cost of owning a dog. In this article, we will talk more about dog training costs and whether a professional dog trainer is affordable. So, how much does dog training cost?
How Much Does Dog Training Cost
The cost of dog training can vary based on different factors. On the low end, you might find sessions for around $30. On average, expect to pay around $50 per session. For high-end training, prices can go up to $80 per session.
Cost of Different Types of Trainings
Group dog training typically costs $30 to $80 per class, with full sessions ranging from $120 to $200 for 6-8 weeks.
If your pooch needs to work on their socialization skills, group training classes can be pretty helpful. During group training, your pup will get to socialize with other dogs and will learn multiple training skills. Luckily, around 73 percent of dog owners use some type of training method, like group training.
When I teach group training classes, I teach skills such as “stay,” “come,” “sit,” and more advanced skills such as “wait at the door,” “leave it,” and “wait for the food bowl”. My main goal is to teach your dog how to listen to you, how to meet new dogs, and how to play with them.
Private dog training sessions typically range from $45 to $120 per class, with sessions costing $210 to $600 for 6-8 weeks.
Private dog training is perfect for those who have busy schedules, young children, or if they have more than one pup, they want to train. During a private training session, I work on teaching pups to have self-control and good manners.
The best thing about private dog training sessions is that you can customize your own training plan. If your pup has a particular issue that you want to work on, such as jumping on your guests, teaching him to stay calm around others would be the first priority.
Additionally, private sessions help to minimize distractions of other dogs, and your dog gets to learn at his own pace. Private training sessions typically cost more than group classes because they offer more personalized focus and attention.
Service Dog Training
Service training for dogs usually costs between $150 and $250 per hour if you’re looking to train your dog as a service dog.
It takes a lot of time and effort to train your pup as a service training dog. Service dog training is a special type of training to teach your dog to help a person with a disability.
Some service dogs are for those who are hard of hearing, blind or have PTSD, but they can also be for other disabilities, search and rescue, or as a protection dog. Training time and cost can vary depending on what your dog is being trained for.
Boot Camp (Board and Train Programs)
Boot camp kennel training sessions typically cost $45 to $75 per day, with comprehensive weekly programs ranging from $500 to $1,250.
Dog boot camp costs more than the other types of training programs, but this is because of the extensive amount of effort and time that is put into training your pup.
A board and train program is when you send your pup to a kennel with his dog trainer for an extended amount of time. Usually, he’ll stay for a few hours a day or even up to a couple of weeks. It depends on the pup and the dog trainer.
The main purpose of boot camp is to help your pooch better understand obedience skills like good manners, recall, and loose lead walking.
Obedience training sessions typically range from $45 to $120 per session, with weekly programs costing between $200 and $600.
Obedience training holds a special place in my heart because of its impact on the lives of dogs and their owners. As someone who grew up in a dog-training household, I’ve seen how dogs can develop.
Beyond simple basic commands – obedience training helps you bond more with your canine companion.
Type of Training Cost
Service Dog Training Price for Different Dogs
Service dog training costs can vary depending on the type of service and the complexity of the training. Here are some approximate prices:
- Therapy Dog: Typically around $30 per session.
- Guide Dog: Often provided for free through specialized organizations.
- Hearing Dog: Training may cost around $1,000.
- Search and Rescue Dog: Costs range from $2,500 to $5,000, with advanced training potentially costing $15,000 to $20,000.
- Protection Dog: Training is usually priced at around $120 per hour.
Service Type Cost
Roles and Functions of Service Dogs
Let’s explore the vital roles and functions of service dogs, dedicated companions trained to make life more accessible and safer for those in need.
Guide Dog Training Cost
It is free to train your pup as a guide dog. Guide dogs are trained to understand complex skills, such as traffic responsibility, recognizing overhead obstacles, stopping for all changes in elevation (like curbs or stairs), and how to lead a person from one point to another.
While it is free to train your pup to be a guide dog, you still need to factor in the costs associated with owning a dog.
Hearing Dog Training Cost
Dog training costs for hearing service dogs are around $1,000. Service-hearing dogs are especially sensitive to different types of sounds. Hearing dogs are trained to alert their partner to specific noises, such as:
- A door knock
- Alarm clock ringing
- Phone call
- Keys dropping
- Smoke alarm
- Your name
- Babies’ cries
- Approaching traffic
Once your pup recognizes any of these sounds, they are trained to paw at you or nudge you to get your attention.
Therapy Dog Training Cost
To understand how much does dog training cost for therapy dogs, it usually costs about $30 per session. As someone who is passionate about the world of dog training and behavior, I find the work of therapy dogs to be truly remarkable and heartwarming.
These special pups go beyond the traditional roles of pets and companions, using their qualities and skills to provide a valuable form of therapeutic support to individuals in need.
Therapy dogs play an essential role in various therapeutic settings, ranging from hospitals and nursing homes to schools and rehabilitation centers.
Their ability to connect on a profound emotional level with people is incredible. These dogs are trained – not only to obey commands and perform tricks- but also to exhibit a calm and gentle demeanor that brings comfort to anyone they interact with.
Search and Rescue Dog Training Cost
The cost to train your pup for Search and Rescue can be expensive, costing between $2,500 and $5,000 for basic training and up to $20,000 for advanced training. This type of training prepares your dog to track anyone who became lost in the wilderness or due to a natural disaster.
When training Search and Rescue dogs, I vigorously train dogs to learn how to pick up on the scent of a human and track it. The process of this type of training can take up to two years for your pup to fully understand and complete training.
Protection Dog Training Cost
It costs $120 per hour to train your pup to be a protection dog. A protection dog differs from other types of service dogs because they are trained to learn specific skills that can help protect their handler.
When training protection dogs, it typically takes me about a year to a year and a half to train them to defend you, your family, your property, and themselves.
Cost of Professional Dog Training
Now let’s look at the cost of professional dog training services to ensure your furry friend gets the best education within your budget.
- Private Classes ($275 for 12 weeks)
- Group Classes ($120 per 6-week class for all level dogs)
- Private Classes ($45 for 30 minutes, $89 for 1 hour, and $219 for 4 hours)
- Group Classes ($120 per 6-week class)
Factors Affecting the Cost of Dog Training
Understanding the factors that influence the cost of dog training can help you make informed decisions for your pet’s education. Discover what goes into the pricing equation.
Type of Training
The type of dog training that is offered to your pooch can definitely affect the cost of your training session. Different approaches to dog training, methods, and goals can all influence the cost of training.
Depending on if you and your dog need basic obedience training, advanced obedience training, dog behavior modification, or private versus group training can all affect the pricing.
As a dog trainer myself, I have found that a city’s characteristics, economic factors, demographics, and overall lifestyle preferences play a huge role in determining the cost of my services.
Typically, prices are higher in urban areas that have a higher cost of living compared to more rural areas with a lower cost of living.
In my personal experience, being aware of these factors has helped me tailor my training services and pricing to meet the needs and expectations of the area where I train.
Private Training or Group Dog Training Classes
Private training costs more than group training because of the personalized attention from the trainer, as well as having the freedom to customize your own dog training plan. Your private trainer may work on how to leash train your dog using only the best leashes and would not work on that if it was a group session.
Group dog training costs less because the trainer has the same plan for all of the dogs in the group, and training is not customized specifically for your pup. While both private and group dog training are beneficial to dogs, it is up to you to decide which type of training you feel will work best for your dog.
Training goals can surely affect the cost of training. Just like each pup has its own unique personality, learning pace, and needs, training goals also vary from one dog to another.
The more complex the training goals get, the more time, effort, and expertise it requires, which is why it costs more. For example, basic obedience training will cost less than more advanced training goals, like dog’s behavior modification and socialization.
Cultural factors also can affect how I approach pricing and deliver dog training services. As a professional trainer, I have learned that peoples’ backgrounds, lifestyles, and values allow them to have unique expectations about dog training costs.
Some common cultural factors that play a role in determining the pricing of services include cultural attitudes towards pets, training philosophies, local norms and expectations, demand for specialized training, and economic factors.
While some may feel that their pup is a part of their family, others see their dog as a working animal or a guard dog, having different expectations regarding pricing. As a trainer, I recognize that cultural factors are important when determining the prices of training services.
Session frequency is an obvious reason for the cost of dog training to be higher, as the more you bring your dog for training, the more the dog training costs. During an intensive dog training program, there may be multiple sessions per week.
These sessions come at a higher cost due to the increased effort and time required from the trainer. With standard training, there are usually a set number of sessions each month, and the frequency of these sessions can affect the total cost.
If you opt for a private training lesson instead of group classes, you can expect the cost to be higher due to a more customized approach to training.
Training can seem expensive in the beginning, but when spread out over time, it seems more affordable. Most dog trainers offer discounts if you have more than one pup in training, and sometimes offer discounts if you have adopted your pooch from a shelter.
Some additional services that can cost you more than typical training include behavior consultations, follow-up sessions, or specialized dog training tools. These services aren’t typically included in dog training costs and come at an additional fee.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Dog Trainer
When choosing a dog trainer, there are crucial factors to keep in mind to ensure your furry friend receives the best education possible.
Before choosing a dog trainer, it is best to look into the trainer’s qualifications to ensure they are qualified to teach and care for your pup. Some of the best qualifications to look for include KPA CTP, CTC, VSPDT, VSA-CDT, and PMCT.
A good dog trainer typically has hands-on experience working with dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds. Additionally, many dog trainers have experience volunteering at animal shelters or have experience with pet sitting.
Using Science-Based Training Methods
Professional dog trainers, like myself, like to use science-based training methods. This means that rewards (like puppy treats) are given to your pup for achieving desired behaviors. On the opposite end, if your pup displays bad behavior, rewards are taken away. Some dog trainers even use a shock collar to help the dog understand bad behavior.
Strong Communication Skills
Communication is key when training your pup to learn specific behaviors and commands. As I trainer, I know that I need to communicate effectively with you and your pup, clearly conveying how to go about training your pup so you both can learn.
How Much Does Dog Training Cost: FAQs
At What Age Should You Start Training a Dog?
For puppies, the best time to begin dog training typically is around 8 to 12 weeks old. Their brains are like sponges at this age, soaking up new experiences and information. Keep in mind, though, that their attention spans might be short, so training sessions should be kept short and fun.
As he enters his adolescent phase, around 6 to 12 months, he might become a bit more rebellious – think of it as his teenage years! This is when consistent training becomes super important.
They might test boundaries and be more easily distracted, so patience and positive reinforcement are key. For adult dogs, it’s never too late to start training!
Is Certification Necessary for Dog Trainers?
It is not necessary to have certification if you like to train dogs for fun, but if dog training is your career, then it is necessary to have certification. Certified dog trainers must complete a program, such as the Karen Pryor Academy course, to help them become certified.
How Many Sessions Does a Dog Typically Require for Training?
As a professional dog trainer, I always approach each dog as an individual with their own unique needs – so the amount of training sessions can vary.
Some of these needs include your dog’s age, his special needs, and what type of training he needs. For standard obedience training, your pup should do just fine with 30 minutes of training a day for two weeks.
Is Investing in Dog Training Worth the Cost?
When understanding how much does dog training cost, investing in professional dog training definitely proves why the cost might seem high. Think of dog training as an investment in the happiness and harmony of your life together with your pooch.
Hiring a trainer can save time and money in the long run. Plus, training can be a fun experience for both you and your pup. Dog training helps create amazing memories for you and your pup, helps to fix any behavior issues and socialization, and helps your dog feel more confident!
Do Dog Trainers Deal with Dogs That Exhibit Aggressive Behavior?
When I see a dog struggling with aggression, I see a unique individual who’s communicating their discomfort or fear in a way they’ve learned. It’s like figuring out a language only they know. My goal isn’t to judge them; it’s to understand their story and help them start over again.
Working with dogs displaying aggression requires a blend of empathy, patience, and expertise. It’s like being a detective, digging deep into their history and triggers. Every growl, snap, or lunge is a clue, and it’s my job to determine the cause of their behavior.
I won’t deny it can be challenging, but with every breakthrough, the effort feels more than worth it. The joy of seeing a dog transform from a scared, reactive pup to a confident, relaxed companion is beyond words.
So yes, as a dog trainer, I completely believe that with the right approach, time, and understanding, we can make a positive impact on dogs with aggressive behavior.
Whether you would prefer group dog training classes for your pup or private lessons, many training programs can be affordable. Overall, your dog training cost will vary depending on the type of training you need.
In my experience, reward-based dog training is highly effective in helping your pup with problem behaviors and learning new skills. Avoid punishment-based dog training and adopt a kinder approach to effective learning. As a professional trainer, I understand that the cost may be what is keeping you from getting your pup the training he needs.
Best of luck on your dog training journey!