The average cost of dog training is an extra expense that responsible owners will have to take into consideration. There are several factors that influence the cost* of training, from location to breed to the type of training required. Before you decide to enroll your dog in training, you need to do your research and determine the specific options available near you so you can have a better idea of the investment involved and what's the best one for you.
There are several types of dog training available. You may opt for group classes, private sessions, online training, or boarding sessions, otherwise known as "day training". Instructions can cover everything from basic obedience to agility or special skills/tricks and the dog training cost will vary depending on the length of the sessions.
When figuring out the average cost of dog training you also need to take your dog's breed into consideration as some breeds are easier to train than others. An intelligent breed that is eager to please their owners, Australian Shepherds tend to take well to training and may not require as much as some other breeds. Of course, the ability to be taught can also vary from one individual dog to another and if your dog has a particular behavioral problem he may require extra training.
Generally speaking, dog training cost is higher in and around large cities, while smaller towns and more rural areas will have more affordable options. That is why it's important to shop around and investigate everything that is available in your area.
Group classes usually involve about 10 dogs at a time and in most cases they cover the basics of obedience: sit, stay, heel, walking loosely on a leash and similar skills. They can be beginner classes for puppies or reinforcement for adult dogs. You may also be able to find group sessions that target specific behaviors like aggression. Many people prefer group sessions as they also provide an opportunity for socialization, which can be equally important to a dog's development.
Group classes can take place at private schools or through larger companies like PetSmart or Petco. The average cost of dog training in group classes is about $20-$25 per session, which can add up to $120-$600 for a 6 to 8 week package. Petco charges around $109 for a 6 week program, while PetSmart offers a 6 week course at $120. Both retailers frequently offer special discounts so it's worth looking into their current charges if you are interested.
Typically offered at your home or at the trainer's facility, private sessions allow for one-on-one training work, which can be particularly helpful if you are dealing with a specific issue or behavior. Trainers can work on things like curbing aggression, dealing with separation anxiety and targeting behaviors like jumping or nipping. Private sessions are a great way for trainers to not only help the dog but the owner as well, encouraging you to improve communication with your pet.
Owners may prefer these private sessions as they are easier to fit into a busy schedule, since you can pick a time that is best for you. Of course, that kind of special consideration does not come cheap and private dog training cost is often much higher than the cost of group classes. Prices vary from one trainer to another but in general private sessions can range from $45 to $120 per session. Prices can vary depending on the size, age and breed of dog and the amount of work needed.
Another available option for dogs that require a more concentrated level of training or for owners who do not have a lot of time available to devote to training is boarding sessions or "day training". This involves dropping your pet off at the training facility for the day and picking him up at the end of the day or leaving him at the facility for a few days for extra training. Again, the average cost of dog training at a boarding facility will vary from one specific facility to another.
In general, this type of training will range from $45-$75 a day for day sessions or $500-$1,200 a week for longer stays that involve boarding and care as well as training. While this particular dog training cost may seem excessive, it can actually be more affordable in the long run as severe behavioral issues may take longer to fix in general training settings.
Another option, generally the most affordable option, which is rapidly gaining in popularity is video-based online dog training. This allows you to access professional level training from the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule and can greatly help to reduce dog training cost, as many online services charge a subscription fee of $30-$60. For that fee you often have access to a wide range of support materials and you can return to the site as often as necessary to properly address your dog's specific training needs. If your dog has a particular issue that needs extra work, this can be a much more cost effective approach.
One online dog training program I recommend was created by professional dog trainer, "Doggy Dan". Dan has a comprehensive program that covers everything from obedience to dealing with specific behavior problems. His site also has a forum and a range of included support materials to help dog owners succeed and make real progress with their dogs. You can find out more about Dan's program here.
No matter which option you choose, having a well-trained dog can make a huge difference, helping you and your dog to form a close bond that can last a lifetime. For this reason it is important that you choose the proper type of training and that you take the average cost of dog training into consideration. This way you can rest easy knowing your dog is in the best possible hands and that you are getting the most for your money.
*Prices mentioned in this article are approximate and based on those available at time of writing in 2022.
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