Dogs are loved by many people worldwide, and that is why statistics show that approximately 85 million people have a dog at home. This is about 67% of households in the United States.
Since they’re such a big part of many people’s lives, it is essential to have them behave a certain way around people.
If you’re a dog owner of an untrained dog, then you’re probably familiar with constant barking at strangers, aggressive behavior, and increased anxiety around other dogs.
Even though such behavior is expected in animals, it’s not advisable for a dog that interacts with people a lot.
Dog training is an excellent option, especially when your dog is still young. But how much should you expect to spend on a complete program? The answer is, ‘It depends.’
Dog training can cost anywhere between $125 to $25,000.
Numerous factors come into play, such as the type of training you’re looking for, the breed, and even how much you’re willing to spend.
This article will delve into all these different factors and the types of training available.
Types of Training for Dogs
Numerous training types depend on your goals for your dog and what you need them to train your dog on. Here are some of the most common types of training available:
1. Private Dog Training
Just like any other private service, private dog training is more expensive compared to other options. In this type of training, the trainer will have a one on one session with your dog alone.
This will take place either at your house or in a training facility. Private dog training is convenient for dog owners who would like to be present during the training process.
It allows one to learn skills that will aid in bonding with your dog correctly. Private dog training is also highly recommended for dogs that show aggression or anxiety when in large groups with other dogs.
Additionally, this type of training allows you to curate your dog’s training to your needs. It’s the perfect time to get the trainer to emphasize certain aspects like obedience or aggression.
The cost of private dog training solely depends on the trainer’s rates. Some pet stores offer private training lessons for as low as $90 an hour.
However, freelance trainers usually charge about $400 an hour.
Here are some factors that may affect the cost of a private dog trainer:
- Your dog’s age.
- The type of training you’re looking for.
- The trainer’s year of experience.
- The number of sessions required.
- The location of the training.
2. Group Training
In group training, your dog will be part of a group of six to ten other dogs and their owners at the park or in a training facility.
The primary aim of group training is to better your dog’s socialization skills around other dogs and people. These are usually better suited for young puppies who haven’t been around other dogs much.
Each dog in the group, however, maybe there for a different purpose. Some are merely being taught how to obey commands such as ‘sit’ or ‘fetch’ while others learn how to coexist with other dogs.
In watching other dogs following certain commands, they, too, eventually know right from wrong.
Group training usually costs much less than private training, and they run for a specified period.
For a 6-week training program at PetSmart, you can expect to pay about $125. Other privately owned facilities usually cost between $160-$350 for training that runs for 4 – 6 weeks.
3. Board and Train
Also known as dog boot camp or kennel and train, these programs allow dog owners to surrender their dogs for a few weeks.
The training facility will essentially cater to all your dog’s needs while training them for about $45- $75 per day. In the long run, for a few weeks, dog boot camps cost about $1000-$2000.
Such training programs are best suited for dogs that need significant intervention in terms of behavior. Board and train is also recommended during the first few weeks after you adopt a young puppy.
In this way, they can learn desirable behaviors before they settle into your home for good. However, to permanently keep the behavior, the things learned in dog training must be reinforced at home.
4. Specialized Dog Training
If you would like to have a therapy or service dog, then specialized training is the only way to learn such a skill.
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a service dog is trained to perform tasks for a person with disabilities. Service dogs typically can work around the house and public environment for their owners without guidance.
Such tasks may include reminding one to take medication, picking up and bringing items, pulling and pushing things, keeping their owners safe, among other things.
Therapy Dogs, on the other hand, provide comfort and anxiety relief in specialized places such as hospitals, schools, hospices, disaster-stricken areas, and retirement homes.
Not every dog trainer is well versed with training service dogs and therapy dogs; thus, such training programs are bound to be more costly.
For a therapy dog, trainers typically charge about $300, while service dog training costs about $25,000.
5. Online Dog Training
Online training is a new option, especially in the wake of the pandemic. It is also a good option for dog owners who want to seek the services of trainers who are miles away from them.
Online training offers a mix of reading and video lessons that are usually made available to the dog owner.
You will be required to go through certain books or handouts, after which you’ll have a few video sessions with the trainer in real-time.
Some trainers also conduct lessons by allowing participation in online forums and working spots. Working spot is where you, the dog owner, try to train your dog while recording yourself on video.
You then send the video to the trainer for analysis and recommendations on what needs changing.
Online pet trainers typically charge based on the type of skill that you’re trying to teach and the number of sessions required. For a trainer like Cyber Dog, you will part with between $90-$400.
Online dog training also covers free training using YouTube videos and online guides. This is an incredibly effective method if you’re trying to teach your dog just one or two skills. It only requires a lot of patience and time.
How to Find a Dog Trainer
There are numerous types of trainers out there, so it’s essential to know what kind of training you’re looking for. Once that’s out of the way, the internet is an excellent place to start looking.
Once you find a trainer, always try to get as much information in terms of reviews and testimonials. If they’re affiliated with a particular facility, then it’s also advisable to tour the said facility.
Pet stores are also highly reliable places to get qualified and effective dog trainers who have proper certifications.
The American College of Veterinary Behaviorist’s website also offers information on certified pet trainers in numerous states all over the U.S.
Once you get a trainer, ensure that they are methods that match precisely what you are comfortable with. Some trainers employ physical manipulation tools such as shock collars, which may not sit right with every dog owner.
Some of the qualities to look out for in a specialized trainer include:
- Good communication and relationship with your with the dog.
- They must be passionate about their work.
Dog trainers also recommend specific tools and products that help in reinforcing behavior even after the training program.
This may include dog treats that encourage and reward good behavior and specific leashes and harnesses that ensure proper behavior around people and dogs.
Specific techniques such as clicker training may require that you purchase a clicker to enforce the lessons at home.
Having a well-trained pet is essential in ensuring a good relationship between you and your pet.
It also keeps other people, especially children, safe around your pet. No matter the cost of training, in the long run, it only sets your dog on a positive path.
Is dog training worth hundreds of dollars? Absolutely.
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