Regardless of which training option you chose, training your dog is an investment of money and time. Whether it is you or someone else, training your dog should be considered a necessity and prerequisite for owning a dog.
How Much Does it Cost to Train a Dog?
Dog Training costs vary greatly from basic group classes to specialized training. Here are some examples and explanations.
- Dog Training Classes – $125-$200 per class. Usually this is for 6 classes, once a week.
The least expensive way to train a dog is to sign up for training classes. Training classes go over basic training skills and information as well as expose your dog to a group environment. You, however, are still 100% responsible for handling and training your own dog. The information provided in the classes is usually basic and generalized, but can be very effective if the class is good and you continue training at home. You will usually not be able to get much specialized guidance for your individual dog or issues in a class setting as the teacher is responsible for multiple people. If your dog has behavioral issues, however, you may not be allowed to participate in group classes.
- In-Facility Private Lessons ($50-$60/half hour, $75-$100/hr)
The next step up is going to a dog training facility for private lessons with a trainer. These lessons are usually 30 min to an hour in which you can discuss your specific goals and issues with a trainer. The trainer will give you instruction on how to train your dog at home and work on your skills during your lesson. You will be responsible for taking the information learned in your lesson and implementing it at home.
- In-Home Private Lessons – $100-$200/hr
For in-home private lessons, a trainer comes to your home to work with your dog one-on-one. This can be helpful when you have specific problems you wish to be addressed in your home. The benefit of in-home training is that the trainer will be able to see your home environment and your dog’s behavior in his home environment. While the trainer can give you advice and strategies, you are still responsible for training your dog based on the advice.
In-home private lessons are often very helpful following a board and train program especially where the dog has more serious problem behaviors in the home.
- Dog Boarding & Training ($600 – $1400 per week, Minimum length is usually 10 days to 2 weeks)
Costs for a board and train program varies greatly depending on the type of training desired, age of the dog and behavioral problems. Unlike classes and private lessons, a professional dog trainer will be training your dog for you. If you are limited in time and experience with dogs, a board and train program can be extremely beneficial, provided you select a quality program. While board and train programs do train your dog for you, you still must learn how to maintain the training going forward and put proper time and effort into your dog going forward. Board and train programs often come with unlimited support, meaning you can contact your trainer with questions and advice if you have a problem. Keep in mind that if you do not want to continue to work with your dog and put in ongoing effort, a board and train program will be a waste of your money.
Puppy training is generally less expensive, coming closer to the lower end of the weekly cost. Puppy programs are great for giving your dog a good start in life with a solid training foundation. It is also a great opportunity for you to learn how to properly raise your puppy, get great coaching and advice from your trainer, and have a much better chance of avoiding problems in the future.
Basic obedience dog training on leash are also closer to the lower end of the price range, provided your dog does not have any behavioral problems. Basic obedience programs are great options when you are going to board your dog anyway for a vacation, or you simply don’t have time to teach your dog the basics. Basics obedience usually includes leash manners, sit, down, and place.
Off leash obedience dog training will land more in the middle and sometimes the higher end of the price range. This dog training is usually offered in 2 to 4 week increments and covers all the basic obedience on and off leash. Remote training collars, also called e-collars, are used in these programs and when taught properly can have very good results. The e-collar training also helps with tackling problem behaviors such as counter surfing, bolting, running away, excessive barking, among others.
The most expensive type of dog training training is for dogs with aggression issues to humans. Most trainers will not even accept dogs that cannot be safely handled. The cost is often not higher per week, rather, these programs generally cost more because the amount of time needed to train dogs with these issues. These programs are usually 6 to 8 weeks in length with additional private lessons. The cost may be $6,000 at the low end all the way to $10,000 or more, if you can find someone to do it.
Specialized Dog Training
Specialized dog training is an entirely different subject from any of the above options. Specialized training such as mobility service dog training or protection dog training is extremely time consuming and expensive. Additionally, dogs undergoing these training programs are preselected and often carefully bred for the work.
Service dog training should not be confused with emotional support dogs. Emotional support dogs have no real certification or training program, however they should have good basic obedience, manners, and be very well behaved in public. Service dogs for the disabled or service dogs for PTSD are put through lengthy training programs of 2 or more years and are carefully selected for work suitability and temperament. If you are in need of a true service dog, you should contact a verified and reputable business to purchase one. These dogs cost tens of thousands of dollars because of the amount of time and effort involved in training them.
If you are looking for protection training for your dog, be very careful in who you select. The business or person should carefully assess your dog’s genetic predispositions before agreeing to do bite work with your dog. This training is often sold for $7000-$15,000 and is also rife with unethical practitioners, so be very careful in who you choose before agreeing to this type of program. Already trained protections dogs can be purchased and can range from $25,000 to $100,000, although equally good dogs for protection can be purchased for $5,000 to $15,000 if you know where to look and what to look for.