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How Much Does it Cost to Train a Dog?

Posted: 10/02/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Behavior , Dog , Top Tips

There are those dog behaviors pup parents want, and those they don’t. Sometimes at-home training is enough to nip the bad behaviors and encourage the good ones. Often though, a professional trainer is needed in those cases where stubborn dogs (we’re talking to you Beagles) just won’t cooperate. But how much does it cost to train a dog, and how can you be sure to find a good trainer?

Great questions! Let’s dive into this topic a bit more.

Key Points

  • As with most things in life, you’ll get what you pay for with dog training. 
  • In general, group classes will cost less than one-on-one personalized training sessions.
  • When it comes to finding the right trainer, credentials, experience and personality should be considered.

How Much Does Dog Training Cost Exactly?

That really depends on whether you take group classes or opt for private ones. On average, group training classes range between $50 to $80 depending on where in the country you live. For instance, group classes in Youngstown, Ohio will more than likely cost less than classes held in Malibu, California.

Private sessions for dog training can range between $50 and $120 per hour, based on location and how experienced the dog trainer is.

And then there are the dog obedience training schools, which usually offer weekly sessions. You can expect to pay between $200 and $600 for each week. And for those dogs that seem to be mocking the idea of ever being trained (we’re still talking to you Beagles!) there is boot camp kennel training, which is very expensive and typically costs anywhere between $500 and $1250 for a single week.

What About Service Dog Training?

The prices quoted above are for general dog training. But what if someone is looking for specific training, such as having their dog become a service dog? Cost in this instance really depends on the exact services you wish your dog to perform.

For instance, training for therapy dogs can run roughly $30-$40 per session, while training a hearing dog can cost $1000 total. To train a dog for search and rescue will set you back between $2500 and $5000.

What to Look For in a Dog Trainer

While cost is usually top of mind when pup parents are considering dog training, you should also recognize the importance of choosing a qualified and reputable trainer. Remember, if you pay for one trainer who turns out to not be that great you’ll just have to pay for another trainer after. So choosing wisely will help you save money in the long run.

With this in mind, here are 3 things to look for when choosing a great dog trainer:

Credentials

Start your search by looking for a dog trainer that has one or more acronyms as part of their title. As an example, the acronym CPDT-KA signals the person is a certified professional dog trainer and has gotten extensive training themselves. In most cases it means the person has completed hundreds of hours of training and passed multiple exams. The acronyms CDBC or CBCC-KA signifies trainers that are certified behavior consultants and can help with specific problem behaviors such as anxiety or reactivity.

The bottom line: don’t trust someone who says they are a professional trainer. Work with someone who can back up their claims with the right credentials.

Experience

Getting the right credentials is the right start to becoming a professional trainer, but these acronyms in and of themselves cannot stand alone. The trainer must also then take those credentials out into the world and gain real hands-on experience. Equally important is a trainer who is always keeping up-to-date with their education and staying on top of the latest trends in the industry.

Look for a trainer that has a lot of experience. You can also ask if they have specific experience with your particular breed of dog or with the specific behavior, such as anxiety or destructive behaviors. 

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Personality

At the end of the day, you want to like and feel comfortable with the person you choose. Even more important is whether your pup gets a good sense of the person. There are some trainers who get into dog training because they love dogs, and then there are those who do because they know it’s a lucrative business. 

A trainer should be willing to meet with you and your dog so you can all get a sense of each other.

Ask Questions

Be sure to ask a lot of questions and listen to the prospective dog trainer’s answers very closely. For instance, if you ask how long they suspect training will take, be leary of someone who promises a quick fix. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Also, be sure to ask what kind of training methods the trainer uses. You do NOT want to work with a trainer who uses aversive methods such as shock collars or choke chains. Reputable trainers will only use positive training methods. Research has shown that reward-based training is far more effective than punishment-based training.

Final Thoughts

How much does it cost to train a dog? That really depends on where you live and what kind of specific training you may need. When looking for a dog trainer, don’t focus exclusively on cost, be sure to also look for the person’s credentials, training methods and personality.

How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?

While we’re on the subject of costs of being a pup parent, we wanted to speak quickly on the cost of pet insurance. First, pet insurance is how you save yourself money when your pup becomes unexpectedly  ill or injured. While you can expect to pay around $45 a month for an accident or illness plan, that plan may reimburse up to 90% of the vet bill.

If you’ve been thinking of enrolling your pup into a pet insurance plan, here are the top providers based on reviews from pet parents just like you:

 

Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Embrace14,463
4.9Healthy Paws7,498
4.9Trupanion60,410
4.9Fetch2,378
4.9Lemonade795
4.8Nationwide21,394
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.7ASPCA11,508
4.7Hartville164
4.7PetPartners111
4.7Spot5,787
4.6MetLife528
4.5Pets Best7,216
4.4AKC889
4.4Figo2,619
4.3Pet Assure12
4.3Pumpkin1,257
3.2ManyPets2,268

 

References:

https://www.dailypaws.com/dogs-puppies/dog-training/how-much-does-dog-training-cost “How Much Does Dog Training Cost?”

https://homeguide.com/costs/dog-training-cost “How Much Does it Cost to train a Dog?”

 

Disclaimer

The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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