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CostHelper > Pets & Pet Care  > Dog Training

Dog Training Cost

How Much Does Dog Training Cost?

low costGroup Classes: $40-$125 for 4-8 weeksaverage costPrivate Classes: $240-$600 for 6 weekshigh costObedience Boarding School: $950-$2,500
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  Typical costs:
  • Group classes at a local community center, dog daycare or pet store usually cost from $40 to $125 or more for four to eight weekly one-hour sessions. Puppy classes usually cost less than adult dog classes or classes specifically geared toward dogs with behavior issues.
  • Private classes with a trainer, which could be at the client's home or at the trainer's place of business, usually cost from $30 to $100 per hour-long session -- so about $240 to $600 for six sessions.
  • Dog obedience boarding schools usually cost from $950 to $2,500 or more for two to four weeks of board-and-train, where the dog lives at the trainer's home or at a boarding kennel and receives hours of one-on-one attention daily.
Related articles: Dog Walker, Dog Daycare, Owning a Dog

What should be included:
  • Puppy classes, for dogs about two to five months old, focus on socialization. The classes also cover housebreaking and address chewing, biting, digging and barking.
  • Basic obedience classes, usually for dogs older than five months, repeat training from puppy classes and also cover hand signals and commands. Dogs that graduate should be able to pass the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen test[1] , part of a program that recognizes well-mannered dogs. The trainer might also briefly cover behavior issues, such as housebreaking or inappropriate barking and jumping.
  • Housebreaking -- although usually covered in puppy classes -- is usually done by the owner at home, since it requires almost round-the-clock vigilance for a few weeks.
  • Advanced obedience classes refine the skills learned in basic obedience, practice obedience in complex situations with distractions, and usually include off-leash work, such as coming from a distance when called. Specialized classes also are available for owners who want to train their dog in agility, field work, search and rescue or as a therapy dog.
  •[2] has a guide to the different levels of classes.
  • The trainer should provide handouts for at-home practice. Many trainers also make themselves available to answer questions by phone or e-mail between classes.
Additional costs:
  • A trainer might require the purchase of training aids, such as dog treats, a clicker -- a small noisemaker to get the dog's attention -- a long nylon lead and a short leash, usually for less than $50 total.
  • A dog with a serious behavior problem -- such as aggression -- should be evaluated by a veterinary behaviorist. Veterinary behaviorists usually charge $135 or more per hour, and a typical consultation runs about three hours for a total of $400 or more. The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists provides a list of board-certified veterinary behaviorists.
  • Training can be done at home using a book. Amazon[3] has a selection of dog training books starting under $10.
  • Some shelters offer low-cost training, starting at about $35 and up for several weeks of classes. The cost is usually lower for a dog adopted from that shelter.
  • Some boarding training programs offer a discount for a second dog from the same household.
Shopping for dog training:
  • To find a good class, obedience school or trainer, ask a veterinarian or humane organization for a referral. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers offers a search feature for local trainers. Also, PetSmart[4] and PETCO[5] offer group classes.
  • The American Kennel Club[6] offers a state-by state search for clubs that offer dog training resources or classes.
  • Tip: Ask to sit in on a class before you sign up. A good trainer should use humane methods, explain each lesson clearly, demonstrate the desired behavior and give students time to practice. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers offers guidelines for choosing a dog trainer.
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