In this article, we’ll be going through four dog training options, so you can choose the best one for your pet: dog obedience training classes, board-and-train dog training, in-home professional dog training, and DIY dog training devices.
Obedience Training for Dogs
These training classes are typically available at most pet supply stores and will have different price points and time length depending on your dog’s needs, as well as where you live. These classes are generally available, no matter where you live, and will cover the basics of good pet behavior.
Many of dog training and obedience classes are offered as group classes. The goal of a group class is to teach your dog basic commands and socialize them with other animals. Group classes generally include a one-time payment and then several weeks of repeated visits where you bring your pet to a class alongside other pets and their owners.Obedience classes will usually involve good behavioral exercises, practicing them a few times with the group, and then going back home to incorporate them into your daily life. Obedience classes are not “one-stop shops” where your dog will be fixed without you having to take an active role when you get home.
Here are some things to consider about your dog before picking a class:
- Age (puppy classes may only allow dogs under 6 months old)
- Your time and work needs
- What issues you’re actively having with your dog (dependent on breed)
- Your dog’s home life
- How much money you’re able to commit.
The price of obedience classes will often depend on these factors.
Large pet supply chains offer general obedience training for puppies and adult dogs, and the average cost is around $139 to $149 for a 6-week course. This cost includes a multi week program where you address common and basic dog behavior issues. You’ll learn easy verbal commands, fun games and exercises, and how to deal with bad behavior. Of course, these stores want you to keep coming back, so you’ll find advanced dog training classes as well. Some large pet store chains offer specialized behavioral training courses. For example, if your pet is struggling with separation anxiety, one chain offers a 4-week course for $99. Some offer private dog training classes, as well, which averages around $40 to $60 an hour (and up, depending on where you live).
Advantages of obedience classes at pet supply stores:
- Meet and socialize with other dog lovers
- Benefit from the experience of the trainers
- Cheaper than one-on-one private dog training
- Learn the basics
Disadvantages of obedience classes:
- Initial costs can seem low, but add-on training and obedience classes can add up.
- Group classes can be distracting.
- Dog training classes tend to be one-size-fits-all, meaning there is little room for customizing for individual needs.
Board and Train Your Dog
Board and train dog classes involve taking your dog to a facility and leaving them there for 1-2 weeks, where they’ll receive training with one or more dog trainers. This type of training is also known as doggie boot camp or dog training camp.
These classes may be a bit more difficult to find near you, which may make it more difficult to verify that they’re safe. You may need to travel to board your dog for training, which you should factor into the cost.
Before considering a specific board and train program near you, do your research into the validity of the facility, as there are cases of trainers who’ve used harsh training methods to produce results. If the facility is “guaranteeing” results — beware, ask questions, and read reviews!
The AKG, or American Kennel Club, recommends visiting the facility and looking at the other dogs there before committing to a board and train program. If they look happy and carefree, you may be good to go. When discussing how the trainer will train your dog, you can also request (in writing!) what methods they’ll be using to teach your dog. You should also always check the reviews of a board and train facility to see if other customers are happy with the process.
The price of a board and train program will usually be more expensive than obedience classes, ranging from $500 to up to $1,250 per week.
Note that board and train programs can be the only option if you’re looking to specialize your pet as a watchdog, hunting dog or a therapy dog. These courses are far more advanced, often including a form of certification, and will range heavily in price depending on what you’re looking for.
Advantages of boarding and training dogs:
- Effective for specialized types of training, including guard dog training, hunting and retrieving, search and rescue, and guide and assistance dogs
- Can be effective for dogs that have severe or extreme behavioral issues
- Highly focused one-on-one training
- Some socialization with other dogs, depending on the facility and nature of training
Disadvantages of boarding and training for dogs:
- Excludes the owner (make sure the board-and-training trainer includes sessions with you – the dog’s owner – so you learn the commands and your dog learns to obey you)
- Lack of visibility (you can’t see what’s going on when you’re not there)
In-Home Dog Training
Concerned about getting the right training for your unique pet? Worried about having your dog around other animals? In-home training can sometimes be the best option for our companions that may not do well at a training course away from home. With this option, you’ll find a trainer that will come to your house to work one-on-one with your dog.
Here are some factors that can make in-home training a preferable option:
- Good if you have a strict schedule and need a flexible training option
- Excellent because your dog learns best in a familiar environment without additional distractions
- Environments with other animals can be dangerous or distracting for your dog
- Also excellent if you need to address behavioral issues specific to your dog’s home life
While you may not be able to address issues of socialization around other animals, in-home training can be more involved, highly customized, and intensive than obedience classes. Because of this, the price will generally be higher than a training class-off site, but less than a board and train program. Some in-home dog trainers will bring their own pets along, if you want to train your dog to socialize with other animals; expect to pay additional fees for this type of behavior training.
Disadvantages of in-home training:
The most significant downside of in-home training is cost. For example, one well-known in-home dog training company charges between $300 and $600 per 2-3 hour session. They may offer you multi-week packages that will be more cost-effective, and they may want you to buy the training tools that they use (choke chain collar, noisemakers, clickers, treats, etc.).
Dog Training Tools
If you’re experienced with pet ownership, a multi-week training program may be excessive for your needs. You know the basics of training your dog and are instead just looking for tools that make the process that much easier. BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device is an inexpensive and effective tool that helps owners train dogs to stop barking and doing other unwanted behaviors.
This device is meant to be a training aid, as in it doesn’t teach your dog for you! When you notice your dog barking, you should first find what’s making them bark and then distract them from the behavior. Once you’ve got their attention, you issue a verbal command. When they stop barking, you give them a treat. But, because you’re not always home, the ultrasonic training device is an excellent way to augment the training process.
If you want to learn more about the ultrasonic training device, head over to our article on how to control barking dogs to learn more.
Advantages of tools like the ultrasonic training device from BarxBuddy:
- It’s effective at getting your dog’s attention, so you can correct unwanted behaviors and teach good behaviors.
- This type of dog training tool is lightweight and portable, so you can use it indoors and outdoors.
- The dog training tool fits well with humane, reward-based dog training techniques.
Disadvantages of ultrasonic dog training tools:
- It’s not a magic wand that fixes unwanted dog behaviors.
- If you forget to grab it when you’re outside, for example, it won’t work for you!
- Dogs that are hard of hearing likely won’t hear the ultrasonic sound.
Is Dog Training Worth It?
If you’ve read up on adopting a canine companion, you know the importance of early socialization and training. You may also be looking for specialization training, so your new friend can be an effective watchdog or therapy animal. No matter the breed, your dog needs to know how to behave correctly when at home and around other animals. Giving your dog potty training, obedience training, and chewing/teething training will save serious headaches down the road.
Finding the right dog training option can be daunting. Doing it yourself may also seem too complex if you’re a first-time dog owner. Specialization training, for example, can be far too complex to do on your own.
Yes, dog training is worth it. Should you pay for professional training? That depends. Some people who need specialized training for their dogs, such as service dog training, hunting or guard dog training, will want to do professional training with their dogs.
For basic commands, including “sit, come, quiet and stay,” you can do at-home training yourself, following some basic understanding and by using the BarxBuddy training tool. It’s also worth mentioning that the ultrasonic trainer can be an effective reinforcement tool post-professional training.
Dog Obedience Training Price List Comparison
Dog training rates vary based on where you live, the type of dog you have, and the type of training you need. This table is an average comparison of national dog training prices, based on our research, for educational purposes only.
|Type of Dog Training||Description||Average Estimated Cost|
|Group dog training||Example: Pet supplies chains like Petco and Petsmart offer on-site puppy and adult dog training classes in a group setting with other dogs and their owners.||$139 to $149 for in-store, 6-week beginner classes
$249+ for advanced classes
|Virtual dog training||Example: Petco, Petsmart and other dog trainers offer in-home dog training over a video call (Skype, Zoom0||$25 to $35 per half hour; $50 and up per hour|
|Private dog training in-store||Example: Pet supply stores also offer one-on-one dog training||$45 to $89 per hour|
|Private dog training in-home||Example: A trainer comes to your home (or preferred location, such as a park) for one-on-one dog training||$140 (national average dog trainer hourly rate, according to Thumbtack)|
|Board and train||Example: You send your dog to a boarder who trains for 2 or more weeks of specialized training||$500 to well over $1,250 per week (plus your travel and lodging costs, if needed)|
|BarxBuddy ultrasonic training device||Hand-held training tool designed to work with positive reinforcement dog training techniques||$39.95 per trainer (we recommend 2 per household; one for indoors and one for outdoor use)|
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