Is Dog Training Expensive?

March 24, 2010


After my studio animal training experience from 1987 1990 I opened my own business in the Los Angeles area.  I called other dog training companies to find out what they charged for their services, as I really didn’t know. “What?” “That much?” That’s like $100 per hour! That was too much for me to charge, so I started out at US$50.00 for a 1 to 2- hour private lesson, then a few months later I charged$75.00. One year later $100 then $125, $150 and about 10 years into it I was $175-$200 – about what other “Good” trainers charged.

The only low cost training program owners could find, are group classes.  Six to twelve people pay anywhere between $30 and $150 for 6-8 weeks of classes (meeting once a week). That may sound like a good deal but for beginner dogs or owners, well- you get what you pay for > It’s under their paws.

If you want a better-trained dog or you liked the other convenient options: training at your home, around the dogs environment, on your schedule, then one-on-one (private training) is a better choice.  Those classes are still designed to teach the owner how to teach their dog, but at least the owner and dog will retain much more information, especially with follow up calls from the trainer. Established trainers charge up to $125 per lesson (approx. hour).

Another training option is a board-training program that can run between $550 and $1200 per week.  Most places will recommend 2 to 4-weeks of training, the cost can really add up.  Even though the trainer does most of the time-consuming work, you still need to learn how to maintain the training.  You definitely want to ensure the training company is legitimate and has a good track record. Referrals from friends or veterinarians for this type of program is necessary. You don’t want to find a trainer in a phone book or from hearing a radio ad.

The cost for a dog trainer can seem high if you’re basing it on an hourly rate,  however I believe you would have paid a lot more than $100 an hour at the moment you found the pile of poop on your new carpet, or you were late for work because your dog ran away, isn’t listening to you, keeps embarrassing you by jumping on people,  barking during the night or day, chewing up your new shoes, etc.  What you’re really paying for is years of acquired knowledge and experience.  This information will save you lot’s of time, money and frustration.  Helping your dog be a smart and confident member of the family, and not just a pet that’s a nuisance.

Is hiring a dog trainer expensive? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth every penny.

Since I’ve moved to a new Country, I’ve reduced my rates until I can win the trust of the Australian people.  For programs and rates, please visit my Available Programs Page

Just so other trainers don’t attack me, people and dogs can learn things in group classes. For beginner dogs or owners, I suggest having some private training first, getting some control of your dog before enrolling in group classes. If you and your puppy go through a Puppy Kindy course,  they will need more education through the other stages their first year.  Although training can be done anytime, 2 to 4 weeks of condensed training should be done around 4 and 6 months of age and repeated again when they are around a year old.

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Fixing a Dog. Part 2

March 22, 2010

spay dog

AKA= De-sexing, Spaying (female), Neutering (male)

Fixing a dog doesn’t change their personality, it just gives them one less thing to worry about.  Their desire to engage in sex is not an emotional need like it is with humans, it’s strictly a hormonal driven phenomenon.  It’s a feeling they can’t control and if they never had it, how would they miss it? The reasons people have as to why their own dog should have a litter of puppies is purely a human perception.

There’s a reason companion and guide dogs are fixed and police dogs aren’t. The meaning of smells, other dogs and people are magnified in their mind and this will cause behavioral issues. Fixing them actually is doing them a favor because it helps them be calmer,  getting more attention from us and other dogs, listen and behave better and easier to train in obedience. Fixing can help with roaming problems,  marking problems, not to mention the countless dogs who are abandoned, sheltered or put to death every year.

There are health benefits too.   It’s proven that spaying and neutering helps with ovarian and testicular cancers, tumors and prostate enlargement problems, which can result in an early death.

Females: Should be spayed before their first heat (6-8 months). This will decreases their chance of getting cancer by 90%.

Males: Known aggressive breeds should be neutered well before 6-months and all other dogs should be neutered at 6 months.

If you’re not in the animal business it may be difficult to know and see what we in the business see.  Similar to when you take up a new hobby or start a new business, things are never as they appear from the outside. Trying to breed your dog isn’t that simple as I explained in Part 1. This is why you can learn from other animal professionals, that fixing a dog is the only humane and natural thing to do. If you’re truly a dog person you should be looking at it from their point of view. Be a responsible pet owner not a wanna-be-breeder, leave breeding to the professionals spay and neuter all your pets!

The following video is titled, “Why Dodger stadium is full of dogs” WHY DODGER STADIUM IS FULL OF DOGS

If you missed Part 1 > Fixing Part 1