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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