If you're thinking about training your dog, but are put off by the cost, don't be. At face value, dog training might seem like a lot of money to pay for a few hours of work. But, when done correctly, this decision can help both you and your dog live happier lives. It’s really worth every penny.
In this article, we’re going to be discussing what dog training actually is and what you can expect when hiring a dog trainer. Then, we’ll be covering the true prices you will pay for dog training and ways that you can save.
What is Dog Training?
Dog training is the process of teaching a dog your expectations of their behavior, whether it's sitting when you tell them to or coming when they're called. For most people, dog training is something they start doing with their dogs when they are young puppies, but there are many cases where older dogs (even fully grown) can be trained in new tricks.
Dog training is a fun and rewarding experience for both you and your dog and provides an excellent way for the two of you to bond with one another. One of the most common reasons people choose to train their dogs is because it helps them understand their pets better. For example, one reason for pursuing dog training is that you might want your pet to not only obey commands but to also respond well under pressure.
What are the Different Dog Training Programs?
When it comes to professional dog training, the programs are typically not one-size-fits-all. In fact, there are a number of dog training programs available and many of them can be tailored to the specific needs of both you and your dog. Some of the most common dog training programs include:
Puppies under 6 months old can enroll in an obedience class or foundation program. These programs will help your puppy become more confident and comfortable around other people, which is important since you'll likely want to introduce him to new people (and dogs) as he gets older.
Senior Dog Training
Senior dogs over 7 years old may benefit from group classes or private lessons if they have any special needs related to their age (such as arthritis). Group classes give senior dogs the chance not only to learn but also to meet others who are dealing with similar health challenges.
Some dogs struggle to feel comfortable around other dogs, new people, and strange environments. Socialization can help desensitize these pups and help them feel safer and more secure. Even adult dogs can benefit from socialization classes.
How to Choose the Best Dog or Puppy Trainer
After deciding on the training program for your dog, it’s important to consider the person you’ll hire seriously. Dog trainers will have a deep impact on you and your beloved pup, and you should make sure their beliefs and approach are things that you agree with.
Don’t hesitate to ask a potential trainer about their credentials, experience, and whether they have references to share. And, ask a trainer to interact with your dog before hiring them to see how their personalities work together. It’s important to find a trainer who offers what you want, in every sense of the word. So, don’t be afraid to shop around before settling on the trainer for your dog.
The Best Dog Trainers are Certified, Experienced and Patient
A helpful place to start looking for a trainer is to find one that’s certified by the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT). This will ensure they know what they’re doing and have experience working with dogs. They should also have at least a bachelor’s degree in animal science, veterinary medicine, or animal psychology. If you can, find an experienced dog trainer who has been in business for at least five years as well.
How Much Does Dog Training Cost?
The cost of your dog’s training depends entirely on their current behavior and your ultimate goals. Training a dog in basic obedience is going to be much cheaper than specialty training. Group classes are less expensive than individual ones, but the time spent in an individual class might be more valuable. And, your location always plays a role.
Dog training experts say you should factor in the cost of training as the total amount you spend on a new puppy. The reason for this is that training should be non-negotiable.
When considering inflation and the different types of programs available, a pet parent can expect to spend somewhere between $1,000-$4,000 for their dog’s professional training.
How to Save and Get Discounts on Dog Training
No matter how you spin it, dog training can be quite costly. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can save money on dog training. Here are a few:
Ask for a discount directly
Many trainers offer discounts to students and military personnel, so ask if they have any available. You can also ask whether they offer a payment plan or financing options, although these are less common than in other industries (they're not always practiced ethically).
Attend group classes
As mentioned above, group classes tend to be significantly cheaper than private, individual lessons. They also allow you to network with other pet parents who can provide you with tips and pointers.
Take advantage of YouTube
Many professional dog trainers provide free tips, tricks, and resources on YouTube to help you get started in your training. These can be helpful for teaching your dog basic commands and getting them ready for more in-depth training.
Choosing a dog trainer is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Make sure that you do your research, ask questions, and find someone who really understands dogs and the challenges involved in training them. It can be a daunting task when you first start looking but once you find someone who fits all these criteria then it will make life so much easier!
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