How Much Does It Cost to Train a Dog

Dec 20,2021

Raising and training a dog, especially a service dog requires a lot of time, commitment and money. It is an undeniable fact that dogs, professionally trained or not, provide comfort to their owners and are loyal companions. Dogs who are trained as service dogs help many people, who are physically or mentally impaired, regain the desired freedom in their lives by engaging in various daily activities. Before making a decision whether to raise and train a dog, or not, you should consider your responsibilities as an owner and the investment you will need to make. 

In today’s article we would like to discuss “costs” as a factor in training a dog and will provide you with information about costs differences depending on the training type and location.

First we would like to discuss the need of professional training and clarify whether it is mandatory or not.

Do You Have to Train Your Dog Professionally?

It depends. If you are a US citizen, you can conduct training yourself, even if you would like to train your dog as a service dog. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require handlers to professionally train their dogs as service dogs: “People with disabilities have the right to train the dog themselves and are not required to use a professional service dog training program.” Whether it is pet training or service dog training, you can engage in the process as the main trainer of your dog and conduct it in your own home. However, consulting with a professional trainer or an organization as well as enrolling in an online course will give you access to a more structured and consequent training process that will help you build a good foundation and add new skills gradually

What Types of Training Services Can You Use?

1. Private dog training

If you prefer to work directly with a professional trainer and get a personalized attention, you may consider this option the best one for you. Private training sessions may take place in a training facility or in your home, depending on the services that the organization offers. Also, if you need personal attention due to specific behavioral issues your canine is coping with, private sessions may be more beneficial for you, compared to group classes. This option is likely to be more expensive, especially if you need more than several sessions.

2. Board & Train

If you think that your doggy needs to spend some time with a professional trainer and be trained more intensively, this option is suitable for you. Usually Board & Train programs are available in two options- 1-day Board & Train program, where you will need to drop off your dog in the morning and pick him/her up in the evening; weekly packages, where your dog will spend a week or more with a trainer and will obtain obedience and social skills while engaging in various activities. Of course, once your dog returns home you will need to continue practicing the acquired skills. Many training organizations offer follow-up support to ensure that there will be a smooth transition of the learned skills from the training facility to your home. The prices may vary from hundreds of dollars (if it is a 1-day Board & Train Programto thousands of dollars (for weekly packages).

3. Group Classes

Group classes consist of a different number of sessions, that take place in the organization’s training facility. Group classes can cover various topics such as obedience, walking on a leash, confidence building, good manners, politely greeting when guests visit your home, addressing behavioral issues like jumping, pulling on a leash, chewing, biting, separation anxiety, reactive/ aggressive behavior...etc. Usually, the management of more severe behavioral issues is a topic, covered in more advanced classes. The more advanced the class is, the higher the price will be. Often organizations require handlers to have completed their basic obedience class, prior to enrolling in the more advanced one. The prices of group classes are likely to be lower than the prices of private lessons and your dog will be able to learn around other dogs and people, which will benefit his/her social skills. However, when you participate in a group class, you may not be able to get too much personal attention and may need to consider the pace of the other students. 

4. Virtual Training

The number of organizations that started offering virtual training as an option has increased in the last few months due to the global pandemic. Usually, training sessions take place via Zoom or another platform for video calls. Virtual training has many benefits, i.e. owners can conduct the training in their own home and may be able to schedule the sessions at a time convenient for them. Also, virtual training sessions tend to be less expensive than on-site training.  Of course, you need to keep in mind that you will need a good internet connection, a microphone, and a camera.

5. Online Courses

Online courses are maybe the most affordable option for dog training and owners can conduct it where and when they want. Owners can schedule the whole training process so that it can fit their lifestyle and needs. Many schools include training support via email/live chat/phone in the course’s price that is available during the training process and after its completion. 

Prices of Training Services Based on the Location of a Training Organization

We would like to provide information about the prices listed on the websites of six organizations- three of them are located in the most expansive states in the US (Hawaii, District of Columbia and California) and the other three 3 are located in the least expensive states in the US (Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arkansas).

Most expensive states:

1. Hawaii

Island Dog Obedience

The organization offers the following three services:

  • Board & Train;
  • In-Home Lessons;
  • Virtual Dog Training.

Board & Train Services are available in following options:   

   -2-Week Training:

Training starts at $2,550 + general excise tax

$50 consultation fee (can be applied towards Board & Train)   

   -4-Week Training:

Training starts at $4,900 +  general excise tax;

$50 consultation fee (can be applied towards Board & Train);  

   -Schedule Consultation:

Monthly Membership $29.99/month;

In-Home Lessons are available in following options:

-Consultation: $50;

-Single Lesson: $125 + General Tax;

-5 Lesson Package (Minor Behavior Modification): $600 + General Tax;

-8 Lesson Package (Minor Behavior Modification): $960 + General Tax;

-8 Lesson Package (Major Behavior Modification): $1560 + General Tax;

Online Virtual Dog Training is available in following options:

-30 Minute Lesson- $50 / session;

-60 Minute Lesson- $90 / session.

2. District of Columbia

Patrick's Pet Care-Dog Walking & Dog Training Office

The organization offers following training services:

  • Dog Montessori School;

  • Enrichment Dog Walking;

  • Force-Free Dog Training;

  • Specialty Programs.

Dog Montessori School:

$80 / day

Enrichment Dog Walking:

-Exploration Walks- $47.50 (30 minutes long);

-Exercise Walks- $60 (45 minutes long);

-Training Walks- $70 (45 minutes long);

-Package Deals- $38;

Force-Free Dog Training:

-Initial Virtual Consultation- $30 (30 minutes long);

-Private Training- Per Hour- $110;

-Advanced Training- Per Hour- $135;

-Package Deals- $500+.

Specialty Programs:

-Puppy Head Start- $70 / day;

-Puppy Socialization Visits- $60 / day;

-Day Care- $101 / half day;

-Enrichment 1 to 1 Day Care- $125 / day;

-Senior and Disabled TLC Visits- $50 / visit;

-Virtual Training Options- Contact for a quote.

3. California

BADDogsInc Family Dog Training & Behavior

The organization offers following training services:    

  •    Canine Life & Social Skills: Dog Training CLASS!

Prices: $225.00 – $750.00

  •    Seminar: Behavior Case Management for Behavior Consultants

Prices: $125

  •    Yappy Hour! An adolescent manners and play group experience for dogs    aged 6-24 months!

Prices: $225.00 – $750.00

  •    Hounds About Town! Your Dog Can Be A Social Butterfly!

Prices: $250.00 – $995.00

  •    The Puppy Club

Prices: $225.00 – $750.00

  •    Private Dog Training – one on one!

Prices: $695.00 – $1,195.00  

  •    Trick Dog Clinic! Take Your Training to the Next Level!

Prices: $225.00 – $750.00 

  •    Better Than Boot Camp! (prices are not listed)

Least expensive states:

1. Mississippi

Ultra K9 Dog Training

The organization offers following services:    

  • Puppy Package

Prices: $100   

  • Advanced In-Package (seven 1-hour classes at owner’s home with    basic behaviors and 3 advanced commands of owner’s choice)

Prices: $1000   

  • In-Home Package (four 1-hour sessions)

Prices: $700 

  • Board and Train Package (2 weeks 24/7)

Prices: $2300   

  • Behavior Modification

Prices: $700-$3000  

  •  Advanced Board and Train

Prices: $4100

2. Oklahoma

Roots K9 Training

Following services are listed on the organization’s website:    

  •  Board & Train 

  •  One-On-One 

  •  Puppy Training

  •  Exclusive Services

  •  Virtual Coaching

The Board & Train program is available in following options:

-Three Week Board & Train

Prices: $2900

-Additional Weeks

Prices: $1000

-Hybrid Program

Prices: $2,300+ (this is a mixed program including Private Lessons and Board & Train).

The One-On-One program is available in following options:

-On Leash Program

Prices: $850

-Off Leash Program

Prices: $600

Puppy Training is available in following options:

-Balanced Beginnings

Prices: $475

-Ten Day Puppy Board & Train

Prices: $999

Exclusive Services:

-Overnight Boarding

Prices: 1st dog- $40/night, 2nd dog- $35

-Refresher Training Session 

Prices: $40 

Virtual Coaching with Francis:

Prices: For dog trainers & dog owners- $149 – 1 hour

3. Arkansas

Kass Kennels & Training, LLC

You can check the services that the organization currently offers and their prices listed below:   

  • 14 Day Board & Train Success Program

Prices: $1,820.00    

  • 2-3 Week Puppy Raising Program (Board & Train)

Prices: $1,395.00    

  • Behavioral Adjustment Program (3 Week Board & Train)

Prices: 2,200.00    

  • Standard Training Session

Prices: $70.00   

  • Boarding (For Past & Current Training Clients Only)

Prices: $40.00 

  • Personal & Family Protection Training (Bite Work)

Prices: $70.00    

  • 14 Day Success Program (Lesson Version)

Prices: $910.00  

  • Puppy Raising Program (Lesson Version)

Prices: $630.00   

  • Behavioral Adjustment Program (Lesson Version)

Prices: $1,100.00

How to Evaluate a Trainer / Training Organization?

We would like to note that expensive services do not always guarantee high quality. We highly recommend that you do research about the trainers, their testimonials, training approaches (we would not recommend training organizations that use negative reinforcement, i.e. shock collars), and reviews of current and former students. Also, you may want to visit the training facility and monitor the training process yourself. Any information that you can gather about the equipment, training techniques, and the way the dogs look and behave (are they calm, happy, or rather anxious) can help you make the right decision. Also, you should check the organization’s requirements in regard to the age and vaccination records of dogs that can participate in their programs.