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How Much Is Dog Training? Useful Tips to Find the Best Price

How Much Is Dog Training? Useful Tips to Find the Best Price

Learn how much dog training is and the types of training. Plus, check out a few tips to help you save money and still teach your pup to sit.


There’s a reason dogs are called “man’s best friend.” They’re loyal, playful, and wonderful companions. But, like all relationships, your friendship with your dog doesn’t always come naturally. Your puppy needs help understanding their place in your “pack” — and that’s where training comes in. Dog obedience training helps strengthen your bond with your dog, make them more friendly with other animals and humans, and curb unwanted behavioral issues. 

Of course, training a dog is a specialized skill, so many pet owners seek help from professional dog trainers when they start teaching their pups. But how much is dog training, and should you pursue a private or group session for your dog? 

Here’s all you can expect, plus some tips on finding the best price. 

Types of dog training

Some people can get a new puppy to sit, stay, and roll over with just a few dog training books and a stern tone of voice. But others hire trainers who can teach their dogs the basics of obedience. If you decide to work with a dog trainer, here are a few options: 

Private dog training

Private lessons typically occur in your home or at a trainer’s special facility. In these classes, the trainer works with you and your dog one-on-one, dedicating all their attention to your pup’s unique needs. This is ideal for people whose dogs have a history of “bad behavior” or aren’t ready for socialization. 

Private dog training costs vary based on your location and the company you hire. For instance, trainers at PetSmart offer private classes for $89 per hour nationwide, while professionals running their own training businesses in New York City charge as much as $400 hourly.

Group dog training

Have you ever visited a PetCo and found a group of dog owners practicing commands in a closed-off space? That’s one example of a group training class. For these lessons, trainers work with around 10 dogs and their owners to teach various skills. The tricks you learn depend on your class, and they can vary from walking on a leash to jumping and agility training. 

Most group classes are more affordable than private dog training. For example, PetCo offers a 6-week Canine Good Citizen (CGC) puppy training for $179 — around $29 hourly. But remember, group classes mean spending time with other dogs, so your pet must be ready for that socialization.


Private lessons and classes at PetCo are great resources for you and your dog, but they require you to be present for the training. If you want to train your dog but don’t have the time to be there, a board-and-train program is the solution. In this lesson, you can drop your dog in these facilities during the day (like daycare) or for several days if more intense training is necessary. 

Board-and-train facilities give your pet uninterrupted time working with a dog trainer, helping them build relationships and learn new skills quickly. But unsurprisingly, board-and-training is not cheap. These programs cost around $1,000–$2,500 for a two-week stay.   


What influences dog training cost?

The prices listed above give you a rough idea of how much dog training is per hour. But no two dogs are exactly alike, and a pet’s needs can dramatically change the final bill you get from a trainer. Here are just a few factors that can affect your training bill: 

Dog’s age and temperament

To paraphrase the old saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks — but it’s trickier. Adult dogs are more likely to have “bad” behaviors and hard-to-break habits, making it more challenging to train them effectively. Therefore, trainers may charge more to work with a grown dog than a puppy.

Type of training

As mentioned, there’s a significant price difference between group classes at your local pet store and full-time care at a board-and-training facility. There is a similar price difference between casual training (such as learning to sit) and specialized training. If you want to train your pet to do agility competitions or become a service dog, expect to pay a little extra. 

Trainer’s credentials

While the dog training industry is largely unregulated, some schools offer dog training certification. Someone with a credential like Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) likely has more experience and education about training your pooch. Still, they’re also probably more expensive than an uncertified trainer.

How can you save on dog training?

Dog training is valuable for both pets and owners, but costs can stand in the way of quality training. If you’re worried about paying to train your dog, here are a few money-saving tips to try:

  • Take a group class: Group classes are usually more affordable than private lessons, as the teacher must divide their attention across all dogs. If your pup can handle being around other dogs, this can be an easy way to get your canine trained without going broke.
  • Train on “off” days: Most dog trainers have packed weekend schedules, as Saturdays and Sundays are the days most pet owners are available. But if you have room in your schedule, see if your trainer will meet up during the week. These days have less demand, and you may even get a discount for your lesson. 
  • Ask about rescue discounts: Some rescue dogs qualify for subsidized training through their animal shelters. You can call the humane society or shelter and find out if your dog’s former home has one of these programs and whether your pup can receive training at a reduced rate. 
  • Train online instead of in-home: Many dog trainers today offer online classes and seminars. These can be more affordable than in-person training, allowing your pup to learn at home. 

3 things to look for when hiring a dog trainer

Excellent dog training is about finding the right price and the right trainer. When looking for someone to teach your dog, try to find a professional who’s kind, patient, and passionate about helping you and your pet learn together. Here are three important details to look for when hiring a dog trainer:

  1. Has successfully trained dogs like yours: Ask the trainer to share client testimonials as well as before and after videos of dogs (especially like yours). Checking evidence before enrolling your dog with a trainer helps you project results and leaves you assured that your pooch is in safe hands.  
  2. Welcomes your questions without making you feel inadequate: A good trainer isn’t just teaching your dog a few tricks. They’re also teaching you how to use those techniques with your pet. Look for a trainer who’s communication style doesn’t make you feel dumb, small, or like a bad dog owner. They must answer all your questions (whether significant or not) with the same tone and intention.
  3. Can educate you on different tools and approaches: Dog training is a lot like the nutrition world –– people have very strong feelings on either side of the spectrum. That’s why it's important that you hire a dog trainer who can help you navigate the best suitable training philosophy. They must also teach you about all the required tools and techniques your canine may need during training.  

Learn more about training with Practice

Training your dog is an important part of pet ownership, and the right trainer can lay the foundation for a great relationship with your four-legged friend. Practice can help you learn a lot about training and trainers. Our resource library has a wealth of articles to guide you and help you make intelligent decisions. You can also find a great trainer within our extensive community — just remember to research before signing a contract.

But if you are on the other end of the spectrum looking to become a dog trainer and wondering how to start a dog training business, Practice is a great place to advertise your services. Try our services to see how we can help you spread the word and land your first client.

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