How Much Does Puppy Training Cost?

Besides vaccinations, I believe the most important task for every puppy parent is to train their puppy well. The sad truth is that shelters are full of dogs who weren’t trained well as puppies and became too much for their parent to handle.

Yes, some dog breeds are more difficult to train than others, it’s true. That being said, anyone who adopts a puppy should first do their research, which will tell them if a certain breed is difficult to train or not.

I occasionally volunteer at a shelter near my home, and, after a few hours there the other day, I was reminded of how important puppy training truly is. Several dogs at the shelter were obviously untrained but, I’m positive, would make fantastic furry friends with just a little effort.

That’s the key, frankly, effort. Many people adopt a puppy without realizing that it takes time, patience, and persistence to train most puppies. In today’s busy world, all three can be in short supply.

However, today you can find many dog experts who will train your puppy for you.  While undoubtedly super convenient, the biggest question most people have is how much does puppy training cost?

The answer is that, on average, a group dog training class costs about $50 per class. Typically, the average puppy would need about a dozen classes, although you can go as few or as many times as you like.

Another option is an obedience training school which usually runs between $250 and $600 per week. An even more intense program, “boot camp kennel training,” can run between $500 and $1,300 per week.

Big box pet stores, including Petco and PetSmart, also have professional dog training programs. They will run you between $100 and $150 for a six-week program, which is quite reasonable. 

Now that you know how much puppy training costs, it’s likely you have other questions about this critical task. How old should my dog be to start dog training classes, for example, and is private dog training worth it?

Read on for the answers to those questions and several more. I’ve also got some excellent puppy training advice and tips below. It’s real-world info every new pet parent needs to know. 

Is Private Dog Training Worth It?

Whether private dog training is “worth it”  depends on you, the dog owner, and your personal situation. For example, if you work 60 hours a week and simply don’t have the time it takes to train your puppy well, private dog training can be well worth it.

Puppy training takes patience, time, and effort, three things that many people have in short supply these days. Many people are working two or even three jobs to make ends meet.  Trying to fit puppy training somewhere in the few hours of off time you have can be difficult at best.

Also, consider that a private dog trainer will typically be an expert at what they do. That expertise can result in a well-trained adult dog who listens to commands and is a much calmer, more well-adjusted pet.

Of course, if you have the time and patience (and plan to put in the effort), most people can train a puppy well on their own. If you’ve had other dogs before, you might be quite experienced training a dog or puppy. In that case, paying for private training, which can get expensive, might not be worth the extra cost.

However, most veterinarians and dog experts agree that private dog training is time efficient and a great way to ensure that your dog behaves well and is a good companion.

When Should you Start Training a Puppy?

Dog experts and veterinarians recommend that you start training your puppy as soon as you bring them home, typically around eight weeks.

At this age, you don’t want to try and train your puppy with complicated commands but rather stick with the basics, including  “sit,” “stay,” and “come.”

When it comes to professional or formal dog training, the same recommendation holds, which is to start them at around 8 weeks of age. However, many dog experts recommend training your puppy a few basic commands on your own before you enroll them in a puppy training class. 

How Many Training Sessions does a Dog Need?

The question of how many training sessions a dog needs varies from veterinarian to veterinarian and dog trainer to dog trainer. 

One way to answer the question is to look at the length of time a dog training course takes, usually between six and eight weeks. A course that lasts this long will usually consist of bi-weekly training sessions, usually between one and two hours long. In other words, between 12 and 16 training sessions.

If you decide to train your puppy yourself, experts recommend training them once or twice a day, two days a week, for 5-15-minute intervals. They also suggest that if you take your puppy to an hour-long training class, you should give them several breaks during the class so that their attention doesn’t wane.

Can I still Train my 1-Year-Old Dog?

Although veterinarians recommend against starting so late, you can certainly train a 1-year-old dog. Some believe that it’s easier to train older dogs because they have a better, longer attention span.

The biggest challenge when training older dogs is that they may have already learned several bad habits by the time they reach one year old. Breaking those habits can be difficult, take a bit longer, and necessitate more patience and persistence. 

Indeed, one of the first tasks you have when training a 1-year-old dog is that you will first need to “untrain” them. Bad habits they might have learned include, for example, chewing on things, barking when the doorbell rings, and going potty in the house, among others.

Also, if the one-year-old dog you’re trying to train is one you recently adopted or rescued, they may have few (if any) boundaries. Your first task would thus be to train them that boundaries exist and need to be obeyed in your home.

What Age is too Late to Train a Dog?

The answer to this question is simple; it’s never too late to train a dog. Yes, a much older dog might need more training, and you might need to be a lot more patient and persistent, but it’s still possible.

The good news is that most dogs are very eager to please their pet parents, especially rescue dogs who realize how bad things were and appreciate their new home. 

Also, remember that age doesn’t necessarily determine how quickly or how well a dog can learn something. More important is the approach you take to training your dog.

Final Thoughts

Typically, puppy training costs about $50 per class or between $250 and $600 per week, depending on where you go, how many sessions are included, and several other factors. 

Boot camp kennel training will cost between $500 and $1,300 per week. You can also have your puppy trained at a big box pet store like Petco, which will typically be cheaper, between $100 and $150 for a six-week program.

Did you find today’s blog about how much puppy training costs interesting and informative? I hope so and that it answered all of your questions about this essential task that every pet parent must accomplish.

If you have more questions or would like to learn more about how to train, raise and take care of your precious puppy, please see my other blogs. I pack them full of interesting, informative, and actionable information that translates well to the real world of being a dog owner. Until next time, enjoy raising your puppy and training them to be your best buddy!