If you’re budgeting for a puppy or a dog, the cost of puppy training is a huge consideration – and way more important than you might think.

Welcoming a new, furry friend into your home is an exciting time for pet parents. Training your puppy is a fundamental part of this journey. With options ranging from group classes to private lessons, it’s essential to understand the value and importance of early training for a life of positive behaviors. Are you a pet owner questioning, “How much does dog training cost?” This article aims to provide an informed decision on investing in your pup’s education. Here, we’ll delve into important aspects such as the cost of professional dog trainers, breakdowns of specific training programs, and factors that influence dog training prices. Whether you’re considering basic obedience for a young puppy or specialized training like service dog or emotional support dog lessons, we’ve got you covered. Let’s help you navigate budgeting for your well-trained dog, a priceless companion for life.

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Puppy training can cost as little or as much as you have, essentially. And don’t be fooled into thinking these costs are avoidable…

Understanding the Types of Puppy Training Available

Navigating the world of puppy training can feel overwhelming for new dog owners. The key to a well-trained dog lies not just in the choice of training but in selecting the option that best aligns with your and your furry friend’s needs. Here, we explore various training options, from dog training classes in a group setting to more personalized approaches.

Note: These average prices are formed based on industry ‘standards’, yes you will see trainers below that, and trainers above that. It will also fluctuate depending your location.

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Having access to a professional is hugely valuable.

Group Classes

Average Cost: $200

Range: $100-400 – 6 sessions

Group classes are a great way for your puppy to learn basic cues and good behavior while socializing with other dogs. These sessions encourage positive reinforcement methods, led by experienced dog trainers who often have years of experience. Group settings can also provide a sense of community for pet owners, sharing tips and experiences that go beyond basic obedience training.

Individual/Private Sessions

Average cost: $120/hr

Range: $80-300/hr

Private training lessons offer a tailored experience for your pup, addressing specific issues or advancing through training programs at your dog’s pace. Professional dog trainers focus on specific needs, such as leash manners or behavior modification, providing undivided attention that’s hard to achieve in larger classes. Private sessions can occur at a training facility or the comfort of your home, offering flexibility for busy pet parents.

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Kong’s are confusing, huh? They’re great tools, but they’re also really useful for stimulating your puppy’s brain – you just have to do it right.

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Online Training Programs

Average Cost: $120/hr

Range: $50-5,000

With the rise of digital solutions, online classes for dog training have gained popularity. These programs provide pet owners with the flexibility to train their dogs from anywhere at any time. Whether it’s basic potty training or more advanced training, online platforms offer a plethora of resources. Though lacking the hands-on approach, they’re a valuable alternative for those with limited access to in-person training options.

Board & Train Programs

Average Cost: $2,500

Range: $1,000-$10,000

These are sometimes called a boot camp. For those seeking an intensive training solution, residential boot camps can offer comprehensive dog training programs. Your puppy stays at the training facility for a set amount of time, learning everything from crate training to advanced obedience under the guidance of professional trainers. This kind of training is beneficial for addressing behavioral issues, ensuring a well-trained dog returns home. However, it’s essential to consider the emotional impact of separation and choose a reputable program that aligns with positive training methods.

Each training method comes with its own set of benefits and considerations. Whether it’s engaging in playful learning in puppy classes, solving behavioral puzzles in private sessions, or tapping into the convenience of online training, the goal remains the same: fostering a life-long bond between you and your beloved dog.

Note: These types of situations are often punishment based, so ensure that if you are going to a board and train environment is based in the realm of positive reinforcement only. 

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dog sports are wonderful for confidence!

Factors That Affect Puppy Training Costs

Understanding what goes into the cost of dog training can help pet parents make an informed decision on the best training programs for their furry family members. Several factors can influence the price of dog training, ranging from the training’s location to the specific needs and skill level of your puppy. Below, we delve into these factors, providing insight into what affects average costs.


The cost of dog training can significantly vary depending on your geographical location. Metropolitan areas with a higher cost of living tend to have higher dog trainer costs due to increased operating expenses. Conversely, pet owners in more rural areas might find more affordable options, though fewer in number.

Experience and Credentials of the Trainer

The experience and qualifications of a professional dog trainer directly influence training prices. Certified trainers or those with years of experience and specialized training (e.g., KPA, CDBC, VSA, IMDT, or certification from the American Kennel Club) typically command higher fees. Their expertise in handling specific behavioral issues or training service dogs ensures your pup receives high-quality training, translating into more substantial investment.

Duration and Frequency of Sessions

The length and number of training sessions play a pivotal role in determining the overall cost. Intensive boot camps or advanced obedience classes that require more prolonged engagement will naturally cost more than basic puppy classes. Similarly, opting for ongoing private lessons to address long-term behavioral modification can accumulate higher costs but offer personalized attention and tailored training programs.

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simple obedience training tends to cost a lot less than behavioral training.

Type of Training

The nature of the training itself—whether it’s basic obedience training, socialization, crate training, or preparation for becoming an assistance dog—also affects the price. Courses like Obedience, Dog Sports and Good Citizen courses tend to be on the more affordable end of the spectrum, however, training for more problem behaviors require more expertise, and more time to be invested. So issues like separation anxiety, reactivity or service animal work will be more expensive, and more in depth, and may need the support of a specialised trainer or dog behaviorist.

Remember: Ensure You Get A Certified Trainer

Your dog’s training isn’t worth putting in the hands of a trainer who isn’t qualified, and isn’t committed to the most up-to date methods of training. Afterall, you’d want your doctor, your dentist, or whoever to have those qualifications, don’t settle when it comes to your dog.

Making A Decision: Choosing the Right Training for Your Budget

Selecting the right dog training service goes beyond merely asking, “how much does dog training cost?” Pet parents need to balance their budget with their puppy’s specific needs. Short-term investments in basic obedience training or group classes may seem light on the pocket now, yet leave room for undressed issues to grow, possibly leading to pricier private sessions later. Conversely, it might be worth considering a long-term investment in personalized training or more advanced programs upfront. While more costly initially, your puppy benefits from a solid training foundation, potentially saving on additional training down the line. Remember, investing in quality training, whether service dog training or simple potty training, betters your dog’s quality of life and amplifies the joy of your journey together. Leash manners, crate training or specific tasks mastered early can create a happier, well-adjusted furry friend, culminating in a priceless bond for a lifetime.

Additional Costs to Consider

Planning for puppy training must include additional expenses that can impact your budget.

Training Materials and Tools

Essential training supplies such as leashes, clickers, and crates add to the cost. Specialized equipment for advanced training will increase it further. Some training will promote the use of ecollars or prong collars and include this in the price, just be aware that these are not recommended training methods and cause a lot of risk to your dog and their wellbeing.

Potential Travel Expenses

Transport costs, whether fuel or public transportation fares, for getting to the training facility should be factored in.

Supplementary Sessions

Some puppies may need extra sessions to master specific skills or tackle behavioral issues, increasing the total training cost.

Keep in mind that a well-trained dog is a long-term investment that enhances your bond with your pet and reduces the likelihood of destructive behavior.

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Group classes can be great, but some pups find them overwhelming.

Tips for Finding Cost-Effective Puppy Training

It’s possible to find affordable puppy training options without compromising on quality. Here are some practical tips:

1 – Research and Compare Local Trainer Prices

Investigate various trainers in your area, noting their experience, the services they offer, and their prices. Comparing this information can help identify a cost-effective, high-quality trainer.

2 – Look for Package Deals or Off-Peak Discounts

Some dog trainers may offer packaged training programs or discounts during off-peak times, or around black Friday for any online training. These can significantly reduce the overall expenses compared to paying for individual sessions.

3 – Explore Community Classes or Non-Profit Organization Offerings

Local community classes, often conducted in parks, or non-profit animal organizations might offer cost-friendly or even free puppy training services. They are an excellent avenue to seek essential training while on a budget.

Being mindful of these potential savings while still focusing on the quality and compatibility of training with your pup’s needs can result in a more affordable and successful training experience.

Puppy Training Is Needed

In conclusion, training your puppy is a worthwhile investment. While it can seem overwhelming or costly, there are cost-effective ways to achieve it without compromising on quality training. Explore various options, compare costs, and remember to factor in additional expenses. A more affordable and comprehensive option is the Rebarkable Puppy Bundle, which offers a range of guides by a professional trainer. Its positive reinforcement approach offers lasting results, with the ultimate goal of strengthening the bond you share with your canine companion.

Start your joyful and effective pet parenting journey today with the Rebarkable Puppy Bundle.

Author, Ali Smith

Ali Smith is a professional, qualified, and multi-award winning trainer is the founder of rebarkable. She has always believed animals deserve kindness and champions force free methods. Believing that dog guardians will all choose the kindest options if proper information is provided, she aims to help all dog guardians who need it and make dog training as accessible as possible

Ali lives win Maryland, US with her husband and her three dogs.

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