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Are dog training classes worth the time and effort?

black german shepherd outside being trained to learn the sit command

After adding a new puppy or dog to your household, you are going to want to train your dog beyond basic house training in order to fully integrate them into your family. This can be either easy or difficult depending on the dog's personality, temperament, and breed. I know you are wondering "what can I do to make training easier for me and my dog?" The answer is for you and your new furry friend to attend training classes.

Before you go run out for the first training class, you need to remember that this is a time commitment for you and your pup that must be maintained in order to be successful. You need to make sure that you have the time available to participate in the classes.

With that said, let's talk about the different routes you can go for you to take so you can successfully train your pup.

Online/Video Training Classes

For people with very chaotic schedules, there are many resources out there to help you train your dog from the comfort of your own home.

Free Training

There are many sites that have instructions for training your dog utilizing text, pictures, and videos to give you the step by step directions for training your dog. By training your dog yourself, you can work at your own pace at your preferred schedule.

This can be very convenient for people who have busy work schedules. The process does require some discipline on your part to set a schedule for working with your dog consistently. I would only recommend this method if your options are really limited.

Paid e-Learning Training Courses

Online training classes for your dog can be another way for you to approach training your dog. The courses will be designed to take you through the training process with your dog at a set, structured pace to help guide you and your dog. These courses can be quite convenient for you since they can be accessed during the times you have available to work at training your dog.

Unlike free training advice, e-learning dog training is heavily structured to ensure a thorough training program and will have a cost connected to them depending on the program you have selected.

Prices can vary depending on the service. Here are a couple of sites available:

Live Dog Training

While the online/video training may be tempting, it can be rather difficult. If you are like me, it can be a lot easier to training your dog with a certified trainer right in front of you. There are a couple of options you can go for having a live person there to help you and your dog through the training process.

Private Dog Trainer 1

Some people like the idea of being able to have a trainer work with them and their dog without the worry of having to adjust schedules to make it somewhere for a class. Private dog trainers are able to be scheduled at various times during the day which can create convenience for you. The training will be able to provide you and your dog consistent training so that your pup doesn't pick up incorrect behaviors while being trained.

While private trainers are very tempting, their expertise and time come at a price depending on the level of service they are providing for you and your dog. On average, a private trainer can range from $70-$900 depending on the program and number of classes provided by the trainer at the trainer's site. It can be around $3,000 for trainer to come to your home for the training sessions. So, the private trainer can be a bit costly for the benefit of personalized training.

Dog Training Classes at Pet Stores

Finding a place to train your dog can sometimes be daunting, however there are many pet stores like PetSmart and PetCo who offer training courses for you and your pooch. These training classes are offered during the week and on the weekends depending on the availability of the trainers and posted schedule. The trainers are certified and will usually work with dogs in a group.

The benefits of the pet store dog classes are that they provide training programs which are broken down into age group courses for puppies and adult dogs. The classes will consist of a couple of puppies or dogs depending on the class, which will help with socialization of your dog.

The sessions are usually packaged together for around six classes for around $120. These training classes provide you with the lower costs of training your dog with a professional while still being available during your weekends off. The sessions are cheap and can be quite beneficial for your dog.

AKC Training

The American Kennel Club (AKC) provide a wide variety of training classes for puppies and adult dogs which include classes training your dog in general, sport, or even show competitions. These classes are usually done in the evening depending on the trainer. The classes can range in time span depending on the type of class, for example the S.T.A.R. Puppy Program lasts for about 6 weeks.

The classes help with training and socialization of your dog or puppy to allow for effective, well-rounded experience. Typically, the classes are attended by owners of purebred dogs however the AKC will still allow for mixed breed dog to participate in the classes.

Each trainer is a certified trainer who will help you train your dog, and will evaluate the owner and dog to assess if effective training has taken place. For price, the training class prices will vary depending on the trainer in your area. You can search for certified evaluators on the AKC website based on state, so you can contact them about dates of sessions and the fees related to them.

  • 1: 2018 Average Private Dog Training Cost (with Price Factors). Thumbtack, 25 Oct. 2017,

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