Dog training cost expectations

Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
570
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
Hi All, I just want to see if I’m not losing my mind here.

Our beloved border collie lab Sadie passed away at 15 in March this year. Two months ago we adopted two large dogs Sophie and Siena (6 year old bonded pair one being Border Collie, Lab the other German Shepherd, Boxer, Pitbull, and god knows what else but an absolute brick ****house and a big sweetie). They’ve been fantastic as many 6 year old dogs are, we intended to get them trained but ran into a snag when nearly every Arizona trainer we reached out to did not want to do classes until the weather cooled down.


As I’ve said they’ve been very easy wonderful dogs with no behavior problems inside the house or at the dog park, outside of severe leash reactivity/aggression on walks.

We started reaching out to trainers in the area because this leash thing is becoming a serious concern (especially with 2 dogs) and we’re getting into better/cooler weather. I was expecting to take a $1200-1500 hit for two dogs in a hybrid 1:1 followed by group scenario. In the past (10 years ago) I paid $550 for Sadie which included a Herm Sprenger collar (I think I bought the dogtra myself but never actually trained on it since her recall was amazing and I found it kind of pointless for us). Holy cow have I been wrong.

Cheapest I’ve been presented with is $3000, and most trainers seem to be 4 grand plus with a lot wanting us to do board and train. I get we’re a special case since we’d definitely need 1:1 initially for 1-2 sessions but **** wanted to see if that was normal before cutting such a check because it seems like that is pretty crazy considering that we really mostly want to do group work.

FWIW these won’t be hunting dogs, they need to be able to heel, recall, place, and be able to walk past another dog on a leash. They already are fairly easy to walk and sit/place quite well. Really the only challenge is leash reactivity. I bet I could get the rest with volume but at a combined 140lbs I want a professional there when we start introducing dogs up close while on leash and muzzle.
 
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Joined
Jul 23, 2021
Messages
1,323
Location
PA
I applaud you wanting to train them. That is the paramount responsible decision. I wish more people did. I see so many bad dog owners that create bad dogs.

The pricetag, well that is staggering. I've been lucky enough to be able to teach/train my dogs to generally behave with some simple love, attention, and affection. I think I took one dog to a Petsmart training class that was about 50 bucks. Other dogs, just require patience, consistency, discipline, persistence, etc. If you don't have the time/ability, then yeah I guess prepare to pay professionals.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
Messages
5,257
Location
Great Lakes
Obviously it’s going to depend on where you are, how long, and what kind of training but IMO $3,000 is ridiculous for some relatively “basic” training. A highly regarded trainer near me has a “board and train” program that is very thorough if you do the 2 week program ($2,000), and a very good 1 week ($900) where they get the basics down (leash obedience including sit, down, heel, recall, establishing a stay foundation, socialization with other dogs and animals, field trips to dog friendly places.

They also offer 1 on 1 lessons for an hour at a time at $80/hour or 6 weeks for $400.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2003
Messages
481
Location
Noblesville, IN
It’s around a grand here for a week Indianapolis area. Collar extra if they use that system. Ours used ecollar from indiana. I’m sure some will be higher and some starting off will be lower
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
2,778
Location
South Carolina
I have a trained service dog through a veteran organization, one I also volunteer with and friends with the owner. There's no reason to pay $3,000 for basic training. You can train the dog to obey basic commands at home. Commands like sit, down, heel, and stay are mostly products of just repetition. Further commands like automatic sit when stopping, downing in motion, food avoidance, heeling with objects (like when pushing a cart), and ignoring/reacting to noises can also be trained with fairly simple repetition. If it's a temperament issue such as aggression, excessive barking, skitish/shyness, etc... then that'll require more indepth training. Some dogs are more stubborn than others and some breeds are easier to train than others.

I use a prong collar for training. Some people bash them, saying they're inhumane, but they actually cause no harm to the dog when fitted and used correctly. I also keep a pouch full of treats ready and use overwhelming positive reinforcement when they perform the command correctly.

My dog, I have her trained for both verbal and hand commands. The command "sit" is a like doing a sideways peace sign with your middle and index fingers. I can be 100 ft away and give that sign with my hand, and my dog will sit. The same with the down command which for me is just using a flat palm (facing downward) and motion toward the ground. I can down her and walk completely out of view for several minutes, come back, and she'll still be laying right where I downed her. Snapping my fingers is my command to come to me. I can walk out of view for a while, snap my fingers, and she'll come running. When I have her out in public, she will not acknowledge other dogs, even when the annoying little chihuahua with a massive superiority complex keeps barking at her. When I stop walking, she stops and sits next to me. I also have her trained to ride in the car with the top down.
 
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
906
Location
Off World
"Bonding and Positive Reinforcement" worked for me. But, our best friends have their unique personalities as their human counter-parts. I have a GSD. Incredibly intelligent!
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2011
Messages
4,079
Prices and skills are all over the place. One woman near me in Hudson Valley NY charges 2k but she takes your dog for 3 weeks. I've had 2 friends use her and my, IDK what she does but she sure gets results. You can walk your dog leashless and they will not stray when she's done.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
1,243
Location
CA
Obviously it’s going to depend on where you are, how long, and what kind of training but IMO $3,000 is ridiculous for some relatively “basic” training. A highly regarded trainer near me has a “board and train” program that is very thorough if you do the 2 week program ($2,000), and a very good 1 week ($900) where they get the basics down (leash obedience including sit, down, heel, recall, establishing a stay foundation, socialization with other dogs and animals, field trips to dog friendly places.

They also offer 1 on 1 lessons for an hour at a time at $80/hour or 6 weeks for $400.
I turned my border collie pup and my new wire haired terrier into rock solid obedience dogs with some you tube videos (and much effort). No leash, rock solid recall, immediate drops, look backs, direction changes, holds until the world ends, “leave it” like it bit them, etc.

Save the money and spend a couple hours online finding something that works and then be consistent. Very few people can, so good luck.

And buy a clicker.
 
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Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
1,064
Location
Central Indiana
On a side note.

In the small town I live in, I 've noticed on several occasions an aggressively tatooed shirtless young man walking his Pit Bull right through town. Dog is not on a leash. Keeps in perfect step with his owner. NEVER deviates from owner's side. Is never distracted.

Don't recommend this, but must admit, I'm impressed.

Would like to know the owner's training program.
 
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