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When speaking about puppy training, there two possible strategies: training on your own at home or training done by dog specialist in a designated training facility. Puppy training classes are offered throughout the nation and have gained immense popularity because, they are really helpful. You get exactly what you are paying for: diligent and properly trained puppy with exemplary conduct and great habits that will help it become an adult dog that you will be proud of. Before rushing to the local puppy training school, we suggest you to read this big article in order to understand this industry. Before we proceed to well-known names on the market, let’s talk about the price.
Puppy Training Classes Prices
No more intro, just raw statistics:
- Classes at local community center or pet store are offered at price between 40 and 125 dollars for four-eight weekly 1-hour sessions. Puppy classes cost less than adult dog classes.
- Private classes with an instructor are the costliest: starting at 30 dollars and topping 100 and even more it is the ultimate solution best applicable to dogs with excessive aggression or shyness.
- Dog obedience schools cost from $1,000 to $2,500 and more for 2-4 weeks of board-and-train. This is the best option because, the dog lives at trainer’s home or right in the facility and receives every day several hours of training and attention.
What the cost should include:
- Classes dedicated to housebreaking, biting, digging, barking.
- Basic obedience classes for dogs older than five months, covering commands and hand signals. Every dog graduating from the classes should be able to pass the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test.
- Advanced obedience classes, covering behavior in complex situations with distraction.
- Handouts for home practice. Many instructors are available for calls or e-mail messaging between classes to answer questions.
You should know that every training, schools reserve the right for own pricing and services, included in packages purchased so saying that the cost MUST include any of the positions mentioned above is wrong. The positions mentioned reflect statistical medium only.
- The instructor may ask you to purchase dog treats or a clicker, a short leash – total for less than $50.
- A dog showing a serious behavior problem must be evaluated by a behaviorist. A veterinary behaviorist may charge $130 or more per hour and a typical consultation runs three hours for a total of $400. The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists can provide you with a list of certified behaviorists.
Depending on the strategy of the particular training establishment, your additional expenditures can vary or not take place at all.
PetCo Puppy Training Classes
PetCo is a famous pet retailer, offering a vast variety of products as well as training sessions (more about Petco.com/dog-training). Having more than 1400 locations throughout the US, PetCo is one of the leading training facilities that aims at various ages and levels of background training. Here is the list of classes that PetCo offers:
- Puppy level 1: a 6-weeks group class introducing 2-4 months old puppies to socialization. It teaches the puppy basic commands including “sit”, leash walking and “come” when called. This class also covers potty training, chewing, digging, teething and other problems.
- Puppy level 2: a 6-weeks group class, aimed at teaching 4-6 months old puppies expanded lessons from Level 1. In this class, your puppy is taught with the help of treats and classes are expanded with fun activities.
- Puppy Essentials Package: a comprehensive two-class package including levels 1 and 2 and AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test.
- Puppy Complete Package: the very best that a puppy can get from training. A three-class package comprising levels 1, 2, one of adult dog classes, AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy test and a private lesson.
- Adult Dog Level 1: for dogs over 6 months old. A 6-week introductory group class aimed at helping dogs to communicate with mature dogs and puppies. Dogs are taught “wait”, “leave it” and walking on loose leash. The class also covers jumping, digging and barking.
- Adult Dog Level 2: for dogs that graduated from Adult level 1. A 6-weeks group class that expands lessons taught in level 1. At these classes the dog is taught with distractions in order to teach it to listen in any situation.
- Canine Good Citizen Class: for dogs that completed Adult level 2. Certification accredited by The American kennel Club is a high standard for dog behavior. This class prepares your dog for the CGC test and improves its behavior.
- Adult Dog Essentials Package: a comprehensive two-class starter including adult levels 1, 2 or Canine Good Citizen class plus the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.
- Adult Dog Complete Package: a three-class package including levels 1 and 2, a private lesson, AKC Canine Good Citizen class and the AKC Canine Good Citizen test.
Before opting for a particular class, evaluate the extent to which you want your puppy/adult dog to be trained.
PetSmart Puppy Training Classes
PetSmart is another big major concentrating on sales and services. Employing more than 53,000 associates and operating 1433 pet stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, PetSmart is a force to be reckoned with (see also Petsmart.com). PetSmart also offers several training classes:
- Puppy training: for puppies of age between 10 weeks-5months. A 6-weeks training class aimed at reinforcing good behavior in general. The class covers: cues like “come”, “stay” and “sit”, basic manners, loose-leash walking and socialization with dogs and other people.
- Beginner training: for dogs of 5 months old and up with no previous training. A 6-weeks course covering basic behavior. Class teaches the dog to sit, come and leave it; basic house manners, leash walking and problem solving are also included.
- Intermediate training: for already experienced dogs that know basic commands. A 6-week course teaching cues in environment with distraction, more distance and involving duration. During the class, all learned behavior is reviewed and practiced in new environment with distractions. As for cues, the dog learns to heel, wait, go to bed and more. In order for your dog to be eligible, it must have undergone puppy training, beginner training or another comparable skill level.
- Advanced training: a 6-weeks course aiming at more complex behavior. This course teaches a dog cues with fewer rewards, masters advanced behavior, helps the dog to feel comfortable and behave correctly on supervised separation. Also, more distractions added which makes this course the most challenging. This is why intermediate training is required. All participants at the end of the course get a graduation diploma.
- Private dog training: one-on-one training with an accredited trainer. An opportunity for owners of shy, aggressive or restless dogs to change their behavior completely.
- Personal training camp: a 30-minutes session providing special attention from an accredited instructor.
- Trick training: a special 6-weeks course for adult dogs (5 months old with no previous training). This class teaches playful tricks with the help of a clicker. Such advanced cues as “crawl”, “take a bow”, “roll over” and “high five” are covered.
Warning! In order to be eligible for any class described, you need to present the proof of current distemper, parvovirus and parainfluenza vaccinations. Also, any dog over 4 months old must be vaccinated against rabies – the proof to be presented when applying to classes.
Online Puppy Training Classes
If you can train your puppy at home, consider the aid of online training classes. They provide you with very helpful hints, tips and much of advice that cover all trait of behavior seen in a dog. If you need special behavior help or basic obedience training tips, consider CyberDog and E-Training for Dogs. It was founded and run by Cheryl Asmus-Aguiar, Ph.D. Today, many top trainers offer their knowledge via online lessons. Some even offer one-on-one supervision: you get an assignment online, record the video of the training done at home, you send it back to the instructor and get his feedback. If you are interested in such approach, we suggest you to learn much about Susan Garret of Say Yes! Dog Training (clickerdogs.com), Linda Mecklenburg of Awesome Paws (awesomepaws.us), and Daisy Peel (daisypeel.com).
For less formal training, you may also check out tons of videos on YouTube by searching for “dog training”, “obedience training” or “dog agility training” and so on. If you have taken an online course, feel free to tell us about it so that, more readers could learn about your own helpful experience!
Many people and dog experts think that, spending time for home training especially backed with videos is pointless. It’s just a myth stating that you may have no patience. It’s all about your decisiveness: you can make incredible progress with command and obedience training just in a matter of one month. All you need to ensure this progress is to learn about puppy’s behavior and follow the training rules we described in this big article.