When trying to determine the quality of a product, price¬†is often an indication of its value. This¬†philosophy¬†doesn’t always¬†apply to dog training. Since¬†the industry¬†is unregulated nearly anyone can say they’re a dog trainer and charge some pretty hefty prices¬†as well.
In my opinion, the worst offenders¬†tend to be board-and-train facilities who promise a well-trained dog in two-weeks¬†… often charging unsuspecting owners upwards of $2,500. To make matters worse, many¬†claim¬†their¬†staff are certified when they¬†are not.¬†
My¬†best advice when looking for a trainer? Search for a certified trainer and beware of any who certify their own staff. This includes big box pet supply store chains as well as¬†board-and-train facilities.
The only reliable indication that¬†a trainer is certified is¬†when they’re¬†credentialed by any of the following independent certifying bodies: International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Certification Council¬†for Professional Dog Trainers, Karen Pryor Academy, San Francisco SPCA,¬†American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (Diplomat of), or holds a Masters Degree or PhD from a¬†recognized and respected university in applied animal behavior science.
Dog training prices¬†may vary depending upon where you live in the¬†United States.¬†The experience and education level of the trainer is also a¬†factor. The following is a general estimate¬†of what one might expect to pay in New Jersey for a fully credentialed, certified dog trainer:
Basic Training – Private in-home*¬†(1-hr session)
Puppies $80-$125 per¬†session
Adolescents and Adults: $125-$150¬†per session
With detailed written behavior assessment and training plan(s)
Fear, Anxiety & Stress¬†– Private in-home*¬†(1-hr session)
$150-$400 per session
— With detailed written behavior assessment and training plan(s).
— Trainer encourages communication¬†with pet’s veterinarian
Aggression¬†– Private in-home* (1-hr session)
— With detailed written behavior assessment and training plan(s)
— Trainer encourages communication with pet’s veterinarian
Group Classes (six, 1-hr sessions)
Veterinary Behaviorist*, Applied Animal Behaviorist¬†(1-hr session)
$800-$1000 per session
— With detailed written behavior assessment and training plan(s).¬†
—¬†Behaviorist encourages communication¬†with pet’s veterinarian.
*May¬†include added charges, such as for travel, medical testing, laboratory studies, etc.
Karen Fazio, CDBC¬†is the owner of¬†The Dog Super Nanny¬†professional dog training and is the Director of Behavior at¬†Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital¬†in Monmouth County, NJ. She may be reached at 732-533-9376 or¬†email@example.com