Limited time only: Get started with a FREE 1:1 onboarding session (a $200 value) and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Redeem Offer

How Much Does Pet Training Cost?

It’s estimated that only 45% of dog owners train their dogs themselves. This leaves the other 55% seeking professional help. Enter your business! But how much does pet training cost? Knowing this number will help you set your prices to keep your business competitive and profitable. 

The average cost for a dog trainer in 2024 falls somewhere between $15 and $24 per hour. This range can fluctuate depending on location, type of training offered, and the dog’s temperament but this is a good baseline for you to work from.

If you’re starting a dog training business or are looking to revamp your pricing, keep reading to learn all the things you need to consider when setting your dog training prices. 

Dog training prices: How to price dog training services.

When launching your dog training business and setting your prices, it's a good idea to start by determining these 3 components of cost and profitability:

  • Fixed costs: These are expenses that remain constant regardless of the number of dogs you train, such as employee salaries, rent or mortgage for your training facility, and utilities.
  • Variable costs: These expenses change depending on the number of dogs you train each week and can include supplies such as training equipment, treats, and training aids.
  • Profit margin: It's vital to ensure that your business's revenue exceeds its costs, so the profit margin must be considered when pricing your training services.

Now that you have a good idea of your costs and the potential profit you would like to make per sale, you can start to factor in other elements that will affect your pricing. 

1. Location.

Location is a big deal when it comes to setting prices for dog training services because higher living costs mean you'll spend more to run your business. So, you'll have to charge more, just like other trainers in the area.

Since the cost of living changes from state to state, the first thing to do is check out what local competitors are charging. For example, if you're in Boise, Idaho, it doesn't make sense to compare your prices to someone in San Francisco since their pricing will be very different.

It's not just about the state, though; the specific area matters too. Renting or owning a space in a busy city center is usually more expensive than in a rural spot, so prices might need to be higher there as well.

All in all, there's a lot to think about when it comes to location, so it's important to know your local market. You can do this by researching other training facilities in the area and getting to know their pricing models. 

5 dogs in a training class for the 'How Much Does Pet Training Cost?' article
Source: iStock

2. Types of training.

The type of training you offer will also affect the prices. Here are 5 types of dog training styles you can consider offering and how each will affect your pet training prices.

1. Puppy training costs.

Puppy training usually involves teaching dogs good habits from the start of their life and making sure they don’t form bad habits. Puppies are often trained in a group setting so they can be socialized with other dogs, which sometimes reduces the dog training cost as it requires fewer resources to involve them in a class.

2. Obedience training costs.

Basic obedience training involves a dog trainer helping to teach dogs basic commands and encouraging them to listen to their owner. 

These days, this is usually done via positive reinforcement, as the American Veterinary Medical Association has endorsed this as the most effective of all training methods with the least damage to the dog. 

Dog obedience training can be done in a group class setting or 1-on-1, depending on the owner’s budget and the needs of the dog. 

3. Therapy dog training costs.

Therapy dog training typically involves higher costs because it is a lengthy process requiring very specific skills. Training a therapy dog demands many private lessons to ensure the dog can perform the necessary tasks and behaviors reliably.

An initial evaluation of the dog's personality is also essential to check if the dog is suited for this type of work. Not all dogs possess the temperament needed to be a successful therapy dog.

The combination of personalized training sessions and thorough assessments contributes to the overall expense, reflecting the dedication and expertise required to prepare a dog for therapeutic roles.

4. Hunting dog training costs.

Training a hunting dog is a lengthy process, as these working dogs require specialized skills to perform effectively in the field. The training involves teaching the dog to respond to specific commands, track, retrieve, and often work in various terrains and weather conditions. The complexity of this training contributes to the overall cost.

Much like therapy dogs, certain breeds are more naturally suited to be hunting dogs than others. The breed's inherent abilities, temperament, and physical attributes play a big role in their suitability for hunting tasks. 

5. Service dog training costs.

Service dog training involves the highest dog training cost, and a professional dog trainer with knowledge, qualifications, and experience. Training a service dog is the most challenging and expensive and takes around 1-2 years

Service dogs can be trained to help with a wide array of issues, including mental disabilities, and physical conditions (such as detecting a drop in blood sugar), and as guide dogs to lead blind people. Specializing in one specific area can allow you to charge more for your services.

dog training man walking with dog heel for the 'How Much Does Pet Training Cost?' article
Source: iStock

3. Trainer credentials.

When it comes to the overall dog training cost, the trainers themselves can play a huge role in setting the prices. The expertise, experience, and reputation of a trainer can significantly influence how much they charge for their services. 

While no formal qualifications are technically required to take on the title of professional dog trainer, it is highly recommended to become accredited, as this builds trust with pet parents.

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers is the most trusted organization. They offer a rigorous 600-hour program to certify someone as a professional dog trainer. This accreditation ensures that trainers have met a high standard of knowledge and skill, which can justify higher training costs.

Although many dog trainers don’t have this qualification, they generally command lower prices for this reason. Without the CCPDT certification, trainers might not have the same level of trust and credibility with clients, which can impact their pricing.

4. Dog age and temperament.

The age and breed of the dog can also play a huge role in setting the pet training prices.

Puppy owners are the ones most likely to seek out professional training, as their dog is still learning basic manners. Many organizations set up group puppy classes which typically cost less than private lessons, though the puppies participating in the class are usually ones without obvious challenges such as separation anxiety or resource guarding (which require more specialized care and individual attention).

How much does it cost to train an aggressive dog?

Training an aggressive dog typically costs more, especially if the dog is older, as it requires a trainer with significant confidence and experience in handling such challenges. Addressing reactivity is a complex process that demands specialized skills and techniques to ensure the safety and well-being of both the dog and the people involved.

Some issues that may manifest as aggression include separation anxiety, resource guarding, and fear-based behaviors that lead to a lack of confidence. The expertise needed to manage and modify aggressive behavior contributes to the higher cost of training for these dogs.

5. Types of Classes.

Finally, the type of class you offer will also determine the price you set for your dog training business.

Online training classes.

Online training classes are the least expensive and often most convenient for pet parents. Online training allows pet owners to participate in dog training from the comfort of their own home and, because it uses less of a business’s resources, it’s more affordable. 

While online training can make it difficult to evaluate the extent of a particular issue, for dogs, where the problems are minor or very common, offering this type of dog training service can be highly profitable.

A business can also set itself up for success by using software like PetExec to schedule appointments and take online payments. 

Group training classes.

Group training classes are a little more expensive than online dog training, but still less expensive than private training sessions. This involves getting a group of dogs together and teaching them the same skills, such as basic obedience.

Private training classes.

Private training classes are more expensive than group training but come with the added advantage of giving individual attention and evaluation to your clients’ dogs. For dogs with specialized issues or dogs who want advanced training—such as agility training, service dog training, etc.—this is sometimes the only viable option to achieve those goals. 

Board and train programs.

Board and train programs (sometimes referred to as boot camp kennel training) are the most expensive, as they involve sending the dogs away with professional dog trainers for a set period of time.

They have pros and cons, as it can be difficult to maintain that training when they return to the owner, but it saves the owner time and lets the dog learn in an environment where the professionals know exactly what they’re doing. You can charge a premium for this type of service.

Woman training two dogs for the 'How Much Does Pet Training Cost?' article
Source: iStock

How much does pet training cost?

The average cost to train a dog is between $15.18 to $24.64 per hour in the United States, but there are so many variables that this can get significantly higher. For example, a board and train or specialized service dog training will typically exceed that, especially in a location with a high cost of living.

Owners will have to evaluate their needs against your business, which is why it’s important to study the competition carefully and price your dog training competitively while keeping in mind profitably. 

Use PetExec’s software for your dog training business.

When you’ve decided on your dog training prices, PetExec’s software can help set your business up for success by scheduling different types of dog training classes, making sure classes don’t exceed a certain number, and taking deposits and payments from customers. 

Check out a demo of our software today!

Commonly asked questions.

How much should you spend on dog training?

For pet parents, how much they should spend on dog training is a very personal question that depends on their budget, their end goal, and any issues they currently have. For example, teaching a well-socialized dog some more basic manners will be less expensive than training a service dog.

Is it worth it to send a dog to training?

It’s usually worth it to send a dog to training, as it puts their success in the hands of an expert with qualifications and experience. Many owners will make mistakes that can prohibit progress, whereas putting the training in the hands of an expert can minimize any setbacks. 

How many training sessions does a dog need?

How many training sessions a dog needs for success depends on a few factors, such as if they’re in group classes or private lessons, what the issues currently are, and what the end goal is. Having a conversation between trainer and client about the expected length of time to reach goals is important, and should keep everyone on the same page.

Contact us

Featured Articles

Download & Share

Let's get to know each other

We're always looking to meet our next packmate — reach out and say hello.