Everyone knows how mischievous and adventurous dogs can be, but it’s also important that they’re well-behaved, and understand what their owners want and need them to do. That’s why training should be a fundamental part of your dog’s development - and can improve you and your pup’s quality of life for years to come.
As an owner, you can approach training in a number of ways, including training your dog yourself, or going to see a professional. In this article, we’re going to discuss the value of dog training, what types of training strategy you might use, and how much you can expect to pay if you go for a professional trainer.
The true value of dog training
Training your dog isn't just about teaching it to sit or stay, it's about fostering a loving, harmonious relationship, built on mutual understanding.
Untrained dogs can be anxious and fearful, and may be difficult to control. In the worst cases, untrained dogs may even be a danger to themselves or others. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to train dogs - all of which are rewarding for owners and pups alike. With that in mind, dog training serves numerous practical purposes, including:
Behaviour management - to help develop well-mannered, obedient dogs
Communication - to help owners convey commands to their dogs, and for dogs to respond appropriately
Bonding - to improve the social and emotional connection between owners and their dogs
Safety - to ensure that dogs can navigate the world without getting hurt, or hurting others
Socialisation - to help dogs interact with other humans and animals in a positive and rewarding manner
Regulatory compliance - to ensure dogs meet certain behavioural standards required by law (for example, guide dogs or assistance dogs)
Confidence - to make dogs more self-assured and able to adapt to new situations without fear or anxiety
The value of dog training goes beyond its practical benefits: well-trained dogs are happier, safer, and form stronger bonds with their owners. It’s never too early to start training your dog: the earlier you begin, the quicker your pup will become comfortable with itself, with other dogs and humans, and with the outside world - and the more time you’ll have to go on adventures with it!
What types of dog training are available?
Dog training takes many different forms, so think about what you and your dog need.
It’s worth doing a bit of research before you decide how you want to approach training. If your dog is naturally calm and well-behaved, and if you feel up to it, you may be able to train it yourself. You could look at online resources and literature for training tips and advice, talk to other dog owners, and draw up a training plan that suits your dog’s individual needs.
If you feel less confident about taking on training yourself, or if you have specific training goals, it might be worth looking at a professional training course. There are plenty of different types of dog training courses available, including individual and group sessions, sessions just for puppies, sessions dedicated to behavioural problems, and many more.
Dog training prices
Let’s take a look at a s selection of typical dog training classes and courses, what they might involve, and their associated costs.
|Type of training
|Price per session*
|Puppy group training
|Socialisation and basic obedience
|£25 - £40
|Adult dog group training
|Obedience training including lead walking skills, recall
|£20 - £50
|Socialisation and obedience
|£65 - £90
|Aggressive behaviour training
|Preventing aggressive behaviour such as barking, snapping, biting
|£40 - £90
|4 week residential training
|£1200 - £4000
*Prices may vary significantly based on a range of factors. These figures are based on research conducted on 12 December, 2023.
If you choose to train your dog yourself, you’ll probably need to buy certain training aids, including a leash or harness. You can explore the wider costs associated with owning a dog in our guide to the cost of dog ownership.
Factors influencing dog training rates
Local dog training costs and prices will vary due to factors such as:
Location: Training costs can be higher in certain areas, especially in cities like London.
Trainer experience: More experienced trainers typically charge more.
Training methodology: Certain training methods may cost more due to the skill required.
Class size: Classes that have fewer dogs will typically cost more.
Dog breed: Certain breeds of dog may be harder, and so more expensive, to train than others.
Duration and type of course: Longer or more specialised courses will be more expensive.
Dog training: Is it worth the cost?
The short and long answer to this question is “Yes”. Whether you choose to train your dog yourself, or sign up for a training class, you’ll be giving your dog a gift that will help it throughout its life. It may be difficult for certain dogs to adapt to training, but as they make progress, and learn, you’ll see them go from strength to strength, becoming more resilient, confident, and happier.
Training isn’t just a benefit for your dog, it also gives you peace of mind that your pup can handle new situations and won’t get anxious or misbehave around you or other people. With that in mind, it’s worth remembering that the cheapest option isn't always the best when it comes to training. You’ll want to find an approach that fits your dog’s needs: if you’re going the professional route, look for qualified trainers with positive reviews and a training philosophy that aligns with your values.
And if your dog doesn’t take to training straight away, don’t worry. Every dog (and every owner!) learns at a different pace: stay consistent, offer encouragement, and you’ll soon start to see a more obedient, confident, and happier pup!