Dog Training Education Month on February, 2018: how much does dog training cost?
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Training classes are generally an hour long and meet once a week for 6, 8, or 10 weeks.
Cost depends on the trainer and location - my local 4-H group charges about $50 for the "season" from April to September. Most community education or similar classes are in the $50-100 range for six to eight weeks. Dog obedience clubs may charge a bit more, up to probably $150 for eight weeks, but their training is the best you can find - look for a club that uses only volunteer trainers that are members of the club and that is AKC affiliated. Professional trainers' classes are the next best in quality and will cost $150 or more for eight weeks, typically. One-on-one professional training is more expensive, generally $50 or so per hour. Board-and-train places where someone else trains your dog charge between $500-1000 per month. These prices are based on prices near a major midwest city, costs will be higher in larger cities and on the coasts and may be less in more rural areas.
Avoid PetsMart and Petco classes like the plague - the trainers are only minimally experienced and have corporate policies about what training techniques and methods are allowed - no matter how your dog responds or what would be most useful in your specific situation. The chaotic environment of a pet store is a lousy place to train, anyway.
Thanks for training! It will improve your bond with your rescue dog and also make it easier for him to be safely and happily involved in many areas of your life. My dog can go with me everywhere dogs are allowed because I know he will be polite and obedient so he gets to do all sorts of things with me when most dogs would be locked in the laundry home at home alone.
Does PetSmart have a good dog training program?
That depends on how you define 'good'. Most of their trainers are amateurs just starting their careers. And a majority of them never completed a 'real' canine behaviorism school... 3-4 weeks of classes is not, in my opinion, a real education. Places like tripple crown have 3 months of intensive study in the BASIC bahaviorism program... on campus, 6 days a week, 6-8 hours a day. Live training with real dogs and puppies. The advanced courses are another 3 months and specialized classes (like police and service dog training) are another 3-6 months.
So compare a true professional trainer to the ones a petSmart and you could never consider them 'good.' Maybe one in one hundred went to a true canine behaviorism school, though graduates usually demand (and easily get) a much higher wage than PetSmart is able or willing to pay.
As far as basic puppy classes go, they are adequate if you have never trained a dog before or are just interested in the socialization aspects of puppy kindergarten. If you are interested in advanced obedience, major behavioral modification, or anything other than the basics, you will want to find somewhere else.
Er... let me clarify that... PetSmart is more than good enough for puppy training. The price is usually pretty reasonable too. Just don't go there with a Cujo and expect them to have any experience with unusual canine problems. I'm sure they'll know some of the theory, but they just don't have the experience or proper training for that.
Training a companion dog for child with aspergers?
Training a dog to be a companion dog (which is what you say the child's psychologist recommended), is a far cry from training a true Service Dog (the ones that cost $8,000 - $25,000 to train) Then there is also another category known as an Emotional Support Dog which is more likely what this particular child requires. Since you and the mother and possibly even the psychologist all appear quite confused regarding the subject I really don't think you are qualified to train the dog this child may require. For that matter no one who is not an experienced dog trainer should even attempt the task, let alone one who by his own admission is 'in the process of self studying to become a dog trainer.'
Despite the cost, which in the case of a legitimate need is usually absorbed by the charitable organization training the dogs, the mother of the child should contact one or several of these training organizations about the child's needs. They can and will be her best choice to obtain a dog that not only will meet the specific needs of her child, but will be guaranteed to produce a dog that is trained according to the standards Service Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs must meet.
I understand you most likely only want to help, but you really shouldn't use this child's needs to practice your self taught skills. It would not be doing what is best for your friend or her child.
Lastly if you legitimately want to pursue a career as a dog trainer put yourself under the tutelage of a professional dog trainer. Not everything can be learned properly by reading about a subject alone.