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Is Professional Dog Behavior Training Expensive?

We are a network of professional dog trainers.  We are dedicated to the highest standards of professional conduct, and are committed to providing expert dog behavior training to each and every one of our clients.   In all cases, we commit to working with our clients until we achieve our training goals.
Each day at our office, we receive dozens of phone calls from concerned dog owners looking for help with dog training. Many of these dog owners were referred to us by their veterinarian, or another professional in the pet industry, but many found us via an Internet search. While some dog owners are looking for puppy training and some are looking for general obedience training, the vast majority are calling because their dog has an untreated behavior problem. These problems range from general disobedience and poor manners, to serious aggression and anxiety.
Inevitably, many callers are taken aback by the price of professional dog behavior training. Compared to other dog trainers who (claim to) specialize in behavior problem solving, our service isn’t the cheapest, but it’s not the most expensive by far. There are programs that cost well over $1,000 for in-home dog training and can go up to three times that amount if you are talked into a “board & train” option (an option I feel is completely unnecessary and yields dubious long-term results).
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten”  – Benjamin Franklin
 
The numbers can seem overwhelming for “just” dog training, but consider this: a large number of our clients have paid other trainers hundreds of dollars for training – if not more – only to have to call us anyway. Why do they need to call us if they’ve already worked with a trainer? In general, a lack of results and a lack of identifiable goals. Our clients tell us their previous trainer didn’t specify clear goals at the beginning of training. They also say their previous trainer charged by the hour, or by the lesson, to continue indefinitely. So at what point is dog behavior training accomplished if you don’t specify clear goals and a timeline to achieve these goals? Worse, after several visits, many clients were told by their previous trainer they will just have to “live with” their dog’s behavior issue(s). They’re given management techniques rather than solutions, and are told to “keep working on it.” Several weeks, months, or years later, there are still no identifiable results.
This is NEVER the case with our trainers! We always begin our training process with a no-obligation behavioral consultation where we will spend two hours with you and your dog in your home environment. During this consultation, we’ll assess your dog’s behavior and temperament, and talk with you at length about your dog’s issues, any prior training you might have tried to help him/her, and what your ultimate training goals are. Before we commit to working with you, we’ll spell out EXACTLY what we feel are the causes of your dog’s behavior problems, and EXACTLY what we would recommend to help. We detail a step-by-step training plan, and tell you EXACTLY what to expect during the process (including a projected timeline!). At that point, if we both feel comfortable with our course of action, we will commit to working with you until we achieve the training goals we set during this consultation. As long as you remain committed, we remain committed.
So is dog behavior training expensive? It can be. It certainly is if you are forced to bounce from trainer to trainer, investing a little (or a lot) with each one. In contrast, when you choose a dog behavior trainer who is capable of achieving results, and who takes the time to set up clear training goals and a training plan with you, behavior training becomes a one-time investment. Our goal is to be your last trainer!