Everyone wants a well-behaved dog. Although, a well-behaved dog requires good training, which could mean you enroll your pet in dog training classes and pay a pricey amount for the service. So, are dog training classes worth it?
Here are six reasons that prove dog training classes are worth the money:
- Create a socially intelligent dog.
- Reduce anxiety.
- Help keep your dog safe.
- Create a stronger dog-owner relationship.
- Minimize the risk of rehoming.
- It can save you money in the long run.
Let’s explore these reasons in depth to help you better answer the question: “Are dog training classes worth the money?”
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1. Training Classes Create a Socially Intelligent Dog
Seen through the lens of humans, dogs are social animals that can interpret people and animals’ gestures, words, and other behaviors. In turn, dogs can respond to these gestures through vocalizations, facial expressions, body postures, ‘hackles,’ or tail and ear positions.
Studies have indicated that dogs’ social skills are similar to those of human infants, especially in communicative tasks.
However, dogs need socialization to express their social abilities fully and live happily and comfortably in the world of humans. Dog socialization entails learning acceptable behavior to interact with humans and other animals.
In this light, dog training classes are worth it because they create an appropriate platform for professional training in a context where your dog can directly interact with their conspecifics and other dog owners.
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I own a German Shepherd. I’m passionate about the importance of proper canine socialization as it prevents unnecessary rehoming of dogs and so-called “problem behavior” when in reality, the owner is the “problem” as the dog simply does not know how to behave in various environments.
You can learn more about how to socialize your dog in the below article. Although it refers to the GSD breed, the same principles apply to all breeds: 7 Easy Ways To Socialize a German Shepherd: Pup to Adult.
2. Dog Training in a Class Reduces Anxiety
If your dog has anxiety tendencies and you are wondering, “are dog obedience classes worth it?” then you should know that they indeed are.
According to the AKC, obedience classes lay a solid foundation for a social and trusting dog since dog obedience classes create the appropriate space for your dog to meet other dogs and people in a controlled environment.
If your dog has limited exposure to other dogs and people, they are more likely to lack basic social skills. When that happens, your dog could show fear of unknown objects, sounds, places, people, and animals.
Exposure to new dogs is crucial between 3-8 weeks when dogs focus on other dogs and between 5-12 weeks when they begin to turn their attention to humans. At this age, they will be more receptive to new social situations. And if this happens in a dog training class, your pet is more likely to feel safer and less anxious.
3. Dog Training Classes Help Keep Your Dog Safe
Especially if you do not feel up to the task or don’t have the time, taking your dog to a training class to learn basic obedience skills can be the difference between keeping your dog safe and risking your pet’s life. For example, a dog not trained in reliable recall could run off at the sight of a smaller animal and cross a road dangerously.
Instead, if your dog has good obedience training, they will not only have their prey drive tamed, but they will also stop and turn back when you make the “COME” command.
Similarly, heeding the “LEAVE IT” command could save your dog from the toxic effects of a tasty chocolate bar.
4. Creates a Stronger Dog-Owner Relationship
Dog training classes can be as life-changing for dogs as their owners. Most dog trainers encourage the participation of dog owners in their training sessions.
Taking part in your dog’s training classes can teach you much about your furry friend, including how to use positive reinforcement to enhance your dog-owner relationship. It can also equip you with knowledge on the skill-set for creating a good citizen dog using the standard set by the AKC.
You’ll feel much closer to your dog as the training progresses, allowing you to form a strong bond for life.
5. Obedience Classes Can Minimize the Risk of Rehoming
No dog owner buys a dog so that they can deliver their furry friend to a dog shelter or a different owner after a while. Instead, we all want to build a good relationship with our pets and keep them in our lives.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), about 6.3 million pet animals in the US end up in animal shelters each year. 3.1 million of these are dogs. In addition, many dog owners will rehome their pets for reasons related to dog problematic and aggressive behavior.
And this is not just a deduction. In fact, 34% of dog owners in the ASPCA’s National Rehoming Survey 2015 would not rehome their dogs if they found low-cost or free training or behavior assistance for their pets.
6. Dog Training Classes Can Save You Money
Everyone knows that dog training classes cost a pretty penny. So, how will they save you money? Here’s how.
First, expect to pay between $40 and $2,500 for dog training classes. This price comes from the independent information site cost helper. Specifically, you will spend approximately:
- $40-$125 for group training classes lasting 4-8 weeks.
- $240-$600 for private lessons lasting six weeks.
- $950-$2,500 dog obedience boarding school.
Now, if your brain is telling you, “That’s a lot of money!” and posing the question, “Are dog training classes worth the money?” you should start calculating the cost of the higher losses you could incur with a badly behaved dog. Let’s take an example:
Assume you bought a set of leather sectional sofas in 2018 at $3,149, according to Statista. If your untrained dog chews on the couch so that you may need to replace it, you’ll have lost 25 times more money than the highest price you’d pay for a group training class for your pup.
Doesn’t saving your couch from a chewy dog make the training classes worth it?