*Updated: November 2, 2022
Need to train your dog, but just don’t have the time or budget to properly do it? While there is no magic dog training pill, what if there was a way to meet your budget and time restraints? I know time and budget are often the roadblocks to dog training. But maybe they don’t need to be such hurdles. Sounds intriguing, huh?
In short, the answer is yes. There is a cheap easy way to train your dog. Actually, there are at least nine ways to cost-effectively train a dog. And hold your pup for this one, some are even free ways to your dog trained. Plus, you can do most of them on your time schedule.
Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s dive into how to train your dog in a cost-effective way.
Your dog is only as good or as bad as you allow. You don’t want to always be frustrated with your dog. The key to anything is being consistent. That includes training your dog. But you can’t do that unless you start. Never be afraid you can’t train your dog because it’s too difficult, too time-consuming, or too pricey. None of those are true. Dog training is actually fun and builds a stronger bond with your dog. Plus, you can often do it on your time schedule and very cost-effectively. I heard a dog trainer say once, “a well-behaved dog is a happy dog. And a happy dog is a happy dog parent.” That’s true and that’s priceless!
“A well-behaved dog is a happy dog. And a happy dog is a happy dog parent.”
What to know first about inexpensive ways to train your dog?
While I always encourage dog parents to at least have basic obedience training with their dog, which of these cheap training options you select will depend on your budget and your dog’s behavior issues or needs. However, you can address a multitude of behavioral issues in a cost-effective way. Or even improve upon a well-behaved dog’s manners with tricks very inexpensively or even for free.
Additionally, I’m a big advocate of training your dog in a positive way. This is best for your dog. Think of it as you would learning something new. Either you get smacked every time you don’t give the correct answer or you’re gently guided back to the right track and praised for the correct answer. As such, when looking for a dog trainer always look for a positive or positive reinforcement trainer.
What do I need to take dog training classes?
Most dog trainers will recommend you have the following:
- 6′ leash (some trainers will also request a longer 30′ leash)
- dog training treats
- up-to-date vaccinations
- clicker (depending if you’re doing clicker training)
Where can I find cost-effective dog training?
1. Dog training blogs
There are many great positive reinforcement dog trainers with blogs. This is a terrific way to get started, especially if you learn better by reading.
Additionally, the other great part about dog training blogs is you can refer back to them at any time. Most of the time you can even message the author with questions.
If you learn best by reading, this is definitely a great fit for your dog training.
Here are a few wonderful dog training blogs you can explore:
Colby focuses on puppy training and provides some great articles for helping you with your new puppy.
This site is great for all aspects of dog training. They have a blog section dedicated to training. You can find different issues addressed in these blogs.
April provides blogs with a focus on training issues dog parents encounter, such as jumping, recalling, resource guarding, and potty training. She also has several more trick-oriented blogs. Basically, something for every dog parent.
2. There’s an app for that!
Yep, there are apps to help you train your dog. While the apps aren’t totally free, there are free trials and the cost isn’t bad when compared to traditional in-person or group training. Another benefit of a dog training app is that you have easy access to it whenever you’re thinking about training your dog or you have a few spare moments. For example when you get back from walking your dog.
If you are looking for something you can easily get to at a moment’s notice and doesn’t require much time, an app might fit your dog training needs.
Here are two of the top dog training apps you might want to look into further.
This app is by far the most popular with a 7-day free trial. It provides you with training videos and can even personalize training for your dog.
- $9.99 – 1 month
- $26.99 – 3 months
- $99.99 – 1 year
While this app has a few technical issues, it’s still been well received. It has training videos with a built-in whistle and a 7-day free trial.
- $14.99 – 1 month
- $29.99 – 3 months
- $39.99 – 1 year
3. Online classes
There are several dog training online classes. It should be noted that some classes are free others charge a fee that can vary depending on the instructor, what’s offered, and how in-depth the class is with training. Even if there’s a time limit on an online class, you can still access it anytime that fits your schedule.
If you learn best in a more structured environment with set classes, reading material, and instructions, then an online class might be the best fit for your dog training.
There are two notable online dog training classes. They are:
Many consider Dunbar to be the top of the dog training courses. They have two online courses.
The first one includes their popular “Six Simple Steps to Solve Dog’s Behavior Problems”. It covers behavioral issues like barking, separation anxiety, jumping, chewing, and more. Additionally, it includes webinars and written material.
The second online course by Dunbar is called their “Top Dog Academy“. When you join this group you get access to live webinars to ask questions, access to a private Facebook group to ask to find more help with dog trainers, dog training videos, podcasts, and access to a library of dog training courses.
They offer two online classes and both include videos and written material. Access to the material is available for two months after purchase.
Perfect Puppy 101
Basic puppy training
Mind Your Manners Online
This class is for both adult dogs and puppies and teaches basic obedient training.
30 Day Perfect Pup with Zac George is a well-received online course. And don’t be fooled by the name this course is also great for dogs. With this course, you receive videos, daily email tips, and an ebook. The course focus is basic behaviors and obedience, but it’s very comprehensive.
30 Day Perfect Pup with Zac George
4. Online videos
If you are more of a doggie see doggie do type of person, then video dog training will be more for you. One of the benefits about videos is that not only do you get a walk-through, but you can pull it up any time you want, which is great if your time is limited. Plus, most of them are free.
If you are a visual learner and do best by seeing how something is done, then an online dog training video might work best for you.
There are a couple of YouTube dog trainers you may want to check out:
Emily breaks down dog training in very simple terms so that anyone can understand it and implement it with their dog. She has a multitude of videos for different behavior issues or training skills.
He has numerous dog training videos on his YouTube channel from puppy training to basic dog training. He walks his dog or puppy through different situations and shows you how to correct a behavior in a positive way.
5. Dog community to the rescue!
You might be surprised by the talent that resides within your dog community. If you ask them for advice or help with your dog training, you might find a dog trainer in the midst. I was shocked to find one in my dog community.
Often you can find a time that will work. After all, you meet at a certain time, so there is at least one time that will work.
Your learning style could be more one-on-one or more of a comfort level with being able to trust someone, like a member of your dog community.
6. Dog walker
This one may be an eye-popper for you as well. But there are dog walkers who are also dog trainers. I have a friend who was dog walker because she got tired of dog training and needed to slow things down a bit. However, she still knew how to train a dog from a puppy to a senior dog.
Basically, the moral of this story is if you’re stumped on how to train your dog or don’t have the time, but you have a regular dog walker ask if they also are a trained dog trainer. You might be able to get your dog walked and trained. Of course, expect that there will be an extra charge for dog training. Also, you will need to be consistent with what your dog learns from your dog walker. So, a bit of learning for you as well.
This might be a great fit for you if you trust your dog walker and your time is extremely limited.
NOTE: Keep in mind you can always ask to barter dog training or dog walking.
7. Ask your vet
Your vet can be a wealth of information. I know my dog, Henry’s vet would definitely be a lifeline for me if I ever was to appear on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”. Not only does your vet have his or her ear to the pet community, but he knows any issues your dog may be exhibiting. Thus, he can recommend a dog trainer who can handle a particular issue. Moreover, your vet will know any additional cost-effective ways for training your dog locally. For example, my vet cares for homeless pets in my area. He is familiar with the resources available to lower-income pet parents.
This one may have a restriction on time, but you can address that with the dog trainer that is recommended.
However, this might be a fit for you if trust your vet’s opinion, tried other dog training, or your dog has a more serious behavior issues such as aggression or reactiveness.
8. Volunteer at a dog shelter or organization
Often a shelter will train its volunteers in how to address basic behavior issues. Some shelters even offer free dog training classes. You’ll need to check with your shelter or organization to see what they offer for their volunteers. They may not be as flexible in time, but the savings on your budget and your growth in dog training experience could be amazing.
This will be more for the dog parent who has more time and wants to expand their dog training knowledge while helping homeless pets.
9. PetSmart or Petco
Don’t discount the large chain stores for great cost-effective dog training. After Henry’s first class, I went searching for a better-fitting instructor for him and me. I was shocked to find a great instructor at our local PetSmart. The other benefit of PetSmart dog training classes is that every 6-10 weeks they offer a discount. It’s generally a very significant discount of around $50, which makes a $149 class just $99. One more bonus with PetSmart dog training is that once you’ve taken a class you can retake it again for free. (I believe Petco has a very similar dog training deal).
Although you have to comply with their schedule, the budget savings could be great.
If you learn best in person then Petsmart (or Petco) might meet your dog training needs. Additionally, you get a more “real world” experience since you train in the store.
Are there any dog behaviors that shouldn’t be addressed on the cheap?
Yes, I wouldn’t recommend trying to be cost-effective with an aggressive dog or highly reactive dog. I know, I mentioned these behaviors under asking your vet. However, these behaviors are more serious. Keep in mind an aggressive dog can be a liability, which means you want to address the issue both with your vet and with the best dog trainer and/or animal behavioralist available.
You can check with your vet for a recommendation as well as your local shelter. If your vet or shelter can provide an effective dog trainer or animal behaviorist for your dog’s more serious issues at a cost-effective rate, that’s terrific. But don’t count it. You may need to dip into your dog savings account to seek help for these types of issues.
Additionally, training your dog in a specific attribute like therapy or rescue is training that will need to be done in person.
However, for most basic dog behavior issues or even teaching a new trick, you can look to these budget-friendly options provided and expect great success.
- 11 Steps to Build a New Dog Budget
- How to Find the Best Veterinarian
- 6 Dog Park Etiquette and Unwritten Rules
- 17 Things to Look for in a Good Dog Walker
- 10 Ways To Bond With Your Dog
- The Keys To An Aggressive Dog
- What Is the Best Treat For My Dog?
- Does Your Dog Have The Right Stuff To Be A Therapy Dog?
- How To Find A Positive Reinforcement Dog Trainer For Your Rescue Dog
- How Do Dogs Learn Weird Behaviors?
- Easy Dog Fence Jumping Solutions
- Creative Ways To Cut Dog Expenses. Easy!
- How To Be Dog Expense Debt Free
- Secret World Of A Dog Parent Community
Summary of how to find a cheap easy way to train your dog
I have seen many dog parents be frustrated with their dogs misbehaving and say they don’t have the time or budget to attend dog training classes. The beauty of technology is that dog training can come to you on your schedule. You can even find training classes online along with videos for numerous behavior issues. And if that doesn’t work then you can simply download a dog training app, which is still fairly budget-friendly.
Keep in mind a training session generally only takes 5-10 minutes once a day with your dog. You can even train twice or three times a day, if your schedule permits. I find mealtime is a great time for me to train with my dog, Henry. For him, this is breakfast and dinner. Since I use his food as training treats, it works well for both of us. Plus, he looks forward to eating, or should I say training, even more. It’s great mental stimulation for him. In fact, he reminds me if I forget to practice his dog training.