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Should I Train My Dog Myself or Hire a Dog Trainer? Pros & Cons

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on April 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

Woman training a white and black havanese dog in the garden

Should I Train My Dog Myself or Hire a Dog Trainer? Pros & Cons

Dogs are loyal and friendly, and most people consider them to be a part of the family. That said, your dog needs to be trained to ensure that they are well-behaved and obedient when you need them to be. However, training can be difficult, especially for new pet owners, and many wonder if they should do it themselves or hire a professional. Keep reading as we discuss the pros and cons of each option to help you make an informed decision.


Pros of Training Your Dog Yourself

1. Bonding

Training your dog yourself means you will have plenty of time for bonding, helping you build trust and deepen your relationship with your pet.

2. Budget Friendly

Training your dog yourself is much less expensive than hiring a professional, especially if you intend to teach your dog several commands.

3. Convenience

Training your dog yourself means you get to set when and where to have your training sessions, and you won’t need to make any inconvenient trips to the trainer, who might be a long distance away.

4. Personalization

When you train your dog, you can tailor your plan to suit your and your dog’s needs, personality, and behavior.

Family of Four Having fun Playing with Cute Little Pomeranian Dog In the Backyard. Father, Mother, Son Pet Fluffy Smart Puppy, teach and train it Commands. Sunny Summer Day in Idyllic Suburban House
Image Credit: Gorodenkoff, Shutterstock

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Cons of Training Your Dog Yourself

1. Time-Consuming

Training a dog is time-consuming, especially if you are inexperienced or own a breed that can be challenging to train, like a Bloodhound or a Dalmatian.

2. Lack of Experience

If you don’t have much experience training dogs, you might not know the best methods, leading to frustration for you and your pet.

3. Inconsistent Training

When you train your dog at home instead of taking them to a scheduled appointment, it can be easy to miss training sessions or cut them short, leading to inconsistent training. This can cause your dog to lose focus or become disinterested in learning new commands and tricks.

german shepherd dog resting his head on his owner doing training
Image Credit: Natalliaskn, Shutterstock


Pros of Hiring a Dog Trainer

1. Professional Expertise

The biggest advantage of hiring a professional trainer is the expertise that they bring to the table. They know the most effective methods to train different breeds and have the skills to deal with behavioral problems.

2. Time Savings

Hiring a professional trainer frees up your time, and since they have the skills to train many different breeds effectively, it usually takes less time to teach your pet a new trick.

3. Customized Training

Most professional trainers will work with you to address your pet’s needs, creating a plan that suits your pet’s personality and behavior.

4. Accountability

When you hire a professional trainer, they are accountable for the training, so you can be sure your pet will learn the necessary commands and behaviors. They will also provide support if issues with the training arise.

Dogs get training with dog whistle app
Image Credit: GUNDAM_Ai, Shutterstock

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Cons of Hiring a Dog Trainer

1. Cost

Hiring a professional trainer can be expensive, especially if you have a hard-to-train breed or a dog with behavioral problems.

2. Limiting Bonding

When you hire a professional trainer, you won’t spend as much time with your pet, especially as a teacher, which can result in limited bonding compared to training the dog yourself.

3. Limited Control

When you hire a professional trainer, you don’t have any control over their methods and techniques. You might not even be present at the training sessions, making it difficult to monitor your dog’s process from start to finish.

4. Dependency

If you use a professional trainer too often, you might become lazy and not attempt to train a dog yourself instead of learning valuable techniques to train future pets. You’ll also need to keep up your dog’s training at home, which you might not be sure how to do.

woman counting money with calculator
Image By: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

divider-pawTips for Training Your Dog

  • Start with simple commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “heel,” as these will provide a foundation for more complex orders later.
  • Use positive reinforcement, like treats, praise, and affection, to help create a trusting environment that is more conducive to learning. It will also help your pet look forward to their training sessions.
  • Be consistent in holding your training sessions at the same time each day and using the same commands and techniques to help the dog get into a routine.
  • Keep the training sessions to less than 15 minutes, especially at first. You can increase the length later as your dog becomes more skilled.
  • Be patient and never get frustrated with your pet, as learning a new trick can take a long time, even for intelligent dog breeds.


Which Option Is Right for Me?

Whether you choose to train your pet or hire a professional depends on your situation. It can be a good idea to hire a professional trainer if you don’t have much experience training or your dog has a behavioral problem or is difficult to train. However, training the dog yourself can be a great learning experience for both of you, and it can help you create a strong bond.

Featured Image Credit: Peter Mayer 67, Shutterstock

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