As a dog trainer, you may be wondering how to price your services. It can be tricky to find the right price point that will ensure you’re making a good income while still providing a valuable service to clients. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips on how to set your rates as a dog trainer and charge what you’re worth!

Have you read our Ultimate Guide on how to become a dog trainer, even if you don’t have any experience? If not, you can check it out here!

Is a Dog Trainer Worth The Money?

This is a question many clients are going to have before they hire you. They want to know if you’re worth the money they’ll be spending on your services. As a dog trainer, you need to be able to answer this question with a resounding “yes!”

Some factors that will help clients see that you’re worth the investment are:

  • Your experience and reputable qualifications
  • The results you’ve been able to achieve with past clients
  • The value you provide beyond just training dogs (e.g., peace of mind, convenience, etc.)

If you can show potential clients that you’re an expert in your field and that you can provide them with real results, they’ll be more likely to hire you at your desired rate.

Keep in mind that as a dog trainer, you’re not just selling your time. You’re selling your expertise, your results, and your ability to provide a valuable service. When setting your rates, make sure you keep this in mind!

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Where Do Dog Trainers Get Paid The Most?

Just like with any other profession, dog trainers can make more or less depending on where they live and work. In general, dog trainers in urban areas tend to make more than those in rural areas. This is because there are simply more potential clients in densely populated areas.

Of course, your location isn’t the only factor that will affect your income as a dog trainer. Your experience, professional training, qualifications, and results will also play a role in how much you can charge for your services.

Speaking of professional certification training, QC Pet Studies can help YOU become an International Dog Training Professional™ (IDTP™) in less than a year! Check out the course page for our self-paced, online course for the full details!

How Much Does a Dog Trainer Make an Hour?

This is a common question, but it’s not an easy one to answer. As we mentioned before, there are many factors that can affect how much dog trainers make per hour. That said, the average hourly rate for dog trainers in the United States is $20-60.

Of course, you may be able to charge more or less than this, depending on your experience and qualifications. For example, if you’re just starting out as a dog trainer, you may need to charge on the lower end of this range in order to compete with other trainers in your area.

If you have extensive experience and training, however, you could charge closer to $60 per hour without issue. It really depends on your unique situation and what clients are willing to pay in your area.

How Much Does a Dog Trainer Make a Year?

Again, this will depend on factors like experience, qualifications, and location. For example, a dog trainer with many years of experience working in New York City is likely to make much more than a newly certified dog trainer just starting out in a small town.

Owner woman gives a command to her attentive golden retriever puppy on a leash in red lead during the dog training education process in hall with white walls. Dog looks at its owner.

The Average Dog Trainer Salary

That said, here are some up-to-date, average yearly salaries for dog trainers, based on a handful of example countries:

  • United States: Between approx. $21,600 USD and $46,600 USD (Source: Career Explorer)
  • Canada: Between approx. $30,000 CAD and $72,000 CAD (Source: Glassdoor)
  • United Kingdom: Between approx. £20,000 GBP and £26,000 GBP (Source: Payscale)
  • New Zealand: Between approx. $41,500 NZD and $53,100 NZD (Source: Salary Expert)
  • Australia: Between approx. $40,600 AUD and 63,800 AUD (Source: Salary Expert)

Again, just keep in mind that what you make could ultimately vary. Realistically, you could make more than the highest end of the above spectrum in your area if you’re experienced, in-demand, and know how to market yourself.

How Do I Market Myself as a Dog Trainer?

Great question! You’ll need to do more than just put up a few flyers and post on social media if you want to be successful as a dog trainer.

Like with any other business, you’ll need to put in the time and effort to market your services if you want people to actually hire you. This means actively reaching out to potential clients, networking, and making a name for yourself in the industry.

Here are some tips:

  • Get involved with local dog groups or clubs. This is a great way to network with other dog trainers and owners in your area, and it can help you get your name out there.
  • Attend local pet fairs or events. You can promote your dog training services at these events by setting up a booth or handing out flyers.
  • Use social media to your advantage. Posting helpful tips and articles related to dog training is a great way to attract potential clients and show off your expertise.
  • Get involved with online forums and communities. There are many dog trainer groups and forums online where you can connect with others in the industry, share advice, and promote your services.
  • Invest in paid advertising. Online ads are a great way to get your name out there to your target audience. We recommend focusing on Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and TikTok Ads.
  • Do some pro bono work. Offer to train a local shelter dog or help out a friend with their dog’s behavioral issues. This will give you some real-world experience, and it can also help you build up your portfolio.

How To Set Your Rates as a Dog Trainer

Now that you know all the basics, it’s time to start setting your rates as a dog trainer! Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Tip #1: Do some research on average hourly rates in your area.

This will give you a good starting point for pricing your services! Remember: you don’t want to go too low, as this can give customers the impression that you aren’t top-quality. On the flip side, you don’t want to go too high either, as this could alienate potential clients and drive them to a different business.

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Tip #2: Consider your experience and qualifications when setting your rates.

If you’re just starting out, you may want to charge on the lower end of the spectrum. If you have extensive experience and training, however, you could charge closer to $60 per hour without issue.

Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to adjust your rates as needed.

If you find that you’re not getting enough clients at your current rate, consider lowering it. Conversely, if you’re in high demand, you may want to raise your rates.

Tip #4: Offer discounts for multiple sessions or package deals.

This can help entice potential clients to hire you, and it can also help you earn more money in the long run.

Tip #5: Offer incentives for returning customers, such as a referral bonus.

This is a great way to show your appreciation for loyal customers, and it can also help you attract new clients!

Tip #6: Be flexible with your payment options.

Some dog owners may not have the money to pay for your services upfront. In these cases, you may want to consider offering a payment plan or accepting credit cards.

Golden Retriever Jumping Through a Tire

How To Charge as a Dog Trainer: Hourly vs. Flat Rate

Now that you know how to set your rates, it’s time to decide whether you want to charge by the hour or by the session. There are pros and cons to both pricing models, so it’s important to weigh your options before making a decision.

Hourly Rate:


  • You can adjust your rate based on the difficulty of the training session.
  • You’re paid for your time, regardless of whether the training is successful.
  • This pricing model is more transparent for clients, as they know exactly how much they’ll be paying.


  • You may end up spending more time with some dogs than others, which can cut into your profits.
  • Some clients may be hesitant to pay an hourly rate, as they feel like they’re being “charged by the minute.”
  • Moreover, some clients might be hesitant to pay an hourly rate because they worry they won’t get their money’s worth if the training isn’t successful.

Flat Rate:


  • You’ll know exactly how much you’re going to earn for each training session.
  • This pricing model is more straightforward for clients, as they know the total cost upfront.
  • A flat rate fee can also be more attractive to clients, as they feel like they’re getting a “deal.”


  • If a training session ends up being longer than expected, you won’t be able to make more money.
  • Additionally, if a training session is particularly challenging, you may feel like you’re not being fairly compensated.
  • Some clients may feel like they’re being “ripped off” if the training is successful and doesn’t take very long.

Ultimately, whether you choose to charge by the hour or per session is entirely up to you. There is no right or wrong answer, so it’s important to choose the pricing model that makes the most sense for your business.

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How To Price Dog Training Services: Group Classes vs. Private Lessons

Lastly, you’ll need to decide whether you want to offer group classes or private lessons. Again, there are pros and cons to both options. So, it’s important to choose the one that best fits your preferred business model.

Group Classes:


  • You can earn more money by teaching multiple dogs at once.
  • Group classes are often more affordable for clients, which can help you attract new customers.
  • This pricing model is less time-consuming than private lessons, as you’re teaching multiple dogs at once.


  • Some dogs do better in a one-on-one setting, which means they may not get the attention they need in a group class.
  • If a dog is misbehaving in a group setting, it can be disruptive for the other dogs (and their owners).
  • Additionally, group classes may not be as profitable as private lessons, as you’re earning less money per dog.

Private Lessons:


  • You can give each dog the individual attention they need.
  • This setting is often more comfortable for both the dog and the owner.
  • Private lessons are typically more profitable than group classes, as you’re earning more money per dog.


  • You can only work with one dog at a time, which means you’ll need to schedule more training sessions to earn the same amount of money.
  • Some clients may not be able to afford private lessons, which can limit your potential customer base.

Like the potential that group classes and private lessons both offer? Not sure how to choose one over the other?

You don’t have to!

In fact, many dog trainers offer both group classes and private lessons. This way, you can attract a wider range of clients while still being able to offer the services that best fit each individual dog’s needs.

Young woman training her little dog, cocker spaniel breed puppy, outdoors, in a park.


When it comes to setting your rates, there is no “right” way to do things. You’ll need to decide what type of pricing model makes the most sense for your dog training business. And, you’ll need to decide whether you want to offer group classes or private lessons (or both!).

The most important thing is that you’re clear about your prices from the start. This way, you can attract the right clients and avoid any misunderstandings down the road.

Do YOU have any tips about how to set your rates as a dog trainer? Leave your advice in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Become an internationally-certified dog trainer by starting your self-paced, online training with QC Pet Studies today!

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