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Private Dog Training Lessons vs. Group Classes

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding which is best for you and your pup, group classes or private lessons. It comes down to what will work best for you and your dog. I have been teaching private lessons for 9 year and group classes off and on. I feel there are pros and cons to both of them. In this blog that is what we are going to go though.

When deciding on signing up for a group class or private lessons, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself.

  1. Do I need someone that will be more flexible with my schedule because it can change from week to week?

  2. Can my kids participate with the training and will they do well in a group setting (this more depends on the age of your kids)?

  3. Do I need more one on one training with my dog because of behavior issues?.

  4. Will my dog be OK in a group class with other dogs? Will he/she behave around unfamiliar dogs and people?

  5. How much socialization do I feel my dog needs?

Now that you thought about those questions here are my pros and cons of private lessons and group classes.

Pros and Cons of Private Lessons


  1. You get one on one training with your dog and the dog trainer.

  2. You are able to focus on specific issues you are having, which can be behavior or just basic obedience.

  3. The dog trainer comes to your house

  4. Flexible scheduling. If you need to miss a class, it can be rescheduled. You don't have to forfeit the class.

  5. The dog is more comfortable in their own home and you don't have to worry about going anywhere.

  6. It is easier for kids to participate.

  7. You can go to different locations with the trainer to add more distractions and socialization to the training.

  8. You don't have to worry about other dogs around your dog and what might happen.


  1. Not as much socialization

  2. It can be more expensive.

  3. Low to no distraction. This can be a good or bad thing depending on your situation.

  4. Do you and the trainer believe in the same training techniques.

Pros and Cons of Group Classes


  1. Get a lot of socialization time

  2. You are out in public, so your dog gets used to listening to you in high distraction areas and hearing different sounds.

  3. Less expensive

  4. Your dog gets to play with other dogs.

  5. You get to meet new people.


  1. May not meet your specific needs.

  2. High distraction

  3. If you miss a class, you usually can't make it up.

  4. Not as flexible as far as date and time of class.

  5. You don't get one on one time with the trainer.

  6. You don't know what type of dogs are in the class.

  7. You may not be totally sure what your dog will do in a group setting.

There are a lot of pros and cons to each of the classes. I enjoy teaching both private and group classes. In the private lessons, I get to know the owners and the dog really well and form a relationship with them. The owner gets to know me as a trainer and a person, and I get to know the owner and their dog on a deeper level. Also, my clients can always contact me anytime with questions.

In a group class, I enjoy seeing all the dogs interact together and can give some advice to the clients on what their dogs are doing when the play together. I also enjoy teaching in a group setting. It poses more of a challage, but it is fun and rewarding. I don't get to know the clients as well in a group class but they get to know each other and if two dogs start to become buddy buddy, the owners might set up a play time for the two dogs.

I hope this blog will help people who are unsure of which class to take.

Happy Training!

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