As dog owners, we want the best for our four-legged buds. That includes premium-quality food, big, cozy crates, and, of course, fun games/exercises to keep the pet entertained. Now, if your doggo has put on some extra weight and you’re looking for ways to get it back in shape, agility training has probably crossed your mind.
But wait: how much will you have to pay for a professional trainer? Should you take an online course instead? Is the equipment going to be expensive? Our experts have all the answers! Join us, and let’s learn how much they charge for a lesson/class of agility training, how much frames and tunnels cost, and what extra expenses you can expect. For now, we will tell you, that a single private training session can cost from $70–$125 and a full five-week course anywhere between $150–$250.
The Importance of Dog Agility Training
There’s more than one benefit to joining an agility training class. First, it triggers the dog’s natural instincts of stalking/chasing prey and using the environment to its advantage. Secondly, agility training keeps the furry companion mentally stimulated. It feels like an exciting game and gives the pet a chance to put its wits to good use. And let’s not forget about the physical perks!
A dog that’s engaged in agility training will stay healthy by keeping the muscles and joints in tip-top shape. As a bonus, the challenging exercises help avoid obesity and stay in shape, not to mention overcome anxiety and become more confident. Lastly, dog owners that want to participate in the training process will be happy to learn that agility training creates a strong bond with the canine.
How Much Does Professional Dog Agility Training Cost?
A single training session with a professional instructor will set you back $70–$125. But it’s very much possible to get in-person instructions for $20–$70. Also, if you’re on a tight budget, opt for a group class, as that will only cost you $10–$50. That said, a full-fledged class that lasts for five weeks will be available for $150–$250. Depending on your dog’s temperament, group lessons might fit it better.
Now, some dog owners like to do the training manually. That’s why online courses for agility training are so popular these days. They’re cheap ($50–$80 for the whole course) and you can practice whenever and wherever you want. This is a great option for people that spend most of the day at work and have a hard time fitting an agility class into their schedule.
Dog Agility Training Cost By Different Regions
One of the critical factors that affect the price is, of course, the location. For example, if you live in a suburban area, the cost will be lower than in commercial or residential areas. Dog owners that live in rural areas, in turn, will get the best deals. And the reason for that is simple: everything is more affordable in rural America. Also, if you live in the Midwest, it will be much easier to find an experienced trainer for a low price:
How Much Does the Equipment Cost?
Most agility training classes have all the necessary equipment set up and ready for the dog. So, when you pay for a lesson, you won’t have to spend money on anything else. However, some classes expect the dog owners to bring their own stuff. Also, if you’re planning on training the dog on your own (with an online course, for example), you will have to buy all the equipment. Here’s how much that will cost:
Yes, the equipment is quite expensive. But you don’t necessarily have to buy it. With luck, you might be able to rent one from a local store, agility training camp, or your own neighbor. On top of that, A-frames, seesaws, and all the other elements aren’t that hard to build. If you’re into DIY, putting some of the gear together shouldn’t be a problem. Or you can get a beginner’s set. These are available for $100–$200.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
If the two of you feel pumped up and excited about agility training, you might want to try your luck in various competitions. To participate in agility trials, you will have to pay a small fee. Also, don’t forget to pack lots of treats to reward the doggo. These extra expenses aren’t very high, but they do add up. Here’s a closer look at all the additional costs to consider:
What About the Competition Fees?
Don’t worry; you won’t have to spend a fortune just to be able to participate. Most world-leading organizations that host agility training events charge a minimal fee. For example, the AKC (American Kennel Club) has a standard fee for online registration ($33). As for the entry fees, you’ll have to pay $25 for the first entry, $20 for the second and third entries, and $15 after that, plus a $3 extra fee.
The UKC (United Kennel Club) has a $35 registration fee and charges $15–$25 to let the dog participate. The USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association) has a slightly higher registration fee ($40) and charges $15–$35 for each entry. And what about NADAC (North American Dog Agility Council), you might ask? They have a low registration fee ($20–$25) and offer a lifetime associate fee ($500; $50 for 5 years and $35 for 3 years).
To recap, you should expect to pay around $80–$200 for the fees during the first year.
How Long Should Agility Training Sessions Last?
For most dogs, agility training is NOT a walk in the park. It’s a very demanding, tiresome activity. The pet will have to run, jump, learn how to balance its body, and stay on the clock. That’s exactly why the average one-on-one agility lessons last for 30 minutes or even less. And if the pooch doesn’t have any experience in overcoming obstacles, the instructor might recommend starting with a shorter routine.
Remember: the dog’s health comes first. Start slow and let the four-legged champ get used to the “workload”. A quick note: if you’re attending a group class, see that it only includes 4–5 dog–handler teams. This way, you won’t have to wait until the agility field becomes available. Also, if you want to participate in agility competitions, it would be best to invest in decent-quality equipment so that you can train regularly.
What Determines the Cost of Agility Training?
The price for agility training services is dictated by a wide range of factors. The list includes the type of training (online/in-person), the instructor’s background (have they participated in any competitions, or not), the duration of each lesson, and other factors. As mentioned, group classes are much cheaper than individual training sessions.
In addition, if there isn’t any equipment available at the agility class, the cost will be significantly lower: $10–$15 per hour. In contrast, a top-level, well-equipped field that packs dozens of jumps, tunnels, and poles will be twice as expensive. It might be a good idea to buy a cheap online course and see where that leads you. Oh, and if you end up winning, the reward can be pretty handsome!
Does My Pet Insurance Cover Dog Agility Training?
This greatly depends on your current insurance policy. Some companies do, indeed, pay for it, while others don’t provide any coverage. So, before joining a competition, take a moment to go over the policy. Accidents are often covered, which is great news since the doggo might get injured when competing. If it’s a serious accident, the vet visit will cost quite a lot!
Now, some insurance providers might include wellness and training coverage, but those plans aren’t usually cheap. In any case, don’t be shy to contact the insurance company if you’re not 100% sure what kind of coverage you’re getting with the active plan. The company might offer to upgrade to a slightly more expensive plan that will back you up in case something happens with the dog.
For a dog that spends long hours watching TV on the couch or catching Zs in the crate, agility training is a must. It can keep the furry bud stimulated plus help it lose weight, get healthy, and stay in sync with its instincts. And, while agility training isn’t very cheap, most dog owners spend $250–$550 a year on a decent-quality class and a trainer.
To get the best deal, check out at least a couple of agility training classes in your area before deciding. Some instructors charge per hour, while others put together 6-week programs. Also, make sure the class fits your dog’s condition or agility level and won’t stress it. And, above all, have fun!