My Dog Training Prices / Rates

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Sam Basso
PHOENIX , AZ AREA: (602) 708-4531
OR, if you are out of this area, inquire about a telephone or e-Lesson
Email: [email protected]

sam the dog trainerHERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT: I provide professional opinions and services. I’m not here to “sell” you lessons, equipment, or anything else. I certainly won’t suggest lessons that you don’t need. I’m just not that type of person. I’m a professional. I’m too busy to play sales games. And I have references to prove I don’t operate that way.

THEREFORE… I quote my prices up front so you can see that I’m not going to try and “sell” you something.

WHAT I DON’T DO: Trainers that don’t quote their dog training rates are going to try and put the sales pressure on you. After they know more about you, then giving you a scare about your dog’s situation, they will quote the maximum price they think they can get from you.

COMPLETE PRICE LIST: Here is a complete explanation of my dog training pricing philosophy, and a comprehensive list of all my dog training services and prices. I charge per lesson, not by the hour.

ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY DISCOUNT: We all owe our service men and women for what they do. So, show me proof you are active duty military and you’ll get a 10% discount.

(These are the base prices, within my business area, and should be used as general guidelines. Only rarely will I quote a price different that what is quoted here… there would have to be costs, dangers or risks to me that I’d have to factor in that I can’t anticipate with the average student. The price I quote you in person is the current price for your situation. Prices, terms and conditions subject to change without notice. Subject to My Rules). All “package” programs, such as Puppy FastStart & Obedience programs, must be paid all up front in order to get the Service Guarantee included in the package.

Evaluations: $75 within my business territories. Outside my business area: on a case by case basis plus travel cost; coupons don’t apply.

GENERAL PRICING FOR ALL LESSONS: First lesson is $120, every lesson after that is $75 each

DISTANCE CHARGE: Because of fuel and vehicle costs, pricing is based partly upon your location.

AREA ONE: My primary business area is from I-51 to the West, I-101 to the North, Ellsworth to the East, and E Riggs Rd to the South. Within these boundaries, there is NO additional charge. I call this AREA ONE.

If you live in AREA TWO: if you are outside of AREA ONE, but South of the Carefree Hwy, East of 67th Avenue, less than 10 miles south of E Riggs Rd, and west of Ellsworth Rd. Thus, if you live near the intersection of Tatum and N Cave Creek, Basic Obedience I would be ($60 + $10) X 18 Lessons = $1575. Single lessons are $140 for the first lesson and $87.50 for each additional lesson.

If you live in AREA THREE: Which is outside Areas One and Two, less than 10 miles North of the Carefree Hwy, Less than 10 miles West of the western I-101, Less than 20 miles south of E Riggs Rd, and less than 20 miles East of Power Rd, then Basic Obedience I would be $2250. Part of the reason for the higher charges, the further out, is the cost of gas, extra mileage on the vehicle, and the amount of time on the highway. If I have to spend an hour to get to you and an hour back, in traffic, that is 3 hours a day for just one hour of lessons, so I have to recuperate some of that lost time and ability to do additional lessons with students that are closer to the center of town. Single lessons are $200 for the first lesson and $125 for each additional lesson.

Any lesson outside these areas must be OK’d by Sam Basso. My calculations of the mileage cost and your location are to be my sole determination, and are final.

Skype Consultations: You should seriously consider online lessons. Prices are the same as for In Person lessons in AREA ONE. So, for example, a House training Lesson will be $120, the student will have to contact Sam Basso in advance by email to detail their needs ( [email protected] ). Payments shall be made in advance using SamTheDogTrainer.com’s PayPal Account: [email protected] More information concerning PayPal can be found by going to the following link: www.PayPal.com

House Training, Manners or Behavior Lesson: . Each is usually one lesson.

Group Classes: GROUP CLASSES ARE CURRENT NOT BEING OFFERED.

Puppy FastStart Program is four lessons

Basic Obedience I is approximately 18 lessons. Each additional dog is $600

Maintenance and Tune Up Lessons are typically 5 lesson packages

Fear biting and Aggression: Prices vary. Call for specifics.

Seminars: Please call for a quote. Pricing is dependent upon the type of services being requested, number of days, and distance.

Consulting & Expert Witness:
Case by case basis. Please call for a quote. I will do this on a case by case basis, and I reserve the sole right and option to refuse service to anyone for any reason. I will also not take sides in a dispute, to preserve my impartiality.

** I generally use the above schedule for pricing. Lessons commence upon the time of arrival and are over at time of departure. Sometimes, in special situations, I will charge above these amounts, but I will determine that after evaluating the situation. Prices and terms subject to change without notice. Sam Basso reserves the right to refuse service to anyone. Sometimes I donate my services to non-profit groups for rescued/ abandoned dogs. Please contact Sam Basso about your specific situation. All training programs are subject to My Rules

Pricing Philosophy: What Do You Get For The Money?

* Experienced dog trainer & behaviorist
* Full time training dogs since 1996
* References Always Available
* Solutions That Work
* No False Promises
* No Harsh Training

I receive calls every day asking about my dog training services. Some are more interested in the welfare of their dogs and the quality of the training they are going to get. On the other hand, the first question some people ask is “what do you charge” instead of telling me what their situation is, asking what kind of solution I might propose, and then what I estimate the cost will be. I will say this at the outset: If you are the type of dog owner that is looking for the quickest and cheapest dog training you can find, then this isn’t the place to shop. We are either going to do it properly for you and your dog, or not at all. You can already go to the local pet store for some cheap lessons. You can find someone who will promise you that they can fix anything, just so long as you pay them the money. You will find some folks that will promise that they can train any dog to do anything in under a week. You already know that if something sounds too good to be true, then you are about to be taken. On the other hand, if you are looking for the best dog training you can afford, then read on!

Dog Training Is An Investment In Your Home, Not An Impulse Purchase.

If you were to crack open a business book on retailing, they would define dog training as a “heterogeneous shopping good”, not a convenience good. It is a product that dog owners should spend time, comparing alternatives. It is not an impulse purchase. I have been told by people that they spent up to a couple of hours on my web page before contacting me, reading everything. I have heard this over and over again. Dog training is a set of services with varying product features that are often more important to consumers than price. Just like people spend a considerable amount of time checking out the daycare they are considering for their child, or doctor to conduct surgery, high end clothing, high-tech equipment, and furniture, they should spend some time deciding which dog trainer will best meet their training needs and treat their dogs kindly and humanely. When buying heterogeneous shopping goods, consumers often seek out information and advice from salespeople and other experts before purchasing the item. Thus, it is normal for a dog owner, after doing quite a bit of research, to pick up the phone and call me for advice, or to write me a pretty lengthy inquiry. They want to confirm that they are speaking with an expert, because they have learned there are a lot of phonies out there.

Price vs. Quality

Let’s say you sold houses for a living, and someone asked you, “how much does it cost to buy a house?” You would have say, “What kind of house do you want? Do you want a fixer up to turn around and re-sell or ae you wanting a home you can live in yourself?  Houses in this city range from a low of about $200,000 to as much as $10 million. If you want a condo, house, two story house, duplex, or four-plex, the costs will all be different. What kind of house will meet your needs?’ And what quality of home do you want?

I liken choosing a dog trainer to buying a house. They range from fixer-uppers to well built homes. You get what you pay for, and you have to ask what you get for the money. DO YOU WANT CHEAP TRAINING? If you look around, you can find cheap training. But cheap also doesn’t mean that it will be any good. Cheap training, where the trainer charges you hundreds or thousands of dollars for a handful of lessons, won’t get you a great result. Cheap training, like the kind you get at pet stores, or the local trainer guy, and in most group classes (unlike mine), won’t get you as good of results as you will get when working with me.

Many classes are a waste of money. I have to re-train many dogs and owners that have been improperly trained through other programs. If the owners had started with me, they would have saved a lot of money and heartache, and had a trained dog. Here is an example of just such a scenario (from a real email I received):

Hi Sam,

I was just on your website.  I want to discuss a dog training program with you, but wanted to give you background of our situation.  We have a grave concern about one of our dogs becoming aggressive.

We have 3 dogs – the latest to join was a stray ‘pit bull’ (who knows, but he looks like an American pit bull terrier) who was approx 8 mos old I found combing through dumpsters 3 1/2 years ago.  He had a very bad case of mange, was very tired, dirty, & thin, but was very friendly.  We got him fixed within a few months of adopting him per advice from our vet.  Since then he has become our favorite.  I’m sure we’re doing all the wrong things with him (untrained owners do).  The pit is male and just over 4 years old.  The other dogs are a 13 yr old male pug and 9 year old mix breed (lab/collie) female. The pug is inconsequential to our current problem.

Our dogs are not socialized.  We only have occasional visitors, don’t have kids, and don’t let our dogs play with other dogs.  In general they are very friendly dogs, just not socialized and not well trained.

They were terrible on walks – the mix lunges and barks at people (but ONLY when she’s outside and on a leash).  The pit pulls and gets very excited whenever anyone comes near us especially if they have a dog.  He jumps on us and bites the leash and tries to pull us away from the oncoming people.  We had ________________ [another trainer] come out for private lessons and trained with shock collars about 2 years ago.  It worked great for the mix but the pit is the same.  We didn’t really like the collars and haven’t stuck with it.  Basically our solution is to walk the dogs at night with headlamps so as not to run in to anyone.

Our dogs have never shown aggression toward people (except the mix and only when she’s on a leash).  They actually are very friendly and love whenever people (family) come over.  However, they jump up on people and become bothersome looking for attention/affection from them.  They don’t jump up on us, but they’re used to getting a lot of attention from us.

Our current problem is that the pit and mix have had a few fights over the years – around once every 6 mos.  Neither has ever been hurt to a point of needing a vet.  Never any blood.  The pit is much stronger and pins the lab down.  The lab is usually just very sore afterward, not cut.  However, we fear these fights because they are very difficult to separate.  Yelling, water, hitting – nothing stops them once they start except picking up the pit and pulling him off of her.  He’s very strong and luckily my husband has always been there except for just once.  We thought we knew the triggers (toys, our attention and food).

The dogs had a fight 2 nights ago (our fault, feeding from the table and not paying very close attention) and it was the worst fight yet.  Still no blood though, but it sounded quite vicious.  We kept the dogs separated for a full day.  We tried to bring the dogs back together and one brief period was fine but the mix went back under the bed for another day.  This morning she finally came out and we let them together and another fight broke out right away.  The mix is very sore and very afraid.  We feel we HAVE to keep them separated until we figure this out.

Also, when my husband pulled them apart, he felt a little threatened by the “look” the pit gave him.  He’s worried that he or I may get hurt in trying to pull apart in another fight.  We are very attached to all of our dogs.  I saw your website and hope you can help.  We need both a short term and long term solution.

Can you help us?

Thanks,

XXXXXXX

Analysis

There are a lot of interesting things about this letter. First, notice that they tried another trainer a couple of years ago. They thought the training went “great”, but look at all the problems they still have and don’t know how to fix. Notice that the electric collar trainer couldn’t fix the pit’s behaviors? And they don’t want to go back to this other trainer because they “didn’t like the collars”, meaning that the use of the collars bothered them. They felt bad about what the collars did to the dogs. And the money they spent… was it WELL SPENT? Doesn’t look like it to me.

Here is another example. I worked with a couple in spring of 2007 who had sent their German Shepherd mix to a board and train facility a couple years back. They had spent $2,000 with this trainer for a month of lessons. When the month was up, the trainer demonstrated their “trained” dog. He was extremely harsh on the dog, and was yelling commands. When they got home, the dog didn’t obey them. Fast forward 2 years. This couple was on the verge of getting rid of their dog, and hired me as a last resort. They told me of their experiences, and I assured them that this time it would be different. And it was. The dog was trained, they spent about half the money with me to get a better result. And instead of getting rid of their dog (which was the plan if my program didn’t work), they are now happy with their dog and he’s now there to stay. I can’t imagine what that trainer did with their dog for a month. I do know, from working with that dog, that he didn’t know a thing when I started with him, and the owners had no clue about giving commands, treats, praise, proper use of a leash, and so on. It was like the dog and owners had never received any training at all. You NEVER see that with any of my students, even years later.

If you choose a cheap trainer, you will eventually have to come back to work with some like myself to fix what they did wrong with your dog! So, are you really saving any money doing it on the cheap? No. In fact, you might get just what you paid for: your dog might end up abused or messed up by an unqualified “dog trainer”. I wouldn’t do that to my dog.

What Do You Get For The Money?

First, try going to the following links and read about:
a.) Basic Obedience I
b.) Basic Obedience II

I remember the night I began working with a new customer who hired me to help her train her 1 ½ year old Sheltie. When she originally set up the appointment, she said she had completed basic obedience with another trainer, but now wanted to focus on teaching her dog obey off leash. So, when I arrived at her home, I rang the doorbell and waited for her to open the door. I heard her dog bark, and a couple of moments later, she opened the door and invited me in. Immediately, her dog started jumping up on me, and continually barked at me for attention. We went through the typical introductions, and then I asked her to please demonstrate the work she had done with her dog so I could get an idea of how she had been trained, and to see where we were with respect to the training of the dog. I needed to see how much training she had completed, so we could then proceed on to finishing the off leash obedience work that she desired. I followed her as she walked her dog outside, in the back yard, on a leash. She then proceeded to walk her dog around the yard and gave the dog some simple Sit and Down commands, none of which the dog did. I watched her give commands and watched the dog’s responses. This dog and owner had spent a lot of time and money for nothing.

I then asked her how many lessons she had completed with her dog. She had gone through 3 rounds of 8 classes in a group class environment: 24 weekly lessons over a 6 month period. It was shocking, even though I’ve seen this kind of thing over and over throughout the years. She hadn’t been taught anything valuable, and it was no wonder that the dog didn’t obey anything she told the dog. She didn’t have proper skills, and the dog didn’t know anything! Even after SIX MONTHS of lessons!

This is typical of too many dog training schools. The dog wouldn’t Sit on command. She had to push its bottom to the ground. The dog wouldn’t Down on command. The dog would fight her and pop back to its feet in defiance. The dog didn’t know how to Heel at all. The trainer told her that her dog “wasn’t ready” to learn how to Heel! That’s a bunch of garbage. If Heeling isn’t a part of your training program, then you are dealing with a flake of dog trainer.

She told me the classes were out of control and that none of the dogs listened, so she quit. I’ll tell you this, my private and group classes are NOT out of control, even in the beginner class.

I had to explain to her that it wasn’t her fault or her dogs fault. It wasn’t for a lack of trying… she did the homework she was assigned. It was the typical case of poor quality training that you see in most dog training schools. By a year and a half, her dog should have completed Basic Obedience and been fairly proficient at obeying, on and off leash, in public, with distractions. Unfortunately, even with 6 months of lessons, she had learned less than I teach in one week of private lessons.

It was appalling.

So, I told her we’d have to start all over again, and fill in the gaps for what she wasn’t taught.

The Moral of the Story? Yes, you can find cheaper training, but you will definitely be disappointed with the results!

Price Should Reflect Skills Taught

When you train a dog to a certain level of performance, there is no substitute for doing a certain amount of work. Have you ever taken a martial arts class? I have. There are a number of skills you have to master in order to get a black belt. There aren’t any short cuts. There isn’t a cheap way to get a black belt in, say, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Figure it will take you 10 to 20 years. You can’t get there in a year, regardless of the instructor and regardless of how intelligent and athletic you are. You have to do the work and prove to the instructor that you have the skills before you will be recognized and given a black belt. You have to be better than the brown belts, and be able to defeat them in a sparring match. And the same is true with good quality dog training.

Group vs. Private Lessons

Even with group lessons, there is a certain amount of work it takes to train the dog. However, with group lessons it will take many lessons. With private lessons, it will take fewer days, to get to the same end result, but you will still have to do the same amount of work in the end! Based upon my personal experience, it takes approximately 1 to 2 years of group lessons to get the same results as I can provide a customer in approximately a month. (And it will take a year of private lessons, for a novice dog owner, and an untrained young dog, to get the dog ready to be competitive for it’s first obedience competition. However, most customers won’t go on that far with the training, so relax! You don’t have to spend that much to have a trained companion dog.)

You have to decide to be pretty committed to get good results out of group lessons. Group lessons generally run about $15/ lesson. So, 50 to 100 group lessons times $15 = $750 to $1,500 to finish the Basic Obedience lessons. In contrast, with private in-home lessons, I can do more in less time, for approximately the same cost, because 1.) I only work with one customer at a time, and 2.) I am a better trainer. Another important consideration is that most people can’t or won’t diligently or consistently go to lessons for a year or two with their dogs. People quit group lessons. That’s a fact. So, they never end up with an obedient dog. And some dogs are so problematic, that you can’t wait for a year or two to fix the problem. People will give the dog away before they finish the lessons. So, they need to get the lessons finished quickly or the dog has to go. In addition, most group classes aren’t set up, and the instructors aren’t qualified, to deal with difficult situations.

There Has To Be A Good Reason

I can’t stomach seeing trainable dogs end up in shelters. Most of these situations can be worked out. You don’t have to give your dog away.There are no shortcuts to getting a finished dog. There are things that have to be taught in order to get a final result. You can do it in less time if you hire a better trainer, but you still have to put all the pieces together in order to get the finished result.

So, my point is, if you just compare PRICES when you look for a dog trainer, then you are making a mistake. You are being a cheapskate. You should compare WHAT TRAINING METHODS WILL BE USED TO TRAIN YOUR DOG, THE RESULTS YOU WILL GET, and WHO WILL BE DOING THE TRAINING, and then try to work out payment arrangements. If you read through my web page, it will be very clear to you what you get for the money. It should also be clear that I’m going to treat your dog humanely, I’m going to get your dog trained, and you are working with someone who knows what they are doing.

PLEASE READ:

Why Should You Choose Sam Basso To Train Your Dog? (What To Expect)
Customer Testimonials (Please call me if you’d like to talk to my references)
My Prices (Complete description of prices for each program)
My Rules (Policies, Payment, Cancellations, Rules, Disclosures, etc.)

Sam Basso is a professional dog trainer and behaviorist, in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale metropolitan area. He’s known for being fun, kind, intelligent, and humane. Sam Basso has a unique personal touch. He has appeared on his own TV show, been a guest radio expert, gives seminars, publishes a dog related blog, does rescue volunteering, and is active in promoting animal welfare and fair dog laws.