The Pros & Cons of Different Types of Dog Training Programs


Which Dog Training Program Should You Choose?

Here are the most common options:

  • Group classes
  • 1 on 1 sessions each week (usually about an hour)
  • In home training sessions
  • Day training programs (you drop off and pick up your dog each day for training)
  • Boot camps/boarding school/board and train = your dog stays for multiple days or weeks at a time 
  • Virtual sessions

Which program type provides the best value for your time and money? 

It depends on several factors, but I’ll simplify as much as possible. 

Group Obedience Classes 

These are best as your 2nd round of training. Group classes have lots of distractions which is fantastic for teaching your dog that the good behaviors they know still apply when distractions are around. 

We call this “proofing”, and it makes your dog’s training rock solid when done right. If your dog doesn’t have consistent good behavior in the home already I’d wait to do a group obedience class. 

Is it the right fit for you?

That being said, it is usually the cheapest option so if you’re on a tight budget this might be your best option. Some training is better than no training!

1 On 1 Sessions

Typically you come once each week to meet with your trainer for around an hour and then go home to practice the new exercises for a week.

This can be a good way to go if you’re good at forming new habits quickly. You’ll do most of the heavy lifting while your dog is in training, so be sure to take good notes and follow through. 

This style of program will require more time from your day. Keep in mind, your dog’s training will take a little longer since you might confuse the dog if your timing is a little off. Some people skip ahead and try something too advanced for their dog (like trying to have your dog heel around distractions when they aren’t quite ready yet), and this can slow your training results down.

Is it the right fit for you?

All in all, this is a great option if your dog’s issues aren’t too serious, you have the time to invest, and are good at forming new habits quickly.

In Home Training Sessions

This has all the same benefits and drawbacks as a 1 On 1 Sessions course. In addition, it has the perk of the trainer being able to see you and your dog in your home environment. 

Customers often think they need in home sessions when they don’t. We encourage customers to come to us for sessions because:

  • We have all the training equipment we need
  • We have distraction dogs and humans at the ready (this makes practicing new skills in a controlled environment sooooo much easier)
  • We get to work with your dog without you there (we include day training with pretty much every 1 On 1 session we do). This helps us your dog bond with us faster, and we get to see if your dog acts differently without you around (most dogs do) which helps us speed up your training results dramatically.

That being said, we can sometimes fix things faster when we see exactly what is going on at home. If you would like some in home sessions, be sure to tell your trainer about it and they’ll let you know when the right time to schedule one is (we usually do in home sessions towards the end of the dog’s training rather than the beginning).

Is it the right fit for you?

In home sessions are a good fit for you if you don’t care about the increased cost (in home sessions typically cost double), your dog’s issues aren’t too serious, you have the time to invest, and are good at forming new habits quickly.

Day Training Program

These are becoming a popular choice, and I really like the results we’re getting. In a Day Training program you drop your dog off each morning and pick them up in the evening, typically this happens Monday – Friday. You’ll also meet with your trainer every week or two to discuss what your dog is learning and to show you what you need to practice at home.

Your dog won’t stay overnight which is bad for some dogs and good for others. Many dogs benefit from getting out of their comfort zone entirely and living with us for a few days at a time, but it’s not for every dog. It really does depend, so discuss this with your trainer.

Is it the right fit for you?

If your dog is generally friendly with humans and other dogs, you live close to your trainer, and don’t mind the extra drive time this might be the right type of program for you. 

You will need to be good at following through with the new rules your trainer gives you so your dog is forming good habits at home as well.

Boarding School,  Board & Train,  Boot Camp

Dog trainers use different names for it, but basically your dog lives with the trainer for a period of time. You get trained either at the end or at several points during the program.

This is my favorite training program for most dogs! We get you faster results because we’re 100% consistent with your dog’s new behaviors and our timing is perfect. Your dog is completely immersed in a new way of living, and the results last a lifetime as long as you follow through at home.

During Boarding School your dog lives with us Monday – Friday for however many weeks you choose. We used to keep dogs on the weekends too, but I found dogs learned faster if they got the weekends off!

We have found that dogs like to relax at home, be around their family, and come back fresh for the next week of training.

Is it the right fit for you?

If you’re looking for the fastest results and to invest less of your time up front, this is the training program for you. These programs tend to have higher price tags since your trainer will be doing more of the work, but if you compare the different programs by $ cost per day they sometimes cost less.

Virtual Sessions

I’ll be honest, I’ve never done one of these, and we only offer them as a free follow up for existing customers. I know trainers who do them and enjoy it, so they’re not bad, they’re just not for me.

Our team likes connecting with each dog and each owner in person. There’s a special bond and connection when we work together, and I know it won’t be the same virtually. As long as there isn’t a global pandemic we’ll continue doing everything in person.

Is it the right fit for you?

If there’s a certain trainer you follow whose style really speaks to you, and you’ve already got the basics down, I could see a virtual session or two being beneficial. I would never discourage someone from continuing their education in this way, but it wouldn’t be my first stop.


I hope this gives you some clarity around the pros and cons of the dog training programs dog trainers offer.

When you’re ready to get your dog trained, here’s how you can get started with the best dog boot camp in Salt Lake City. Whether your looking to address behavioral issues, obedience training, or want to strengthen the bond with your furry friend, our dog training in Salt Lake City has got you covered. Don’t wait any longer to give your dog the training they deserve. 

Book a call – tell us about your dog and we’ll suggest a program based on your dog’s needs and your goals for them.

Boarding School – fast track your dog’s progress and have our professional trainers do the heavy lifting.

Puppy Scholar – get daily help by enrolling your puppy in our day training program.