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Hello there,

We contacted a private trainer, and after discussing the scope of the programme, we signed a $2,000 contract. The training will take place at home over the course of eight sessions. Our dog is a dominating dog with aggressive tendencies.

We're not sure if this is the appropriate decision; it's a significant sum of money.

Do you have any suggestions? Is in-home private training always so expensive? We're hoping to discover in-home training that we can pay for on a session-by-session basis as we notice improvements.
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Hello there,

We contacted a private trainer, and after discussing the scope of the programme, we signed a $2,000 contract. The training will take place at home over the course of eight sessions. Our dog is a dominating dog with aggressive tendencies.

We're not sure if this is the appropriate decision; it's a significant sum of money.

Do you have any suggestions? Is in-home private training always so expensive? We're hoping to discover in-home training that we can pay for on a session-by-session basis as we notice improvements.
Will the trainer allow any video recording of the training sessions?
 

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Whether it's worth it depends a lot on the trainer (their experience, credentials, approach to training, etc.), what's included in this program, what results they're promising you, and - to some extent - the cost of living in your area and whether they're charging a price that's comparable to other trainers in your area.

If this is a highly respected trainer with tons of experience in the kinds of problem behaviors your dog is dealing with, who is up to date and educated on dog behavior, goes to and maybe even runs seminars, conferences, etc. then it may well be worth it. If they seem to be a lot of talk without much to show for evidence that they know how to handle tricky behavior problems like aggression, are promising you 100% guaranteed fabulous results that seem too good to be true, and/or seems to be making no effort to grow their understanding and skills by collaborating with other trainers and other experts, probably not so much.

Was this trainer the one who determined your dog was 'dominant'? This label is based on the debunked, outdated idea that dogs see humans as competition for social status. All of our current research on dog behavior points to this not being how dogs think, and I would be reluctant to give money to a dog professional who still describes behaviors this way when it's proven to be inaccurate and can lead to using techniques that are ineffective or confusing (to the dog).
 

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The right time to do research, ask questions, shop around, explore alternatives ... is before you sign a contract.

You're right, $2000 is a considerable sum of money. But what's done is done.

Aside from that, I really don't have any suggestions.
 
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