In an ideal world, everyone could afford to send their dog to a dog trainer, pay a couple hundred (or even thousands) of dollars in training, and have the world's most well-behaved dog.
But alas, this is almost never the case since many people don't have this kind of disposable income. So this is my gift to you: a list of all my #dogtraininghacks that I have learned over the years to help make training more affordable.
Hack #1: Don't Waste Money on Bags of Treats
Pet stores have dozens of brands that sell training treats. "Training Treats" is just a fancy way to say "Hey, these treats are the perfect size for training, so please spend $6 on this tiny bag!". Some of the most commonly used treats among dog trainers are normal kibble. I use my dogs' regular food to train them, and they LOVE it. Another favorite of mine is hot dogs (or turkey dogs), and low fat string cheese (not all dogs like this one). If you have a BJ's/Sam's Club/Costco Membership, you can buy treats like Pepperoni in bulk which can last for months if you only have one dog.
Hack #2: All Times are Training Times
Okay, not everyone can afford to hire a trainer to come over a couple times a week and train their dog. What you CAN afford to do is take 15 minutes of your morning and evening, and feed your dog his or her dinner training. Make them work for their food. This way, you get some practice in, and they get their meal!
Hack #3: Get Friends Who Have Dogs
This works pretty much the same way with families who have kids that are spread out in age. They get hand-me-downs all the time. Half of the things I got for Indy when she was a puppy, I got from friends who still had stuff from when their dogs were puppies.
Hack #4: Amazon Prime is Your Best Friend
Pet stores will charge you an arm and a leg for training gear like front-clip harnesses, head halters, crates, puppy pens...you name it. Most of these things you can find for half the price Amazon. If you need a second opinion, check the reviews, or ask a local trainer what would be a good fit for your dog (I'm always open to Q&A about training gear and where to get the right tools for the best price!).
Hack #5: Blog Post and Training Videos
Most trainers with any sort of social media presence have either a blog, instagram, or youtube channel where they post training tips and videos (I have all 3!). Watch the videos, read the blog posts, get as much free advice as you can. If you are making progress on your own but need a little bit of direction, then go book one private lesson or a phone consultation with a local trainer to make sure you are headed in the right direction.
Now that I've let you in on these secrets, hack away!