Dog Training

Find a dog trainer near Hilton Head Island, SC

Find a dog trainer near Hilton Head Island, SC

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Dog Trainers near Hilton Head Island, SC

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does dog training typically cost?

The average cost of dog training ranges from $60 to $155 per hour. But, your dog’s training might cost more or less depending on a number of different factors. For example, you might pay less if you schedule group classes instead of private instruction. The type of training (aggressive behavior, basic obedience, off-leash training, etc.) could have different prices as well. 

Get an exact cost estimate by contacting several dog trainers near you

Learn more about dog training cost factors.

Is dog training worth the money?

Dog training can be a highly rewarding investment for most dog owners. With dog training, you can establish a better, healthier relationship with your dog, who will learn to understand your commands and wishes. Your frustration levels may decrease, and you might be able to resume activities you’ve put off, such as having people over or taking your dog to public places (though, this is hard to guarantee because each dog is unique). 

Just remember that no amount of dog training will pay off if you don’t practice and follow the directions the dog trainer gives you. Consistency is the most important factor.

Is it ever too late to start training a dog?

It’s never too late to train your dog — “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a myth. Whether you adopt an older dog from the shelter or simply want to have a better relationship with your elderly dog, hiring a dog trainer can be a good investment.

What do professional dog trainers do?

Dog trainers can perform a range of activities, ranging from training law enforcement dogs to working with therapy dogs or search-and-rescue dogs. However, most people hire dog trainers for obedience training. This is largely a process of training the human — much of how a dog interprets our behaviors, commands, tone and body language is counterintuitive at first. The trainer will typically come to your home to observe your relationship with your dog, teach you how to train a command and give you guidance for reinforcing it.

Do dog trainers offer remote or virtual services?

Although dog training is traditionally performed in person, the COVID-19 pandemic may have caused some professional dog trainers to move to remote training and virtual services. You can contact dog trainers near you to ask about the possibility of remote or virtual services. Also, ask whether all aspects of the process can be digital, including payment.

How old should a puppy be for training?

Dog training shouldn’t wait until you’re having behavior problems. If you get a new puppy, start from the beginning with professional training to give both you and your puppy the tools you need for a healthy relationship. Dog training is as much about teaching the owner how to interact with their new dog as it is about the dog learning to behave. Puppy training can start as early as eight weeks old. Trainers who offer puppy training programs may works specifically with dogs between the ages of 8 and 18 weeks old. Trainers can teach owners about potty training and how to deal with accidents, working with separation anxiety, and training your pooch out of destructive behaviors like chewing, biting and demand barking. Puppies will start to learn to walk on-leash and other basic skills.

In addition to behavior training, socializing your puppy is an important part of dog training. Socializing your dog means they become comfortable and confident in a variety of settings and have a great foundation for becoming a well-adjusted adult dog. After your puppy has had the proper vaccinations, you can start to introduce it to a variety of different dogs and people in safe settings.

What is a dog boot camp?

A dog boot camp is basically a board and train program that focuses on training your dog or puppy. The trainers will work with your dog to curb unwanted behavior, teach them basic skills and show them how to walk on a leash.

Dog boot camps and training programs might differ when it comes to their services, so it’s always a good idea to do your research and ask them to explain exactly what they offer — and how much they charge.

How long does it take to train a puppy?

Dog training depends on the dog and how much homework the dog owner is willing to put in. Puppy training is similar to dog training in that the onus of the work depends on the owner learning new ways to interact with their dog. For a quick crash course, you can opt for a single, two hour smart-start puppy training consultation to teach you the ins and outs of being a new dog parent. You can learn how to manage potty training and what to do if the puppy experiences separation anxiety. As long as you’re willing to work on dog training a little bit each day, your puppy will quickly learn these new behaviors. If you’re not confident about training your puppy yourself, you can enroll in a 6- to 8-week puppy training course, with weekly lessons touching on everything from bite control to obedience. Puppies usually need to be at least three months old for group training classes. If you want more intensive one-on-one work, you can opt for private lessons. Some behavior problems can be resolved in one session if the dog owner learns and can implement new skills. In the case of more serious issues, 3 to 10 private sessions can typically correct challenges.

Which dog training method is best?

The best type of dog training for both you and your dog depends on the outcomes you hope to achieve. If you want your dog to learn agility training, go to someone who specializes in those techniques. Regardless of whether you want your dog to learn basic behavior or competitive-level tricks, the majority of dog training is actually about training the owner how to communicate with their dog. Most professional dog trainers agree that a model of training based on positive reinforcement breeds a happy, healthy, well-adjusted dog. The alternative to positive reinforcement training is using force or aggression techniques like physical punishment or shock-collar training to get the dog to do (or not do) a behavior. While the dog may learn how to behave as you direct, it is also learning to communicate with force and aggression, and will in turn use those behaviors on other dogs (or people) that are smaller or weaker than it is. Before signing up with a dog trainer, meet with the trainer and ask for references. Watch the trainer interact with your dog, and make sure they treat your dog with patience and firm kindness. Ask them questions about their training methods:

  • What type of training methods do you use?
  • What is your background and training, and how did you become a dog trainer?
  • How long do you expect that we will work together before we achieve the results I’m after?
Reviews for Hilton Head Island dog trainers
Katie M.
Right off the bat, Lloyd was quick to respond and schedule a time to meet my 2 dogs. He came to our house, which was great considering most dog trainers do not do this. He was extremely knowledgeable and professional with all of his training techniques. The best part is that my husband and I now have the tools and knowledge necessary to continue training our dogs and we have Lloyd as a resource for any future needs. We are already seeing a huge difference in how our dogs are walking on the leash and their obedience. I could not recommend a better trainer- especially for such a great price!
L.E.A.D. DogL.E.A.D. Dog
Ellison P.
I enjoyed the training very much. I learned new techniques that were very effective. While I have been to a number of training programs previously, (my older golden being a certified therapy dog) I found the training more personalized. Many classes focus on commands where this focused on behaviors and connectedness with your dog. My plan is to train MacKie to be a therapy dog as well. I believe this session has us started in the right direction. I am always appreciative of a professional who has passion for the work they do. Thank you
L.E.A.D. DogL.E.A.D. Dog
Tammy D.
Absolutely wonderful experience!! Wish I called them years ago! We have 2 dogs and let me explain. Piper is a Golden Dotson that is very sweet but had some issues: pulls on leash so bad I was scared to walk her, non socialization with others, barking. Zola is our puppy of 15 months Golden Doodle and she wasn't leash trained, barked at other people and would bark all day and jump on you. I hired LEAD Dog and I wasn't sure what would happen but I was desperate. They changed my world in a DAY!!! They spent about 3 hours with me, showing me, talking to me, teaching me and MY dogs. When they left.... my husband and I could take them walking around the harbor with many other people and dogs and we practiced all the things we were taught. For the first time EVER...we were getting compliments on how well our dogs behaved!! WHAT??? We couldn't believe that after a few hours....our lives and dogs' behavior was changed. I'm on my 2nd day now and the training continues within the home but it ALL works! We are so impressed with their ability and knowledge as a trainer. I will continue to reach out when new issues arrive to use LEAD DOG and will tell anyone and everyone how wonderful the training was! I'm a customer for LIFE! My dogs enjoy long walks now and I'm not nervous taking them out. They don't pull at the leash and are slowly getting socialized. They don't bark at the tv when they see other dog commercials, don't bark at the door when the door bell rings and I use the one word command (that's it) one word command that works on any behavior they do I want stopped! Plus, no more dogs on the furniture or close when we eat! IT WORKS!!! DO NOT HESITATE....CALL THEM NOW!! Plus the pricing was wonderful for all they did to change our life forever and enjoy our dogs again!
L.E.A.D. DogL.E.A.D. Dog
Merryl D.
Lloyd was very helpful in preparing us for our two litter mate puppies and on his return visit, was also helping in keeping us on the right track. He is very knowledgeable about raising and training pups, having spent his whole career with dogs.
L.E.A.D. DogL.E.A.D. Dog
Judy M.
After just one hour Lloyd trained us how to walk our two 2 yr old Goldens without pulling. We had almost every kind of distraction and we are ready now for practice. We wish we had had Lloyd for our puppy training, and highly recommend him to anyone with a puppy or a even mature dog. Lloyd is extremely knowledgeable and he is very pleasant to work with and eager to help.
L.E.A.D. DogL.E.A.D. Dog
Luke E.
We contacted Lloyd to help us with our 8 month old German shepherd named Obi. We had done a significant amount of training with Obi already, but he was displaying some aggressive tendencies towards strangers entering our home and we wanted to get some help with that. Lloyd came for his standard 2 hour session and when he left we felt we had a much better handle on the situation. Using some standard training techniques, he gave us a number of tools to handle Obi's aggressiveness in many different situations. On top of that he showed us new tricks to help with leash walking, and general leadership training, something Lloyd highly stresses the importance of. I would recommend Lloyd for anyone trying to learn how to better train their dog, regardless of issues you may be struggling with.
L.E.A.D. DogL.E.A.D. Dog
Lauren K.
Lloyd and his wife were, and continue to be, outstanding - truly professional, knowledgable, and effective. We brought home a rescue puppy, and soon realized we were in over our heads. It had been 16 years since we trained any puppy, and with our new puppy not having been socialized for his first 14 weeks, we had a cute looking lunging, biting, nipping, suborn, dominating, fear aggressing, protesting new addition to our family, which left us all wondering if he was going to be too aggressive to keep, since we have children in our home and elderly neighbors all around. At our first lesson, Lloyd assessed our puppy and assured us he was safe to keep, IF we socialized him and trained him properly. He demonstrated and explained step by step how we were to interact with him in every situation in and outside of our home. Our puppy has not lunged, bit, or nipped since our first lesson! Also, we discussed crate training, and our puppy is sleeping through the night without all of the commotion of scratching, crying, howling and barking that we endured pre- Lloyd. He has become much less fearful, after following Lloyds plan for meeting his socialization needs. We had a follow-up lesson two weeks later to learn how to walk him properly on the leash, so as he grows we do not have an out of control beast who is dragging us down the street. Again, after a short lesson, demonstration and education in proper technique, our puppy is walking when we ask him to do so, he used to sit down and only walk if he wanted to; he is no longer pulling us down the block, he walks behind or next to us; he has quit lunging at other dogs to play, and waits to see if we let him meet another dog; and he is waiting to walk into the house, instead of being overly excited and out of control. We still have a lot of work to do with our new puppy but I feel confident knowing I can text or call Lloyd with any questions or concerns. He ALWAYS responds in a timely manner with straight forward, easy to understand instruction. Also, we have Lloyd to thank for us getting our puppy on medication for Giardia, a puppy parasite that vets do not automatically test for, as when I described his eating habits and elimination patterns, Lloyd suggested this might be an issue. In fact, when we went to the vet, Giardia was causing our puppy to be ridiculously hungry and needing to go outside much too often. He was put on medication to clear the condition and that helped him with potty training and eating more appropriately. We will continue to check in with Lloyd from time to time, as he is amazing. We credit him with turning our truly horrific situation into a joyful loving one for both our puppy and ourselves. Obviously, we highly recommend him without any reservations what so ever. Thank you Lloyd! - L.K. HHI, SC. January, 2022
L.E.A.D. DogL.E.A.D. Dog
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