How much dog training can cost
President Joe Biden’s Young Shepherd, Major, is sent for training after a series of biting incidents at the White House.
The 3-year-old German Shepherd was adopted as a puppy by the Delaware Humane Association in late 2018 and is the first animal shelter dog to live on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“The private off-site training is in the Washington DC area and is expected to last a few weeks,” a spokeswoman for First Lady Jill Biden told NBC News this week.
While it’s unclear how much majors training will cost, training isn’t cheap for other dog owners who find themselves in a similar situation. Petco’s cheapest private lesson is $ 89 for an hour, while a six-week training course is $ 299. PetSmart offers private workouts for $ 89 per hour and $ 219 for four hours.
Sending a dog away for intense training can cost even more.
For a situation like Major’s, “it could only cost $ 400 or $ 500 a week to double or triple that,” Vicki Bemont, a member of the education committee for the German Shepherd Club of America, told CNBC Make It. She notes that it is difficult to specifically assess Major’s needs without knowing more details about the nature and cause of each Major biting incident.
“In-house training is usually much more expensive because you have to look after and care for the dog,” she says. “There are a lot of different moving parts in there.”
Despite the cost, there is hope for German Shepherds. They are very trainable dogs, says Bemont. She is optimistic that Major will make a complete turnaround.
“When these dogs are purposefully bred to have the right temperament and ability to work, there is very little that cannot be taught to a German Shepherd,” she says.
A staunch defense attorney for Major, President Biden stated that the sheer number of people walking around the White House was a lot for the dog to get used to.
“You turn a corner and there are two people you don’t know at all and he’s moving to protect them,” Biden said in an interview with George Stephanopolous last month. “But he’s a cute dog. Eighty-five percent of the people there love him. He just licks them and wags his tail.”
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