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Private Dog Training vs. Group Classes: Choosing the Right Approach for Your Canine Companion


Embarking on the journey of training your dog is an exciting and rewarding endeavour. However, one of the first decisions you’ll face is whether to opt for private dog training sessions or enroll your furry friend in a group class. Both approaches have their advantages and considerations, and understanding the differences between them can help you make an informed decision. In this blog post, we’ll explore the contrasts between private dog training and group classes to help you determine which option best suits your needs and your dog’s personality.

Personalised Attention vs. Socialisation:

Private Dog Training:

Personalised attention: Private training sessions offer one-on-one instruction tailored to your dog’s specific needs and behaviour issues. A professional trainer can focus solely on your dog, addressing individual challenges and customising the training programme accordingly.

Flexibility: Private sessions allow for greater flexibility in scheduling, as appointments can be arranged at your convenience. This is particularly beneficial for busy pet owners or dogs with specific training requirements.

Intensive training: With undivided attention from the trainer, private sessions can often progress more quickly, potentially leading to quicker or stronger results.

Group Classes:

Socialisation opportunities: Group classes provide valuable socialisation opportunities for your dog, allowing them to interact with other dogs and people in a controlled environment. This can help improve their social skills and confidence around new situations.

Distraction training: Learning in a group setting exposes your dog to various distractions, such as other dogs and noises, which can help them learn to focus on cues even in challenging environments.

Cost-effective: Group classes are often more cost-effective than private training sessions, making them a budget-friendly option for pet owners seeking professional guidance.

Training Goals and Focus:

Private Dog Training:

Targeted training: Private sessions enable the trainer to focus exclusively on your specific training goals, whether it’s obedience training, behaviour modification, or addressing specific issues like aggression or anxiety.

Tailored approach: The trainer can customize the training programme to suit your dog’s personality, temperament, and learning style, ensuring a more effective and enjoyable learning experience.

Group Classes:

Generalised curriculum: Group classes typically follow a structured curriculum covering basic obedience skills, leash manners, and common behavioural issues. While this may not address specific problems your dog may have, it provides a solid foundation for general obedience and manners.

Trainer Expertise and Support:

Private Dog Training:

Individualised guidance: Private trainers can provide in-depth guidance and support, offering personalised advice and strategies to address your dog’s unique challenges.

Continuous feedback: With the trainer’s undivided attention, you’ll receive immediate feedback and guidance throughout the training process, helping you refine your techniques and approach.

Group Classes:

Group dynamics: In a group setting, trainers can observe how dogs interact with each other and provide insights into canine behaviour and communication. This can be valuable for pet owners looking to understand their dog’s behaviour in social contexts.

Community support: Group classes foster a sense of community among participants, allowing pet owners to share experiences, tips, and advice with fellow dog lovers. This support network can be beneficial for navigating common challenges and celebrating successes together.


Choosing between private dog training and group classes depends on your dog’s individual needs, your training goals, and your personal preferences. Private training offers personalised attention, flexibility, and targeted instruction, making it ideal for addressing specific behaviour issues or training goals. On the other hand, group classes provide socialisation opportunities, training around distractions, and cost-effective guidance in a supportive community setting. Ultimately, the best approach is one that aligns with your dog’s temperament, your training objectives, and your lifestyle, ensuring a positive and successful training experience for both you and your canine companion.

We offer both formats here at Pet Coach SG! Find out more here!

Picture of Webster Cheong, BA, IAABC-ADT, CPDT-KA

Webster Cheong, BA, IAABC-ADT, CPDT-KA

Webster has trained various species in zoos, rehabilitated companion animals, and championed animal welfare standards. He represented Singapore in the Amphibian Taxon Advisory Group, focusing on amphibian care and conservation. Now, his main focus is in canine fitness and conditioning as well as essential canine skills.

Picture of Qiai Chong, MSc, CSAT, CSB-D, CPDT-KSA

Qiai Chong, MSc, CSAT, CSB-D, CPDT-KSA

With over a decade of study in the animal behaviour and welfare sciences, Qiai earned her Masters from the University of Edinburgh and has since devoted herself to the welfare and behaviour of pets. She has worked as an animal behaviourist since, and her expertise lies in addressing pet behavioural issues such as fears, phobias, anxiety and aggression.

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