Dog Training: Group Vs Private Lessons

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Are you interested in training your dog, but don’t know where to start? Seeking out a professional dog trainer is a great way to tackle all of your dog training goals effectively, and without feeling so alone in the process.

To choose the best training plan for your pup, consider their behavior and age, as well as your lifestyle and training goals. One of the most important choices you’ll make is whether you want to do group versus private training lessons. If you’re not sure which would be best, here’s some of the common benefits and drawbacks of group classes and private training to help you decide.

Group Training

Right off the bat, group training is generally more affordable, more social, and better for overall basic training. If you have a puppy at home and would like to teach them behavioral skills, group training allows them to better master their skillset due to being in a busy social setting. By getting the opportunity to gain confidence around other dogs, you can guarantee that your pup is properly socialized. Then, when you venture out for dog walking in Columbus, Ohio, you won’t have to worry about your pup not obeying your commands despite the stimuli in their surroundings.

Group training is also great for pet parents who are seeking to be a part of a supportive community. Many will have similar concerns and needs for their pups. Training with a group can foster a friendly and energetic environment, encouraging dogs and pet parents alike to work harder to succeed in the class. Pet parents can get together to talk about wins and losses, share their insights with one another, and foster collaborative and deep connections. To top it off, this could lead to new friendships (for both dog and human!) and therefore a full calendar of puppy play dates. Plus, doing different pup activities can be so much more fun when your pup has other furry friends to join them!

The Drawbacks of Group Training

While group classes have many benefits, they aren’t ideal for every dog. Those with severe and/or pre-existing behavioral, anger, or anxiety issues might be deemed unsafe in group settings. Under these conditions, a pup would fare much better with a private dog trainer. In a group class, the trainer often has to divide their focus between all the pups present. This renders the trainer incapable of providing individualized attention and care, which is crucial for a dog who has more serious behavioral concerns.

Private Training

Private dog training is ideal for clients with busy schedules who have specific training goals in mind or an adult dog who will benefit from a quieter learning environment. Private sessions ensure that all of the focus is on you and your pup. Every session is geared toward specific client goals, making this type of training ideal for dogs with anxiety, aggression, or any other specific behavioral issue. Private sessions are often better for older dogs than group sessions, as the quiet training environment helps them to focus better. Private training is typically designed to suit your specific needs, making it ideal for pet parents with chaotic schedules that can’t commit to a set time every week or would prefer in-home dog training. If you are interested in strengthening your bond one on one with your pup in a quiet, personalized environment, private training is for you!

Private training comes with a ton of perks, but it isn’t ideal for everyone. Because the lessons are so personalized and offer undivided attention from the trainer, private lessons are typically more expensive than group lessons. Private lessons also lack the social aspect that group lessons offer. While this may be exactly what your dog needs to promote their training, some owners find that they desire the support system and sense of community that group lessons offer.

Or use both environments to your advantage!

Some pups (and owners) will benefit from both types of training! Oftentimes, a dog will start out taking private lessons in order to build up a solid foundation of obedience and to eliminate any specific behavioral issues they have such as anger or anxiety. Once the foundational training has been established, pups and their parents can continue training in group classes in order to improve command reliability or to develop specialty skills.


Semi-private lessons with 3-4 other dogs are typically the most effective way to work on specific skills without losing out on the community aspect of training. The training is still very much geared towards your pup, and the trainer can offer individualized attention to each participant, but the pup and the owner do not completely lose out on the social aspect of training, either. 


What should I do if I’m unsure of my training goals?

It is completely normal to be confused about what specific skills you and your pup need to work on. Sometimes we know that we need to work on obedience training, but aren’t sure where to start or what a good end goal looks like. This is why it is important to choose a trainer that will help you through this process and advise you on how to establish a productive and efficient training plan for your specific situation. Sometimes trainers can offer creative training solutions to solve problems, curb behaviors that we didn’t know were unhealthy, and even help your pup make a PAWsitive influence in their community!



Regardless of how you choose to train your fur baby, it’s always a good idea to talk with your trainer about your goals and what training methods will work best for you and your pup. A comfortable environment is always the first step in strengthening your relationship and building up those training skills!



Hello! Thanks for visiting our blog. I'm the proud owner of Columbus's own Hands N Paws, started in 2018 to bring joy to pet parents. See you in the next post!

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The terms of this agreement are as follows: “Client” refers to you, “Company” refers to us (Hands N Paws), “Team Member” refers to the person from our team providing services for  your pets, and “Team Members” refers to the Hands N Paws team as a whole.


It is important to inform Hands N Paws of any specific emergency instructions or medical conditions related to Client’s pets. This will help ensure the safety and well-being of pets during emergencies.

In case any of Client’s pets need emergency veterinary treatment, Team Member will contact the designated vet on file and/or a local emergency vet. Team Member will also communicate with Client and/or emergency contacts regarding the situation.

Client gives permission to Team Member to transport the pet(s) to a veterinary clinic and/or make treatment decisions (except for euthanasia), especially if it’s a life-threatening emergency and/or Client cannot be immediately reached. Client is responsible for any veterinary fees incurred. 

Client releases Hands N Paws from any liability for any damage or harm to pets or property that occurs beyond the reasonable control of Team Member during the provision of emergency veterinary care. 


To comply with local laws and ordinances, it is required that all pets have the appropriate vaccinations and licenses before Company begins services. For further information on these requirements, please visit the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at Client should also check with his/her veterinarian to determine which vaccinations/shots the pet requires. 

For safety reasons, we encourage all dogs and cats to wear an ID tag or collar that includes name and contact number while Team Member is working with them.


To ensure access to Client’s home during scheduled services, Hands N Paws requires that Client purchases a lockbox and places a spare house key(s) inside of it for Team Member to use. Client can purchase the lockbox on Hands N Paws’ website by clicking Buy Your Lockbox. Once it arrives, the lockbox should be programmed with a unique four-digit code. The lockbox should then be placed on the main door handle or in another secure location, and the lockbox code and location information must be entered in the Client’s account on Precise Petcare.

Alternatively, Client may elect to provide a code for entry via a garage door or electronic keypad and if so, must enter all necessary codes in Precise Petcare. Client is strongly encouraged to purchase a lockbox, however, to ensure that Team Member can access pets at all times during scheduled services, especially in situations where the power goes out or batteries die and Team Member need alternative access to the home.


All Team Members have access to Clients phone number, but are instructed to only use them when necessary or for urgent purposes during services with pets. Hands N Paws prioritizes the privacy and confidentiality of phone numbers as personal information.

All correspondence between Client and Team Member should be centered around Client’s pets and the services provided. If Client has inquiries regarding scheduling, cancellations, app-related matters, or any company-related concerns, these are to be directed to the Company via the office number: (614) 636-6644. The Company’s client support team is available during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm. We are closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal Holidays. The Company will make contact with Client outside of office hours should there be any urgent need for communication.


In order to provide the best possible service to pets, it is crucial that Client provides Team Member with detailed and up-to-date information regarding their pets. This information should be accurate, complete, and accessible through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Team Members can only work on the basis of the information that is available to them through the Client’s account in Precise Petcare. Likewise, Client acknowledges that the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information they provide directly impacts the quality of the services delivered. Client, therefore, takes full responsibility for any consequences that arise from inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated account information.


Arrival times for services occur within a two-hour period. Team Members are unable to guarantee exact arrival times due to various factors that may affect scheduling and travel times. To accommodate these considerations, we use time blocks rather than specific times. Client will see this in the dropdown menu when Client selects Arrival Time in the request service form within their Client account.

While Team Members understands that Client may have preferences regarding arrival times, it is essential to acknowledge that Team Members cannot guarantee meeting those specific requests. Flexibility is needed in order for Team Members to accommodate for needs of other Clients on schedule.


For the most up-to-date and detailed descriptions on service offerings, please visit our website at


The following service surcharges may apply under certain conditions:

Last Minute Service: A fee of $15 per service will be charged for bookings made with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Holiday Service: A fee of $20 per service will be applied for services provided on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve.

Additional Pets: Base pricing for services includes up to 2 pets. For each additional pet beyond the initial two, an additional fee of $7 per pet will be added.

*Additional fees may apply, as discussed/negotiated between Company and Client. 


Hands N Paws strives to accommodate as many service requests as possible. However, the approval of service requests is subject to the availability of Team Members. Upon submitting a service request, Client will receive a confirmation or declination email/notification indicating whether Hands N Paws can fulfill the requested work. Sometimes, this may take up to 48 hours or more.

If a service request is declined, we encourage Client to explore alternative options or contact our dedicated client support team for further assistance. Company is here to help and find the best solution for all pet care needs.


To ensure a personalized experience for new Clients, Hands N Paws requires a virtual or in-person Meet N Greet before getting started with pet services. These meetings allow us to connect with and onboard Clients and discuss their pet care needs.

All virtual Meet N Greets are free of charge. All in-person Meet N Greets come at a $50 cost. Meet N Greets are no more than 30 minutes in length.

New Clients can book their Meet N Greet on our website at Existing Clients can book their Meet N Greet in their designated client account in Precise Petcare.


Payment Method: All services with Hands N Paws are to be paid for using a credit or debit card. All major cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover are acceptable. Client can securely add and store card information within their Client account. Adding and keeping a valid credit card on file is a requirement for requesting any services with Hands N Paws.

Ongoing Services: For services scheduled as ongoing, Client will be automatically charged every Friday for the previous 7 days’ worth of completed, canceled, and in-progress services.

Non-Ongoing Services: For services not scheduled as ongoing, a 50% down-payment will be charged on the day the services are accepted and confirmed. An invoice will be sent immediately. Client has until the date of the last confirmed service to manually pay the remaining balance on the invoice. If manual payment is not made, the remaining total will be automatically charged to the card on file on the date of the last service day on that invoice.

Declined Payments: In the event of a declined auto-charge, Client will be promptly notified. After the first declined charge, Client has a 24-hour grace period to rectify the issue. In the case of a second declined attempt, a late fee of 10% of the invoice total (minimum $10) will be added. Client must be attentive to emails regarding overdue notices.

Payment Terms: Hands N Paws will be paid the agreed-upon amount as discussed, with no exceptions, unless our Cancellation Policy (outlined below) applies and the Client receives a refund in the form of an Account Credit(s). In emergency circumstances, a refund may be issued as transferable credit(s) back to the Client’s card.

Additional Fees: Client may be charged additional fees if Team Members are instructed to, or determine the need to, purchase items for the pet(s) while under the care of Hands N Paws. These items may include pet food or treats, litter or cleaning supplies, transportation to the vet, or emergency expenses for the general care of the pet(s). Hands N Paws and/or Team Member will consult with Client before making any purchases, and will retain and share any receipts as proof of purchase.


When Client schedules services with Hands N Paws, the Company has likely turned down other work so as to devote our time to the work requested from said Client.

Client understands and accepts the Company cancellation/refund policy as outlined below:

– 100% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– 50% refund is issued as Account Credit if cancellation is made at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled service(s).

– NO refund is issued for same-day cancellations/less than 24 hour notice.

PLEASE NOTE: Refunds are NOT transferable. Should Client be eligible to receive an Account Credit (based on terms above), that will be auto-added to his/her account and applied to the very next invoice with us.


Hands N Paws agrees to provide the services stated in this contract in a reliable, caring, and trustworthy manner. In consideration of these services and as an express condition thereof, Client expressly waives and relinquishes any and all claims against Hands N Paws arising out of or relating to the provision of services hereunder, except those arising from gross negligence or willful misconduct on part of Hands N Paws.

Client understands and acknowledges that the environment in which they are requesting Hands N Paws to complete services is reasonably sanitary and safe. If it is determined that home conditions are unsanitary and/or unsafe at any point in the working relationship, Company will make it known to Client. Action will be taken accordingly thereafter.

Additionally, Hands N Paws will not terminate during a period of scheduled service unless Hands N Paws determines, at their sole discretion, that a serious danger exists to the health or safety of Team Members or pets. If such concerns preclude Hands N Paws from providing further care for the pets, Client agrees to pay for their pet to be boarded at a boarding facility or taken under the care of another party until Client returns. All attempts will be made to notify Client and/or emergency contacts regarding such situations.

Client understands and acknowledges that he/she is responsible for letting Hands N Paws know of anyone who has access to their home during the duration of services booked. Client releases and holds Hands N Paws harmless of all loss, expense, and damage caused by any third-parties entering Client’s home at that time.


This contract will take effect upon digital signature by Client (clicking “Agree & Submit” below) and will remain in effect until terminated by either party. Client may make online reservations for additional services at any time during the terms of this contract, as subject to Hands N Paws availability. All scheduled services will be governed by all the terms of this contract.

Client acknowledges that by signing below, he/she is providing written approval for the provision of services by Hands N Paws during any service period scheduled by Client and confirmed by Hands N Paws. Upon service confirmation, Hands N Paws will be authorized to enter Client premises and perform services without additional signed contracts and/or written authorizations.