It makes sense that you can learn dog training online – you can learn just about anything online these days! When I wanted to learn guitar, I learned online. It was way more flexible and convenient that travelling to a guitar teacher and cheaper than hiring someone too. Learning to train your dog online has the same appeal, but like all things, there are pros and cons.
I’ve been training dogs professionally for over 7 years now and I’ve seen and tested many different forms of training someone else’s dog for them. There’s group classes, often the first picture that comes to mind when thinking of getting help with training a dog. There’s board and train, where the trainer takes in your dog at their home or facility, trains it and then hands it back to you. There’s one on one private lessons where the trainer will come to your home and help you right there to address any behaviour problems and teach your dog to be well mannered. And then there’s online training. All of these services have pros and cons for both the dog and the owner.
Should You Use Online Training To Train Your Dog?
Usually people search for help online when they have a problem that is troubling them right now. They’re either looking to see an in person professional or find information online for a DIY approach. Just like any DIY project, the main advantage is saving money and the main disadvantage is that you usually won’t do as good a job as if you hired a pro.
So with that in mind…
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Online Dog Training
The Pros Of Online Dog Training
You’ll Save Money
In most cases, online dog training will cost less than a dog training program provided by an in person trainer. Sometimes by hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the problem and how much time it needs to be given.
You Don’t Have To Travel
You can train right in the comfort of your own home and nearby surrounds to proof behaviours
It’s On Your Schedule
Eliminate the rush to get home from work, get changed, grab the dog and gear, pack the car and drive to a dog training school. You also don’t have to work in with a set appointment for a trainer coming to your home either.
Pause, Rewind, Repeat
This is one of the big benefits I see to online training programs – usually the lesson is in video form so you can rewatch lessons or parts of lessons if you forget something or it doesn’t stick right away.
Training At Home First Is Easier For Your Dog
Dogs learn best in easy, familiar environments with low distractions first. Learning in a new environment or a group class full of other dogs is incredibly challenging for your dog especially when both of you are learning something new. It’s much more fair to start with the basics in your home and then gradually practice with higher distractions and in new places, when you and your dog are both ready. Don’t forget to practice in new places once your dog is getting it though – you don’t want a dog that only listens at home!
The Cons Of Online Dog Training
You’re On Your Own
Some of the things that make dog training online appealing can also be their downside. You’ll need to keep yourself accountable to practice and keep training up with your dog (your dog will love training and appreciate this!)
A lot of your training success will depend on your ability to take new information and apply it to your unique situation without the watchful eye of a professional to make sure you’re not making mistakes without realising it. You need to be adaptable and use common sense with how you apply what you learn because while the learning theory is always the same….
Every Dog Is Different
We say this a lot in dog training. There’s science involved which stays the same but you’ll always have a different dog and different situation in front of you and you need to be able to adapt your training to how that individual animal is behaving. Sometimes they throw you a curveball! To help with this, make sure any dog training courses you choose online allow you access to ask for help from the trainer on any individual variances. For example, in my Dog Matters Academy, we have a Facebook group to support our VIP members.
There’s A Lot Of Bad Advice Out There
Once you have the right online dog trainer to help you, things should improve for you and your dog. But finding the right one? Not so easy! Unfortunately there’s a lot of inconsistent, contradictory or downright terrible advice out there when it comes to training dogs. Make sure you choose someone that shows results and has testimonials to support this. Also ensure they are really a dog trainer and not someone just trying to cash in on the huge and over saturated pet market.
Not Every Issue Can Be Helped Without Seeing The Dog
Again, every dog and every behaviour case is different. There are some behaviour cases that shouldn’t be treated DIY style and need a professional in right away, such as serious aggression towards humans or animals. What I can tell you is that obedience and manners training can be learned online and helps with every situation if done correctly. For example, you may have a professional trainer working directly with you and you can improve your at home results by supplementing training with some online video lessons to refer back to. Just ensure that the online training is by the same trainer or approved by them so that all methods are kept consistent.
Could Your Dog Benefit From Some Training?
It’s amazing how much some small and simple changes to the way you live and interact with your dog can make a difference to their behaviour and happiness. Dogs thrive on routine and clear boundaries and training helps with that and increases the bond between you too.
If your dog needs to brush up on their manners and obedience, or if they’re struggling with a behaviour problem like pulling on the leash or barking and lunging at other dogs on walks, training will improve this and enrich your dog’s life. Training provides amazing mental stimulation! If you want to learn how to unleash your inner trainer and provide more clarity in your dog’s life so you can enjoy them more, I invite you to check out the Dog Matters Academy. We have balanced training that can give you direction with new pups and adult dogs of any age or breed and courses that can help you with obedience and manners or problems such as barking and lunging towards dogs on walks.
You can start with a free account including free downloadable guides and see samples of our full courses. Get started here and I’ll show you how online dog training can help you and your dog.