Considering that so many of us have had to take our entire lives “online” recently, dog training is no different.
But does online dog training actually work?
As many of you know, I am a dog trainer and dog behavior expert with 17 years experience at City Sit Stay. Having only dabbled previously in online teaching, 2020 became the first year where it was almost exclusively online. But does it work? In my experience it’s a huge yes.
The key to a good dog trainer, is not to show off how well they can handle a dog, or show the dog doing a beautiful sit or a cute trick. The key to good dog training is training the human. As the owner, you are your dogs trainer. My job (or any trainers job) is to show you how to do things and implement systems that work when I am not there.
I pass on my knowledge and experience to explain to you how it’s done. Any good dog trainer does not even need to be in the same room as a dog to train it, but communicate with the owner how to do it with their dog (we are basically human trainers 😉 ). This can easily be done in a virtual classroom environment.
Having had various stages of lockdown and restrictions in the world atm, I have seen very clearly that there is no correlation between meeting the dog in person and meeting them online when it comes to most behaviours us trainers teach. With more specific reactivity/behavior issues, this isn’t the case however, but these cases are rarer. There are also certain behaviour issues that we are actually able to modify and work on better via distance training rather than being in the room because the dog is reactive or has fear issues. In those instances, not being near the dog works best/is safest.
My current advanced dog training class has a mix of clients who I have never met in real life, private 1-1 clients, real life in person class clients, etc. A real variety that demonstrates the different styles of training offered/available to clients this year. All dogs are progressing in the same way and at the same speed. In fact in 2 of my classes, the clients I have never met in person before (they have only had online classes with me) are ahead of those who have had in person classes.
I know this is anecdotal, but a few of my trainer friends have discovered the same.
Other benefits include
- the dogs are better behaved when in a non distracting environment
- improved focus
- owners are more comfortable and work at their own pace
- those shielding can still learn
- more accessible
- late comers welcome
- if you miss the class, you get the recording
- it’s better to start than not start- who knows how long this will last
Would love to hear your thoughts