Are you thinking of taking online dog training classes, but aren’t sure if they’ll work for you?
While not all courses are the same, you and your dog can learn a lot from home by following an online curriculum that can easily fit into your schedule, and at your own pace.
Without leaving home, you can teach your dog to be more confident, better at picking up new skills, and best of all, more fun to be around.
You’ll Love Online Dog Training Classes If…
When it comes to private or group training sessions, there is usually a lot of information to take in all while you’re trying to work with your dog. This can make it tough to retain what you’ve learned.
With an online training class, you can replay lessons as much as you wish, take notes, and email your instructor when you have questions.
From the comfort of home, you can train without distractions, e.g. other dogs, noises, and other people. If your dog is reactive or still learning how to pay attention to you in a distracting environment, online training classes are a godsend.
In group classes, you and your dog may have trouble keeping up with the pace of the class… or you may even pick up new skills faster than the other student teams. An online class gives you a curriculum to follow, but you can always revert back to steps or jump ahead whenever you’d like.
Before You Begin
First, make sure you select a class that covers topics that personally interest you. Are you excited to learn brain training games to teach your dog? Or are you looking forward to raising your puppy into a well-rounded adult?
The class you choose should not only cover what actions to take with your dog, but why you’ll be taking them, and how to set your dog up for success. They should also focus on using rewards and games to make training fun, whether you’re improving on problem behaviours or learning new tricks.
Why Online Dog Training Classes Might Not Be For You
There are definitely some benefits to in-person training classes that online courses just cannot replace.
When you work with a private, in-home trainer, your trainer can see how you work with your dog and help you diagnose issues based on your own strengths and weaknesses, your dog’s subtle body language cues, and the unique dynamic of your household.
In some cases, in-person professional help is a must to avoid rehoming your dog. Aggression, severe reactivity, and resource guarding are often made worse when owners try to work on these issues at home, even with online guidance.
How To Make The Most Of Online Dog Training Classes
As with all classes, you’ll get more value from online dog training classes when you take them seriously and focus on making progress, rather than completing the course as quickly as possible.
Carve out some time each day to work on the course lessons. If there are ten units, for example, you might create a lesson plan to work on one unit per week. Maybe you would do the coursework on Mondays, then practice with your dog every day after work for the next few days.
It could be difficult to watch the course videos and train your dog at the same time. Writing things down actually boosts your memory, and you’ll know what to work on when you’re done watching.
If you’re not reaching your goals, get in touch with your course instructor for clarity or for additional information. You may find yourself hesitating to move forward if you don’t completely understand the course material, if you don’t feel confident in your training and communication skills, or if you feel like your dog is not understanding what you’re asking of them.
Your instructor wants your questions and your feedback to help them make even better courses in the future. Most of all, they want you and your dog to succeed. Don’t be afraid to reach out!