Can your dog really learn with the trainer on the other side of a screen?
Short answer: Yes!
In these times of social distancing, traditional dog training has been pretty much impossible. Luckily, technology has made virtual training not only easy, but just as effective, in most cases, as in-person training.
The advantages of online training include, but aren’t limited to:
-A wider ranges of times available – train in your pajamas if you want to! (I won’t judge.)
-The ability to customize the length of a lesson to a dog (or person)’s attention span – something that isn’t financially feasible when the trainer has to drive from house to house!
-Train from literally anywhere with a connection to the internet, with no travel fees even if you are out of your trainer’s normal service area.
-Access to the same trainer knowledge and skill you’d get in person, and the same real-time feedback as you work with your dog.
-Less distractions for you and your dog when learning new things.
-The whole family can still be included, even if they aren’t at home (they can join the call from another location!).
Here’s a breakdown of how an online lesson might work.
First, you and your trainer will agree to a time and lesson length and get it on the schedule.
Next, your trainer will send a Zoom link (if you are using Zoom) to access your lesson, or set up another way to get in touch at the appropriate time if you’re using a different platform, like FaceTime.
When you click the link or answer the phone call, the lesson starts!
If this is your first lesson, you and your trainer will spend some time talking about your dog, your goals, and your training plan. If this is not your first lesson, you will probably just do a check-in talk to see how your dog has been doing since the last meeting.
Your trainer will go over what they want you to try and might demo the behavior, describe what you are going to do, or send you a video to check out.
Once you’ve gotten your instructions, you’ll have have a chance to aim your camera at your dog and try it, with feedback from your trainer as you go to help you adjust and improve!
This may be repeated a few times, depending on the length of your session. For example, if you are doing a thirty minute session, you may only work on one or two exercises, but if you are doing an hour-long session, you might have time for three or four. Some of the exercises might be new cues and some might be building on or practicing cues you’ve already started.
Tips for success:
-Have everything ready to go when the time for the lesson comes. That may include your phone, tablet or computer (however you are connecting to the video chat); your dog; any needed equipment for your dog, such as a collar, harness or leash; treats for your dog; and, if you are using them, a treat bag and/or clicker.
-Have a way to prop up your phone to show you and your dog training, even if it is as simple as setting your cell phone in a cup with the camera over the top. Alternatively, you can have an extra person in the family hold the phone if available.
-If you are using headphones for sound, it can be helpful to have wireless headphones so you can move away from the phone as needed for video. An alternative option would be to unplug the headphones and switch to the audio on the device as needed.
-If we are going to be practicing a behavior like going for a walk or doing training outside, make sure your device will still be connected to the internet or data so we don’t lose our connection! You can check this in advance by walking around the area we might use and looking at the strength of your signal.
-As recommended for any lesson, make sure your dog has had a chance to meet their physical needs before the session, such as going for a walk or pottying. If your dog is not very food motivated, don’t feed them a big meal before training, but if they tend to be highly food motivated, it’s fine to feed them some before we train. And make sure that your treats are something they love and will be excited to work for, in small, bite-sized pieces.
Online lessons can be a lot of fun, and really effective. For most people, the most daunting part is learning the technology – but we’re all learning how to do lessons online together, so don’t be afraid to ask your trainer if something isn’t working for you or you don’t know how to set yourself up for an effective lesson. Ideally, ask them ahead of time so that you can and your dog can be set up for success when it’s time for your session.
If you’re ready to give online training a try, check out the options Bond Dog Training offers today no matter what your location!
Just like we humans cannot live alone, dogs, too, need to socialize. If you just keep your dog cooped up inside your house, then he will never be a good dog. I get that some owners can be really protective of their dog, but I assure you, dogs need to socialize as well. I am not saying that you need to let them loose, but please do allow them to go outside from time to time. Dogs are socializing creatures, you know.
2/4/2021 11:04:32 am
It's great that you point out that online dog training offers a convenient way to improve the behavior of your canine. I recently adopted a puppy, so I'm thinking about trying online dog training soon. I'm going to look for a reputable provider of online dog training classes that I can hire.
3/19/2021 09:25:15 pm
You made an excellent point that when looking for an online dog trainer. It is important for us to consider their experience. My wife and I are looking to have our dog trained. I will look into hiring a professional and experienced trainer.
5/28/2021 05:59:29 am
I'm trying to help my dog be more obedient. It makes sense that the proper dog training would be important. I'll be sure to get a professional to help out with this.
6/6/2021 04:29:12 am
6/29/2021 06:48:53 pm
My sister mentioned that she is looking to have her dog trained. I do agree it is important for us to ensure that our dogs are able to communicate well with the trainer. I will look into hiring a reliable trainer for my sister.
8/26/2021 10:24:32 am
My mom has been thinking about training her dog because she wants to be safer. She would really like to get some help from a professional in order to be safer. It was interesting to learn about how they can work with a dog, and work with real-time feedback.
9/9/2021 12:58:38 am
To me train a doctor is like building a bridge on running water. I faced the situation first just after installed a new pet door to my dog’s kennel. The pet hesitated to enter and became nervous. I took a month to make him adjust. Your online dog training might be a solace for many pet owners. Keep it up friend.
9/15/2021 08:20:35 am
I can see how social distancing has made dog training pretty much impossible. But I think at-home training is still an option. At least over video call or maybe if you can go to a park nearby.
9/27/2021 06:13:06 am
I want to make sure that I train my new puppy properly. It makes sense that I would want to learn the right tricks for this. It might be beneficial for me to learn how to do this properly.
10/27/2021 07:19:25 pm
Thanks for pointing out that online lessons can be a lot of fun and effective. This is helpful because my brother wants a second job to support his five kids. He is hoping to find a certified dog trainer school on Monday that can provide certification for him within six months.
12/7/2021 10:11:54 pm
It helped when you mentioned that it is important to have access to the same trainer experience. My cousin mentioned to me last night that his dog is smart and he is planning to enroll his dog in a dog training program and asked if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article and I'll be sure to tell him that they can consult a trusted dog training program as they can answer all his inquiries.
3/12/2022 12:28:59 am
It's awesome that this article talked about your trainer will go through what you'll be doing and may demonstrate the behavior, discuss what you'll be doing, or email you a video to watch. I'm glad that you explain it thoroughly and now it makes more sense. You did a great job of explaining dog obedience lessons.
6/12/2022 10:28:13 pm
I was captured when you discussed that dogs should satisfy their physical needs before the training session. My husband wants to train our dog so it can be more obedient. I should advise him to look for a coach that can assist him with the proper dog training.
11/8/2022 01:30:26 pm
Wow, I never would've thought we'd train our dog using online services. Recently, I adopted a puppy, but she's crazy, and she's destroying everything in my house, so I need some professional help to train her, and I think your article will help me. I appreciate your information on how an online dog training session takes place in the comfort of our home.
Thanks for pointing out that we should ensure that we have a data connection so that we can also take our pet outside without getting disconnected in an online dog training service. I will keep that in mind because I plan to find a trainer that offers that kind of program. It's for the safety of my pet and I, since I still think that the virus can easily infect be due to my weak immune system.
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Sarah is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge and Skills Assessed. She lives in the Texas Hill Country near Austin with her two dogs, Percy, a cattle dog mix, and Clara, a lab/German Shepherd.