For many busy dog owners, online dog training is a valuable tool to help train their dog or puppy without leaving their home. However, there are several different kinds of online dog training programs available. After hours of research, we built a list that details some considerations to think about and help you choose the best fit for you and your dog.
While online dog training has been around for years the recent pandemic created several opportunities for dog training programs to become available in a variety of online formats and price ranges for people all over the world. Programs can be live, recorded, or customized for a training experience that works best for you and your dog.
There are many reasons why some dog owners train their dogs online. Some canines dislike car trips and unfamiliar places. Online dog training offers a stress-free home environment and allows owners to strengthen their bond with their furry companions. However, dog owners should be prepared to set aside regular times to work on training and be patient as their dog is learning.
We hope the list below helps you make an informed decision for choosing an online dog training program that works best for you.
#1 Find qualified and experienced online trainers
It might be tempting to sign up for free online training trials, but before you start watching videos, take some time to find out important details about the trainer or online program. Professional dog trainers will be able to list their qualifications and background experiences working with dogs either in person or virtually. The same information should be available if you are using a pet behavioral expert. Established online dog training programs often have reviews from current or past customers about their personal experiences using the program.
#2 What behaviors need training?
Many of the online dog training programs we looked at offered several different courses to fit your needs, so it’s important to know what you want to get out of the training. Is your new furry friend a puppy who needs several basic behaviors modified or an older dog that just needs help learning barking manners? Perhaps you would like the training to include leash training or help with aggressive behavior. Think about what behaviors you would like to train immediately and if other behavior training can be added on or purchased later.
#3 Time commitment
Be realistic about how much time you have to commit to courses in your daily and weekly schedule. Some courses are live and you will need to log on at a certain time for individual or group classes. Other courses are pre-recorded and you can watch and train at your convenience. The trainer or program should be able to give you a good idea about how often you will need to work with your dog on a skill to be successful.
All the online training courses we reviewed require you to be present and focused as your dog is learning (or unlearning) a behavior. Consistent training really can be the key to consistent behavior!
#4 Know your online training budget
Dog training professionals might offer a free class or promotion for new clients, but it’s unlikely they are giving out their expert training courses for free. After we sorted through many online dog training programs, we realized there is a wide price range for experienced dog trainers. Some programs allow for a monthly fee while others require a full course payment before starting the training.
Setting a budget may help narrow down your online search, but there are other costs to consider as well. Will you need to purchase any products or training tools? Some programs require you to purchase a book or training products from their company. We found that many training programs also offer dog owners to expand the training services or add on additional courses later.
#5 Read the cancellation/refund policy
If you are new to online dog training, choosing a trainer or program that has reasonable cancellation or refund policy might be important to know before you buy. Some programs have monthly fees or offer trial periods which allows for some flexibility if you decide the trainer or method isn’t a good fit for you and your dog.
Once you’ve thought about what you want out of an online dog training experience, you are ready to start looking at which trainers and programs fit your needs. This process can take a while! We have also spent hours of research looking into specific online courses. While we haven’t had the opportunity to try all the online dog training courses, we work hard to keep the guides updated and provide additional information about well-reviewed programs.
How Effective Is Online Dog Training?
Many dog owners that have completed online dog training programs are pleased the with trusting relationship that online training can build. Since there is not a professional trainer in the room, your dog learns from you and how you present training cues instead of following another person. As with all programs, online dog training is most effective when it is used consistently.
How Long Do I Have To Complete Online Dog Training Classes?
The length of time you have to complete an online course can vary quite a bit between programs. Some programs give you a certain about of weeks to access the videos while others leave content available for longer periods of time. Before purchasing a course, contact the online dog training program to ask for the specifics if they are not available on their website.