What You Should Know – Dogster

Have you ever taken an online class with your dog? In response to the pandemic there has been a tremendous growth in opportunities to train your dog online. Virtual dog training can take the form of individual private lessons with a trainer or signing up for a group class that meets via zoom. For dog owners with busy schedules, online dog training is a great way to teach your dog new tricks or games and to address behavioral concerns in the home.

Online group dog-training classes 

One option for online training with your dog is to sign up for a virtual group class. These classes mirror the kinds of classes you could sign up for in person at a local dog training center or kennel club. There are online group classes focused on basic manners, puppy training and even sport training. Online classes can be a one-time seminar/workshop or may be a weekly class. Some online classes are pre-recorded and can be taken asynchronously. Other online classes involve everyone and their dogs gathering for a scheduled zoom call with the trainer. 

Virtual individual coaching for you and your dog 

Another option for online dog training is to work with a trainer one on one with your dog. Online coaching or private lessons is a great way to jumpstart your training or work through ongoing training challenges. With individual coaching, you and your dog can virtually get hands-on support tailored to your specific training struggles or goals. With private online training, you’ll get an individualized training plan for you and your dog. 

Worldwide access to dog training

One of the big benefits of online dog training is the ability to work with whatever trainer you want regardless of where you are located and how far away that trainer lives. This can be especially beneficial for people who are interested in pursuing different dog sports. With online coaching, you can take classes, seminars or even book private lessons with some of the best handlers in the world right from your living room. Online dog training lowers the barriers for getting involved making dog training and sports more accessible to dogs and their owners living anywhere.

Best online dog training 

The best option for online dog training is going to be what works for your learning style and your schedule. Some people who have very busy and unpredictable schedules naturally are going to prefer asynchronous training options where if you get stuck working late you aren’t at risk of missing your dog’s training class. Other people may struggle with the more self-directed nature of that type of training and really want there to be a set time each week to login with the experience of being “in class” with other dogs and owners, even if it’s through a computer screen. 

One of the primary benefits of online dog training is the versatility and accessibility. With online training opportunities you and your dog can get the support that you need from the comfort of your home on a schedule that works for you. Online training can be an opportunity to get support for dogs who are reactive to other dogs or people or who struggle with stress, anxiety or aggression issues when near other dogs or people. For these dogs, online training can be life changing as their owners are able to get the instruction skill they need without putting the dog in a position of being continually flooded and overwhelmed by triggers. 

Virtual dog sports training online 

In addition to taking your dog to training classes online, your dog can also earn titles in a variety of sports. From Agility to Obedience, Scent Work and Tricks, it’s possible to earn titles online from organizations like the American Kennel Club. To earn title certificates online you record videos of your dog performing the required skills. You then send those videos either to a certified evaluator or to the titling organization. Once the title is approved the title certificate and/or ribbon is then sent to the dog and handler. 

Where to find online dog training

Many organizations and trainers offer online dog training. First, figure out what kind of training you are looking for: basic training, help for reactive dogs, dog anxiety, trick training, scent work,  etc. Search online or through word of mouth for a trainer or organization that specializes in that type of training. Research the trainer or organization ahead of time. If you like what you’ve learned, contact the trainer or organization to find out what type of online training is available and if it will meet you and your dog’s needs.

Dog training online is a great way to test out different sports and activities. Online dog training can help dog owners struggling with behavioral issues in the home, or those who are looking to provide more enrichment for your dog’s life. Consider your schedule and preferred learning style to determine if a virtual group class will work best, or if you would prefer to have individual coaching sessions. 

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