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A Guide to Online Dog Training

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Zara, Staff Writer

Monday, 25 January 2021

Dog Training

Dog or puppy training classes are traditionally held in-person, but many trainers now offer remote classes too. 

It’s important to start training puppies as early on as possible. Otherwise, it can be really difficult to stamp out bad behaviour, especially once they reach the adolescent stage at 6 months. But it's not always easy to travel to your dog trainer if you've got a busy schedule or you live in a rural area. Fortunately, online dog training is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to in-person training.

If you're not sure how online dog training works, we've got you covered. Whether you have a puppy or an older dog that requires some obedience training, let's take a look at what online dog training involves so you know what to expect.

At what age should a dog be trained? 

First things first, you might be wondering whether your pup is old enough to be trained. Basic obedience training should start as soon as you get the puppy home which is around the 8-week mark. When the puppy reaches 12-16 weeks, they are ready for general training. 

If your dog is older than this, then a dog trainer may still be able to work with them. After all, dogs require upkeep of their training throughout their lives, otherwise bad habits may start to form. So if you’ve noticed your dog isn’t behaving as you’d like, don’t delay in consulting a dog trainer or even a dog behaviourist for more serious problems. 

Dog Training

How does an Online Dog Training class work? 

Online dog training classes follow the same premise as in-person training but will be held over Zoom, in small groups or individually.  

The classes will cover aspects such as recall, walking on a lead, wait/sit/stay, greeting others without jumping, taking food gently and how to stop play biting. Some classes may offer more advanced training such as behavioural techniques for older dogs or even agility lessons. 

When working with an online dog trainer, the professional will normally give a preview of what to expect with a taster video (which is often free!). Sessions can be booked on an individual basis, though most opt for a block booking of sessions which works out at better value. You can also find free dog training tips and videos online to supplement your sessions.

What you’ll need for online Dog Training

Dog training classes are calm, focused environments. If you opt for online dog training and decided to conduct the sessions from home, you’ll need to try to recreate the same ambience wherever possible. That means removing other dogs/small children/toys/food etc from the area for the duration of the session. 

If you don’t have an outdoor space, you can consider taking your dog to the park instead. Though you’ll need to factor in setting up your laptop or phone so that your online dog trainer can see you and vice versa.

Before you start, check-in with your trainer as you may require certain accessories. Don’t forget those all-important treats which your dog will surely appreciate too! 

FAQ: How much is dog training?

Wondering how much a dog trainer costs? We've got you covered. Read our handy price guide to find out how much you'll pay on average for a dog trainer throughout the UK, broken down by the dog's age, training type, and whether you opt for group or individual training.

Points to note

An inevitable downside of online dog training is that your pup won’t have a chance to socialise with other dogs. On the one hand, this means fewer distractions but it’s something you may need to work on in the future, especially if they show aggression toward other dogs.

Try to not let the training fall to one member of the household. A family pet is everyone’s responsibility, and while the actual classes might involve one person speaking to the trainer, be sure to relay what you’ve learned to everyone else. This will give your pet the consistency it needs. 

Dog training is essential which is why it can’t wait, but remember it can be a challenging process. Don’t get frustrated if it takes time to master a certain aspect. The dog is only going to have a short attention span even with treats, so sometimes it can be helpful to have a break and try the command again later.

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