Are Online Dog Training Courses Effective?

Any dog owner knows that a well-trained dog can bring so much joy to a family and be a beloved companion. Lovable and active, a dog can be a great playmate and fun addition to any household; however, if he is untrained and difficult to communicate with, or can't settle down after play time or exercise, it can become a problem.
Most dog owners learn early on that they need to train their dog to be calm and obedient, and that the earlier they begin this training, the easier it will be to teach their dog what he needs to know. Dog training courses are easy to find, whether they are being taught at kennels, your local pet store or even a private trainer who will come right  to your home. With so many choices, dog training is not difficult to locate; however, there is one more option which people sometimes resist – train your dog yourself. Although this method requires a great deal more dedication, patience and motivation, it is more rewarding and provides the greatest opportunity to build a strong and loyal bond with your dog.
Training your dog yourself does require more work, but it is not impossible, nd the resources for information and coures are extensive. Books and training manuals can be purchased at pet stores and obtained from your local library. One resource people often forget is the internet, where you can purchase online courses that are just as effective as traditional methods for training your dog. These online courses cover the same training as other courses, and provide illustrations, videos and well-outlined instructions for you to help communicate with your dog.

Benefits of Online Courses:

  1. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home and yard. Familiar surroundings will be less stressful for you and your dog while he is learning.
  2. There will be fewer things to distract your dog during training, such as other dogs and strangers, and an environment he may find uncomfortable.
  3. Your dog will not have to deal with the fear or anxiety of getting to know an instructor he does not know.
  4. You can schedule a training session that is convenient for you, rather than be bound to a schedule that is not flexible.
  5. Online courses cost less than private trainers or kennels and other training facilities.
  6. You can train your dog at a pace that suits you and your dog. This is especially important if you dog is struggling with a particular area. He will be able to repeat things until he learns them, rather than be hurried along to the next phase, in order to keep up with the rest of the class.
  7. This is an extra opportunity for you to strengthen the bond and trust between you and your dog.

What to Look for in an Online Course:
When choosing an online course, you will need to make sure that it meets your needs and covers all the necessary areas of training that are important for you and your dog.
Here is a helpful list:

  1. Choose programs that are comprehensive, providing plenty of instructions,  both written and visual, such as videos, illustrations and pictures. Visual aids are especially helpful, and working without them may make the training more difficult.
  2. Make sure the online course covers all major areas of training:
    1. barking
    2. leash training
    3. food aggression
    4. biting
    5. fighting
    6. house training
    7. crate training
    8. behavior around strangers and children
  3. A good course will include special techniques with detailed instructions on handling multiple dog households, or dogs and cats living in the same household.
  4. Check to see if the online course you are choosing provides some kind of “money back/satisfaction” guarantee. This is important because as you try various online courses, you may find you don’t like one and want to try another, so you want the assurance of a refund if needed.
  5. Check the credentials and resources about the author of the online training course. If you can’t find this information, you may want to choose another course, as this should be readily available.
  6. Make sure you fully understand the method used in the online course you have chosen. Does it use a punishment or reward reinforcement method? It is your choice, but training should be a positive experience for both you and your dog, and not another form of stress and disappointment.
  7. Most online courses offer forums where other owners who have utilized the course can share helpful tips, encouragement, or stories about their own experience, to help you make the most out of your training.
  8. Last, but surely not least, thoroughly research the online method you are considering, as you want this experience to be enjoyable. If it sounds difficult or contains instructions you are uncomfortable with or even boring; it might be best to look at other courses.

Owning a dog is a wonderful experience. A well trained dog will be a source of great joy for you and your family for many years.

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