Does Virtual Dog Training Work?

Does virtual dog training work

If the concept of virtual training did not work, there wouldn’t be a spike in the popularity of it in recent years. From online college degrees to certifications, learning virtually has become a way of life. But what about online dog training? In this concept, the information cascades down to the dog. The effectiveness of it is as dependent on the virtual trainer as much as the pet parent handling the dog. Does virtual dog training work? Does it really make a difference? And is it worth the investment in time and money? Let’s find out!

Benefits of Virtual dog training vs in-person training or board and train 

Activities that require hands-on practice and expertise such as dealing with an aggressive dog, teaching complex tricks such as scent work, agility, etc are best done under the physical supervision of a qualified trainer. Board and train is great if you absolutely have no time to train your dog at home.

Virtual dog training, on the other hand, is an incredible way to build a better relationship with your dog as you work directly under the watchful eye of a certified, expert trainer who is guiding and instructing you in real-time over video. Dog training is 50% training the dog and 50% human training. Virtual training takes care of both. 

How to know if virtual dog training is suitable for your dog

If you have access to the right virtual training course and a qualified trainer, all you need is the right mindset. Virtual training works great for a majority of behavioral issues such as hyperactivity, basic obedience training, impulse control training, leash walking and so on. 

Before considering online training, evaluate the following –

  • Your dog’s temperament and behavior
  • Your experience in training and handling your dog
  • The time you can invest
  • Your commitment to transform your dog’s behavior
  • The technology and environment at your disposal
  • Health and safety considerations

Lastly, consulting with a professional will also help you arrive at the decision of whether to go ahead with virtual training or consider other options of training. 

Finding the right trainer and course online 

If you just google “virtual dog training courses,” you will end up with over 5 million search results. The times that we live in are rife with information (and misinformation). The dog training field is unregulated; meaning, there are innumerable pieces of data online that are disseminated by people who are not qualified to do so. 

Selecting the right course is crucial to ensure your dog’s well being. It has a direct impact on the way your dog would be raised and their overall personality. 

Homeschool by LAY LO®, we are a virtual dog training program that is created alongside a team of world-class experts. We have helped hundreds of dogs and dog owners improve life at home with their dogs through their award-winning products and online support from their expert collective.

The major highlights of their programs include –

  • 1:1 live training with a, certified R+ trainers who will work with you throughout your training journey
  • A dedicated team to answer any questions ranging from behavior to nutrition in real time
  • Regular check-ins over the week through video calls and text messages
  • Custom plans made for your dog’s needs
  • Unlimited access to their growing video course library, 20+ expert-led videos, daily challenges, nutrition calculators and shopping lists

As a certified trainer, this ticks all my boxes!

Does virtual dog training work

Pros and cons of Virtual dog training

It is imperative to evaluate the pros and cons of anything that you plan to sign up for that will have a major impact on you and your dog’s lives. Let’s talk about some unwavering Pros of Virtual dog training.

PROS

  • A personal, hands-on training experience, with your dedicated team working with you weekly from start to finish to ensure you and your pup are successful.
  • The convenience it offers to sign in from multiple devices, regardless of the location you’re in
  • Many virtual dog training courses such as Homeschool by LAY LO, provide personalized instructions that are tailored to your dog’s behavioral needs
  • It allows for greater flexibility in scheduling sessions to accommodate your busy lifestyle
  • Several online training programs allow you to revisit training concepts and techniques as needed, reinforcing learning and improving retention
  • The visual demonstrations, instructional videos, and supplementary materials available online will highly support your training efforts

CONS

  • May not be suitable for certain aggressive dogs that need hands-on training and handling by experts
  • May not be suitable for people that don’t want to be involved in their dog’s training
  • Virtual training is as much about YOU as it is the dog, therefore it is highly depends on the consistency shown by pet parents in applying all the learning in daily life. In this case, consistency and patience can make or break your training
  • Online training, especially done through video calls, is highly dependent on internet speed and technology. Lack of it can be detrimental to the training process.

9 reasons why virtual dog training is gaining tremendous popularity

  • Convenience

It is a no brainer that virtual dog training provides way more convenience as compared to in person dog training. The ease of access, the ability to schedule as per your own availability, geographic freedom, the luxury to train on the go and the comfort to sign in through multiple devices.

You could train in your house, on your walks, on a vacation or with another friend. You could train multiple dogs at once and involve as many people in the call as you like. Virtual training comes with the luxury to schedule as many sessions as you like and at a frequency that works for you. Depending on the trainer’s availability, you can extend a session or cut it short if it gets too overwhelming for you or your dog.

Does virtual dog training work

  • Cost effectiveness

Online training is definitely cheaper as compared to in person training. It is literally one-third the cost of Board and Train programs. Virtual training takes away the need to drive to far off locations and eliminates overhead costs for the trainer. 

Several online training courses offer additional value-adds such as package deals on multiple sessions, access to exclusive content, trainer availability to answer questions real time, etc. All in all, it is a great option for a pet parent who is highly invested in their dog’s well being. 

To make the most out of a virtual training course, make sure to enquire about discounts, package deals and sale days. 

  • Personalized virtual service

Signing up for a virtual dog training course often means getting a chance to reach out to your trainer at the click of a button. Programs like Homeschool by LAY LO pack a punch by taking their personalization services one step ahead. 

The point of having a trainer on board is to eliminate the need to go scouting for information in numerous places and risk misinformation. Ease of access to certified trainers, learning resources and real-time problem solving are some of the most delightful benefits of signing up for virtual dog training. 

Homeschool by LAY LO hand holds their customers through their programs as their trainers are available upto 3 times a week through video and text messages to keep you at the right track on your training journey. 

Here is a video testimonial of one of their virtual training students, Lilly, talking about how Homeschool by LAY LO's personalized services helped her work through her dog's separation anxiety issues -

 

  • A great reinforcement

One of the best aspects of modern pet parenting is how invested pet parents are in their pets. Be it training, nutrition, grooming, health or lifestyle, pet parents want to know it all and they leave no stone unturned to ensure their fur-babies get the best. 

Having said that, it is always nice to have a reinforcement from an expert that you’re on the right track. There is no one way to train a dog. You may have seen a certain training method work for countless dogs. But surprisingly enough, when you try it on your dog, you may not see the desired results. This is where a virtual trainer’s guidance can help you get through roadblocks or act as reinforcers if your methods seem to get results for your dog.

  • Ideal for emergency situations

What would you do if you’re in Hawaii and badly want to try paddle boarding with your dog but your dog is fearful of the paddle board and you don’t know any trainers nearby? This, in my opinion, counts as an emergency situation!

Now, if you have signed up for a virtual dog training program, all you have to do is pick up the phone and schedule a session at your and your trainer’s earliest convenience. With the help of a few video calls and the resource library, you can work on desensitizing your dog towards the paddle board with your trainer and voila!

  • Eliminates restrictions

Group training classes require your dog to be vaccinated to be eligible to enroll. Your dog would be fully vaccinated only at the age of 20 weeks. This means missing out on critical socialization period that occurs between 3-12 weeks. 

A puppy that has missed out on critical socialization period is at a risk of behavioral issues when they grow up and face the world. 

Virtual training, on the other hand, can be started at any age and does not require your dog to be vaccinated. Online training eliminates several such restrictions such as mobility issues, geographical limitations, health issues etc. 

  • A wide array of things can be learnt and addressed over virtual dog training

One of the things that makes you a good dog trainer is physically training your dog. In the process of virtual dog training, you are the one working with your dog under the watchful eye of an expert. 

This opens up the possibility to learn and teach a plethora of subjects such as trick training, basic obedience training, impulse control, reactivity training, brain games and so on. 

A virtual trainer would guide you through the smallest of nuances such as observing your dog’s body language, working under your dog’s threshold, capturing a behavior and rewarding it at the right time, knowing when to stop, etc. Getting these smaller things right is important to achieve the bigger goal. 

Does virtual dog training work

  • You get to be a part of a bigger community

If you think you have landed with a jerk of a dog, trust me, you’re not alone! There are hundereds of pet parents out there, just like you, wondering if there is any hope. Several virtual dog training courses have in place a community of pet parents that go through similar issues day in and day out. 

Networking with these pet parents would help you track your progress and ensure that you’re on the right track. Trainers who know their stuff and help you navigate through issues are great. But do you know what’s better? Knowing that there are several others out there who started off on the same boat as you and came out stronger. 

  • It’s easier to find a trainer that you resonate with

Finding a trainer for your dog is like finding a therapist for yourself. If you have ever sought therapy, you would know that you don’t have to necessarily click with the first therapist you find. It takes research, trial and error and reaching out to more than one expert to find that sweet spot. 

You may not agree with every trainer’s method and ethos. The good thing about virtual dog training programs is that they provide you with a plethora of information on their home page and some of them even come with a free assessment session. This gives you enough material to make an informed decision. 

Do virtual dog training courses provide guaranteed results?

Several virtual dog training programs like Homeschool by LAY LO® provide guaranteed results that you can feel good about. However, the term “positive results” may be highly subjective. It is important to set expectations at the start of the course to make sure that both the trainer and the pet parent are on the same page when it comes to evaluating the dog’s progress. 

Eg – When tackling an issue like reactivity, a dog slowly getting comfortable around their triggers may be deemed as progress by a certified trainer. However, if the pet parent is expecting the reactivity to get “fixed” in a few sessions, it may lead to a major discrepancy. 

Does virtual dog training work

HOMESCHOOL by LAY LO provides Guaranteed results that you can feel good about

4 things to look out for while selecting a virtual training course for your dog

It is easy to narrow down on an option once you know exactly what you want in a course. If not, here are some pointers that may help you make an informed choice -

  • Qualifications of the experts and methods used by them

Since the pet training industry is unregulated, it is not hard to come across pieces of information that are not only written by unqualified people, but are also rife with inaccuracy. 

The first thing to look for in a trainer is their certifications in the field of dog behavior and training. It must be credible. Next, seek out trainers and behaviorists whose methods and ideologies match yours. If you are a firm believer of positive reinforcement methods, do not consult a ‘balanced’ trainer. 

  • Personalization of the course

Every dog is different. Every pet parent is different. What may work for a Belgian Malinois may not necessarily work for a Golden Retriever. The virtual dog training course you sign up for must be personalized to solve your problems. 

Courses like Homeschool by LAY LO take pains to customize their courses to suit every pet parent that signs up with them.

Furthermore, their extended availability over the week in the form of video and text message check-ins take personalized training to a whole another level. Here's a video of how incredibly well structured their virtual training programs are along with constant check-ins -

  • Quality of the curriculum and demonstrations

You know your dog best. No one else would understand the level of anxiety your dog faces in specific situations better than you. The curriculum of the virtual dog training course you sign up for must match the quality of education you aim to provide your dog with.

Furthermore, the demonstrations must be clear and lucid to understand. If you hear a ton of jargon that you don’t understand, make sure to keep looking and researching till you find what suits you and your dog.   

  • Reputation and reviews

When the quality of work is fabulous, it speaks for itself and people will talk about it. Make sure to not only check out reviews on their home website, but also other websites and social media platforms. That’s where you would find honest opinions and real talk. 

CLICK HERE for the testimonial page of Homeschool by LAY LO, so you can see it to believe it.

3 signs Virtual dog training is not working out for you

It can be tricky to preempt the effectiveness of a course before you take it. However, the good thing about online dog training is that because of the depth of your involvement in the training process, it would be easy for you to figure out if virtual dog training is really working out for you. Here are 3 signs that virtual dog training may not be for you -

  • You and your dog haven’t made any progress in weeks

 As mentioned above, the definition of “progress” is different for different people. In dog training, progress should be tracked from the dog’s perspective. Even 1% progress on a daily basis is good. However, if you feel stuck in the same spot even after weeks of virtual training, it is time to either look for another online course or consult an in-person trainer. 

  • You find it difficult to apply the things you learn during online sessions

It may be possible that you and your dog may do a fabulous job in online training sessions, but when it comes to real life applications, there may be a bit of a struggle. This is quite normal in the initial weeks of training. But if this persists for several weeks, consider a change in approach. 

  • You don’t really enjoy training your dog

Dog training is not for everyone. Some pet parents are happy to watch their dog learn but not be a part of the learning process. If you find yourself relating to this, virtual dog training may not be the right option for you. This is because virtual training requires the pet parent to do the majority of the work. 

Does Virtual dog training work for real? Final Verdict

Virtual dog training is gaining immense popularity and there is a good enough reason for that. The demand of expertise in dog training and behavior is spreading like wildfire and the supply of credible and qualified experts continue to grow at a slow rate. Virtual dog training is an incredible way to meet this demand without the inconvenience of physical travel and added overhead costs. 

If this article isn’t convincing enough, there is more than enough evidence in the form of numerous success stories and positive outcomes to attest its efficacy.

Author Bio: Siddhika is a certified dog trainer, behaviorist, and professional pet writer. Over the course of her dog training career, she has gained 3 certifications accredited by KCAI (Kennel Club Accredited Instructors) in the field of dog training and behavior, viz - Basic obedience course, Therapy Dog Training Course and Canine Aggression Course. She has the qualifications and experience in the theoretical as well as real-life applications of science-based dog training techniques.

With the expertise to write about a plethora of dog-related topics and a personal interest in dog cognition and behavior, Siddhika is an out-and-out canine nerd.