Virtual dog training classes: A modern solution for today's pet parent

Virtual dog training classes: A modern solution for today's pet parent

Dog training is one of the easiest things to have an opinion about, but can be one of the toughest things to do. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the necessity of virtual services, including dog training, as social distancing and lockdown measures limited in-person interactions. Although many people may have initially considered virtual dog training as the last resort, it has now become one of the most preferred options to train and learn. This is because virtual training emphasizes the role of the dog owner in the training process. Owners learn to be proactive trainers themselves, which can lead to more lasting behavioral changes in their dogs.

How does Virtual dog training work?

Virtual dog training, as the name suggests, is conducted on virtual platforms such as Skype, Zoom and other similar software. It is hosted between a certified trainer and a pet parent who has signed up for the online training.

Virtual training could be conducted 1:1 or in groups depending on the nature of the class. Virtual dog training programs generally include one or more of the following aspects –

  • 1:1 or group live sessions with the trainer
  • Continued chat support with experts
  • Personalized training plans
  • Resource library of pre recorded videos, articles, images etc
  • Online community of other pet parents and trainers
  • Progress tracker

A great program like Homeschool by LAY LO® features all of the above benefits in their virtual training programs.

Is virtual training right for you and your dog?

Despite the plethora of benefits it offers, virtual dog training my not be the right fit for every dog and pet parent out there. Eg – If your dog is exhibiting dangerously aggressive behavior or goes through roof-hitting anxiety, it may be tricky for you to follow instructions online and ensure everyone’s safety at the same time. In such cases, in-person training or board and train may be the ideal option to consider.

However, if your dog is not in the red zone and you are looking to be more involved in your dog’s training from the get go, virtual training may just be the answer to your training needs. 1:1 virtual training sessions include step-by-step training guidance, homework, behavior treatment plan and progress tracker. They are everything you need to ensure you and your dog are not only on the right track, but also making quantifiable progress. 

6 ways you and your dog could greatly benefit from virtual dog training

The pet industry is continuously evolving with modern day solutions to everyday problems. Virtual training is one example of evolution in the field of dog training and it comes with its own set of benefits for today’s pet parent -

1. Convenience and ease of access

The primary reason for the invention of e-learning was to enable students to access quality teachers anywhere on the planet so long as they both have a reliable internet connection. The convenience of getting access to a qualified trainer from the remotest of areas and the availability of the rich resource library of the course at the click of a button is something that in-person training can never provide.

2. Their personalization services make you accountable

No two dogs are alike. At times, you may come across a pet parent who may be dealing with the same behavioral issue with their dog as you. Even then, you can safely say that the pace of learning of your dog and their dog may differ and so would their reactions to their triggers, level of reactivity and their thresholds. What may work for them and their dog may not necessarily work for you and your dog.

Virtual training programs like Homeschool by LAY LO are customized to suit every pet parent’s needs. They do not believe in a cookie-cutter approach, but take pains to provide tailor-made solutions to every pet parent that signs up for their virtual training programs.

They also hand-hold their customers through their programs as their trainers are available up to 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 -

3. Ease of scheduling

Once you have signed up for a virtual training program that also offers 1:1 sessions with the trainer, you have the freedom to schedule sessions as per your and the trainer’s joint availability. This opens up a good number of time slots during the day as it takes away the added inconvenience of driving down to the location.

Furthermore, if you’re on a vacation with your dog or are looking for an emergency session, virtual training opens up the possibility for that too. 

Once you sign up for Homeschool by LAY LO, if you do not have the time to fit in a whole session, you can always schedule check ins with your trainer through video or text messages. This will ensure you're on the right track with your dog.

4. Helps build a stronger human-canine bond

The best part of virtual training classes is that you are the core of the entire program. Meaning, you are the one who is obtaining all the information from the trainer and passing it on to your dog through a variety of training techniques. All your dog sees is you.

Virtual training fosters meaningful interactions between the dog and the pet parent. Training is one of the best ways to build a trusting and a loving bond with your dog because you’re understanding each other better in the process.  

5. Makes you a better trainer

With the amount of information available on the internet today, everyone knows a thing or two about training their dogs. You may become a theoretical expert in the field of dog behavior and training, but the only thing that will make you a good trainer is picking up that leash and physically training your dog. 

In online training sessions, you will be guided by the trainer virtually, while you physically train your dog in front of you. This is a sure shot way to improve your training skills and become a better trainer for your dog.

6. Virtual training covers a variety of topics

Virtual training is versatile in terms of the solutions it can offer. Not only do virtual training programs cover a plethora of dog behaviors, but in today’s day and age, you would be able to find virtual training programs catering to specific topics. Eg – there are online courses designed specifically to provide guidance on topics such as potty training, separation anxiety, leash reactivity, resource guarding and so on.

Make sure to check out the resource library of the course you sign up for as you may feel the need to keep revisiting those materials on your training journey with your dog.

3 ways virtual dog training fits perfectly in the life of a modern pet parent

  1. Ideal solution for busy pet parents

There is no denying the fact that virtual dog training sessions are way more convenient and time-saving as compared to in-person training. Driving down for an hour-long session would include the additional time spent in getting ready, getting the dog ready, getting stuck in traffic, etc.

Live sessions can be scheduled as per your availability, regardless of the location you’re in. Furthermore, through constant check-ins with your trainer over the week, you can get real time solutions as and when you deal with behavioral issues with your dog. 

  1. Easier to find a trainer that you resonate with

Would you have an inexperienced or unqualified trainer train your dog just because they can come to your house or would you rather invest in a certified behaviorist online who has a firm grasp on the subject and knows exactly what they’re talking about?

Every dog deserves the best. Why compromise on something that can have a direct impact on their behavior and overall personality?

  1. Virtual dog training is more comprehensive as compared to other forms of training

The beauty of virtual dog training programs is the wide array of information they carry. Apart from live 1:1 sessions with a certified trainer, these programs come with a resource library of pre recorded videos, written articles, infographics, podcasts etc. that make incredible supplements to training sessions. It eliminates the need to google answers and risk misinformation.

In conclusion

Don't worry that your dog never listens to you; worry that they are always watching you. Dog training is not meant to be perfected. It is a continuous journey where you and your dog evolve together. With a good virtual dog training program, you can rest assured that you’re doing something right.

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.