Finally, 2020 is coming to a close! I bet it is safe to say that everyone is happy to be able to put this year in our rearview mirror and look forward to 2021.
Training Moves Online
The pandemic forced many trainers, including myself, to move to an online format. I am not computer savvy and when I had to go from in person open enrollment puppy class – meaning it is held every Sunday – to online classes in one week, I was relieved to find out how easy Zoom is to use. For trainers who work with dogs with separation anxiety, online training is not new, and in fact, has been around for many years, successfully allowing trainers to help dogs and their humans.
So, what does this have to do with looking ahead to 2021?
For the foreseeable future Pawsitive Companionship dog training classes and private sessions will be offered online.
Now I know that many people want in person training because they believe I will train their dog. And people like you need to know how to give puppies happy, positive experiences with what they see or hear in the human world. Or you want to help adolescent dogs deal with the frustration and intolerance that seems to be a part of this period in their development. Or you want to teach your puppies and dogs behaviors that lead to a well-behaved, socially appropriate dog you are able to take almost anywhere.
Here’s a secret that my clients, even one just this week, often realize when I begin working with them. While I am a dog trainer, I work with you so you can effectively teach your dog behaviors that are most important to you and your family. My goal is to help you train your dog so the behaviors he or she learns are not just performed during a class or a private session, rather they become a functional component of your everyday life with your dog.
Advantages of Online Dog Training
And the good news is that this can be done with online training. Here are the advantages to working with me online:
- No technical expertise is required! Zoom is easy, straightforward, and readily available. All you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer with camera/video capability and the zoom link sent to you. The Zoom app is free and easy to download. Help with this and your home setup is readily available with a 15-30-minute no charge session that is offered to anyone who needs it or you can watch this tutorial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9isp3qPeQ0E) for helpful advice.
- Training online provides a safe way to teach your dog behaviors while maintaining self-isolation during this time. Many of us either are at risk or have family members at risk and do not want to take a chance with this virus.
- Imagine the convenience of working inside your home, especially during the winter months when the weather is not the best for being outside for an hour at a time or it is unpredictable, leading to rescheduled appointments. And evening sessions are not possible because it is dark at 5-5:30pm. This advantage includes:
- Convenient and flexible scheduling of class times or private sessions.
- Less distractions for your dog, allowing you to lay a firm foundation for the behaviors, see success and move forward into real life situations.
- There is no travel time to a class.
- I can view your dog in his or her home environment without the added distraction of someone who has treats on them and smells like dogs – namely me.
- As you teach your dog the behaviors, you will obtain immediate feedback and, if you agree, I can record the session so you can view what we did at any time afterwards. You are receiving the same expertise and guided, step by step coaching as you would if I were there in person. Remember I am coaching you, not training your dog for you.
- You are able to watch me demonstrate how to teach a behavior or work through an issue in your training using my dog online.
- It’s fun! It has always been important to me to help you see training as a fun time spent with your dog, whether through games played with them or the behaviors/tricks taught to them. Only force-free training methods are used so training is stress-free for you and your dog.
- You will receive an email that recaps the private session or has the checklist for the next class along with handouts and video links if appropriate.
- The results with online training are the same as in person training:
- Equally successful.
- Puppies do not miss out on critical socialization.
- Your puppy or dog is learning what you want them to do rather than practicing unwanted behaviors.
- Your dog moves forward in their training and you are able to use the behaviors in your everyday life with your dog. It is real-life training for a better-behaved dog!
As we look ahead to 2021, online training has become a permanent part of our lives. More and more companies are allowing employees to work from home, even to move and remain with the company. This is an effective means of communication and learning and is here to stay. Online dog training will continue as well.
If you want a better-behaved dog, I am here to help you achieve that goal. Let’s set up an appointment (https://www.pawscompanion.com/contact) or get you registered for an upcoming class which you can find listed on the home page under upcoming events (https://www.pawscompanion.com/).
Happy New Year!