We were doing video consults before the pandemic! but now that more people are more comfortable with virtual sessions, let’s talk about how they’re also useful for training and why we offer both in-person and virtual sessions.
There are actually quite a few advantages to virtual training, and a few are:
- Anxious, aggressive, or reactive dogs can work without a stranger in the room and may be better able to learn in that environment
- Shorter sessions can be scheduled without the need to justify travel time/cost
- Specialist services are available regardless of distance
- Clients can replay sessions to review coaching if needed
- Clients need only declutter a small area without worrying about a visiting trainer seeing the rest of the house! (Seriously, we’re not judging.)
Virtual training allows for completely customized coaching in a convenient and effective format. And since there’s no need to plan around rush hour or commute times, it may be even more conveniently available to fit in your schedule.
It also allows for more discussion between the humans; your dog is already used to you having conversations on the phone or computer, so if we need to pause and talk about a particular point, we can do that with the least distraction or disruption for your pet, rather than having to keep them engaged in person.
And yes, virtual training can be just as effective — you’ll get the same professional coaching and direction, but without the distraction of a stranger in the home and with the hands-on practice you’ll need in the real world. We can make sure you’re ready for practice without a trainer assisting you, because you’ve already practiced without a trainer doing it for you. And your dog is learning to look to you first instead of only to a trainer.
We conduct our virtual training in Zoom, so you can record sessions for review and further practice. You can optimize your setup to make sure you’ll get the most out of your session.
What kinds of training can we do in virtual training?
So many kinds! We can address everything from housetraining a new puppy to teaching leash manners. We can talk about puppy mouthing, polite greetings, basic obedience training, resource guarding, matwork for aggression protocols, and more. Feel free to ask if you have concerns.
My vet said socialization is important; how does that fit in with virtual training?
Your vet is right — socialization is very important! And I wrote a whole book on it.
But training classes are actually not a great way to socialize your dog, despite the confusion many people have about using puppy classes as a primary venue for socialization. Socialization is critical for your puppy, but it should be addressed mostly outside of puppy classes.
But we can coach virtually for great socialization practices, or even go on a virtual field trip with your puppy. Talk to us about socialization!