Whenever you bring a new puppy or dog home, usually one of the first things you consider is how you are going to train this new member of your family.
I have been a trainer and behaviourist since 2007, I thought we provided the best experience for dogs and their humans, but I was wrong. The pandemic, Covid-19, forced the whole world to re-evaluate how we work, and this brought the opportunity to test out our online courses, learning hub and online consultations.
We had dabbled a little with online training when clients emigrated to Australia and some of our students were based in South Africa, but never had the whole business online, so this was a big step.
Can online dog training really work?
Well, all I can say is WOW!!. Not only are all the puppies and dogs learning quicker than ever before. Their lead walking, recalls, attention and even dogs with behavioural issues are all improving must faster and transferring much more effectively to the streets and local parks and other distracting environments than previously too.
Why is teaching remotely so much more effective?
So I started to question whether how we have trained for so long really was the best way and if not it then why? Well, when you strip it all back and think about it, the answer is simple. How do you learn best? Perhaps if you were trying to understand a new subject, for example, would you choose a busy party or a calm environment set up with minimal distractions? Consider for a moment, if you were to teach a child algebra, how successfully would you do this on a roller coaster? How much would they recall of the arithmetic and how much of the loops and adrenaline?
So why then do we continue to insist on teaching in public parks, or groups of puppies, in the environment the dog is scared of, or in enclosed spaces? It is distracting, overwhelming, and challenging and whilst they can learn this way, it is slower and with far more frustration. Much like many things in life, it continues this way because it is just how it has always been. I question now whether it is kind, fair or effective.