The answer in fact is a resounding YES! Online dog training is definitely possible, and not only is it possible it has some unexpected benefits that come with it. In some cases you may find online training works better for both you and your dog. Here is some reasons why this may be.
You have a puppy/dog that is easily distracted, or overly excitable it can be really hard for both of you to focus. This can be even more difficult in a class situation. You may find you are missing out on some key information by not being able to hear, or you may feel that your pup/dog is disrupting the rest of the class & you may feel embarrassed about this.
You have a puppy/dog that is anxious in the presence of new people, or other dogs attending a physical class or having a trainer come to your home may be far too overwhelming. If you have a puppy it is really important to tread carefully in these situations to ensure he is only having positive experiences.
You have a really busy or changeable schedule, work at times when classes are held, are a solo parent or have young children at home. All of these situations can mean attending dog training classes in person can be difficult. Online classes are recorded, so you will be able to catch up on exactly the same information but at a time that is more convenient to you.
You can get instant feedback from a professional right in your own home. Many people watch you tube videos to help them train. But without having input from a trainer to give you feedback & tips, you may not be getting the success you were hoping for.
Your results can be more successful at home. This is because your puppy/dog often feels more comfortable in their own environment where there are minimal distractions compared with the outside world.
Video is a great training tool! You can share videos of your progress, pause them and rewind to pick exact moments in training that you can learn from or make adjustments to. Video is something I encourage with both online training and in person, as it helps me to see what is happening when I am not there with you.
Ok... That all sounds alright.. BUT what about socialisation?
Over the more recent years there has been a big focus on the importance of socialisation especially for puppies. But there is good and bad socialisation. If you attend a puppy class where the instructor allows puppy play that is unmanaged it can be a recipe for disaster. Bouncy boisterous puppies may spend a lot of time pouncing on others, anxious puppies may spend all their time hiding away, this behaviour can ultimately have an impact later in life.
Think about how you want to share your life with your dog. Generally most people would prefer an adult dog, that checks in with them, that doesn't stray too far away and will come back when called. You probably also imagine having a calm dog that you are able to take with you everywhere, and one that can fully participate in your life.
In the real world you don't really expect to go to a public area, and let your dog off so he can run around madly about with a bunch of unknown dogs, from unknown backgrounds, with owners ultimately having no control over the situation. This kind of scenario is the one that can lead to any number of issues!
Socialisation is important, but it is more than just going to a group class held in person, and having the expectation that this will meet all your puppy/dogs needs. It is about calm and controlled introduction of new stimuli in a safe environment. This is something that is included in all online training, you will be coached on how to give your dog a positive experience with a positive association to the new stimuli you are introducing him too.
Online training can be a great option, and you won't miss out with getting the same access to relevant handouts via email.
Online classes are broken up in to half hour time slots, with recordings of the class (great if a member of the family was unavailable at the time, so you can get them on the same page). There is also access to a private group on the website to share your progress in a safe space.
Still unsure if online will work for you? Get in touch! I am happy to talk about it further with you.