Reviews of online dog trainers & courses
Navigating the world of dog training can be absolutely overwhelming. Dog training methods have really flourished over the past decade and the old 'yank and crank' method has become really outdated.
My primary focus, based on my own experience, has shown me that positive reinforcement is the easiest (not to mention most gentle!) way to go in terms of quickly training your dog.
I am not going to lie, I'm obsessed with dogs but that doesn't mean I would be (or am!) a great dog trainer. Learning how to train your dog is a journey and finding the right method or trainer is a personal choice.
To help out fellow puppy training noobs, I've compiled a list of all the online trainers and courses I have used throughout my 5 years of dog training.
*As a side note, I do recommend doing some basic obedience classes in a physical setting for the main purpose of socializing your dog. I like the online courses because I am able to review videos and digest things I may have missed the first time which you just can't do in a live class.
Anyways, now onto the reviews!
- Lots of youtube videos for every issue under the sun
- Short videos with simple explanations of what to do
- Lots of playlists on his youtube channel to help you from the start of your journey
- Great video quality and production
- Too simple which is good if you aren't interested in the psychology ( I prefer to know the psychology since it helps me to retain the information better)
- Advertisements on his episodes (but hey, he has to make a living!)
Zak George was the first positive reinforcement based trainer that I came across online. All of his videos are free on Youtube which is great when you don't know where to start and don't want to commit to something right away.
He is very clear and concise with his explanations, has great video quality and production and just seems like a real friendly dude who knows what he is doing.
You can't really go wrong with Zak; free, genuine and knows what he is doing.
Cost: 1$ for first 3 day trial (full website access)
40$/month (full website access)
- You can train your puppy along with Doggy Dan as you follow along as he trains his new puppy too
- He has 5 golden rules that will help you give your dog the message you are the pack leader.
- He explains a lot of great psychology behind his methods and why they work
- Short videos
- Lots of other videos on his site targeting specific issues
- Cost (not horrible but it ain't free!)
- Video production (not horrible, gets the job done)
- Got a bit more emails then I wanted when I subscribed
Doggy dan was the second trainer I came across in my search that used positive reinforcement. I really love his 'calm freeze' approach to helping an overexcited dog settle down.
He has a unique approach to dog training where it all sits on top of 5 foundational principles; Golden Rules as he calls them. They are meant to establish pack leadership and stop other bad habits that may creep up as a result.
I found they did work well and still use them to this day.
With his endearing personality and New Zealand accent, Doggy Dan is entertaining to watch and definitely shares really great tools and methods of how to help you throughout your training journey.
Cost: Variable from 30$/month to 130$/course
- Dynamic Duo: Tom is a vet/behaviourist and Lauren a high level agility pro
- Short videos to help build the foundation of learning
- Various types of courses depending on what your needs are
- Very optimistic and hands on
- Constantly on Facebook Live doing Q/A's with their students so you feel like you have an extension to them to ask questions.
- It can unfortunately get quite confusing since they have a lot of content, courses and media in different areas. It was a bit hard to know where to go and when and what I should sign up for based on what I think my dog needs.
When I was having reactivity issues with my dog while on leash, their course(s) really helped by using classical conditioning methods to use as tools while out on a walk.
They are VERY optimistic people and are very entertaining to watch.
I wish they had a clearer path for those starting out but in the grand scheme, dog training isn't linear, it is constantly changing.
Cost: Variable but mostly free unless you take a super specific agility course
- Susan Garrett is a world champion agility master
- Focuses on games to play with your dog so it is fun
- Focuses on Value and Choice where she believes a dog will learn/retain more when it's their choice
- Various free videos or courses to choose from
- Pretty good quality videos
- Various different courses makes it a bit hard to know where to start, no clear 'Start here' if you have a puppy or if you have a specific issue.
Susan Garrett came recommended by Tim Ferris so that's how I stumbled across her methods. She has some innovative games to help your dog learn how to choose the best outcome which sounds strange but really works!
She is a pleasure to watch and is so humble even as her dogs make mistakes but she doesn't try to hide it, instead embrace it. I found it helped me relate to her more and be forgiving within myself and my dog for not being so perfect.