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6 Best Online Dog & Puppy Training Classes (+1 to Avoid)

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on June 21, 2023
iHeartDogs is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Many dog parents are switching to online dog training classes as opposed to in-person sessions. Both types of training are great tools, but every dog has different needs when it comes to learning new commands and behaviors.

All dogs can benefit from training, but traditional training classes aren’t ideal for every dog. Some dogs struggle to focus in group environments while others benefit from specific training topics rather than general obedience classes. So, online dog training is a great way to set a variety of dogs up for success.

Since online courses are growing more popular, there’s no shortage of websites to turn to. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best online dog training classes to help you find one that suits your furry friend’s needs the best.

Dog training outdoors

Why Should Dogs Use Online Training Classes?

If you want to take training classes with your dog but don’t have the time or energy to attend in-person classes, online dog training can be a great solution. Here are a few reasons dog parents choose online dog training:

  • It’s flexible
  • It’s convenient if you have a busy schedule
  • You get to start training in a comfortable environment for your dog
  • There are fewer distractions for your dog
  • It’s good for dogs that get overwhelmed easily
  • Courses are usually one-on-one instead of in a group setting
  • You can choose which areas of training to focus on
  • You may be able to re-watch training videos as much as needed
  • It’s often more affordable than in-person training

Every dog training company is different, but many of them share these benefits. So, you don’t have to attend in-person meetings to properly train your dog.

Best Online Dog Training Classes

1. K9 Training Institute Online Dog Training

K9 Training Institute Trainer with Dog

K9 Training Institute vows to train your dog to behave by using the same techniques used to keep service dogs so calm and well-behaved. Most of this company’s training focuses on body language instead of verbal commands. These methods can work for all dogs regardless of their age or breed.

This company’s online training starts with a free workshop that covers topics like barking, chewing, potty training, nipping, leash pulling, and ignoring commands. Once you complete the free training workshop, you can choose to purchase more online classes to further your furry friend’s learning. After all, training is something that should continue throughout your dog’s life, not just for one class.

The trainers at this company are especially passionate about helping train rescue dogs to give them better chances at success in their new homes.

Related: K9 Training Institute Online Dog Training Review

2. SpiritDog Online Dog Training

SpiritDog Online Training Banner

SpiritDog Training offers online dog training courses for canines of all ages, breeds, behaviors, and training levels. The dog trainers at this company have created videos to walk dog parents through each course, and you can rewatch videos as many times as needed. Every person who signs up for SpiritDog gets unlimited feedback from professional trainers for life. So, if you get stuck while watching a video, you can ask a trainer as many questions as you’d like.

You can choose from individual courses, or you can purchase bundles to save money. Here are some of SpiritDog’s most popular bundles:

SpiritDog courses always focus on positive reinforcement training to make training an uplifting, productive experience for dogs and set them up for success. These classes differ from in-person training because they allow you to train your dog at your own pace in an environment that’s comfortable for them.

3. Kingdom of Pets Online Dog Training

Young man training dog

Kingdom of Pets offers several books dedicated to dog training. Yet, many pet parents benefit more from seeing dog training in action rather than just reading about it. Thus, the company also has many online training videos for purchase, covering areas like leash walking, barking, chewing, and aggression.

Once you purchase a training package, you get lifetime access to that content. All courses from Kingdom of Pets aim to create positive experiences for dogs, and they teach customers how to effectively use reward-based training in a way that’s beneficial for both you and your canine companion. The trainers at Kingdom of Pets want to ensure that their training resources are effective for pet parents, so if you don’t find success within the first 60 days of training, you can get a refund with no questions asked.

However, this company allows you to try a free 6-day course before paying anything to ensure that this is the right training company for you. The free course offers information about dog and cat training, pet health needs, and animal behaviors.

4. Brain Training for Dogs

Brain training for dogs class

The professional trainer who runs Brain Training for Dogs spent ten years perfecting her training methods. Thus, her online training classes are in-depth and designed to tackle any behavioral issue in dogs, no matter how complicated the issues may seem. The training focuses on a dog’s mental stimulation to enhance their intelligence and learning capabilities. The courses will also help dog parents get to the root of the problem instead of only fixing it on a surface level.

Some of the many issues these training courses focus on include potty training, jumping, digging, excessive barking, and ignoring commands. The course videos get right to the point so you don’t have to waste any time. The trainer approaches each problem behavior by finding a way for the dog to understand what they’re supposed to be doing.

Once you order the bundle of all these classes, the trainer will offer you support along the way whenever you need it. The first 60 days of the program is a trial period, so if you don’t find success with the training practices, you can get your money back. That’s how important your dog’s success is to this company.

5. Dunbar Academy Dog Training Online

Dunbar Academy Dog Training

Like K9 Training Institute, Dunbar Academy offers a Free Course Collection for dog parents that aren’t sure if online training is right for them. They offer several free courses, such as “Guide to Getting a Puppy or Dog,” “Six Simple Steps to Solve Your Dog’s Behavior Problems,” and “Dog Shelter Behavior & Training Program.”

If you like the way the free courses work, you can get more in-depth courses through a monthly or yearly fee. With the subscription, you can access hundreds of hours of content to help your dog succeed. That content includes videos, ebooks, podcasts, worksheets, and webinars, so there are methods that appeal to every person. You’ll also get access to a Facebook group where you can get training advice from dog trainers and other members.

You can also purchase individual bundles instead of a subscription if you only want to focus on certain training areas. Some popular bundles include Puppy Training, Behavior Problems, and a Games Workshop. The trainers at this company focus on games and reward-based training to get positive results.

6. Holly and Hugo Online Dog TrainingHolly and Hugo Dog Trainer

Holly and Hugo not only offers a variety of training courses, but they also have videos about animal behavior and care. With the help of pet experts and experienced teachers, you can access a variety of videos and content to improve your pet’s life. The courses cover topics like training, animal psychology, pet sitting, and grooming.

Customers can purchase courses individually or pay a discounted price to get access to all the courses. At the end, you get a certificate of completion. Some of the courses even qualify for CE and CPD points for dog lovers looking to pursue a career in the animal industry.

This training option is great for dog parents who like to work on a schedule because once you activate a course, you have 60 days to complete it (unless you choose to extend it). With a time limit in place, it can help keep you motivated to train regularly so your dog can succeed. The trainers at Holly and Hugo love dogs as much as you, so they set up these courses to provide the best support for your furry friend.

 

7. The One Kind of Online Dog Training We Recommend Avoiding

The use of shock collars in dog training is a contentious issue. Advocates argue that these devices offer a quick solution to behavior problems, but this method often overlooks the potential psychological and physical harm they can cause to our canine companions. Therefore, we firmly believe shock collars should not be used in dog training for several compelling reasons.

First and foremost, shock collars operate on the premise of punishment, a method which has been largely discredited by animal behaviorists and veterinary professionals. The adverse effects of punishment-based training include fear, anxiety, and even aggression. When a dog is subjected to an unexpected shock, it can create fear not only of the behavior that triggered it but also of the environment in which it happened. This fear can generalize to other contexts, leading to a confused and anxious dog.

Secondly, shock collars fail to address the root cause of the behavior problem. Rather than teaching the dog what is expected, it simply suppresses the symptom of an underlying issue. For example, if a dog barks excessively because of separation anxiety, a shock collar might stop the barking, but it doesn’t solve the anxiety. More humane, positive training methods seek to understand and address the root cause of the issue, resulting in a happier, better-behaved pet.

Lastly, shock collars can damage the bond between owner and pet. Trust and mutual respect form the foundation of a strong human-animal relationship. Using a shock collar can cause a dog to associate its owner with fear and pain, undermining this relationship. Therefore, we highly discourage you from choosing an online dog training class that promotes their use.

At iHeartDogs, we discourage the use of Shock Collars for training

 

What To Look for in the Best Online Dog Training Classes

To decide which option is best for your canine companion, you should consider the following aspects.

Training Methods

Not all dog trainers have the same values, so it’s important to find one that aligns with yours. For most dog lovers, positive reinforcement is the best training method because it’s effective while also being fun for your dog. Thus, you should make sure the trainer you choose also values rewarding good behavior instead of focusing on punishments or fear-based training.

Classes Offered

If there’s a specific area of training that you’d like to focus on, make sure that type of class is offered. Most online training courses have basic obedience classes, but they might not all cover specific areas like reactivity or agility.

Communication

Just because a class isn’t in person doesn’t mean the communication should be worse. Before purchasing a course, check to make sure there’s an easy way to reach out to a trainer with any questions or concerns you may have.

Cost

Cost is always a big consideration for dog parents. Dog training classes aren’t cheap, but online options may be more affordable. If you’re on a budget, you may need to narrow down your options to the ones that fit in your price range.

Dachshund training indoors

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Dog Training Schools

How Do Dog Training Online Classes Work?

Yes, the best online dog training classes are effective for many canines. Yet, like any training, they only work if you continue to practice what you learned with your dog. Dog training is something that should continue for life, not just when your dog misbehaves.

What is the Best Age to Start Dog Training Classes?

Dogs can start training at any age, but if you can, starting at 8 weeks old is recommended. It helps build a bond between you and your new puppy so they will be more likely to listen to you as training progresses.

Is it Too Late to Train with Online Obedience Training?

No, it’s never too late to train your dog. Despite the common saying, you can teach old dogs new tricks. You may need to take different approaches with an adult dog, but with enough trust, patience, and repetition, most dogs can quickly pick up new skills.

How Long Does it Take to Train a Dog?

It depends on the type of training you’re working on, but most dogs can pick up on the basics within a few weeks if you regularly practice the skills with them. However, even after your dog learns the desired command, you should continue to practice it with them throughout their life.

What Dog Training Method is Best for Online Dog Training Schools?

Positive reinforcement is the best training method. Rewarding your dog helps reinforce good behaviors so they can understand what they’re supposed to be doing. It also helps your dog form a stronger bond with you. Most dog trainers avoid punishment-based training because it makes dogs stressed and fearful even though training should be a fun, positive experience for them.

How Much Do Online Dog Training Classes Cost?

Online dog training costs vary greatly depending on the type and length of the course. However, most cost between $50 and $250. If individual classes are offered, they’ll be more affordable than a full course.

Dog giving paw

 

What exactly is online dog training?

Online dog training is a method of teaching dogs behavioral commands and manners using digital platforms. Courses may include pre-recorded video lessons, live webinars, online resources, and one-on-one virtual consultations with professional trainers. The curriculum typically covers a range of topics from basic obedience to advanced training techniques.

Is virtual dog training effective?

Yes, online dog training can be effective if implemented correctly. It allows for flexible scheduling, personalized training plans, and immediate access to a wealth of resources. However, the effectiveness largely depends on the owner’s commitment, consistency in training, and the dog’s individual temperament and learning pace.

How does online dog training work?

Online dog training works by providing training materials and resources, often in the form of videos and written content. You learn the techniques from the material and apply them when training your dog. Some courses offer live sessions with professional trainers for real-time guidance and feedback.

What equipment do I need for online dog training?

Basic equipment for online dog training typically includes a leash, collar, treats, and a device with internet access to view the training materials. Some courses may recommend additional items like clickers or training toys, depending on the techniques used.

How long does online dog training take?

The duration of online dog training varies based on the course and the specific training needs of your dog. Basic obedience training might take a few weeks, while more advanced training or behavior modification could take several months. Remember, patience and consistency are key in dog training.

Can I train an old dog online?

Yes, you can train an older dog online. The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is not entirely accurate. While it might take longer compared to a young dog, with patience and consistency, older dogs can learn new commands and change their behavior.

Can I train my puppy online?

Absolutely. Online training can be a great way to start training your puppy at home. Many online courses offer puppy-specific programs that cover everything from housebreaking to basic obedience.

How much does online dog obedience training cost?

The cost of online dog training varies widely, depending on the complexity of the course, the reputation of the trainer, and the resources provided. You can find free resources, as well as comprehensive courses ranging from $50 to several hundred dollars.

Can online dog training help with behavior problems?

Yes, many online dog training courses are specifically designed to address behavior problems such as aggression, separation anxiety, excessive barking, and more. It’s important to ensure that the course you choose is designed to address the specific issue your dog is experiencing.

Can I get one-on-one help with online dog training?

Many online dog training platforms offer one-on-one consultations or live coaching sessions, allowing you to get personalized advice and solutions for your dog’s specific training needs.

What if my dog doesn’t respond to the training techniques?

If your dog isn’t responding to the training techniques, don’t worry. Not all dogs respond to the same methods. You may need to try different approaches or seek one-on-one guidance from a professional. Patience and consistency are key in any training scenario.

Do online dog training courses offer certification?

Some online dog training courses offer certification upon completion, which might be beneficial if you want to advance your knowledge or are considering a career in dog training. However, for general dog owners, a certificate is typically not necessary.

What techniques are used in online dog training?

Different online dog training courses use different techniques. Some of the common methods include positive reinforcement, clicker training, and dominance-based training. Make sure to choose a course that aligns with your beliefs about dog training and the needs of your pet.

Can I use online dog training schools for multiple dogs?

Yes, the techniques you learn in online dog training can be applied to multiple dogs. However, each dog may respond differently to the training, so adjustments might be necessary depending on each dog’s temperament and learning style.

What’s the refund policy for online dog training programs?

Refund policies vary among different online dog training platforms. Some offer money-back guarantees within a certain time period if you’re not satisfied with the course. Always check the refund policy before purchasing.

Is there a community or forum for online dog training?

Many online dog training platforms have communities or forums where users can share experiences, ask questions, and offer support to each other. This can be a valuable resource for advice and encouragement throughout the training process.

What is the time commitment for online dog training?

While the time commitment for online dog training can vary depending on the specific program and your dog’s needs, a general guideline is to spend at least 15-30 minutes per day on training activities.

What teaching should I look for in an online puppy training school?

When looking for an online puppy training school, look for one that focuses on positive reinforcement techniques, covers a broad range of necessary skills (such as housebreaking, socialization, basic obedience), and offers access to professional trainers for personalized advice. It should also provide step-by-step instructions, ideally with video demonstrations, to help you understand and implement the techniques.

What other terms are used interchangeably with online dog training? Do they all mean the same thing? 

All of the following terms are often used to refer to online dog training. Each of them refer to the same general concept: web-based dog training, virtual canine education, internet dog instruction, digital dog training, dog training online, remote dog obedience classes, online pet training, virtual puppy school, e-learning for dog training, online canine coaching, internet-based puppy training, distance dog training, online dog behaviour modification, web-based pet obedience classes, online canine tutoring, and remote puppy education.

What are the drawbacks to using a shock collar when training?

Using a shock collar for training can lead to several potential drawbacks. These include causing fear, anxiety, or aggression in the dog, damaging the bond between you and your pet, and potentially leading to misuse or overuse. Additionally, shock collars often address the symptoms of behavior problems rather than the root causes, making them less effective in the long term.

How can I keep my dog engaged during online training sessions?

Keeping your dog engaged during online training sessions can be achieved by keeping sessions short and fun, using positive reinforcement like treats and praise, and varying the activities to keep them interesting. Understanding your dog’s preferences, energy level, and learning style can also help tailor the training sessions to their needs.

What are Some Cons of Dog Training Online Versus In-Person? What Are The Pros of Dog Training Online?

Dog training is crucial for maintaining good behavior in dogs and creating a healthy relationship between dogs and their owners. Like many other activities, dog training has adapted to digital platforms due to various reasons, such as convenience, time constraints, and global situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. However, both online and in-person dog training have their pros and cons.

Here are some disadvantages (cons) of online dog training versus in-person training:

  1. Lack of Personalized Attention: In-person training often provides personalized attention to the pet and the owner, which may be missing in online training.
  2. Difficult to Correct Behaviour Instantly: It can be challenging to correct the dog’s behavior in real-time during an online session, which is easier when the trainer is physically present.
  3. Limited Practical Experience: Dogs learn by doing. While dog training online can provide theory and demonstrations, the hands-on experience can be more limited.
  4. Internet and Tech Issues: Internet connectivity issues or technical glitches can interrupt sessions and slow the learning process.
  5. Difficulty in Spotting Subtle Issues: Online dog trainers may find it challenging to spot subtle behavioral issues or body language cues that could be easier to identify in person.
  6. Less Socialization Opportunities: In-person dog training often includes group classes that provide socialization opportunities for dogs, which is limited in dog training online.

However, dog training online also offers several advantages (pros):

  1. Convenience: You can schedule online dog training sessions as per your convenience without worrying about travel time or arranging physical meetings.
  2. Wide Access to Expert Trainers: You can access expert trainers from around the world, not just those in your local area.
  3. Self-Pacing: You can often learn at your own pace, rewinding and replaying training videos as needed.
  4. Reduced Distractions: In your home environment, your dog may have fewer distractions, allowing them to focus more on the online training.
  5. Cost-Effective: Online dog training often costs less than in-person training because there are no travel or venue costs involved.
  6. Immediate Start: You can start training as soon as you sign up and download the materials, without waiting for a scheduled class.

In conclusion, the choice between online and in-person dog training will depend on various factors, including your pet’s needs, your schedule, budget, and personal preferences. It might be useful to consult with a professional trainer to understand what would work best for you and your dog.

 

Final Thoughts on the Best Online Dog Schools

In-person dog training isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid training courses altogether. The best online dog training classes are perfect for dog parents that can’t easily attend in-person classes or have a dog that doesn’t do well in public settings. So, if that’s the case for you, consider trying some of the great dog training courses mentioned in this article.

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