The pandemic has moved the world online. Although there have been some downsides to this, we have been thrilled with what it has enabled us to do at Dogma. On top of navigating all the uncertainty, keeping the business afloat and supporting our team and clients, we have managed to move all of our programs online. This was a complete and fast restructuring – a story that is a post on its own. For now, I want to focus on virtual dog training and why this is one outcome of the pandemic that will be a permanent change for our business.
- It saves time
The clients and the trainer do not need to commute for the session. It can be scheduled at a time of convenience for everyone. This means the time is better spent and there is no risk of delays due to traffic, weather, etc. By saving time, it allows us to offer the same level of training, with added value, at a lower cost. And the best part, it is a green option and makes it easier for anyone to take part in – you don’t need a vehicle or to pay for transportation.
- It’s better for the dog
Being in the comfort of their own home can lay a solid foundation for the dog without them having to be in a new or distracting environment. By creating this solid foundation, it equates to greater success long term with the training. Training at home allows the dog(s) to learn the skills in a familiar place and will enable even greater success. For dogs that are building confidence, are reactive or easily distracted, it minimizes the stress from the travel and being in a new or busy environment. These benefits can also be shared by the dog’s family members which help to minimize the stress even further.
- It provides more value
This is our favourite part! We record the session and it is available to the client to reference at any time. We cover a lot of material and offer many tips and resources throughout a session. By being able to offer the recording, it ensures nothing is missed and it means no one needs to furiously be taking notes. We have everything online so we can quickly send them any additional handouts. This allows many questions that may come up after the session to be answered 24/7 and from anywhere by referencing the video/additional materials. Through our online community, our members have access to our full training team 24/7, along with full class lessons and supplemental videos of specific skills, behaviour concerns and more.
There are still some dog owners that are hesitant to try virtual training. We understand that many feel that a trainer needs to see their dog or that they may not be receiving the same level of value when they are not in person. However, an experienced trainer does not need to see your dog in person to help. We’ve got the knowledge and experience to ask the right questions, we can still utilize video and live-coaching to observe and work with the dog, and the video is a great reference for us throughout a behaviour modification program as well.
Our online training programs are supplemented by our virtual classes and private sessions. As your dog develops and the world around them changes, new questions/challenges will arise. Having access to certified trainers and quality dog training at your fingertips means a quicker way to address these as they happen. By having the convenience to access hours of training, you can minimize the time your dog practices the behaviour, which in turn means you can advance through the training faster. We are only just beginning our online offerings and look forward to further helping dogs and their families in this new virtual world!