Training any dog, whether it’s a young puppy or an older rescue dog, is hard work. There’s a reason that we rely on professional dog trainers and experts to help us do it. Dogs are eager to please us and ready to learn, but the average dog owner doesn’t have the knowledge or expertise to train a dog well.
That said, obedience courses can be expensive, and it’s even costlier to work with a dog trainer on a one-on-one basis. The expense is one reason that many dog owners turn to online products to find the solutions they need. Of course, not all dog training products are the same. It’s important to do your research before you spend any money.
One website that looks promising is The Online Dog Trainer. On the site, there are several dog training courses for purchase. They offer dog owners a variety of options for training their dog in a way that’s easy to understand. In this review, we’ll explain what The Online Dog Trainer is, who’s behind the courses, and which courses are available. We’ll check out what the experts have to say, and at the end we’ll give you a list of pros and cons and a final recommendation as to whether you should spend your money on The Online Dog Trainer.
What is The Online Dog Trainer?
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The Online Dog Trainer is a website where you can buy a selection of dog training courses. The courses are dog-friendly and have helped more than 25,000 dog owners train their canine companions.
There are a total of three courses available. Two are free while the other one is for sale. In addition, the website has a blog where the owner, who goes by the name Doggy Dan, shares his thoughts and expertise about dog training and dog behavior. There are also podcasts you can listen to.
When you buy or sign up for a course, you’ll create a log-in that you can use to access the courses you’ve paid for. We’ll get into the specifics of what the courses include later.
Who is Behind The Online Dog Trainer Website?
The person behind The Online Dog Trainer is a man named Dan – or Doggy Dan, as he calls himself. He’s an experienced dog trainer whose methods and knowledge have attracted tens of thousands of followers from all over the world. His blog has more than 100,000 subscribers.
On The Online Dog Trainer website, Doggy Dan explains that he created the website in memory of his dog, Peanut. He credits Peanut with rescuing him from the corporate job he hated and starting a new career as a dog trainer. He learned as he watched Peanut interact with other dogs and their owners. She had a way of calming aggressive dogs.
Peanut’s behavior was a language of its own. Doggy Dan paid attention and adapted what he learned into the courses he created for The Online Dog Trainer. All of the training comes from a place of love and understanding. According to Doggy Dan, dogs respond better to love than they do to anything else.
In addition to his experiences with Peanut, Doggy Dan is often called open as an expert in dog behavior. He’s appeared as a keynote speaker at meetings of the SPCA in New Zealand and at dog training conferences around the world. He lives in New Zealand with his wife, Jenni, their kids Stanley and Sage, and their dogs, Inca, Moses, and Jack.
Who is The Online Dog Trainer Designed to Help?
The Online Dog Trainer offers a selection of dog training courses that can be useful to every dog owner. Whether you’re the new owner of a puppy who needs house training or someone who has a long-time pet with behavioral problems, the information in The Online Dog Trainer can help you train your dog to be well-behaved and happy.
Basic dog training includes house training and simple commands like sit, lie down, come, and stay. After that, most dog trainers work to get their dogs to walk without pulling on the leash, chew only on approved toys, and interact well with other dogs and humans.
If you’re a dog owner or want to become one, the courses on The Online Dog Trainer website can help you work and grow with your dog to strengthen your bond and cure your dog of bad habits like chewing, whining, barking, and jumping on people and other dogs.
How Do The Online Dog Trainer Courses Work?
The courses available on The Online Dog Trainer are video courses that feature Doggy Dan. The result is a course that feels very much like working one-on-one with an experienced trainer. Of course, Doggy Dan won’t be with you and your dog – but he speaks directly do dog owners and makes the training accessible and easy to follow.
When you sign up for The Online Dog Trainer, you can choose which courses you want to take. Whether you choose a free course or the paid course, you’ll need to create an account to access the videos. From there, you can watch from any place where you have an internet connection.
One nice perk is that there’s also a free mobile app. If you want to be able to take Doggy Dan with you when you’re walking your dog or visiting the dog park, you can do it with the app.
Which Courses Are Available?
Now, let’s talk about what courses are available through The Online Dog Trainer. As we mentioned above, there are two free courses and one premium course. Here they are:
- The Easy Way to an Obedient Dog (Free Course.) There are four videos in this course: Why Most Dog and Puppy Training Fails, How to Get Your Dog to Choose to Follow You, Five Rules That Will Change Everything, and The One Resource to Solve Every Dog and Puppy Issue. Each video features Doggy Dan explaining the basics of dog training directly to you.
- Potty Training Made Easy (Free Course.) There are four videos in this course: Setting Up a Successful Routine, Dealing with Accidents and YOUR Responsibility, Getting Your Puppy Outside at the Right Time, and Night Time Potty Options. You’ll also get some bonuses: an audio file called Toilet Training Puppies and Dogs, a video called How to Handle Mouthing and Biting, and access to The Perfect Puppy Training Program.
- Calm Your Dog’s Emotions (Premium Course.) This course starts with a free trial and then transitions to a monthly payment for access. It includes videos and other content from Doggy Dan explaining how to deal with 37 common dog behavior issues including things like pulling on the leash, aggression, abandonment issues, hyperactivity, and submissive urination. At the core of the course are five emotional control exercises developed by Doggy Dan.
The nice thing about the way the site is set up is that you can easily view the two free courses to get a feel for Doggy Dan’s training style. Then, if you like what you see, you can enroll in the paid course.
What Do You Get When You Buy The Online Dog Trainer Courses?
The Online Dog Trainer courses are all online video training courses. You’ll need to set up an ID for The Online Dog Trainer Website to get access to the courses you choose, even the free ones.
Each course comes with a series of videos as we have outlined in the previous section. The free courses, as you might expect, include limited information and only the videos we’ve outlined above.
However, the paid course comes with access to some unique content in addition to the course. When you sign up for your free trial, you’ll get access to the following sections of the website:
- The Pack Leader
- Puppy Training
- Project Moses
- Dog Problems
- Dog Training
After the trial period is over and you enroll in the course, you’ll get access to continued access to the course itself, plus three unique bonuses:
- Bonus #1 is access to the exclusive, members-only section of the website. You’ll have direct access to Doggy Dan, so you can ask questions about your dog and get his professional opinion. You can also interact with other dog owners, share stories, and maybe even make a few friends.
- Bonus #2 is access to Dan’s Weekly Video Updates. Doggy Dan films every one of his consultations with dogs and their owners. He shares the videos, so you can see his training in action and see how it applies in different situations with a variety of dogs and owners.
- Bonus #3 is access to Dan’s huge library of downloads. It includes Doggy Dan’s Puppy Series 1: 7 Secrets to Puppy Training and 9 Advanced Vocal Commands, among other things. All told, there are more than 300 video and audio files that you can listen to and deepen your understanding dog behavior and Doggy Dan’s techniques.
Of course, anyone who visits the website can also get access to Dan’s blog posts and podcasts, which contains a wealth of useful information for dog lovers.
What Do the Experts Say About The Online Dog Trainer?
The big question here is whether there’s any evidence (beyond the anecdotal evidence that Doggy Dan offers on The Online Dog Trainer website) that these methods work. Let’s see what the dog experts and scientific community have to say about it.
We’ll start with the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB.) It recommends dog-friendly, reward-based training as the best method for teaching dogs how to behave. Their statement on training reads, in part:
AVSAB endorses training methods which allow animals to work for things (e.g., food, play, affection) that motivate them rather than techniques that focus on using fear or pain to punish them for undesirable behaviors.
The Pet Professional Guild and the APDT in the UK both require that members who are dog trainers use dog-friendly, cruelty-free training methods as well.
There’s also some significant scientific evidence to support the use of dog-friendly training methods like the ones described in The Online Dog Trainer. For example, a UK-based study that looked at a large number of dog owners and the training methods they used found that, overall, dog-friendly methods that relied on rewards instead of punishment were the most effective at ridding dogs of behavioral problems.
A 2008 study tested the effects of positive reinforcement training on dogs who had a problem with jumping on people who came to the door. It found that the dogs who received positive training were, at the end of the study period, better behaved and more responsive to their owner’s commands than the dogs who did not receive the training.
Finally, a survey of dog owners that appeared in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior in 2008 found that dogs who were punished during training were more likely to be aggressive and fearful than dogs who received only dog-friendly training.
The takeaway here is that there is plenty of evidence to support the dog-friendly, reward-based system used by Doggy Dan in The Online Dog Trainer classes. Punishment doesn’t work and turning training into a fun learning experience for you and your dog is the best way to get the results you want.
Pros and Cons of The Online Dog Trainer
Every product has its pros and cons. Let’s talk about The Online Dog Trainer, starting with the pros as we see them:
- Doggy Dan has a lot of experience working with dogs and his methods have worked for more than 25,000 online students to date.
- There is scientific evidence that dog-friendly methods like the ones in The Online Dog Trainer are more effective for teaching dogs than the aggressive, punishment-based training that some trainers recommend.
- There is a low-cost trial period to give you the opportunity to try out some of Doggy Dan’s techniques before you pay for membership and access to the full website.
- Once you enroll, you’ll have immediate access to some areas of the site and to the course material you need.
There are a few potential downsides to consider here, too:
- The trial period gives you only limited access, so you won’t have the opportunity to check out the whole site and all of the member benefits unless you decide to enroll.
- Dog training requires dedication and time, and this course won’t work if you’re not prepared to spend time training your dog every day.
- This is an online course and some people may prefer to have a physical product that they can use at home.
Our feeling here is that the pros outweigh the cons as long as you don’t mind that this is a digital course that you’ll need an internet connection to access. We do like that there’s a mobile app, which may mitigate some of that concern. Using the app, you can access the course material and website even if you’re taking your dog to the beach or on a road trip.
How Much Does The Online Dog Trainer Course Cost?
By now, you are probably wondering how much money you’ll need to pay to get access to The Online Dog Trainer. As we mentioned earlier, the two free courses are available to anybody who sets up an account. The information in these courses is limited but helpful, especially if you want to get an idea of what you’ll be paying for.
The main course starts with a $1, three-day trial period. That means you’ll need to provide a credit card and pay the $1 charge. For that, you’ll get limited access to the course videos. You can use the three days to get a feel for what the paid course will be like and decide whether you want to subscribe.
After the trial period, you’ll pay $37 per month for membership. If you choose, you can pay for six months at a time for just $147, which represents almost a 35% reduction in the monthly cost. Because this is an online course, there are no shipping charges or hidden fees.
To give you an idea of the value you’re getting, we want to note that the estimated value of the bonus items is as follows:
- Access to the online member area and direct access to Dan are valued at $149.
- Access to Doggy Dan’s weekly videos is valued at $69.
- Access to the download library is valued at $69.
As we mentioned, these bonus items are all free and included with your payment of the $37 monthly fee.
Our Final Recommendation
Our final recommendation is that The Online Dog Trainer courses are a worthwhile investment for dog owners. Doggy Dan has a lot of experience and his gentle, dog-friendly approach is one that’s endorsed by experts as the best way to break your dog of bad habits and ensure that you have a loving and loyal companion for you and your family.
To sign up for your trial of The Online Dog Trainer now, please click here.