Let’s address the ELEPHANT in the room off the bat: COVID stinks. There, we said it. It has affected everyone within reach of this post and beyond in so many ways. Our hearts go out to those who are struggling with this illness and the families of those impacted. This pandemic has taught us all a new way of living—including how we train our dogs.
With out of the way, let’s turn the conversation to 9 reasons why you should try virtual dog training for you and your pup this holiday season and beyond. Let’s get started, shall we?
Reason #1: Access to the class from anywhere with an internet connection.
Yep, that’s right. Anywhere you can get connection to zoom, you can access our virtual training sessions. Socially distanced visit with family? ZOOM IT. Out on a walk with your dog? ZOOM IT. In your living room? ZOOM IT. Know someone in Pennsylvania that could benefit from a family dog training class? THEY CAN ZOOM IT. 2:00pm and still in your jammies with a WiFi signal…ZOOM IT! No dress code required and all you have to do is log in on time!
Reason #2: Access to the materials and instructor beyond the class hour
Our live virtual classes are taught at their scheduled time and recorded. Post class, that recording takes a journey through cyberspace to our virtual classroom, Teachable, where it remains for you to access at your (or your family’s) convenience! You can skip through the lesson and repeat, slow down, or review anything you need.
Reason #3: A flexible learning environment combining structure and freedom
Are you someone who likes accountability and commitment? Great! Our virtual classes are for you. Are you someone who likes freedom and flexibility and doesn’t like to commit? GREAT our virtual classes are also for you! Our flexible virtual classrooms work the exact same way as our in-person classrooms. Your class is scheduled to meet at the same time each week via zoom for 6 weeks, for example Tuesdays at 6:30pm. BUT if you have a commitment or are unable to make it one night, because of REASON 2 above, your class is recorded for you to watch back when it is more convenient that week.
Reason #4: Feedback from the instructor in our LIVE class structure
Our Zoom classroom set up is LIVE, not prerecorded. This means you get immediate and instant feedback from our certified instructors to answer any questions or help with any modifications in the moment. No need to follow up via email with questions (unless you want to, which is encouraged). In our virtual classes, the instructor will demonstrate the exercise with their own dog, then coach each class participant through the exercise as they watch!
Reason #5: Sharpened digital skills (and in this day-and-age who doesn’t need that?)
Our friendly and compassionate instructors and assistants are here to help you through the virtual platform as we all learn this new media at lightning speed together. If you are having trouble accessing the virtual classroom for any reason, someone will always be available via email or phone to help get you in and set up, ready for the lesson that week. THEN, you will be ready to ROCK any virtual call you get—work meeting or happy hour!
Reason #6: Flexibility to maximize learning and fun
In this pandemic, we find ourselves busier with nothing to do than we ever have before. Confusing? Everything is changing and moving so quickly it feels like we are at capacity, yet when we slow down and look at the schedule we find we are free for the next…well…lets not talk about that. Our virtual classes are very flexible because you can attend them from anywhere. If you are not available or need a screen break at your class time, you can access the recorded class later at a time that is more convenient for your schedule that week.
Reason #7: Less distractions, more focus for your canine companion
Most people have heard that dog training classes are the best place to help “socialize” your dog and teach them new things. However, can you imagine a world where you enter a room full of dogs as PRACTICE for the skills they have already mastered in your home? We can!! That means you as the S-T-A-R a-top that classroom tree! With virtual learning, you get the chance to teach your canine companion new skills with minimal to low distractions and then take it out into the real world to practice once they have a solid skill foundation.
Reason #8: Less distractions, more focus—for you the human!
When you participate in a virtual class from your living room, there is no need to keep your dog entertained and focused primarily on your training space. This allows you to fully pay attention to the instructor and their tips to put into practice during your turn to work. When it becomes time for you to practice—all you need to do is call Fluffy over and get to work! Don’t worry, if you have questions the instructor is right there watching for guidance, coaching, and support!
Reason #9: People that have tried it LOVE it!
We have had the opportunity to take a few classes through our virtual platform and our client family has been pleasantly surprised. See what some of them had to say below:
“It has been such a joy participating in the Dog Den’s virtual tricks class. All tricks and commands are modeled and explained thoroughly, and the instructor provides ample time to practice the tricks with your dog while watching you and providing individualized feedback. If a pupper isn’t quite getting the hang of it, the trainer offers excellent, individualized troubleshooting tips to ensure all dogs are able to do each trick by the end of each session. The virtual platform and technology works seamlessly, and my pup is always delightfully tuckered out after each session”
“I was a little unsure how a virtual class would go, but it’s great! The instructor shows us how to do things with her dog on Zoom and then we practice with our own dogs without ever leaving the living room! It’s kind of nice not to have the other dogs distracting your puppy as they first learn things and then later on you can add in distractors! It also gives us some great bonding time with our pups and the instructor is awesome to work with!”
“I really didn’t think I would like a virtual platform for a dog class but I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised! The Dog Den’s virtual Tricks class has not disappointed! The virtual platform has been easy to navigate and you can’t beat the commute to the basement. The whole family is involved ( we have 2 dogs, 2 kids ages 10 and 14 and 2 adults participating) and we are in our own home which means the dogs are relaxed and ready to learn. They are not distracted by the other dogs and you get the same great dog den instructors. This really has been a fun experience and I highly recommend it!”
“I was a little nervous about taking a zoom training class, but I have been so pleasantly surprised! The instructor has been very engaging and is still able to give great feedback. I would definitely sign up for a virtual training class again. “
If those reasons aren’t enough to convince you to join us for a virtual training class this season, give it a try by signing up for one of our ONE NIGHT ONLY workshops. Our workshops will be a great way to get a feel for the virtual platform and brush up on some old skills or learn something new! See what is coming up HERE.
The Dog Den and The Puppy Den have loads of virtual class options to suit your training needs. Our range includes puppy training, basics training, focus training, nosework, tricks and more! See what classes are available and save your spot here.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and look forward to seeing you and your canine companion in our virtual classes!