Training a new or old dog is a tricky process, and many of us pup owners find that we need help from a professional pet trainer. Finding the time and the right trainer and fitting this into your budget can be a challenge. Fortunately, we have plenty of online training courses and options to pick from.
Online training offers many advantages because it’s more affordable and convenient for pet parents in many cases vs. an in-person trainer. Also, online coaching is better for some pups as it provides fewer distractions and doesn’t involve a stranger.
Multiple online programs offer lessons taught by certified professional dog trainers (CPDT). Like any pet product, picking the best online dog trainer can get overwhelming as new programs are entering the market all the time. Our team has put many of these to the test to see which ones are worth your investment and time.
At A Glance: Best Online Dog Training
Online Dog Trainer “Doggy Dan”
Brain Training For Dogs
Factors To Consider
When selecting an online dog training course, you should look at what each course offers before signing up.
- Training Methods -The methods and approach are important to consider. Some programs are reward-based, while others focus on redirecting bad behavior or establishing the owner as the pack’s leader. If a course allows you to watch a sample video or lesson, this is a wonderful way to see firsthand what their methods look like. We encourage you to look for programs that include positive reinforcement in their methods.
- Reviews – Look at reviews and the reputation of any class or trainer. Businesses with established customer bases and non-biased reviews are helpful as they can give potential customers an accurate picture of what a class is like.
- Class Type -The type of class is also a significant consideration. Some folks may seek help with one specific issue, while others may need a more far-reaching program. Browse any program you are considering to see class offerings and if it covers only the basics or offers more advanced behavior options. Also, look at the method by which lessons are available. Is a program available only online, or does it have an accompanying app? Are lessons available on demand, and how long does a customer have access to them? These are all factors you should consider.
- Class Size & Schedule – The class size and schedule are also considerations. Is this a program that allows you to access it any time you’d like? In some cases, classes may offer Zoom meetings, one-on-one sessions, or other in-person interactions with the trainers.
- Price – Of course, price and budget are always a significant factor. You’ll want to know what you’re getting for your dollar. Usually, a membership or package deal will give you the best value for the money. While there are some free elements of almost every program, some folks need more than just general introductory videos.
Best Online Dog Traning Courses
We run through some of the top options available on the market today. These programs offer a variety of options. Each pup is different, so be sure to look through any courses you are considering to see if they address your pup’s specific behavior concerns.
The Online Dog Trainer From Doggy Dan Review
- Helps owners “think like a dog”
- Owners and dogs reach a calm place before training
- Focuses on positive reinforcement
- Builds trust between dog and owner
- Can purchase course packs or one at a time
- Multiple resources included
Doggy Dan, also known as The Online Dog Trainer, is one of our top picks. Doggy Dan has “5 Golden Rules” that you can implement to help your pets behave better. A former police officer and engineer, Doggy Dan now focuses on helping people “think like a dog.” Doggy Dan points out that it is unlikely that any pup will learn unless they have achieved a consistent, calm state. The program has guidance on how to get there.
There are four course packs to pick from: Puppy Coach, The Dog Calming Code, Pull No More Leash Training, and Complete Pack. Additionally, Doggy Dan offers a Dog Trainer Business Academy. You can purchase single courses as needed. All lessons are based on positive reinforcement and building trust. Doggy Dan also offers access to videos of individual consultations that you can watch and apply to your pup. Project Moses is a section where he shares his journey with his new puppy from eight weeks to eight months.
We love that Doggy Dan offers so many different options and classes. Everything is available online and on demand. Additionally, there are several podcasts, blogs, and YouTube videos available to help. Doggy Dan offers a 100% risk-free 60-day money-back guarantee. The program is consistently given 5-star reviews and has helped thousands of pups worldwide. The best place to start is with the Dog Calming Code, which allows owners and dogs to reach a calm place where learning can happen.
Our Personal Experience With Doggy Dan
Just as COVID-19 started to shut everything down, we adopted a nine-month-old rescue pup. With limited training options, we turned to Doggy Dan and the Calming Code. The training was helpful in calming our new pup down and guiding in with teaching basic behaviors and commands. The searchable, on-demand “lessons” were a wonderful resource and helped us get our new pup settled in, even when things around us were chaotic.– Michelle Schenker, rescue dog parent
Brain Training For Dogs Review
- Brings out the hidden intelligence in dogs
- Lessons are structured as games
- 7 modules of trainings
- Straightforward and simple
- Fun and easy to implement
Brain Training For Dogs was developed by Adrienne Farriceli, a U.S.-based CPDT-KA certified trainer with over a decade of experience. Her courses use positive reinforcement to eliminate bad behaviors in dogs. The coaching focuses on helping owners bring out the hidden intelligence in their dogs. All methods are force-free, simple, and based on science.
Lessons are set up like games, and you and your dog can have fun while learning new behaviors. Adrienne’s methods are based on “neuroplasticity,” the idea that the human brain is constantly changing, learning, and molding itself to learn new things. Her approach is based on the idea that canine brains have this same neuroplasticity and can be taught new behaviors over time with positive reinforcement.
The Brain Training For Dogs Program offers seven modules of exercises. Owners progress with their dogs from the beginning stages (Preschool) to advanced (Einstein). Instructions are easy to follow and have illustrations. You also get access to a community forum, videos, bonus materials, and an archive of information. These include 7 Trick Training, Obedience 101, Polishing Up, Adriennes Archives, Behavior Training Guide, and Case Study. Adrienne also takes questions that get answered by her or her team of experts.
We love that the program is effective and straightforward. Along with being focused and easy to follow, Brain Training For Dogs is very affordable, just $67 for both lessons and bonus materials. At less than $100, the entire program is nearly equal to the cost of one in-person private trainer lesson. There is never another fee, and users can access information and materials as long as needed.
SpiritDog Online Training Review
- All lessons taught by certified trainers
- 7-day free course
- Variety of courses and price points
- Can do just 15 minutes a day
- Practical, easy-to-follow lessons
- Versatile and highly reviewed
SpiritDog is a top-quality program that uses game-based positive reinforcement methods. The company offers 17 different courses and addresses beginner to advanced concerns. A CPDT teaches every lesson, includes a video, and is available on demand. You can train your pup in as little as 15 minutes a day at a time and place that works for you. You can also choose the programs you need, as well as having the option to sign up for the SpiritDog Academy, which gives you access to all lessons (over 700), as well as weekly Zoom meetings.
Courses are available in bundles or as single courses. You also have the option to try a seven-day free course. They receive lessons by email every day with customized videos. The free course can be used for just five minutes a day. No contracts or payment is required. The lessons are practical, easy to follow, and highly reviewed.
We love that there is something for every budget. We also like that you can pick precisely what you need. SpiritDog offers a variety of options for different price points. Individual courses range from $9 to $149. Bundles range from $49 to $499. SpiritDog Academy packages available include the Puppy Starter at $20 a month, Legend Dog at $89 a month, or the Super Dog, which is everything for $497 a year.
Our Personal Experience With SpiritDog Training
I tried out the seven-day free class for active dogs with my two-and-a-half-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I really liked the daily emails and videos. They were easy to understand and helped me see things from my dog’s perspective. Using these methods, I was able to improve my pup’s walking behavior. He is much happier and doesn’t bark at other dogs anymore.–Sadie Cornelius, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parent
Good Dog Every Day by Success Dogs Review
- Award-based system
- Designed for everyday use
- Can use just 15 minutes a day
- Lifetime access
- Multiple resources
The Good Dog Every Day Program by Success Dogs is an award-based system that helps train dogs to listen and respond to commands. It is designed to be simple and support pet parents who need help figuring out where to start. They offer 25 different video lessons. You get lifetime access to the Good Dog Every Day program, printable worksheets, ebooks, video lessons, and support from the team.
The Good Dog Every Day program works to reward pups for listening and obeying verbal commands. The program is reward-based and does not use any scolding, forcing, or physical correction of behavior. The work starts by showing five reasons why an owner may be stuck with a pup who doesn’t listen. These reasons include lack of owner’s time, lack of professional skills, stubborn pets, poor coaching, and rewarding “crappy” behavior.
We love that Good Dog Every Day is designed for use by the everyday pet owner. There are no fancy terms or supplies needed. The program aims to make a difference in just 15 minutes of daily work. Teaching elements throughout the program and lessons help you understand why your pup is behaving poorly and not listening and then help you redirect that behavior through reward-based methods. At the time of this writing, customers could access the entire program for just $47. The program offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It is a top pick for budget-conscious pet parents.
Dunbar Academy Review
- Many years of experience
- Free ebooks
- Simple, effective solutions
- Positive training approach that is fun
- Over 100 hours of programs
- Professional animal trainer team
The Dunbar Academy offers materials designed to be positive and fun. You can pay a monthly fee and access all courses through the Top Dog Academy or purchase them individually. The site has over 100 hours of programs to access. Additionally, a limited number of free courses are available for pet parents and professionals.
For $20 a month, members can access all courses. Customers who purchased individual courses get lifetime access. Top Dog Academy members receive access to every course for as long as they remain active members. Monthly members also receive access to the private Facebook group.
For a new puppy who needs training, try the Essential Puppy course or join the Top Dog Academy to access all courses, including behavior problems, canine-to-canine reactivity, reliability and games, science-based methods, simple solutions for common behavior, pet training for children, and more. The Dunbar Academy also offers approved courses for continuing education for canine trainers. Additionally, there are free ebooks available for anyone to download.
We love that Dunbar Academy has been established for several years and is led by a professional animal trainer team. All lessons focus on positive reinforcement, with no punishment or physical behavior redirection. There are explanations behind the coaching so pet parents can understand what they are doing and what the common goal is.
An Alternative Option: The Halo Collar
Halo Collar Review
- Fence training GPS collar
- 21-day app-based training
- Virtual fences
- Works on Android and IOS
- Activity and health monitor
- Multifunctional training tool
If your pup has trouble with outdoor boundaries, or you simply want to keep him contained in one area, the Halo Collar is a great option to consider. It is a multifunctional training tool that includes a wireless fencing system, GPS tracking collar, smart dog training collar, and activity and health monitors. The collar comes with a 21-day app-based training program and is backed by famed animal trainer Cesar Millan. Owners have access to lessons using MiIlan’s behavioral psychology training to help with fence boundaries.
The Halo Collar uses smart technology to help you track your dog’s activity and train them to stay within set boundaries. The collar then administers a correction signal (sound, vibration, or static connection). You can set up to 20 virtual fences, which are stored in the collar. The Halo Collar is a premium option and requires a big investment upfront, but is proven to be very effective. Some services are only available by subscription.
We love how effective and multifunctional the Halo Collar is. Learn more about the Halo Collar system in our full review. If you’re interested in an alternative virtual fencing system, we also recommend SpotOn GPS Fence. However, it doesn’t come with the intensive 21-day training program that Halo does.
What About Free Online Training?
There are many free options online. However, you should always use these with caution. Some of these free options are not run by certified trainers, and it can be hard to verify the qualifications of who is presenting them. That is not to say that there are not some high-quality, very reliable free resources online to help get things started.
Zak George is a top-rated and popular trainer who makes fun, unique YouTube videos offering assistance and canine training tips. George is known for his unique content and wide selection of videos. All techniques are positive, and the videos are fun and full of personality. While not the same as a structured regimen, they can help with individual behavior issues in a pinch.
Canine Training Apps
Most online canine training courses consist of video and downloadable content, as well as interactive forums that customers can access. These courses are generally designed to be used on the computer and can be accessed on a phone or electronic device through the mobile web. Some courses do offer an accompanying app, but not all.
For those who would prefer the convenience of a mobile application, you are in luck. There are several top-quality options to choose from. Many are available for iPhone and Android, though some work on only one platform.
Some of the top picks include:
- Doggy Time
Some apps require a monthly subscription fee, while others only require a one-time purchase. Many include different obedience lessons, agility, basic commands, and even clicker trainer tips. Apps work similarly to online programs but are often more interactive and include other tools like potty reminders, activity tracking, games, tricks, and more. Most of these apps do not offer free content other than a free trial and require upfront payment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do online dog training programs work?
Yes, online programs have the potential to work very well. Of course, the effectiveness will depend upon the commitment and approach you take, the time you spend on it, and the specific course selected. For any course you choose, try to watch a free video or lesson to get an idea of what the coaching is like. Additionally, look for those that offer a money-back guarantee on the chance that it does not work. Seek out training for the specific problem you have, like jumping or biting.
Is virtual dog training worth it?
Yes, virtual training is absolutely worth it. Thousands and thousands of dogs and pet parents worldwide have bonded and worked out troublesome behavior with the assistance of these programs. Virtual learning is convenient, affordable, and easy to access. Additionally, it is an immediate resource. You don’t need to wait for a phone call or text message or a trainer to be available during office hours. As long as you’re willing to put in the effort and have patience, virtual learning is a fantastic resource.
I am not a professional dog trainer. Isn’t it better for a trainer to train my pup?
Training is effective when done in a consistent, understandable, and precise way. While some folks may feel better with the assistance of a professional, with the right attitude and commitment, online lessons can be just as effective. An owner’s confidence level has much to do with how they approach and interact with their pet. Many programs also offer consultations with professional animal trainers and a community forum. These resources can be beneficial when learning to train your pup yourself.
Training Is The Key To A Well-Behaved Pup
The world of dog training has come a long way. Pet parents do not have to commit to weekly appointments or attend group classes that can turn into chaos. There are plenty of online options, and they are not all created equally. When selecting, make sure to do your research and read each option’s offerings, procedures, and money-back guarantees.
When using online resources, just remember that you’re teaching yourself as well as your dog. With the right resources and commitment, any pup can be trained to learn new tricks or, at the very least, learn and meet basic behavior and obedience expectations.
Why Trust Love Your Dog
Danielle is a pet owner with over 30 years of experience. She has worked as a professional researcher for many years. She is dedicated to providing the best research and information to help pet owners. Danielle spends countless hours researching the latest developments in pet care, health, food, and training. She works alongside a professional and experienced team to bring the best, most accurate, and recent information to our readers.