COVID-19 restrictions are here to stay, at least in the short to medium term and this means that ‘in person’ sessions are going to be extremely limited and that virtual sessions are going to be essential in training puppies and dogs going forwards.
The clock is ticking for young puppies and that’s why it is vital that you get the support you need as early as possible, rather than waiting and hoping that there will be puppy classes to attend after restrictions are lifted. Waiting means that you will have missed the small window of puppy learning and development.
Things that most likely could have been addressed easily in the early days, may well become much bigger problems that are difficult to address the older a dog gets. So, even if you think that the virtual will not be as good as in person then you need to ask yourself...isn’t any training, guidance and support is far better than nothing at all? We urge your please DO NOT wait, let’s prevent problems starting rather than trying to tackle them in a few months.
Similarly, dog training needs rarely ‘get better’ on their own without intervention, and delaying addressing these may result in them getting worse as a result of the dog continuing to practise and strengthen the behaviour.
So if you have a puppy or dog training need and you’ve been holding back on trying a virtual session, we urge you to take the leap and give them a go. We think you’ll be surprised how easy and useful they can be!
Done right, virtual classes and support can be just as effective, if not more so in some ways than 'in person' activities for all types of training and support - this even includes recall and loose lead walking!
In our experience of running virtual sessions and the feedback from clients has identified the following key benefits for you and your dog:
- Your puppy or dog will be more relaxed in an environment in which they feel comfortable
- There are fewer distractions at home, and so it is often a more beneficial place for helping your puppy or dog to focus on you and respond to training
- Training calm behaviours and chill out activities are so much easier in a familiar environment than in a stimulating and exciting one
- We’d always recommend that owners start all of their foundation training at home first of all anyway. There’s absolutely no disadvantage to training with us at home from the start and then gradually taking it out and about.
- Weather is not an issue so your pup and you won't get too cold, wet or hot. The other advantage is that classes can always go ahead regardless of the weather, so there’ll be no cancellations as with ‘in person’ sessions held outside.
- You can get individual coaching and feedback in real time
- You don't have to get dressed, pack your bag up and travel to a class - you can even do it in your pyjamas if you want!
So...we think virtual sessions are great! However, we do know that the thought of doing a Zoom or another type of virtual session can be really daunting at first, and we want you to get as much out of it as possible.
All you need is a small, quiet area at home, access to a laptop/tablet/smart phone, an internet connection and some treats...oh and of course your dog!
So go on, jump in and give them a go...check out our beginner's guide for more information.