Virtual Dog Training – does it work?
Due to the current pandemic of coronaVirus; I’ll be seeing most if not all my clients by virtual means, which has prompted me to write this post :).
“Many of my clients have been very unsure about the switch, some even asked for refunds initially, through they were very happy that they didn’t choose that option! ”
I’ve been conducting virtual consultations for a few years now and find no difference in the results. For nervous dogs it’s wonderful, as we’re not stressing out your dog by having a stranger visit, and we can work with your dog a lot easier as I can guide you through the exercises. This is something I’m unable to do if I was actually in your home as your dog wont work with me if it’s scared. The same is true for dogs with separation problems and lead reactivity too!!
So what is Virtual/Online Dog Training?
Simply put it’s a video call from myself to my clients anywhere in the world! If you have family members that wanted to be there, they can dial in on their lunch break. You don’t need to worry about the technical side of things, all you need is a computer with a webcam, phone or tablet and an internet connection and I’ll handle the rest :). It’s ideal for many people with chronic health conditions, or mental illness, or even just a busy household or life; which can make having visitors difficult.
It’s still my clients and I, sitting down and discussing the problems they’re having with their dog. I still offer time for them to talk to me, and get the emotional load off their chest. I’m still there to listen and offer support. We still talk and work through their case, as I take a history. We then work through their timeline, and I listen, then ask questions to ensure the correct behavioural diagnosis for their dog. We then discuss their needs and the reality of what is achievable for them and their dog. I can then instruct them how to achieve different behaviours with their dogs, and offer advice to help fine tune their training technique; my clients aren’t trainers after all. I can even use my own dogs as demo dogs, something I can’t do with a home visit.
It’s a video call so I still see the dog! I am still watching the families interactions with the dog and it’s behaviour when at home. Watching the dog when I’m not physically there can actually give me more information than when I am, as I’m not a distraction! I can watch as they bark at window, or paw for attention. I see them stiffening up as the other dog walks past when they have a toy and their reaction when the new baby cries or the toddler screams.
“But you don’t see them out on a walk and that’s where our problems are!”
Yes, that’s true, but if I come out to you the chances of us putting your dog in a situation I know they can’t cope with, just so I can ‘see their behaviour’ isn’t something I’m likely to do anyway. I believe you when you say they’re reactive outside, I don’t always need to see it. I will know from discussing the case with you what’s going on and if I’m uncertain, I’ll ask for video footage of your latest walk. I will never ask you to purposely put your dog in a situation that will cause it to react just so I can see, be that video footage or when working outside. Not only will this stress your dog but it gives them another opportunity to practise that behaviour, and that’s something we want to avoid initially.
The post consultation advice still works in the same with the report, the use of an app to monitor progress, and I’ll soon be rolling out completely new workbooks for clients to work through to help them even more!
Virtual consultations are the future of my business and I’ll look forward to helping you and your dog, no matter where you are!!!
And yes, as they are still consultations, you can claim my fees back through most insurance companies
I’ll look forward to virtually meeting you and helping you with your dog!