Whether your dog is domesticated, an emotional support dog or a service or psychiatric service dog, basic training is essential to travel on planes with your dog, not to mention for the general health and welfare of both you and your dog.
At a time when in-person dog training classes can be difficult to come by, online classes provide a convenient and effective alternative. How effective, of course, depends on the specific training course, which is why we’ve compiled the following list for you of the best of the best among online dog training classes.
1. Brandon McMillan
Brandon McMillan is the host of the TV series “Lucky Dog,” for which he won an Emmy Award. His trainings are focused on relationship-building between people and their dogs. In his classes, he helps you develop trust with your dog, which then allows you to develop the ability to control your dog. His coursework ranges from simple commands like sit, down and stay to remedying common problems like digging and barking. By the end of training with Brandon, you will build an unbreakable bond with your dog while learning how to better his or her behavior.
Brandon teaches dog training online on MasterClass, a subscription-based educational website covering every topic under the sun.
Brandon’s online dog training classes include several innovative lesson plans such as:
- Variables That Make Your Dog Unique
- Trust and Groundwork for Training
- Training Foundations and the Seven Common Commands
- Signaling Commands and Leash Techniques
At the time of this writing, Brandon had 15 video lessons posted online, totalling two hours and 58 minutes of expert dog training.
To take Brandon’s classes, you must subscribe to MasterClass, which costs $15 per month, billed yearly. A subscription allows you to take all hundred-plus courses the site offers, including the abilities to watch on a phone, desktop computer or television and even download lessons to watch offline. You also get PDF workbooks for each class, including Brandon’s dog training classes.
2. Spirit Dog Training
Spirit Dog Training boasts nearly 10,000 happy customers with nearly 220,000 total views of their training videos to date. The lead trainer at Spirit Dog is Steff Trott, who has trained thousands of dogs (and their people) in person and online since 2013. She’s taught live trainings in her home of New Mexico as well as across the globe, including as far as Germany. Her own teachers included multi-time world champions in dog training competitions.
With Spirit Dog, you can train your dog in short, convenient, 10-minute sessions, rather than trying to set aside long, impractical stretches. There’s a variety of course programs to choose from, many with multiple lessons. Topics include:
- Basic Obedience
- Loose Leash Walking
- Dog Tricks
- Mastering Potty Training
- Focus in Public – Out and About
- Canine Fitness Course
- Slow Down
- Tackling Reactivity
- Coming When Called and Outdoor Focus
- Taking Turns
- Brain Games
- Frisbee Games
- SpiritDog Parkour
They even have an Ultimate Puppy Program.
Each course includes one or more step-by-step video lessons, along with the ability to contact Steff or one of her team of professional dog trainers if you have questions about any lesson. Courses range from under $10 to $115, depending mostly on the number of lessons.
By training your dog with Spirit Dog Training, you can save an average of $650 over in-person dog-training classes. Best of all, it’s backed by a 100% no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
3. Animal Attraction Unlimited
At Animal Attraction Unlimited, there are two ways you can train your dog online. You can take prerecorded video lessons or train virtually with a live trainer. The main dog training video course program at Animal Attraction Unlimited is a six-week course that helps you teach your dog invaluable life skills, including:
- Leave it
- Come when called
- Eye contact
- Loose-leash walking
Teaching the course are four trainers who primarily use positive reinforcement in short, simple exercises to help dogs and owners alike make training as easy as possible. The six-week Animal Attraction Unlimited dog-training course costs $167 and includes an invite to join a private Facebook group of others who are taking or have taken the course.
If it’s customize dog-training classes you prefer, you can get help with the gamut of concerns for dog owners, including:
- Eliminating common, unwanted behaviors, like jumping, biting, chewing and food or object guarding
- Relieving reactivity on-leash to other dogs or people
- Basic obedience for puppies or adult dogs
Animal Attraction Unlimited will also hold private, virtual sessions with you to help prepare your dog for group training sessions. And if you don’t even have a dog yet, Animal Attraction Unlimited will help you choose just the right puppy or dog for your home or consult with you before you bring a new dog into the home.
The lead trainer at Animal Attraction Unlimited is Laura Bourhenee, CDBC, CPDT-KA. After earning her degree from Moorpark College in Exotic Animal Training, she opened Animal Attraction Unlimited in 1989. Attending seminars and conferences throughout the year and keeping abreast of developments in animal training to keep her skills sharp, she is also a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer via the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant via the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.
It may surprise you that Petco even offers dog training, let alone that one of the world’s largest and most well-known pet supply stores also has one of the best pet-training programs around. And with the resources at a corporation like Petco’s disposal, the online pet-training offerings are as extensive and comprehensive as you might expect.
Petco offers four-session group classes online with no more than six participants in each course for just $99. Courses include:
- Puppy Basics – Essential behaviors and cues like crate-training and potty-training, coming when called, walking on a leash in a controlled manner, adapting to strange settings and socialization
- Adult Basics – Expanding on basic commands and cues and reinforcing desirable behaviors both at home and out and about
- Beyond the Basics – Using positive reinforcement to rid dogs of unwanted behaviors
Petco also offers PRO trainings, each of which is made up of a single session with a large number of participants that delves deeply into a specific topic. In PRO sessions, there is limited interaction between trainer and attendee, although a Q&A chat is included with the trainer at the end of each onw.
In addition to the education and certifications Petco’s trainers bring to their courses, each trainer and Petco completes Petco’s own Petco Mentor University program to ensure they meet all Petco standards and that every trainer, no matter the course, is sure to provide the same level of expertise and ability.
5. SIRIUS Dog Training
Founded in 1982 by veterinarian and founder of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Dr. Ian Dunbar, SIRIUS Dog Training prides itself on being “The Original Puppy School” and voted as offering the San Francisco Bay Area’s best puppy training classes. They have Puppy Kindergarten classes for dogs eight to 12 weeks old, Puppy Training classes for dogs 12-18 weeks old and Basic Manners Foundations for dogs 18 weeks old minimum. Any dogs that graduate one of these courses is then eligible to take the Redirecting Rowdy Behavior and Intro to Tricks classes. Intro classes at SIRIUS range from $160 for four weekly sessions to $200 for five weekly sessions. Each session lasts 50 minutes. There’s also an advanced online classes that requires prior trainer approval to join.
6. All Day Dog Adventures
Virtual courses with All Day Dog Adventures include scent training, puppy training, dog obedience and trick training. You can also get private behavior consultation or private obedience and training online. Classes are held over Zoom and are suitable for all breeds and ages of dog, including anxious, reactive or nervous dogs.
7. Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution
Recommended by none other than Dr. Ian Dunbar of SIRIUS Dog Training, Zak George’s YouTube video trainings are based on his book of the same name.
Committed to training based in ethics and science, Dogmantics is run by Emily Larham out of San Diego, California, best known for her Kikipup YouTube channel boasting more than 350 free online dog training tutorials. Emily developed her “Progressive Reinforcement Training” after starting out as a caregiver in an animal shelter over 15 years ago. There, she met her training mentor, Kyle Rayon, and became his apprentice. Over the ensuing years, she’s worked with thousands of dogs and their owners and conducted online seminars and spoken at conferences worldwide. Through Dogmantics, she now offers a six-week self-study course, videos on demand and a membership program with exclusive videos and trainings.