Virtual Puppy Training

Virtual Puppy training is becoming a thing due to the worldwide covid-19 pandemic.

I, as many of you, have been wondering if it is actually a good idea, whether virtual puppy training will work or not and how does it work?

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t call myself particularly tech savvy and as a result I tend to shy away from tech-based things I don’t know and don’t really need. As a result, I’ve avoided the virtual world of ZOOM and similar Apps like the plague. This has however, made me wonder if I am missing out on a large share of pie. Moving towards a virtual world would enable me as a dog trainer to access people all over the world, instead of just my immediate surrounding areas. This blog will therefore look at the effectiveness of virtual dog training as well as how you would be able to have such a session over ZOOM.

Puppy training

Considering the safety of virtual training

You, as the client, don’t need to be physically near the trainer for virtual puppy training. This will therefore prevent the risk/spread of Covid-19. You don’t have to invite a stranger into your house to conduct the training session. You also don’t need to drive anywhere to meet with the trainer. So, in that perspective it’s a fantastic idea!

The training session can be quicker and cheaper for you to do. You could literally meet for the allotted time and then its over with. No driving here or there. The trainer would be able to save time and costs and thus the session would be cheaper for the client.

What would be needed for a virtual puppy training session?

Both the client and trainer would need access to a reliable internet source, this obviously would mean that the meeting would go smoothly, and communication would be easy.  The client would obviously need treats to reward the dog and a quiet distraction free environment. The App would need a camera phone or tablet and the client would need a stand for the phone so that they could do the training with the dog and not have to manage treats, a phone and the dog with only 2 hands. The trainer would need their own dog to do demonstrations with so that the client could understand what is going on.

Puppy training rewards

How does Zoom work?

This section will briefly describe how a ZOOM meeting would go for virtual puppy training and how you could use some of the useful features.

In the Zoom App you have the options to start a new meeting, join an existing one or schedule a meeting. You as the client would need to join the meeting the trainer has set up. How this would happen is:

  1. You will get an email from Zoom with the meeting ID. In the email you will also get the option to just join the meeting. You also have the option for connecting just audio or both audio and video. You would obviously need video too so that the train can see what you are doing with your dog.
  2. Once you are in the meeting you will see yourself and the trainer. At the bottom of the screen are a few options. One is to mute the audio, this means that the trainer won’t be able to hear what you are saying. If  the video is on mute, the microphone will be red and have a line through it.
  3. You have the option to stop video which means that the trainer will only be able to hear you. Please note if you push this button, you have not left the meeting!
  4. The share button is to share what ever you choose to the meeting. You are able to share photos, documents, etc. The other person will be able to see exactly what you see. Including any editing you make to the shared screen.
  5. Participants shows all the participants in the meeting. If it is just a one to one training session with you and the trainer, make sure nobody else is in the meeting.
  6. The more button just gives you more meeting options. Which are all pretty self-explanatory.
  7. The leave the meeting completely the button on the top right should allow you to do this.
  8. On the top left you can switch your camera around.

There are times when things go wrong, and wrong buttons are pushed. Please make sure you don’t do or say anything until you are 100% sure you have left the meeting and the app. This can be extremely embarrassing!

Would a virtual puppy training session work?

I would say they would work. As a result of this blog I have done research and concluded that I should give it a shot. Its safe, cost effective and easy. You can access anybody in the world and there are multiple platforms you can use. Zoom is the obvious one, but there is Google’s own Duo and multiple other Apps to choose from.

I look forward to my first virtual session! If you think I have missed anything out or would like to have your say, please leave your comments below.