Dog training may look much different after COVID-19. During this time of uncertainty and social isolation, taking your dog to dog training classes is unfortunately not an option and it may be a very long time before it is. If we understand things correctly it could be months before the world is back to normal, if it ever can be. All this being said, dog training will look very differently in the future.
While the window of opportunity to properly socialize puppies is between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks, trying to accomplish this important task is surely challenging now.
Group dog training classes typically provide a fun and inexpensive option for improving a pet’s obedience performance. However, during times of social distancing the human proximity of group class may pose an unacceptable infection risk. Furthermore, municipal, borough, or state government edict may restrict many dog trainer’s ability to legally conduct group class. While Alaska Dog Works does not offer group training classes as a program on its own, we do offer drop-in group classes in the summer for our clients. We are still navigating how we can continue to offer this service in the future. Therefore, with the onset of the novel corona virus, our clients have reasonably expressed concern about attending group classes.
So, what is one to do?
Fortunately, there are multiple options, including private sessions, in-home private sessions, and virtual training.
One-on-One Dog Training Solutions
We have developed our Peak Performance Program from the ground up to provide our clients the ability to work with their dogs and reach their goals. This program is a combination of private sessions and a two-week camp. We were one of the first dog training companies in Alaska to address the COVID-19 pandemic in our industry and have a proven plan in place to limit exposure. As soon as our municipal, borough, or state government leaders say its okay to do so we will get to work with our current and new clients.
Some of the highlights of these safety measures are: washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer before/after exchanging hold of a leash. In addition, we easily implement social distance measures by maintaining a 6-foot distance.
With in-home private lessons we travel to your residence to work one-on-one or with multiple family members. In-home sessions are an outstanding option if you wish to work on housebreaking or household manners behaviors. Moreover, we can still fulfill infection control and social distance etiquette.
Virtual Dog Training
If you are searching for dog training right now you will probably see a lot of ads of trainers offering some form of virtual training program. We have had a virtual program for some time because of our unique position in doing business in Alaska. In the past we have offered a proven virtual training solution utilizing a Portal+ and access to our online library and our Pup Portal system.
A virtual program is great if one-on-one training poses too much risk. But, what if even one-on-one training poses too much risk? With virtual videoconference instruction our trainers do not need to visit to “enter” your home. Thus, the trainer can provide the same benefits as during an in-home appointment, without posing a risk of infectious exchange. Moreover, virtual lessons may be less expensive than in-home lessons, since there isn’t an accompanying travel charge.Alaska Dog Works was one of the first to address the COVID-19 pandemic in our industry and have a proven plan in place to limit exposure. Click To Tweet
For the past several years, Alaska Dog Works has conducted FaceTime lessons for out of state, off the road system and international clients. FaceTime allows excellent one-to-one video conferencing capabilities for any 2 persons owning an Apple computer, iPad, or iPhone containing a forward-facing camera and system software running Mac OS X 10.9.2, iOS 7, or later versions. Remember if you sign up for our Portal+ program you get your very own Portal+ for you to keep!
The best reason to use this solution is because FaceTime has been factory loaded by Apple since October 2010. Furthermore, FaceTime is free for fully operational international VoIP communication.
From our experience, FaceTime is easy to use and highly functional for dog training lessons, provided there is either a strong cell phone signal or internet connection. However, FaceTime is not an option for people who don’t own an Apple product.
We are sure that you have seen that every company, school, business, and news outlet has been using Zoom as part of the “new normal.” Consequently, we have started to also use Zoom as well because so many people understand and can navigate the technology.
Some of the great highlights of using Zoom for our Virtual Dog Training are:
- You can use it on any device
- Your trainer can share his/her screen with you during the call to share documents, videos, etc.
- We are able to record the session and share it with you on your Pup Portal
- Multiple people can be on the same Zoom session so if one dog parent is at home and the other is away at work (ie. slope worker), both can log in and attend the class
- There is no additional cost to use Zoom for our clients
- It is easy to use
- The only real draw back is we have to keep sessions to forty minutes or less
It is difficult to navigate where dog training will be in a week from now, a month, a year. As you know things are constantly changing as people get a better understanding of this novel virus. But one thing is for sure, it is our core purpose to advance excellence in dog training and behavior consulting around the world. If the corona virus has you home full-time and your dog is exhibiting exasperating housebreaking, household manners, obedience, or behavioral problems, there are dog training solutions available that pose little to zero infection risk. Thus, there is no need to let your dog’s problems persist.
Please contact us so that we can design a corona-safe program that increases the enjoyment you receive from your pet. Lets jump on a video chat and get to work!