In this post we are revealing the best online training for dogs – Westie tried and tested! Having a dog is not always as simple as it first seems. Dogs are inquisitive, intelligent creatures and will want to explore, play, and discover the world for themselves.
As a result, you may find that your Westie is curious and gets into different things in your home, can be destructive, or may be unsure how to behave around other dogs and humans.
Training your Westie is essential to not only your well-being but your dog’s too.
Having a well-trained dog can ensure that they have good manners but that they also know how to act and behave in a range of situations, keeping them safe and comfortable at all times.
If you have a Westie, you already know how playful, fun-loving, and smart they can be.
They may want to run off when on walks, chase after small animals, love digging, or are quite social around other dogs.
By training your Westie, you can ensure that you have a more harmonious relationship with your Westie bestie. But where do you start with training?
Nowadays, not everyone has time to go to puppy classes or dog training sessions, or perhaps your dog is afraid of others, and a large, open environment filled with dogs is not great for them.
Enter online dog training
Online dog training can help you train your Westie in your own time, in your own space, and at your own pace.
In this article, we will go over the best online dog training options, why online is better than in-person, and what tips and information you need to know about online dog training.
Why Is Dog Training Important?
Training your Westie is an essential part of owning a dog. So many dog owners in the past thought that training was just about giving the dog tricks to do, but it is so much more than that.
Training a dog is about building an unbreakable bond between pet and owner, and it provides mental stimulation, builds confidence, and gives the dog something to focus on and do.
It is very fulfilling for both the dog and the owner and can help them be well-rounded canines, keeping them safe in all types of social situations.
If your dog can walk well on a lead, off a lead, and around other dogs and animals, there is no risk of them running off and chasing after something – and possibly putting themselves in danger.
Training is not just about having good behavior. While teaching your dog tricks and skills is an excellent way to ensure good actions, it is as essential for your Westie as exercise is.
Training is mental stimulation and keeps your dog’s brain working and ticking.
When it is raining outside, or your dog has hurt a paw and has to rest, you can still train them indoors to limit boredom and provide mental stimulation and excitement.
Boredom can lead to destructive, unwanted behaviors, so ensuring that your dog has had mental exercise as well as physical exercise is vital.
As mentioned, training a dog does not just mean obedience training. Yes, ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’, and more, is essential training, but dogs are active, intelligent creatures.
Your Westie may benefit from scent training, agility training, dock diving, and so much more to keep them happy and stimulated.
Why You Should Consider Online Dog Training
As mentioned above, dog training classes don’t work for everyone.
Whether you have a busy work schedule or your dog is unsure around other dogs, being in a large environment filled with other people and other dogs trying to learn can be overwhelming.
This is where online dog training comes in handy. With online dog training tools, you can train your Westie in your own home or backyard, in a place that is comfortable to them, and you can work at your own pace – without feeling pressured to fit everything into a weekly session.
You can do smaller sessions to keep your Westie focused more often and work one-on-one with your Westie’s specific issues or needs.
This makes online dog training far more convenient for both owners and dogs, as the training can be accessed from anywhere, at any time – as long as you have internet access.
Another reason to consider online dog training classes is that they are affordable.
Most of the online training tools are far less expensive than private sessions or one-on-one sessions with a professional trainer, as you have to consider travel costs and paying for their time.
Online dog training tools are also far more comprehensive than in-person options, as some trainers may specialize in a specific area of dog training.
Online dog training may be curated by multiple trainers or professionals, offering anything from obedience training to house training and behavior modification training.
In addition, online dog training is interactive and flexible, meaning that you can fit it around your work/life balance.
If you need to take a break or you have too much going on, you can pick it up another day.
On the other hand, dog training classes are typically scheduled every week, and if you miss one – you could miss an essential training tip.
In terms of interaction, online dog training can offer far more than traditional training.
This is because you may have chatrooms to ask for advice or messaging systems where you can ask specific questions about your Westie’s behavior to get the answers you need quickly.
For example, if your Westie is a frequent barker, or barking is an issue, you can ask others who have gone through a similar situation what tips they have and how they eliminated it.
With all of the resources, you can also go back over certain sessions or teaching tools. If you are unsure of something, you can just watch the video again or re-read the guide for clarity.
Finally, online dog training is fun, filled with videos, tips, tutorials, guides, and so much more.
They are super simple to understand and follow and can make training a more enjoyable experience, rather than stressful.
10 Best Online Training For Dogs
If you are looking for online dog training options, we have ten for you to check out.
Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links and I will earn an affiliate commission if you click the link and make a purchase. This is at zero cost to you.
Sirius Dog Training – Best For Puppies
Sirius Dog Training is considered the original puppy school and was curated by Dr. Ian Dunbar. Dunbar is attributed with teaching the world’s very first puppy class in San Francisco over 30 years ago.
Therefore, Sirius is world-renowned for redefining and revolutionizing puppy training.
Before Dunbar, puppies were never trained to be off-leash, but how can puppies learn to socialize in an acceptable fashion, and become social around other dogs without being trained off-leash?
Before Sirius, dogs were trained via repetitive, on-leash obedience drills with very little praise and too many corrections. There were no options for puppy training, and there was little room for fun.
Now, Sirius offers quick, easy, effective, and fun training for dog owners and for puppies.
You can access the online puppy training academy, attend Zoom classes hosted by experienced trainers, and go to weekly online sessions.
You will also get lifetime access to the Essential Puppy Training course with Sirius.
Sirius has the Dunbar Dog Academy, run by breeders, veterinarians, professional dog trainers and more- so you get everything your pooch could need.
K9 Training Institute – Best Overall Online Dog Training
For a more well-rounded option, you can try the K9 Training Institute.
This online dog training workshop is revolutionary and groundbreaking, as it focuses on the body language of your dog for the purpose of communicating and bonding with your pet.
The institute is run by Dr. Alexa Diaz, a well-respected dog behaviorist in the states, along with Eric Prenall, host of ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’.
With a gentle, non-confrontational approach that can help you understand your dog’s behavior to control it, K9 Training Institute helps you get a better bond and a happier lifestyle with your pet.
With this training option, you can rethink and rewire your dog’s thinking and behavior process, offering rewards for desired behavior.
They are experts in animal behavior, and focus on body language rather than verbal commands, which has been proven as an effective training technique for dogs.
Some of the courses at the K9 Institute include guides on jumping up, leash pulling, barking, recall, chasing animals, nipping, biting, chewing, and overexcitement, so you can really get a comprehensive understanding of how to train your Westie to be a well-rounded, great pet.
SpiritDog Training – Best Options For Different Training
Another fantastic option is SpiritDog Training. This online training service has a very high success rate and offers courses for all kinds of dogs.
Whether you have a puppy, a ‘teenage’ dog, or a senior dog, they can help you train them at any stage.
They also have specialized training for dogs with various behavioral issues, and can help you tackle various issues from focusing in public to obedience, basic training, leash reactivity, resource guarding, loose leash walking, recall training, and so much more.
What is even better is that the site is really user-friendly and simple to navigate, so you can find everything that you are looking for.
SpiritDog also has a huge community, so you can connect with others going through the same issues that you are.
With a really high success rate, you can rest assured with this dog training. But, there is a money-back guarantee too, so if you are not satisfied, you can get a refund!
Brandon McMillan’s Canine Minded – Best For Obedience
Brandon McMillan is one of the biggest names in the dog training industry.
If you want to teach your dog basic training, build trust, and learn how to control your dog better, then you will enjoy the training that expert animal trainer McMillan can offer.
McMillan’s masterclass can give you the effective training fundamentals that you can utilize to boost your relationship with your dog, whether they are new to your life or whether they have behavioral issues that need resolving.
You will learn the seven common commands such as sit, stay, down, come, off, heel, and no – along with the ways that you can control, condition, and build trust with your pet.
McMillan is able to simplify the whole process so that you can have a more rewarding experience with your dog.
Petco Dog Training – Best For Online Lessons
Petco is a big name in the dog world, known for its pet stores and pet supplies. What you may not have known is that Petco also offers dog training services.
This company does offer classes in-store, but you can also find training resources online.
Petco offers a Puppy Basics program to help new puppies learn the ropes, such as house training and coming when called.
There is also an Adult Basics program that can help you reinforce positive behaviors for adult dogs and help older dogs adapt to new environments and social situations.
Petco does offer in-person group lessons at their stores, but the online services are also useful. You can attend dog courses via Zoom so that you can learn from home in your own environment.
Petco promises to train dogs at every age and every stage.
Some of the positive behaviors that are reinforced are coming when called, sitting, staying, and politely walking on a leash, enrichment activities, meeting new people, socialization and adjusting to new environments – so it is a comprehensive training course.
You can also speak to a trainer online who can help you identify your training needs and teach you how to limit the specific unwanted behaviors that your Westie may demonstrate.
DogMantics – Best For Leash Walking
DogMantics is run by Emily Larlham, based in San Diego. She is best known for her successful YouTube channel called Kikopup, which has a range of free training videos.
However, for more in-depth information and guidance, you can sign up to her membership program on Dogmantics.
Each week, you can find videos about common training topics such as tricks, commands, manners, and how to help your dog focus better.
Dogmantics also offers a course entirely about leash walking skills and how to reinforce your dog with positive and humane techniques.
Holly & Hugo – Best For Learning About Dog Care
While traditional dog training is very important, you may also want to learn how to keep your dog safe, happy, and healthy. Holly and Hugo offer training courses for a range of dog topics.
From pet CPR and first aid to animal psychology, dog grooming, socialization, how to adopt a dog, and how to care for senior dogs – Holly and Hugo training has it all.
There are so many different options to choose from to take your dog-knowledge to the next level.
Each course has a 45 day access window, so that you can complete it in your own time, and you can extend the license if needed.
You are also protected with a money-back guarantee for up to 2 weeks after purchasing.
If you want to educate yourself on pet care, Holly & Hugo is for you.
Brain Training For Dogs – Great For Limiting Bad Behavior
As mentioned, brain training and mental stimulation is essential to your Westie’s well-being. So, Brain Training For Dogs is an excellent option.
This online training course is designed to eliminate bad behavior, unleash your dog’s hidden intelligence, and provide you with the obedient, well-behaved Westie of your dreams.
Brain Training For Dogs is designed by Adrienne Farricelli, a professional CPDT-KA certified dog trainer who has worked with owners and pets for the last ten years.
Farricelli can show you a dog training system that took her a decade to perfect, along with a proven system to create well-behaved dogs that will follow your every command.
This training programme is perfect if you want to eliminate bad behaviors such as jumping up, digging, chewing, aggression, pulling, barking, ignorance, anxiety, disobedience, and so much more.
It promises to make training your dog stress-free and can improve the bond with your dog, and give you a pet that will obey and listen to you.
It is also really cost-effective, and you have access to lots of resources and a private forum to connect with other dog owners.
GoodPup – Best For One-On-One Sessions
We understand that some dogs may have specific needs and may require one-on-one training, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it online. Our favorite for one-on-one sessions is GoodPup.
You can utilize video calls with trainers so they can determine the skills and areas for improvement that your dog has.
You can limit unwanted behaviors, teach essential commands, and more with your one-on-one sessions.
The good news is that these sessions can still fit within your own timeframe, you do not have to attend every single week, and you do not have to stick to the same training topic for weeks at a time.
If you identify a need for your dog, you can work on it with a trainer.
With humane methods, science-based techniques, adaptable programs, expert dog trainers, and personalized training schedules, GoodPup is an excellent choice for one-on-one dog training.
Southend Dog Training – Best For Community and Support
While this is a UK-based company, this is one of the most comprehensive options out there. With daily videos, tutorials, guides, and up-to-date content, you can really take your dog to the next level.
Not only can you watch videos and quick sessions on Instagram and YouTube, but you will also receive hundreds of video tutorials when you sign up.
You can reach out to dog training professionals for help and guidance or use the forums to ask common questions.
With over 3500 members worldwide and around 17000 dogs that have gone through the online training program, this is one of the best options on the market.
They cover a range of issues from basic dog training to extreme aggression and can help in so many different ways.
With the app, you can watch all of the training videos covering all different subjects, access the personal messaging service, private Facebook groups and Whatsapp groups, experience live Q&As, and so much more.
Southend Dog Training is run by fully qualified team members that all have certifications in Dog Training, Canine Communication and more.
Southend understands that it is not a one-size-fits-all situation for dogs, and they will do their best to give you the best opportunity to allow your dog to learn and develop.
Why You Should Avoid Free Online Dog Training
When searching for online training for your Westie, you may be tempted to try online dog training that is free.
While there are many free options out there that can offer great content and tips, you simply will not get the quality or expertise that is needed for the best results.
Paid online dog training will be run by professionals in the field that know what they are talking about, and let’s face it- if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
You can’t truly get anything great for free, so paid alternatives are always best.
Paid online dog training costs money because it is typically run by qualified trainers or behaviorists that have years of experience.
Dog behaviorists also have to go through extensive training and continue to train as techniques change and grow. This costs money, and you are paying for their time as trainers.
Paid services will typically also have more detailed websites, better-built resources, and clear and easy-to-understand tools for you to use.
Websites cost a lot to build, so you can expect a fee to use their services.
Paid dog training will also offer a range of services and training courses. They will not just offer obedience training, so you get what you pay for essentially.
Finally, the best dog training options will have money-back guarantees, so if you are not happy with what you have received or you are not seeing results, then you can either gain more training or have your money back.
That being said, there is no harm in signing up for the ‘free’ version of online dog training to see if it is suitable for you and your Westie before committing to the paid option.
Most training tools will offer a free trial to see what they are about before signing up and paying for their services.
Online Dog Training VS In-Person Training – Which Is Best?
There is a lot of debate in the dog behavior industry as to whether online training is better than in-person traditional dog training. This is one of the biggest questions we get asked about training dogs.
The truth is that it comes down to the owner and the dog’s specific needs, but there are a lot of benefits to training a dog with online training.
The main pros are that you can learn at your own speed, in an environment that is already comfortable and familiar to your Westie.
There are so many tools that you can use, from guides to videos, tutorials and more – that online dog training can be a personalized experience.
However, the limitations of online dog training are that you have to put the work in to see the results.
You have to be persistent, take advice, use the tools, and practice often if you want your Westie’s behavior and demeanor to improve.
But there are also limitations to in-person training.
While you can have one-on-one sessions with a dog behaviorist, the cost is much higher; you have to go with their schedule, and you will need multiple sessions if you want to get anywhere.
Dog training sessions can cost anywhere from $50 per session to over $100 per session, and you will likely have to attend 8-10 sessions before you can consistently complete the tasks successfully.
Taking your dog to a class or to a trainer can be hard work, as some dogs don’t like new people. And some dogs can be overwhelmed when put with a group of other dogs.
Training in a new, unfamiliar environment can be a lot for many dogs, and they may struggle to focus or learn – making all of that money you are spending pointless.
This is why so many people are opting for online dog training instead.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- You build a better bond when training your dog yourself (without a professional doing all of the teaching)
- Training is more consistent as you can have more frequent sessions and daily interactions
- It is safer (other dogs may not be sociable towards others, risking fights or altercations)
- It is relatively risk-free, as some training tools offer money-back guarantees
- You can schedule training on your own time
- You can train anytime, in any place
- You get access to a trainer’s expertise and experience
- You can train your dog using a variety of methods and training courses – from obedience to gundog training
- You can address your dog’s specific training needs and behavioral problems
- It is still interactive
- You can download tutorials and guides
- You get access to Q&A sessions, or you can reach out to a trainer with a specific question
- You can set goals and watch your progress
- You get to join a community of like-minded dog owners that you can support and gain support from
- You get new techniques and content as time passes.
Is It Harder To Train A Dog Online?
We would argue that it is actually easier, as you are not confined to certain times and days for training your pet.
Instead, you can train your dog whenever and wherever it suits you. It is easier to train a dog in this way, as you can keep the training consistent.
Some owners may take their dogs to classes and work on them there but not keep up with the training at home or in social situations, so the dog may not progress as quickly.
When you are training your pet at home, and whenever you can, you will see better results more quickly.
How Long Does It Take To Train A Dog With Online Training?
This is a tough question to answer, as all dogs learn at their own pace, and it depends on what kind of training you want to implement.
We will say that training is an ongoing process, and you have to keep up with training sessions for your dog to get better and improve.
There is no quick fix. However, most online dog training courses can take around a few weeks to a few months to complete.
Obedience training can be completed sooner, as this is basic training, but more advanced training, such as agility and scent training, can take much longer to master.
The thing to keep in mind is that training is all about consistency. So, you need to keep at it and practice the skills gained frequently if you want them to become ingrained in your canine companion.
Don’t focus too much on how long it takes your Westie to get better at certain skills. Each dog is different, and some may have behavioral problems that are out of your control.
Dog Training Tips To Get You Started
If you are ready to start your dog training journey, then we have some tips and techniques for you to get started with your Westie.
The Basic Dog Commands
When it comes to training your dog, there are a few commands that you will want to start with. For instance, we recommend starting with ‘Sit’ before moving on to ‘Down’, and then ‘Stay’ and ‘Come’.
These are essential dog commands that every dog will need to learn. ‘Sit’ and ‘Down’ teaches a dog to go to its place and remain calm.
‘Stay’ can teach your dog to remain in its place and stay in a safe position for the purpose of crossing the road, or preventing them from getting into any danger.
‘Come’ can be useful for recall training and for calling your dog towards you.
If you start with these basic dog commands, you can teach your dog the basics, and these commands can be built upon.
For instance, you can use ‘come’ and ‘stay’ for training off lead practices and for recall, and you can use ‘Down’ to teach your dog to lie down when out on walks to keep them safe from incoming hazards such as other animals.
You can also teach your dog ‘No’, ‘Off’ and ‘Heel’. These are also vital dog commands.
‘No’ can be used as a corrector, while ‘Off’ can be used to prevent jumping up or to get your dog off the furniture and guests.
‘Heel’ is also very useful for training your dog to walk nicely on a lead and for keeping them by your side if the situation calls for it.
Once your dog is able to master these commands, then you can move on to more intermediate training.
For instance, some training methods such as agility and gundog training will require you to call your dog to you successfully and return to you.
It is good to get these commands nailed down first before you attempt more complex training.
The other thing we have to stipulate is that you have to be patient. Dogs are intelligent, and will pick up things quickly – but some days they can get distracted or simply not want to put the work in.
Try to be as patient and as positive as possible. Training is a long process, and some days will be better than others.
You may find you have been working on a particular skill and not getting anywhere – but one day it will just click, and your dog will suddenly get it if you keep at it.
Get The Right Tools
The next step is to ensure that you have the right tools and equipment. First up is high-value treats. These work as a great rewarding tool for your Westie.
If you have a treat pouch filled with their favorite treats, you can reward and praise good behavior, and limit bad behaviors.
For walks, you may also need a harness, a short lead, or a long-line lead for recall training, and a pouch to carry all of your treats while keeping your hands free.
You could also need a clicker, your dog’s favorite toys, and more.
Find out what you want to work on, and ensure you have the tools you need to make the training a breeze.
Keep It Consistent
We can’t express this enough. Consistency is what will make the training work. You have to keep at it and ensure that other caregivers are doing the same things that you are.
Ensure that the whole family is using the same techniques and is rewarding good behavior.
Make It A Happy Experience
Finally, the most important thing to remember is that you have to make it a positive, good experience. Have some fun with it and enjoy training your dog.
It shouldn’t be a thing that you feel you ‘have’ to do; it should be something you enjoy doing.
The more you work at it, the more results you will see, and this will bring you so much joy and will bring you closer to your dog.
Ensure you use lots of positive reinforcement and praise; your dog will know that training is a good thing and something to look forward to.
Westies love to please their owners, so ensuring that you offer lots of fun, praise, and positivity will get you better results sooner.
To summarize, online dog training can be an incredibly valuable tool for both you and your Westie.
With online dog training, you can train in your own time, at your own pace, and in an environment that works for you and your dog.
We have gathered some of the best options out there that suit dogs with various needs and training requirements.
From learning how to train basic commands, to focusing on specific behavioral problems like aggression, and even to learning how to do dog CPR and first aid, there are so many helpful training programs available online.
With any of these options, you can build upon the bond between you and your Westie bestie and have a canine companion that lives harmoniously with you and your family.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Should You Start Training A Dog?
If you have a new puppy, it is a good idea to start basic training as soon as you bring them home.
You can start socializing them, playing with them, and getting them accustomed to living in your home with you as soon as possible.
However, some dog behaviorists suggest waiting until the puppy has had all of their vaccines, as you cannot take them out in public before then.
While you do have to wait to take them out on walks until they have had their vaccinations, you can start training your puppy at home before then.
When the puppy is about 8-16 weeks old, socialization is key, and you can introduce them to many different things to get them used to them.
Training is a long process, and as the puppy goes through the teenage phase at around 8-18 months, you have to stick with the training to get through it.
However, you can train a dog at any age. If you have picked up a rescue, you can start implementing training as soon as possible to ensure that they are able to live comfortably with you and in your home.
What Training Method Is Best?
We always recommend positive reinforcement, especially for Westies. Westies are smart and don’t respond well to negative reinforcement, such as shouting or harsh corrections.
Instead, positive reinforcement is far more effective.
Positive reinforcement involves using treats, their favorite toys, and games or praise to correct them.
Poor training methods can lead to bad behavior and can result in fear-based behaviors, anxiety, and even aggression.
However, if you find your training methods are not working, it could be best to speak to a dog behaviorist or professional trainer for assistance.