When you find the perfect free online dog training resource, it’s a treasure. It comes to you, you can go at your own pace, and you don’t have to fork out hundreds of dollars. You also get access to the best minds in canine training. Though you probably have competent trainers near you, why not learn from the top dogs (pun intended) in the field?
Good for Basic Training and Tricks — Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution
Zak George’s videos have millions of views, and he’s got excellent production value. If dry educational videos make you want to snooze, he might be right for you. His YouTube videos offer far more than entertainment, though.
Though George hasn’t put together a traditional course, he’s created numerous playlists. Playlists organize similar videos together so that, when you’re interested in just one topic, you can find all the relevant videos in one place. He has a massive amount of videos, which means you can find at least a few about most dog training topics.
He makes sure his guidance is easily understandable. You won’t find yourself confused about anything or wondering if he left something out.
On the negative side, he advertises his dog food brand… a lot.
Because George’s videos focus on basic training and fun tricks, they leave something to be desired when it comes to addressing severe behavioral issues. He doesn’t use adequate safety precautions when handling such matters, either.
Good for Literally Everything — Dr. Dunbar’s Dog Behavior and Training
Dr. Dunbar could be the dictionary definition of a dog training expert. He’s a veterinarian, Ph.D., and behaviorist. In 1993, he founded the Association for Professional Dog Trainers. He’s led countless seminars on dog training and behavior. Though his style isn’t the most modern, it’s backed up with tons of scientific research and personal experience.
Dunbar’s videos show an honest, gentle personality without any entertainment-focused antics. He also runs a podcast called iWoof and provides free e-books. Though this article focuses on free resources, we should note that Dunbar offers paid courses, too. However, his free offerings display such depth and breadth that you can probably learn everything you need to know just from them.
You can even use Dunbar’s videos to help with serious doggy behavioral issues, which is the one topic most online resources lack. For problems like socializing aggressive adult dogs, Dr. Dunbar’s resources are top-notch. Handling psychological and behavioral issues in humans requires expertise, and the same is true for dogs.
Good for Relationships and Tricks — Kikopup
Emily Larlham cares a lot about helping owners build trusting bonds with their dogs. Like Dunbar, she uses science-based methods. Larlham focuses especially on training through kindness.
She makes excellent use of the clicker method, which employs a device to make a click sound at the precise moment a pup does what you want. You follow the click with a treat. In this way, your dog associates an exact behavior with a reward. It removes the possibility of canine confusion.
Most of Larlham’s videos are concise, so you won’t have to sit through long lectures. She gets to the meat of the topic without extra fluff. Larlham gives demonstrations with various pups, which means you get to see how different dogs react to her methods. She excels at training more than one dog at a time.
Larlham’s videos will help you understand and communicate with your pup. You’ll also learn how to teach your dog tricks and work through mild behavioral issues, though these videos aren’t adequate for handling severe behavioral disorders or aggression.
Good for Puppies and Sports — Training Positive With Tab Shamsi
Tab Shamsi uses scientific research and modern learning theory to inform his training methods. He has a relaxed, open attitude to complement his impressive skill. Where he excels, though, is explaining his approach in simple ways. Shamsi takes you through every aspect of each step.
He is not, however, an expert when it comes to canine behavioral problems. If you’re looking for help with in-depth troubles like aggression or anxiety, you might want to choose a different information source.
On the other hand, Shamsi is perfect if you want to train your puppy or start training your dog in canine sports.
Good for Everything — Dr. Jen’s Dog Blog
It’s not easy to say Dr. Jen’s Dog Blog five times fast, but the blog itself provides clear, engaging information. As a veterinarian and professional dog trainer, Dr. Jen has experience in some of the toughest dog-related topics. In addition to her chops as a pet doctor, she’s a member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. (That’s the organization Dr. Dunbar started!)
Dr. Jen covers standard topics like obedience and agility, and she also provides expert guidance on problematic issues such as aggression and anxiety.
Her website is not the most organized thing you’ll ever see, so you might need to use its search function to find the information you need. She regularly posts links to her paid webinars, but you can easily navigate past those. If you’re more of an auditory learner, try her podcast — it’s just as good as her written posts.
Online resources are a lifesaver if you need to train your dog from home while saving money. The above options are some of the best you’ll find. When you add them together, they cover a range of topics that will help you handle pretty much any canine concern. You and your pup will both appreciate the results.