Due to the current Covid 19 Pandemic we have started offering training sessions as well as behaviour consultations online. These are commonly used by behaviourists and trainers in assisting and communicating with clients who live at a distance from the usual area covered by us and we will continue to offer these after the pandemic is over.
When carried out correctly online consultations and training sessions can be just as effective as conventional sessions in person. For nervous and fearful dogs, it can even be more beneficial as they are not confronted by the situation of a stranger coming into their home which they might find stressful. They are also likely to learn more and make working with the dog a lot easier as they will not be worried or distressed by having a stranger in the home and may be more able to focus and work for their owner.
Online consultations and training sessions take place via video call. Usually over Zoom however other platforms can be used if you prefer. So long as you have a webcam and internet connection we can get to work!
As well as being a good option in the current environment, if you have a busy life generally and an online consultation would be easier for you to fit into your schedule it may be a good option. Working online also enables other family members to join us from other locations as and when necessary.
The consultation itself, still works in the same way as if we were to meet face to face. We sit down and discuss the behaviours your dog(s) is displaying and talk through any necessary management that needs to be put in place in the short term. Then discussing what we can achieve and look at what we can do to change your dog’s behaviour.
Support and advice is still available between and after sessions and sessions still run at the same duration as any face to face consultation or training session. Two hours is the standard time for a behaviour consultation with training sessions varying in length depending on the service. This ensures we can maximise training time as well as advice and support given and give you the opportunity to ask any questions and give you the confidence to begin training your dog.
Being a video call, I can still see you and your dog and observe their behaviour with you as well as other family members. By being able to see your dog whilst I am not actually there in some cases can be more beneficial and give me more information about them without the influence of my presence in their home and on their behaviour. I am still able to see their interactions with different family members, with other dogs in the home and to sights and sounds that they may react to both inside or passing the home.
A common misconception with online consultations and training sessions may be “how can you help if you don’t see my dog on a walk which is where the problem is?!”
This is true, however if I were to come and work with you and your dog in person it is extremely unlikely that I would intentionally put them in a situation that they cannot cope with just so I can see what they do. I know what aggressive, frustrated and distressed dogs looks like and if for any reason I did need to see the behaviour, my approach would be to ask to see video from a recent walk or incident. By putting your dog in a situation where it will react will not only distress your dog but it will also give him/her and opportunity to practice the behaviour which is something we will be working to avoid. I learn about your dog’s situation, history and any triggers from a pre consultation questionnaire as well as from discussing the situation with you at length during the consultation.
Training sessions work similarly and again being a video call, I can guide you through training new behaviours and coach you via the video call. You can also send me video of your training out and about and we can work together to progress your dog’s training.
Essentially online training sessions and consultations work in the same way as conventional ones in person and can achieve the same results! 😊
Tom Bysouth BSc (CBT)