I’ve shared many posts where I cover setting our dogs up for success, but it is super important that we set ourselves up for success too. We are always looking to do our best for our dogs and to do that we need to take care of ourselves. I love continuing education and online learning, so as you are reading my dog training blog online, I thought I’d share tips about online learning for you and your dog … but this can apply to anything at all you want to learn.
The convenience of online learning is having a classroom available any time of day or night allowing you to fit in learning with work and family life. You can learn at any time that suits you, no matter where you are.
There is no need to commute to an online classroom, and no need to juggle your schedule to arrive at class at certain times on certain days. This flexibility gives you more time to enjoy learning. Online learning opens up a world of possibilities to immerse yourself in anything you ever wanted to learn about with educators who are the best in their fields.
If you can turn a computer, mobile or tablet on and off, comfortably use a mouse and / or tap a screen, save a file, navigate around the internet, send and receive an email … then you can enjoy a virtual classroom by creating your very own physical classroom using your computer, mobile or tablet.
You will have your own private classroom that suits you, can try out things in the comfort of your home, and practice when YOU want to, HOW you want to.
Tips to Creating an AWESOME Learning Experience for You, and Your Dog
Set yourself up with your very own classroom of success.
Create a space for you and your course materials. Have a special low distraction area where you can play with your dog. This is your very own private training facility where you can take the learning from the computer to the real work by playing with your dog in an environment that sets you both up for success. You can check out my blog post “6 Keys to Shaping Behaviour” to see how a quiet area benefits our dogs.
Your new area can be as simple as a corner in a room or as elaborate as a cleaned out storage area with a table, chair, notebook, treat area and your own little work area. You can go so far as modifying a room or just designating a “training corner” in a larger room.
Set an INTENTION to train (which is really play!).
Create your own schedule. Committing to spending a certain amount of time in the online classroom to learn, and a certain amount of time to put into practice what you are learning will help you stay on track. The great thing about online learning is that if things happen to interrupt your planned schedule, you can readjust as there are no deadlines to meet. Set an intention AND a time in your daily check list or calendar!
Organise your course materials in folders, or take notes … or both.
Create a special library or notebook just for your course material and set it up in a way that suits you. Keep notes of your progress in a journal that is only for this purpose (and not for your to-do lists, or shopping lists, or anything else). Your journal can be as elaborate or as plain as you would like. Remember, it’s all about you creating what you want.
Put the learning into action.
Take the learning from the keyboard to your training area and play with your dog!
Make your time learning special for you.
Keep distractions low, learn at a time that suits you best when you know you can concentrate. You might have to turn off all devices that are likely to beep, knock or ping you, especially if it’s social media. Set your learning area up in a way that inspires and motivates you.
Think about everything you love about learning, and the joy it gives you, and put ‘prompts’ for this where you spend the most time learning. Even if you do all your learning via your phone, you could create an album of images that mean something to you, and look at that to ground yourself as the first thing you do when it is your private learning time.
Decide what makes sense to you.
There’s one thing we need to be careful of in this day and age with information from anywhere and everywhere filling our screens, and that is sampling everything. Sampling everything can stop our learning in its tracks and can be detrimental or even harmful when it relates to our dogs. Although you may be struggling with a challenge, it’s best to avoid jumping around. Decide what makes sense to you. For me that means two things:
- Does this resonate with my core values and the kind of person that I want to be not just with my dog but to others in my life?
- Is this scientifically sound, has it worked not just for one or two dogs, or highly skilled dog trainers, but rather does this just work for all people and all animals?
I am no different than anyone who has found themselves “sampling everything”, so I’ll share some great advice I was given by a great life coach more than a few years ago. He told me “Susan there are tons of opportunities for you to learn that will come across your computer screen. The key to your progress, happiness and sanity is to be able to discriminate between those which will be a contribution to you on your journey and those which will end up being little more than a distraction or worst yet a diversion to you on that journey.”
Celebrate your learning.
There’s a bonus tip that I’ve shared on my blog before, and that is to aim for “progress, not perfection” (and I know that anyone in one of our online classrooms will be nodding their heads at this). Remember to celebrate all your learning, every day there will be something! Allow yourself to be a learner, and let yourself be a beginner if you are learning something new. Enthusiasm will get you started but good daily habits are going to make sure you stay on the path to success.
Do you have a special learning area for yourself and an area that is low in distractions to play with your dog? Let us know in the comments. Your set up could help many people with ideas.
Today I’m grateful to the wonders of modern technology that allow us all to learn from anyone in the world, in the comfort of our own home.
And I am also deeply grateful to everyone who has learned online with me. When I first started dog training online as a way I could meet the demand for teaching and seminars around the world without all the travel and time away that it necessitated, I was told it was not possible and that it would fail. That was over a decade ago. Each of you has helped make online dog training something that can be amazingly special.
Thank you for your generosity, I am so grateful to you and your team for this awesome learning opportunity at this really difficult time. So excited to start x
I’m going to be a new puppy owner in 3 days (and I’m 60!). I’m excited, really grateful for being able to receive your knowledge, advice, lessons…. I want to see progress every day, and affirmation within myself that I’m doing this right. Your program will help! Thank you for your kindness in sharing.
What a wonderful way to come together during these trying times! Thank you for your kindness. Miller (almost 2 yr old Choc Lab) and I look forward to all the fun that lies ahead! Stay safe and be well!
We took one of our bedrooms and turned it into a training room. It’s quiet in there. It’s got a day bed in it but still enough room to do small thing and not have the other dogs distracting us. Maybe some day we will have a bigger room with all the dogs sitting and watching like Susan’s do😊
I have been in your recallers class and agility nation and have missed the lessons. I learned so much that it really surprised me as I am not organized . You made it so much fun that I could not wait to make time in my day to work my puppy who is now 3 with a great foundation. I have a new puppy coming in two weeks so the timing Is perfect. Thank for all you give. You are truly an inspiration to us all.
Susan thanks so much for this opportunity. I love training dogs and I learn so much from you.
I believe in DO LAND not stay home and do nothing land! My “ out of work due to social distancing “registered therapy dog and I are set to DO something … excited to learn together. Your course helped us pass her test at only 16 month of age! I believe in your methods and thank you for all you DO!
My BRT pup, Tina and I thank you from the tips of our ears to the tips of our tails for the generous opportunity to help us train at home during this stressful time. We “woof” you, Susan and pack.
Thank you for your kind offer Susan, so kind of you. Went to a training session you ran in the UK a while ago and also have some of your training DVD’s, all of which have found very good. Have not long got a rescue Papillon who has a couple of issues which am working on but with all the training classes closed down, really looking forward to your online course. Must admit have not done an online course before but will take your advice and making a learning/training space to do it and will allocate a time to do it. Many thanks
Thank you so much Susan for this course, really kind of you. Have not long had a rescue Papillon and with all the training closing down so looking forward to this
Thank you for this amazing gift. I really appreciate you thinking about us, just simple dog owners who need help to train positively our fur babies.
Big virtual hugs to you
Thank you for the free training course. I am so excited to get started. Tess is a 5 year old Australian Shepherd mix that is really well trained as long as there is a treat in my hand so she could use some polish. Could I switch my email address to my new email? I registered on the address I wanted to use but the email went to the old address.
Thank you, yes, my agility classes are temporarily cancelled for my agility dog and we will be bringing home a new puppy in about 7 weeks so I need all the help I can get right now. Thank you!
Thank you so much Susan, I can’t wait for this to start! I have a young 1.5yr old) Border Collie who is very high drive and always looking for something to do. We have some focus problems (they have gotten better). This is not my first BC (I’ve had a total of 5 before her and fostered many for a rescue too), but she is by far the most busy (both mind and body) BC I have ever had. We are working on sheep herding and hope to do agility soon.
God bless you, in 4 of your courses and Crate games but my puppy is reactive to everything so need all the help I can get. Thanks so very much and God bless you all❤❤❤
Hi Everybody I have been in Susan’s programmes for several years and always struggle with fitting in the training when I am at home – there always seems to be something else that needs doing now!. Presently I have 3 border collies. Megan is 11 and I joined Susan to try and get her to work with me rather than against me – she was about 3 at the time. Unfortunately I never managed that and retired her when she was 9 after the worst bite she delivered, it was just one too many – I am covered in scars from her efforts to stop me doing whatever it was on the course.. The second dog I trained in Agility was a rescue she had 5 homes before ours was her 6th home. Agility gave her the confidence she needed, she was a pleasure to work but died after only 5 1/2 years with us. Tilly is now 4 yrs old and works really well at our training grounds (now shut) but suffers from different space anxiety at new or other venues. We continue to try to build up her confidence and she is a good little worker. I also have a new puppy born on 5 January and I intend to get to grips with organising my training and have her enthusiastic and willing through this new programme. I still have H360 and Recallers so there should be no obstacles except myself………
What a beautiful act of kindness to show community no mater how far apart . ❤️🙏
Laddie (aka Pete), is our 5yo rescue from Puerto Rico. We have had him since the end of July 2019. Our training area is a big rug in our living room. I am hoping this course helps to stop him from lunging and barking at other dogs when we walk and with recall because he is so easily distracted. He’s a low energy dog with a mind of his own.
What a wonderful gift, Susan, thank you! You are simply amazing. Love to everyone at Say Yes (and an extra bulldog kiss to Tater 😉
Thank you. I am in South Africa and we are just starting to see the numbers increase – 202 on Friday 20th March. South Africa have taken the social distancing methods to heart from when we only had 50 cases. Our training school is closed. Thank you again. You are wonderful.
Hi Dee – I’m also based in South Africa…. glad to have some SA’s onboard…. an amazing gift from Susan; we all need some positive reinforcement during this time…. hugs to everyone xxxxx
Thank you for this course. The timing is perfect but I just can’t figure out where to go to register and enter the word TOGETHER!
Hey JoAnn, you’ll be able to do that as soon as we open! We’re working as hard as we can to make that happen for you asap.
Another great blog! I have learned so much from you already and continue to do so. Thank You for sharing your knowledge with us. I have a small spare bedroom that I use as my training space. I want to clean out part of the basement, but that keeps getting pushed down the project list!
Your philosophy of training is paramount. Luey, our sweet golden, and I look forward to learning from you and your team!
Thank you for your generous offer. It’s time like these where humanity needs to soar.
Thank you so much! My 7 month mini bernedoodle “Hazel” and I are looking forward to learning together.
I was on your live post on Facebook and would love to register for your online home school program for my 5 month old pup. You said to go on and register with the TOGETHER code, but I don’t see the registration page.
Hey Jill, if you registered and received the email with the link to this blog post, don’t worry, you are all set!
Here’s the page to register for notifications if you need it:
So hopeful this will further the bond between myself and my coming 2 yr old. Fingers crossed as I have never tried any training on line so this may open some doors for me!
This is so much fun! Fun for me, fun for my dogs. I love how you present online courses! This time around with “Tater” and the activity boards are all brilliant ideas. So fun to watch and learn. I really am motivated this year and set some new goals. The best part is the vast variety of information and areas to work with AND the support of the SAY YES TEAM is, well, super supportive!
My dogs are older now. I am looking at getting a puppy in the next 6 months to a year. In the meantime, we are having fun and enjoying being together with training and activities and living life together.
There are on-line courses and on-line courses… What I appreciate about Susan’s courses is the warmth and the feeling of being part of a community, We share the same passions, identify with the set-backs and celebrate the victories.
I really appreciate on line courses especially by Susan Garrett who trains in a manner that respects both dog & handler. On line has the additional benefit of being available any time & many times to ensure complete understanding. Please keep up the great work!
I made my garage my training area, and it works great with my 2 Border collies. I used to think I couldn’t do on-line learning, but now I am loving it. One important thing I’ve learned from Susan and my trainer is to video your sessions. It really increases your learning!
My winter area is in my basement I have a nice grooming area and small area for “play”. It works especially well after some grooming. My dog’s leave with a wonderful idea that grooming leads to fun and are eager to run to the basement. I need to add music to the mix
In the warm weather have a nice outside area that can be divided into smaller areas depending on what we would like to do.
I have 8 dogs so a separate place is essential.
My house is my training area ready to go at any time
I am very fortunate in having my own training barn. I have some equipment so I feel very Thankful that this period in time will not be lost for my 2 agility dogs.
I also have some friends who have just gotten new puppies and one who actually has a litter right now of 5 weeks old and she will be keeping one for performance training and trialing.
Thank you for this unique opportunity to learn in the midst of sorrow and chaos.
Our quiet spot depends on the day and what people are doing in or around the house for now. We are still working to find our own little niche among the many new routines and chores that come with relocating into a different state and a total lifestyle change. Ready for the snow to finish up and syncing to begin…lol. This spring I will be able to finish converting the old (chicken) shed and use it to work in.
Good advice since I sometimes get caught up in many different websites. I have my space but I mostly train outside since my dogs r so big I need to go back to Recallers with one
I use the downstairs as my training room for Lexi and Mindi. The area I am using used to be my kid’s bedrooms. They are grown now and have homes of their own. Perfect and a very quiet area!!
I am very good at being caught up with enthusiasm, but struggle to maintain it. Am loving the habit calendar and the realisation that a training session can just be a few minutes.
Also, training in a way that matches your morals/ethics. I have found myself switching training methods because I wasnt getting results fast enough or through well meaning peer pressure. H360C is me returning to training in line with my values. It makes sense to me and I know that if I run into problems I gave a like minded support network to help and encourage me. Bring it on!!
Thanks for all the encouragement dog lovers! I know I’ll enjoy this course. I love Susan’s Recallers program and look forward to this new course.
After being pushed into forced retrieve when I first started obedience,it felt wrong, but because I knew not a lot,and most others seemed experts,I did it,as i was told over and over,it’s the only way to get a reliable retrieve,umm, no,my dog decided I couldn’t make her pick her dumbbell up in the ring,how clever was she?-much more than her mum.after being told to do various other horrible things,I pulled on my big girl pants,I left retrieve for months,then clicker’d it,from the very beginning.result! So I totally get your core values and having the abilty to judge whether things will help or hinder your training,I am so inspired by your happy positive training,thank you so much for all your videos and blogs
Thank you for your organization, passion for dogs and wonderful dedication to sharing your expertise with all of us. I have found morning is best for us in the living room, then mid afternoon in the backyard if weather permits. Had not thought about keeping a journal of progress but will begin now.
This is the first online course I’ve ever taken, it’s been great. A few months ago I made a training area in the spare bedroom which is very rarely used. Mats on the floor as the linoleum is slippery, a crate and a plastic bin for each of the 3 dogs. As they are very different sizes the bins have been great for keeping toys and appropriate sized treats organized. Used to spend time trying to find stuff, now it’s all in one place. Also started a notebook with short comments.
A few weeks ago I took on the care of a sick cat for the local animal shelter. The only place he could go was in the “training room”. I couldn’t believe how much I missed it ! And how many toys, cones etc got hauled out into the living room for training. Now the cat has moved on and it’s so much easier to train again. And so much easier to grab a few minutes here and there as everything is always ready to go.
Thank you all for wonderful ideas and bringing fun back into our training.
Mid morning or mid afternoon are my best training times and I love your inspiration and ideas. But I’m not naturally an organised or self motivated person. The ‘Habit Calendar’ sounds as if it would help me. How do I get one, please?
Hi Jane, the ‘Habit Calendar’ is in our online programs … in alphabetical order: Agility Nation, Handling360, IC Peeps and Recallers. It’s a great way to create new habits and keep them.
formidable les cours en ligne ! merci !!!
I had a space newly set up in our basement… then we discovered water seeping into the space. No space for me until the spring thaw and we can determine how sever the problem is and then correct it. *sigh*
Ugh. Water in the basement makes us all cringe with you! It can be a real show stopper. I’m responding because a sudden loss of one’s training space resonates with me right now. It can be very disappointing.
Can you find another corner in the house for a temporary spot? You may need to think outside the box. In the past I’ve used a space where I had to move a small table and a couple of chairs back against the walls so I could train, then put them back when I was done. It was a pain, but kept me going.
Now I have a nice place in my basement, or rather I did until my dh plopped a big ol’ couch in the middle of it! 🤦♀️
Until I have time to get some things rearranged, I’ll have to focus on games that don’t require a lot of space. Otherwise I’ll lose my momentum.
I would not be where I am today without online learning as there was nothing in my country that would have taught me those things at this level these years ago. Today it is easier but I would neither have my dogs have to wait that long nor my friends and clients or shelter dogs.
I am a lucky person in our new house I have a training room for us in the basement and I have my little training corner in the living room.
In our old house I had a little training corner in the living room. I think the most important is a bit of space and a dog bed or crate. The crate is also great to carry all the toys, treats, targets and what ever one needs on its top. ;o)
Great tip about the crate 🙂
There is so much benefit to learning online for me and I am never rushing or anxious like I used to be. I use a corner of my living room and keep what I want for the dogs in baskets.
Susan, hello thre,
Indeed aren’ we fortunate in this day to have the opportunity of “meeting” you and your variety of successful training techniques. Without this the relationship with Jack (my rescued Border Terrier) would have unlikely reached the potential we had together.
Living in a small one bedroom flat with no enclosed garden. On the outset one may have predicted us unlikely potentials. However all we have done is adapted our training so that our walks, become our training ground and at home it has been possible to utilise every space successfully. Dog friendly garden centres have been fabulous arenas for proofing some aspects of our work together, whether that is Jack being able to wait (in a down) by a table while I go and retrieve a coffee for myself in a cafe. The beach provides a wonderful quiet environment for training – a quiet area where there are plenty of obstacles to be employed for ‘agility’ type activities as well as other Recaller games. Now as my assistance dog, Jack is permitted in public buildings those providing another place for training opportunities to test out our foundations.
My phone and various social media platforms become great places to document Jack’s progress from a dog who had severe fear aggression, no bit inhibition (I was his 4th home at the age of 13 months) and have various files with printouts available as tempted you provide, as well as information.
In his 7 years I have now amassed approx 8000 photos all set into albums – a few of these are specific to his training, action shots, competitions etc.
You have enhanced our relationship to an extent impossible to put into words.
Forever grateful for the extraordinary expertise, inspiration, hope and motivation you continue to give in massive quantities. So that now Jack is my assistance dog.
I love your story, Vanessa!
Congratulations to you and Jack, Vanessa! And thank you for sharing so many great tips for everyone. You are an inspiration.
I train my young dog each morning beside the kitchen table with the older dog outside having breakfast. Later in the day I train them together in the backyard.The backyard has a low deck with two dog ramps, set of steps and a see saw coming off it. The see saw goes to a seperate small table (same height as deck) with another ramp off it. For me early in morning is best time for training the newest thing.
I do have a room dedicated to dog training. I work one dog at a time in that room but I also like to work all three in the living room. They do like to work together but sometimes they get over excited and have a hard time waiting their turn!! I am however really bad at keeping track. I will start to be more aware of my plan and goals. Ever since I found recallers I have never looked back. I have been training for years and this is only way I will train and teach from now on. Thank you Susan
I found the “Habit Calendar” from your online programs instrumental in helping me make a commitment to online learning and to see patterns that have helped me readjust when needed. I never though that online training could be as helpful/understandable as in person training..but actually I’ve found just the opposite–I love online training and it’s my preferred way to learn now!
How can I get a Habit Calendar?
My best time to learn is in the evening and I use the dining table as my quiet place and my kitchen as our training area. My notebook has photos of my dog on it and it makes me smile.
Susan the most important training I have learned from you and it amazes me every time I practice it, is when I give direction and the dog looks confused or is trying me. Just to be still and then that do exactly as I have asked. I don’t say or move and they get it. It’s calming and amazing and I have worked all my life with dogs, so much fun learning, now trying to get my space and work.