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 this great opportunity. I have an 18 month old great dane who outweighs me by 20 pounds. She is great and very well behaved and loves playing. This all works EXCEPT when she’s on a leash and sees another dog or cat and sometimes a rooster- and then she breaks away from my grasp or pulls me down in trying to meet up with the other dog she wants to play with… I have been very frustrated as I have been using treats though at least once a walk-unsuccessfully. I am so looking forward to learning a better way and not get upset with her.
I have 2 working cockers, who are a bit crazy. With the caronavirous I want to spend the time with them in a positive way and make learning fun for both of us. Thank you for the opportunity
Thanks for all of this, Susan. We are having a fun time, and love your science-based approach – it really works!
Thanks for this opportunity! I’m looking forward to learning and putting it into action. Plus, I love your attitude!
Thank you for this offer! My year old Maltese, Lacie, craves attention and I’m also sewing face masks for local home health workers, so this fun training will be a welcome time away from sewing. Thanks again!
Thank you for offering this. My new baby won’t be here till June but I want to get myself ready. I have trained three dogs and have used different techniques but I’m looking forward to try this method. It matches more what I think dog training should be like. Some fun for both of us. With this virus and my being an essential worker I need to be able to train on my schedule. This will make us very happy.
I am going to use a corner of my small home office for our little training space. This is going to be an interesting and challenging experience, I am looking forward to it very much.
wow thank you so much – Mary, by one and only best friend, is a 5 month old newfie. i am on a farm but the home is very very secluded and we do not see many people/dogs/etc.. mary desperately needs me help her with “greeting” but few opportunities due to isolation. we do walk around a grocery store parking lot daily to help with some things but still no opportunities to train re greetings. lookig forward to learning ,ore so we can be a real team whenever all the isolation ends.
Thank you for doing this. I have a 10 week old puppy and with all of this isolation, I’m working hard to find ways to socialize and expose her to a variety of environments.
For training we will be using an extra bedroom. We’ve used a small bathroom, but the floor is slippery and I notice her sliding into a down. She will be training as a search and rescue dog and I want to work on our bond and team work. It’s hard to find a spot in our house with 4 other dogs and 5 house cats- constant distraction. The puppy is a Golden Retriever from working lines and my Cattle dog mix is a certified human remains detection dog. I have t had a puppy in over 20 years so I need all the help we can get. 🤣
I have 2 older Aussies. One is a retired agility dog and the other is a reactive to other dogs dog. We have little space in my house for training (that we haven’t already used for training), but we do have a large yard. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish.
We have 3 dogs it will be great to get 2 to stay in their spots while working with one. My 1 1/2 year old lab is who I will be doing this with the most.
I love the tips! After reading through this part, I decided to use a spare room (my daughter’s room before she grew up and moved out) for our fun training, playing sessions. I’ll have to clean it out some first, but it’s ideal.
We have three dogs, one that loves to work anytime at all, one that can care less, and would rather watch others work, and our newest one who is quite the challenge, but that’s the one I need that bonding with to help her overcome her fears and anxiety
Thank you for offering this at this time… It will be super to have something fun and positive to focus on during the days of lock down
Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity Susan- Its such a great positive contribution to our current crisis and I very much appreciate your generosity . Really looking forward to undertaking the course. Many thanks – a huge virtual hug for you and your team !!
Thank you so much for this golden opportunity! My 10 month old Sheltie Riley is very active and we both need some direction on how to channel his energy into learning with fun 😊
Bella, Molly and Tippy are going to have a fun time and I will be there with them. I was to join my local dog training club but 2020 has not treated us well so far. There is always a bright side. Thank you Susan.
Thank you for your altruism, love, and support during this time of social isolation and anxiety. I couldn’t have discovered you at a more critical time in my life. As a beginner, I’m trying to figure out the best location for my training den. I live in one room of a small house. There is one other room I could use, however, it may be rented out at any point, so I am hesitant to start one there, and then possibly have it become unavailable. If I use the room I currently live in, will using the same space my dog sleeps in for play interfere with her settling and vice versa (associating the space for sleeping with play?)
Also, any suggestions on how to keep online information organized (it’s easy to for me to get overwhelmed and lose track of where I’m supposed to stay in order to follow the course with links inside of training videos attached to blogs, etc) Thank you in advance!
Thank you so much. You’ve given me much to consider and ways to approaxh training my shelter dog that I adopted last May He is willing, but came without any training whatsoever. Everything little activity is a new experience for us.
Thank you so much! I ended up with a puppy a year early and so appreciate the opportunity to learn how to play with him and learn how to encourage good behavior!
Thank you so much for doing this. Not only is this going to be super good for my sweet scotty, Piper, but it is so wonderful to have this to look forward to every day at this stressful, weird time. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
Thank you Susan. So very generous and thoughtful. Ruby and I are looking forward to the coming weeks!
I lost my two dogs within a day of each other at Thanksgiving last fall. Max (11) a Cocker with attitude and BreeSea (9) a sweet and gentle Sheltie were the first dogs I had ever deliberately trained although I had had dogs all my life. We did agility and visited nursing homes and so many other things. The clicker and positive reinforcement training was a wondrous thing to me! Lol
Quincey is coming into my life now and in preparation I looked back on my training journals. Lol…that was some serious stuff! Lesson Plans, notes on what was going wrong, things I had to fix. What was missing was so much of the awe and joy…I taught my boy to skateboard!…my girlie learned to weave with joy!
So I ripped out the pages I had already started in Quincey’s new “training” journal. Instead of lesson plans I put Games we’ll play today, Quincey’s biggest accomplishment of the Day, Funny Things That Happened and What Can I Do To Help Quincey…….
Maybe it’s silly but it changes the way I’m looking at teaching my new puppy all the skills he needs to have and all the fun things we can do together.
I look forward to learning with all of you and I am grateful to Susan and her team for this wonderful opportunity.
Will make the ‘office’ into the work/training den. It’s a small room & the door can be closed so Lacey, my Australian Labradoodle, won’t run away from her lesson time.
Thank you for offering this course at this stressful time. I look forward to the focus and fun I will have with my dog Percy
Thank you so much! Looking forward to the class
Looking forward to the class. Thank you for doing this!!
Thank you Susan .My minature schnauzer Samantha and I are greatly looking forward to your course
Ginny and I are really looking forward to starting this class. Thank you for your genorosity.
Thank you for this opportunity
I love your energy and positivity
I have a challenging energetic lovely dog and need to learn more about strengthening our positive relationship
I am a play therapist who is now offering my connections with kids and families via a telehealth virtual format. And, even thought it is exciting and very different from having clients in my playroom/office it is also stressful. Thank you for this opportunity for me to relax, learn and be with my dogs in a fun way!!
Thank you, I’m excited! I couldn’t commit to Recallers because of being off work because of Corona. I really wanted to sign up, but knew I couldn’t spend that money right now. Thank you for this opportunity.
Thank you for your generous offer at a difficult time. I am setting up and clearing out our spare room to dedicate to this to help with my 14mo cocker who struggles with calmness and focus
Wow Can’t wait 😊
Thank you looking forward to the new course
Thank you so much for this awesome opportunity. As always your generosity and knowledge are why I have been a grateful fan for many many years.
Thank you Susan. Parson and I are looking forward to this class. Your generosity is inspiring.
Thank you! We have a rescue Boykin Spaniel. Approximately 1 year old. Nicknamed spaz man by a roommate because he’s wild!
I see potential! Thank you again. What a gift.
We. Need. Help!
Yay! Copper and I can’t wait to learn from you!
This is going to be sooo much fun! Thank you!!
Hi I am looking forward to start this with my nearly 11week old German Shepherd pup I know he won’t be able to concentrate for long but every bit will help both of us
Looking forward to this I have a 17 year old and a deaf 5 year old dog who both love learning.
Thank you so much for this. I am a 4-H dog leader looking for new ideas all the time and now needing to get creative by giving lessons via videos. I also raise shelties that my kiddos and I love to do Rally and Agility with as well as tricks training. Excited that we will have some new input.
This is soo amazing. Thank you so much for your generosity and kindness!! My 11 week old German Shorthaired Pointer “Luther” will thank you
I am now the only playmate for my bored silly 18 month old German Shepherd boy. All his friends in my dog training/boarding facility are gone. He is so used to having dogs around to play with that he is beside himself. He is also used to going with me for public access training all the time and keeps bringing me my keys, purse, shoes, and sweaters as if to say, why are we still here?
We need more fun things to do.
Thank you so very much. I work in Oncology at our local hospital and am extremely stressed with the many hats I have to wear right now and different hours that we need to work so that we don’t wipe out our entire staff should someone get the virus. This gives me and my 3 dogs something to look forward to every day
Much anticipation for this course. I have 2 dogs, younger. One I feel will be difficult because I cannot find anything that motivates her. She is not food or praise motivated. She is very skittish. When we rescued her she would shy away from any contact. When we entered the room she would run into another room. She has improved greatly. Now she will seek attention/contact when she wants it. She still leaves the room when we enter and noises still frighten her. She is a love and I look forward to building a stronger relationship with her. Thank you.
Thank you so much, looking forward to keeping my dogs brains ticking over whilst in isolation.
Perfect timing for us! I adopted a 3-year old rescue two weeks ago. I have lots to learn! Thank you for this opportunity.
Thanks so much for this in these challenging times!
The interruption of agility classes and practices has been frustrating for me and young bc who needs lots
to do. Looking forward to keeping him busier and keeping me learning. Thank you!
Thank you looking forward to it too, multi-dog household 2 years to 14 years and they all love to work , happy girls
I’m setting up a quiet place in my office for me and my 2 Standard Poodles to learn something new! Thank you for this opportunity!
Looking forward to the only training for my 4 month old puppy Jack 🐾🐾
Thank you so much!!!! Had to close my business snd hsve a puppy sussie
Looking forward to having a great time!
Thank you this is great and I am looking forward to learning and playing with my dogs.