Why online dog training is quicker and more effective than in-person

Whenever you bring a new puppy or dog home, usually one of the first things you consider is how you are going to train this new member of your family.

I have been a trainer and behaviourist since 2007, I thought we provided the best experience for dogs and their humans, but I was wrong. The pandemic, Covid-19, forced the whole world to re-evaluate how we work, and with this brought the opportunity to test out our online courses, learning hub and online consultations.

We had dabbled a little with online training when clients emigrated to Australia and some of our students were based in South Africa, but never had the whole business online, so this was a big step.

Can online dog training really work?

Well, all I can say is WOW!!. Not only are all the puppies and dogs learning quicker than ever before. Their lead walking, recalls, attention and even dogs with behavioural issues are all improving must faster and transferring much more effectively to the streets and local parks and other distracting environments than previously too.

Why is teaching remotely so much more effective?

So I started to question whether how we have trained for so long really was the best way and if not it then why? Well, when you strip it all back and think about it, the answer is simple. How do you learn best? Perhaps if you were trying to understand a new subject, for example, would you choose a busy party or in a calm environment set up with minimal distractions. Consider for a moment, if you were to teach a child algebra, how successful would you be doing this on a roller coaster? How much would they recall of the arithmetic and how much of the loops and adrenaline?

So why then do we continue to insist on teaching in public parks, or groups of puppies, or in the environment the dog is scared, or in enclosed spaces? It is distracting, overwhelming, challenging and whilst they can learn this way, it is slower and with far more frustration. Much like many things in life, it continues this way because it is just how it has always been. I question now whether it is kind, fair or effective.

Many businesses have embraced the productivity increase

I have known many people over the years who wanted to work from home, but their companies claimed they wouldn’t be as productive. Contrary to this assumption, a considerable percentage of businesses are cutting overheads and having their employees work from home more permanently as productivity soared through the initial lockdown. This is the same with dog training.

Not everyone is the same, not everyone has the same skillset

Whether you look for group classes or one to one support, often people will head to the internet to find a trainer close to them or ask for a recommendation from friends, usually from their vets too. I want all my dogs and clients dogs to learn in the most effective way, I want them to progress in the easiest way possible, and above all else I want it to be fun, this is why we teach online.

Even our long time clients who we used to see every week for years have requested to stay online, and they love how much more they’ve got to know each other, they can’t believe how well their dogs are doing training at home first. It takes all the hassle out of travelling to a venue or having a trainer come to your home getting your dogs all fired up, waisting half an hour, getting them calm enough to train, showing you how perfect they can be only for you to realise you can’t replicate it once they leave.

Not all online training is the same, it is certainly a skill to be able to coach remotely, but I am thrilled with how many of our clients have not only embraced this new way of learning but celebrated it. 

Eryn Martyn-Godfrey

"I believe in Magic AND Science, so I make state-of-the-art Training Techniques SUPER accessible, to help pet guardians Hocus-Pocus their Crazy Dogs into Calm Canines." Eryn has been a Dog Behaviourist & Training Instructor since 2007, she is based in South East London UK.


  1. Charles Sladdin

    Hi Eryn,

    My name is Charles, and we have a 4-year old Golden Retriever called Bertie. We’re really struggling with two aspects of his behaviour:

    1) His on-leash walking – he has a real tendency to pull when on the lead (particularly if he hasn’t had a walk). For example, when we’re walking to our park, he’ll pull quite a bit (you can feel the tension in the leash) and he’ll ‘dart’ to smells (he’s quite scent-drive). However, after his walk, he’ll walk beautifully (so we know he can do it!)

    2) The second problem (his worst) is his recall. He’s dreadful! He isn’t neutered (which my partner thinks is the sole reason for this) and loves interacting with other dogs, and will often bolt across parks to go and say hello. He tends to come back after a minute of encouragement, but we’re loathed to let him off the leash at times in case he tries to interact with a dog who isn’t keen on him. My partner thinks getting him neutered will help with this, but I’m quite nervous about doing this in case he loses any of his charm and character (as he’s a really characerful Retriever).

    We’ve tried a number of techniques, and we’ve currently got him on a long training leash trying to improve his recall with treats and toys but we were keen to get some advice and potentially some training just we know we are on the right track. Bertie is our 4th Retriever, so we’re not new to this, but our last two have been really good on the lead (to the extent we didn’t even use a lead with one of them).

    It would be great to know what you think we could do with him to improve his recall / on-leash behaviour, perhaps via a consultation (or however you work) and perhaps book some training. Do you have a particular price, or packages we could look at for this?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best Wishes,

    Charles Sladdin

    • Eryn Martyn-Godfrey

      Hello Charles,
      Thank you for your message, we have group classes which would cover these aspects or alternatively we have our Love Potion Recall Course which is really popular for working on recall and attention in general outside.
      All prices are on our website and if you click on the Dog Training & BEhaviour page you can see all the options including one:one if you’d prefer.

      Feel free to email us info@believeinmagic.dog if you’d like any extra help.


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