Pups and Downs

Training Spot adapts to online dog training 

The last time I took my genial and easily distracted dog Aksel to dog school at Training Spot it was a fun and vibrant class full of other dogs and pups either barking, chasing their tails (that would be Aksel) or lying on their mats, patiently awaiting their click and treat. 

The fact that Aksel had to take Good Dog 1 twice is no reflection on dog trainer and behavioral consultant Jen Biglan’s training skills. It just says a lot about Aksel. 

Those of you working from home or laid off thanks to COVID-19 are suddenly spending a lot of time with your pups. You might be dealing with Fido’s newfound fear of masks or thinking maybe now is a good time to work on Rover’s sit and stay. But how?

“It was an interesting transition,” Biglan says of moving to online dog training. “I have been surprised how much I like it.”

When the virus shut down in-person training, Training Spot transitioned to online classes — giving a credit to those who would rather wait until they could train in the Whiteaker-area facility again. Biglan says the dog trainers added in a free 20-minute “meet and greet” for people new to Zoom to help them decide whether virtual training will work for them. “It’s awesome because it allows people to see what the possibilities are,” she says. 

Group dog classes are running online via Zoom, as well as private training, puppy classes and behavioral consults. Biglan says puppy classes help pet parents socialize their puppies, getting them used to masks, noise and textures.

One thing Biglan says Training Spot will continue, even after sheltering in place ends, is virtual behavioural consults where she can see the dog in the home without the dog trainer there to change the environment. It also allows the pet parent to practice behaviors at home rather than at an extra-stressed training facility. And, she says, the session can be recorded and the pet parent can watch it again. 

To supplement the training courses and video library, Training Spot is also doing free Thursday morning Facebook Live sessions, which can help support people with no income who might be home with their dogs. The April 16 session on barking, she says, generated a lot of questions. April 30’s session addresses separation anxiety for when folks go back to work; nail trimming and getting dogs comfortable with having their body handled is May 3. 

To find out more about Training Spots classes, free 20 minute meet and greet, or weekly Facebook Live, find them on Facebook, go to TrainingSpot.us or call 541-357-PETS.

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