It's no surprise that online puppy training courses have become a go-to resource for new dog parents

Bringing a new puppy into your life is a joyful yet responsibility-filled endeavor. Mainly, us owners live for the laughter and cuddles, but the fact is we have a very important task of nurturing and training your furry friend to become a well-behaved family member.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the Best Online Puppy Training Courses, providing new fur parents with a valuable tool to ensure their puppies get off to a great start.

Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or a seasoned enthusiast, these courses are here to make your puppy parenting adventure as delightful as it should be.

Why Early Puppy Training is Crucial

A puppy’s first few months are a critical developmental period. It feels like the honeymoon period for new owners, but you really have to train them as early as you can as the habits and behaviors puppies develop during 3-12 months are habits and behavior they will have as they age.

I’ve said this to so many family and friends wanting to buy a newborn pup or adopting a puppy – think immediately about how you will go with training them as this will save you years of headache later on.

Before they one, puppies learn about the world around them and form bonds with their human caregivers. Early puppy training is essential because it helps:

1. Form a Strong Bond

Training during the first six months nurtures a special bond between you and your puppy.

2. Set Expectations

Basic manners and obedience commands help puppies understand what’s expected of them.

3. Keep Them Safe

Effective commands keep your puppy safe in potentially dangerous situations.

3. Prevent Behavioral Issues

Early training reduces the likelihood of future behavioral problems, setting your puppy up for success.

Cute Pomeranian puppy in training

8 Best Online Puppy Training Courses

Puppyhood is a crucial period for socialization and learning, and our recommended online puppy training courses allow you to train your pup conveniently at home under the guidance of experienced trainers.

We’ve curated a list of the finest online puppy training courses available today, dissected for cost and their unique offerings during those crucial early months with your puppy.

Here are our top picks:

1. Essential Puppy Training Course (Best Overall)

The Essential Puppy Training Course by Dunbar Academy is specifically designed for puppies aged 8-18 weeks, covering essential topics like potty training, crate training, bite inhibition, and more. With over 100 videos, it helps identify and reward good behaviors.

2. Ultimate Puppy Program (Best Low-Cost)

The SpiritDog Ultimate Puppy Program offers detailed video lessons and access to an online forum for just $49. It covers various puppy training areas, making it an excellent budget-friendly choice.

3. Raising Your Puppy (Best Step-by-Step Guide)

Raising Your Puppy, led by certified dog trainer Robin Bennett, offers over 100 short video lessons and lifetime access to a private Facebook group for $139, providing exceptional value and expert guidance.

4. Puppy & New Dog Training (Great Value Bundle)

Holly & Hugo’s Puppy & New Dog Training course, priced at $49, offers step-by-step video tutorials and interactive activities, perfect for first-time owners and experienced trainers alike.

5. K9 Training Institute (Best for Reactive Puppies)

The K9 Training Institute Total Transformation Masterclass, priced at $497, is ideal for puppies needing extra focus. It reveals service dog training secrets and comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee.

6. Brandon McMillan (Most Engaging Trainer)

Brandon McMillan’s Dog Training Course, available through a Masterclass Subscription starting from $90 per year, offers engaging and polished video lessons, making training enjoyable and effective.

7. Dunbar Academy

Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Dunbar Academy boasts a wide range of courses, including New Puppy Training, Common Behavioral Issues, and more. For $20 monthly, you gain access to an Exclusive Facebook Group and a wealth of expertise.

8. The SIRIUS® Puppy Training (Best Live Sessions)

SIRIUS® offers live Zoom sessions led by professional puppy trainers, providing real-time feedback and guidance. Though priced at $250, it offers great value and includes a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Puppy Training Courses vs. Adult Dog Training Courses

Puppy training courses focus on establishing positive habits and preventing bad behavior early. They cover basics like house training, socialization, and basic commands, suited to a puppy’s short attention span. Adult dog training, on the other hand, reinforces good behavior, corrects issues, and teaches advanced commands.

Choosing the right course depends on your dog’s age and needs. Puppy training lays the foundation for a well-behaved adult dog, making it crucial if you have a new puppy.

Cute Pomeranian puppy on the path in training

The Hidden Costs of Relying on Free Online Puppy Training

Many new puppy parents turn to the internet for guidance on how to train their furry companions, and there’s no shortage of free online resources available.

The convenience and accessibility of these materials are undeniable. After all, who wouldn’t want to save money?

While free online puppy training courses might seem convenient and budget-friendly, they come with their share of limitations adn trust me, you might not realize it immediately but there are hidden costs that often go unnoticed.

1. Lack of Personalized Guidance

Imagine this: You’ve just adopted a lively, curious Labrador pup named Max. You’re trying to teach him basic commands like “sit” and “stay,” but Max seems more interested in chasing his tail than listening to your instructions.

Frustrated, you turn to a free online training video that promises a quick solution. Unfortunately, the video can’t see Max’s unique personality and tendencies, which means it might not address the specific issues you and Max are facing.

Personalized guidance from a professional trainer can make all the difference in these situations, helping you adapt training methods to suit your dog’s needs.

Free online resources tend to employ a one-size-fits-all approach to puppy training. While this might work for some dogs, it often overlooks the individuality of your furry friend.

Just like humans, every dog has a distinct personality, learning style, and background. The absence of a tailored training plan may leave you struggling to connect with your puppy on a meaningful level.

2. Quality Matters

When it comes to online puppy training, quality is paramount. Free resources are sometimes created by well-meaning but inexperienced individuals. The information they offer may be outdated or to put it bluntly – simply incorrect. This can lead to confusion and, worse, unintentional reinforcement of unwanted behaviours in your pup.

3. Missed Socialization Opportunities

Proper puppy training goes beyond basic commands. Socialization is a critical aspect of your pup’s early development. It helps your dog learn how to interact with other dogs, animals, and humans, ensuring they grow up to be confident and well-adjusted. Free online training courses often neglect the importance of this aspect, inadvertently depriving your pup of the valuable social experiences they need.

Investing in the right online puppy training courses guarantees that socialization opportunities are mapped out and organized and are effective as soon as you start with the course.

Everything is covered and your pup will surely not miss out on anything.

4. Incomplete Education

Free online courses typically offer an incomplete syllabus. They may provide you with the basics but stop short of more advanced training that older dogs need.

One of the most significant risks is the potential for inadvertently reinforcing bad habits in your puppy. If your pup develops behavioural issues as they grow, you may need to invest in further training to address these problems.

Also, without proper guidance and experience, you might misinterpret your pup’s actions or unknowingly reward negative behaviours.

This can lead to ingrained habits that are much harder to break in the future – years of headaches, wasted time and in some cases – costly!

5. Increased Frustration and Stress

Training a puppy can be a challenging experience, even for the most patient of pet parents.

When you’re faced with unanticipated issues and lack the appropriate guidance, it can lead to frustration and stress, both for you and your pup. A professional dog trainer can help ease this journey and make it a more enjoyable one.

6. Delayed Problem Solving

Puppies are quick learners, and they absorb information like sponges during their formative months.

If you encounter issues that you’re unsure how to address, waiting until the problems become unmanageable can have severe consequences. Professional trainers can help you nip issues in the bud before they escalate.

7. Safety Training

Training goes hand in hand with safety, and there may be critical aspects of safety training missing from free online resources.

Teaching your pup how to stay out of harm’s way, for example when they get lost – especially in situations like road crossings, is a crucial part of their education.

8. Unfulfilled Potential

Every puppy is full of untapped potential. Relying on free online training courses may limit your puppy’s development and curtail the skills and knowledge they could acquire with proper guidance.

A well-trained pup can be a joy to be around, making your life as a pet parent all the more enjoyable.

9. No Such Thing as a Free Meal

Professional dog trainers need to make a living, and quality training comes at a cost. Investing in a paid course ensures credible training from dedicated experts.

Conclusion

While free online puppy training courses offer a tempting proposition, the hidden costs can far outweigh the benefits. To ensure your puppy reaches their full potential and grows into a well-adjusted, obedient, and joyful companion, consider investing in professional training and guidance. 

It’s an investment in your pup’s future happiness and your own peace of mind. If you have any other exceptional courses in mind, please share them in the comments below – we’re always eager to discover new online training courses!