April 07, 2018
Training your dog to be a well behaved and obedient pet is one of the most overlooked aspects of puppy parenthood. Millenial pet owners can sometimes get caught spending too much time deciding what raw diet to choose, what the cutest toys are and claiming an Instagram handle. These same owners should not be surprised then when eight months later, their dog is still not potty trained and is constantly pulling on the leash during their daily walk. As you will learn by watching the videos below, one of the most important things to do before welcoming a puppy into your home is educating yourself, and any other family members, on how to properly train your new furry friend. We have put together a list of the top 10 YouTube channels that help beginner, and intermediate dog owners teach their dogs basic obedience commands and behaviors.
The channels below have thousands of combined videos relating to dog training, and it is very easy to accidentally rewatch variations of the same behavior or trick. To combat this, here are a few tips to help maximize your time:
Plainly put, Emily Larlham’s channel is the best free resource for any dog owner that is looking to train their puppy or adult dog. Each video is concise, informative and easy to understand. The videos range from basic training (sit, down, stay) to advanced tricks (giving a baby a pacifier), with each video being around three or four minutes depending on the complexity of the trick or behavior. I can vouch from personal experience that her techniques worked best for training my dog. She has been posting videos on YouTube since 2009, so if you are looking for a specific trick, there is a high probability she has a video of it.
Different from the rest of the entries in this list, Perfect Paws is a training video (DVD) that was created in collaboration with the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This is by far the most beginner friendly video as it gives an extensive walkthrough on what is needed to start introducing training to your dog. This includes what treats to use, what type of clicker to buy, or how to deal with different types of dogs. Similar to a playlist, this video gives the owner a more sequential and regimented view of what behaviors dogs should be taught and in what order.
Zak is by far the biggest “superstar” trainer (1.2m subscribers on YouTube) on this list- chances are you have already seen him via a Google or Youtube search. His YouTube channel always has fresh content, so expect a video or two from him on a weekly basis. Zak’s main strengths are his energy and charisma- watching his videos can get you really excited to train your dog. Like Kikopup, his channel has been around for a long time, so he has covered almost all of the beginner and intermediate dog training behaviors. Coming in at number three, there are a few things that hold his videos back from being at the top of the list. For starters, all of his videos are sponsored, which means that you often have to sit through three advertisements for a 4-minute video (one before the video and two during his video). To save time, he also foregoes showing multiple demonstration repetitions, which can lead to confusion on the viewer’s side. All in all, Zak is a great positive reinforcement trainer that delivers high-quality videos for both puppy and rescue parents.
For owners struggling to train their dog due to over-excitement or inability to use treats as a lure, then Training Positive is the channel for you. Tab Shamsi does a beautiful job dissecting each behavior or trick into many, smaller steps. This can be extremely useful when teaching longer, more complicated tricks (he has the best “fetch” video). Tab’s Basic Obedience and Puppy Training playlist is one of the best introductory guides to puppy training. New dog owners can follow along and be confident that they are teaching their dog the right behaviors at the right time.
For current dog owners, you probably know how easy it is for dogs to forget all about their training as soon as the food is gone or they are in a different surrounding. Chirag Patel’s videos stand out because of their focus on helping owners transition off of treats and practice in various environments. He has a particularly great video relating to food manners, which is something dog owners often forget to incorporate into their daily training routine. Chirag also trains different animals (cats, birds), so if you are looking to train another pet of yours at the same time, this could be the channel for you. Just as a warning, Chirag’s channel does not have the volume of videos as most of the other channels on this list, so if you are looking to stick with only one trainer, you might have to look elsewhere.
Kristin’s channel is a mixture of video blog entries, basic obedience training, and dog behavior theory. I would classify this as more of an intermediate level since she tends to focus on the theoretical more than the practical, so those that are looking for a more course-like channel that is solely focused on teaching basic behaviors, this probably is not the channel for you. However, If you would like to learn more about dogs but do not want to buy a book, I would highly recommend Kristin’s channel.
The link above is to a blog post of Donna’s where she kindly created an index categorizing all of the dog training videos she has posted to YouTube. This makes it particularly useful if you are searching for a specific trick or behavior (i.e., sit, stay, down, etc.) that you would like to teach, as well providing a bit of a loose guide as to what tricks should be developed before others. Although very informational, I have found that many of Donna’s videos are more theoretical than practical, and the tone and production of the videos can be a bit dry and unexciting.
Simpawtico is a relatively new channel when compared to others on the list, but what it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. Each of their videos runs about 10 minutes and is jam-packed with useful, insightful information. Although there is no correlation between the quality of the video and the quality of the trainer, Simpawtico has an updated look and feel that is a welcome change from the sometimes eight-year-old videos found on this list. They have a nice mix of obedience training videos, dog-raising theory and product reviews and suggestions.
This majority of the K9-1 channel is geared towards training dogs for personal protection and law enforcement, but if you go to their playlist section, they have nine great videos on basic obedience training. None of the linked videos use any dominance or intimidation training, but I did notice some of their other videos were using prong and electric collars. For those of you that are adverse to that type of training, feel free to skip this one and refer to the other entries that are focused on positive reinforcement.
Alex Antoniazzi’s approach to dog training is, as the name implies, very academic. Each of basic obedience commands and behaviors is broken down into multiple videos (lasting about one minute each) and he does a great job describing how you can enforce behaviors past just the simple in-home lesson. The channel has a steady stream of videos posted per month, but not all related to specific dog behaviors. I recommend going to the playlist page and working through whatever videos you think would benefit your dog.