Hundreds of dog trainers can be found all over YouTube, and if you want to learn more about training your dog at home without the expense of hiring a professional trainer, it’s a great place to start. However, not all online trainers dole out the best advice. Here are four of the best YouTube resources for the DIY dog trainer.
Zak George’s Dog Training rEvolution
Updated regularly, Zak George’s channel hits on every dog training topic you could possibly need, from fear behaviors to trick training to puppy rearing to games like fetch. Zak infuses his videos with a ton of energy so they’re as entertaining as they are informative. With 118 videos and counting, you’re sure to find a video for the problem or behavior you’re hoping to address.
Dog Star Daily
Though this channel isn’t updated regularly—only a few times a year—the library of videos will keep you and your dog busy for a long time. With expert advice from top-notch trainers, like world-renowned behaviorist Dr. Ian Dunbar, the videos provide tips and training tricks, as well as the science behind behavior. Because it isn’t updated frequently, the best place to start is in their curated Playlists section to find the themes that are right for you and your pup.
Victoria Stilwell for eHow Pets
Known for her Animal Planet series It’s Me or the Dog, trainer Victoria Stilwell approaches training with no-nonsense, science-based methods. Her videos on the eHow channel are much shorter than her television show, so you can get the full benefit of her Positively Method in less time. The videos range from super specific, like Learning the Stay Cue, to big-picture topics like mental stimulation. The videos are clear, concise, and professionally presented.
Laurie Luck’s Smart Dog University
Laurie’s channel for Smart Dog University hits on many dog-related topics, not just training. Check out her low-fat Kong stuffing tutorial, for example. However, her training videos are accessible and clear. She’s able to turn science-based training methods into easy-to-understand steps as she demonstrates the behaviors herself. Her channel also includes vlog-style videos about her role as a service dog trainer and the experiences and emotions she has while training those dogs in her home.
While you’re sure to gain tons of invaluable dog training advice from any (or all!) of those four channels, just remember that YouTube isn’t a replacement for an in-person dog trainer. If your dog struggles with problem behaviors, reference YouTube for ideas, then hire a professional.
Maggie is a writer and author, whose first book, Clicker Dog Training: The Better Path to a Well-Behaved Pup was published by Open Air Publishing. When she's not writing (or reading books about grammar), she teaches writing courses to college students and professionals who want to nail down the basics of communication. Outside of work, she hikes, throws dinner parties, plays with her three dogs and cat, and travels as much as possible.