Are you having the following problems with your pup, not getting him or her to listen when being called? Is your dog barking at people and other animals? Are you struggling to control him or her when it is on its leash? Is your pet too aggressive? Or, do you have a new puppy that needs to be trained? If you have any or all of these issues, then Doggy Dan, an adept dog trainer based in New Zealand, promises to be of assistance!
Who Is This Doggy Dan?
Doggy Dan, who is also known as Dan Abdelnoor, is endorsed by the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in New Zealand. This is not a small achievement because the SPCA will NOT validate anyone that is connected to cruel and abusive acts toward animals to any degree.
He left a corporate job to start a professional dog training business because he felt exasperated by animal classes that failed to teach the five critical steps to train dogs to do the following:
- Great with all dogs, including other animals.
- Be great with people, especially young children.
- Super relaxed at home.
- Have good recall, especially outside the home.
- Be calm when on its leash.
He feels that these key behavior issues must be addressed to ensure the safety of the animals and their owners. Along with offering private training sessions, he also has a thriving online training service that helps people from all around the world. Many of his instruction videos on the site feature his private consultations!
Why Online Training?
There are many advantages when considering online training for dogs, especially during these times of social distancing, one being that it is more economical.
For example, the average cost of private dog training can range between $45.00 – $120.00 per class. Doggy Dan offers a 3-day trial of $1.00, and if you decide to upgrade, then you will be charged $37.00 a month. If you’re not happy for any reason, there is a 60-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked.
Another pro to online training is that the schedule of a personal trainer does not govern you. When you subscribe to Doggy Dan services, you have access to hundreds of videos that you can view and learn at your leisure. And because it is you implementing the training, you are the one building a deeper bond with your pet, not some animal expert.
To Alpha Train or Not?
Doggy Dan uses the ‘Alpha Training’ (derived from a pack of wolves’) philosophy along with a balanced positive reinforcement approach to his coaching. This technique holds the belief that the owner is the alpha, and he or she must establish themselves as the leader of the pack. The basis of his whole training is implementing the “5 Golden Rules” to be a successful pack leader. While this method is popular, it is not without its controversy.
For instance, he introduces the concept of ‘Pack Training’ where the trainer regularly reinforces his or her dominance as the alpha by imitating the social behavior of wolves whenever the owner interacts with their pets. One way this is done is by always eating before the owner’s dogs are fed. This is referred to as gesture eating. The idea is to let them know that the owner controls their food and other resources.
Critics believe that there are many problems with the ‘Alpha Training’ method. One is that since this theory is based on a late 1930’s study of captive zoo wolves, that is not only outdated but inaccurate to training dogs. Many prefer a more scientific and animal-friendly based method of instruction. If you are not a fan of the alpha disciplinary tactic, then Doggy Dan may not be the right fit for you.
What To Expect
So, what can you expect when you sign up for his online training services? When you join the 3-day trial, you will be able to access all of Doggy Dan’s programs. If you decide to join the monthly membership, you will be directed to the homepage and then sent an email with your login information. You will then have a beginner’s guide on what videos you should watch first to get the most out of the lessons. The site is very user friendly and easy to navigate.
Some of the highlights of the training program is a popular series called “Project Moses,” where Doggy Dan chronicles his dog, Moses, from a span of 8 weeks old to 8 months old. Viewers get a chance to watch and learn from Dan as he brings Moses home and deals with all of the challenges that come with training a pup.
Another highlight is his forum where he and members of his staff answer questions. Dog owners are even able to send pictures and videos to get a better understanding of their pets. This is an excellent service because many people may be hesitant to hire an animal expert online for fear of not having personal attention.
So, Is It Worth It?
So, to the meat and potatoes, does Doggy Dan lives up to all the hype? According to thousands of clients that he helps every year he does. In general, his style and method may not be innovative, but it is effective none the less, and his satisfaction rating is high. There is one thing that Doggy Dan does that a lot of dog experts are not focusing on, and that is teaching the importance of reading your pet dog’s body language. This is something I believe helps gives his program a leg up over other online animal training curricula.
As mentioned before, his leader of the pack philosophy is not a concept that is embraced by everyone. Some who have tried this program feels that his techniques are not forward-thinking or compassionate enough. Whether or not that belief is valid, one can’t deny how much Doggy Dan’s program has helped many have better relationships with their four-legged friends.