Teach Basic Obedience with Dog Training Academy

Earlier this year, I adopted a seven-month-old Miniature Dachshund named Darwin. Sadly, Darwin did not have the best start in life, and arrived with no knowledge of basic obedience cues. Needless to say, I immediately enrolled Darwin in a six-week training course but since then, I have also discovered Dog Training Academy, which I plan on running alongside the course.

Dog Training Academy promises to help teach your dog to do just about anything, eliminating the need for expensive training courses and complicated literature, which is a very bold claim indeed. But can Dog Training Academy actually replace the structure and socialization of an obedience class? Find out after the jump.

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Getting Started

Before diving in headfirst, you will need to create a profile for your dog to keep track of any progress made. Each profile includes your dog’s name, age and breed, along with its photograph, course progress and achievement level, which will automatically update as you advance through training.

Create a profile for your dog to keep track of his or her progress.

Create a profile for your dog to keep track of his or her progress.

If you have more than one dog that you wish to train, additional profiles may be created to save confusion, which can be switched on and off according to who you are training at that moment in time. Dog Training Academy also enables you to share your dog’s progress via Facebook, if you are so inclined.

Ready, Steady, Train!

Once you have created a profile for your dog, it is time to commence training. Dog Training Academy is split up into six modules, covering everything from buying a puppy to correcting unwanted behavior. As you advance through each module, the progress bar will slowly begin to fill, which I found to be very encouraging as you have a visual representation of your progress right in front of you.

Dog Training Academy is split up into six modules, covering everything from buying a puppy to correcting unwanted behavior.

Dog Training Academy is split up into six modules, covering everything from buying a puppy to correcting unwanted behavior.

Modules themselves are divided into a series of subsections which are checked off as you complete each one. Inside each subsection is a step-by-step guide to teaching that command, as well as a video of the command in practice, and a rating system where you can rate your dog’s performance out of a total of five stars.

Watch and Learn

Dog Training Academy includes over 25 training videos which demonstrate each command clearly and precisely. These can be downloaded or deleted all at once for convenience, or as and when needed in order to save on space.

Dog Training Academy includes over 25 training videos.

Dog Training Academy includes over 25 training videos.

Tilting your iPhone on its side will display that video fullscreen, and each video can be paused at any time so that you are able to practice that particular command over and over again until perfected. The inclusion of video alongside text made training my dog a whole lot easier as I am a visual learner and absorb information much quicker by video.

Search and Save

It is possible to bookmark your favorite lessons by tapping the heart icon located in the top right-hand corner of the screen. These are then saved under the Favorites tab on the menu bar for easy access at a later date. Additionally, Dog Training Academy also features a Search function to help search for a lesson quickly instead of trawling through each module.

Lookin’ Good

Dog Training Academy is attractively designed and extremely simple to navigate. As you can see from the screenshot below, a simple menu bar containing five icons is displayed at the bottom of the screen, and from here you are able to access every section of the app in just a single tap.

Although Dog Training Academy ran relatively smoothly on my iPhone 4, I did encounter one bug when creating a new profile which caused the app to crash.

Although Dog Training Academy ran relatively smoothly on my iPhone 4, I did encounter one bug when creating a new profile which caused the app to crash.

Although Dog Training Academy ran relatively smoothly on my iPhone 4, I did encounter one bug when creating a new profile which caused the app to crash on more than one occasion. Dog Training Academy claimed that I had not filled in the required Name field and then subsequently crashed upon tapping OK, although my dog’s profile information was saved when I relaunched thus skirting around the problem.

Well?

So, can Dog Training Academy replace the structure and socialization of an obedience class? Not for me, no, although running the app alongside a training course is an excellent way of speeding up the process, and something that I wholeheartedly recommend doing.

Personally, I am of the opinion that obedience and socialization go hand-in-hand, and denying your dog the opportunity to mix with other canines will ultimately result in an unbalanced, and even dog-aggressive dog. This, of course, can be rectified by regularly walking your pooch in an area populated by other dogs, although as each meet and greet is not taking place within a controlled environment, there is a chance that a fight could erupt, or for your dog to pick up bad behavior.

Conclusion

Dog Training Academy is an innovative way of teaching your dog basic obedience without having shell out a large amount of money for puppy school. It is an ideal solution for those of us who cannot commit to regular classes due to time constraints, and can be practiced at a time that suits you and your dog. However, using an app to train your dog does have a downside, namely the lack of socialization that your dog will receive over attending actual obedience classes.

Overall, Dog Training Academy is a great training tool, especially when used alongside another teaching method. It is easy to use, comprehensive and well worth $4.99.


Summary

Train your dog without having to attend a class.

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