Safe Dog Training Options During COVID-19
March 25, 2020
Group dog training classes typically provide a fun and inexpensive option for improving a pet’s obedience performance. However, during times of social distancing the human proximity of group class may pose an unacceptable infection risk. Furthermore, municipal, county, or state government edict may restrict CPT’s ability to legally conduct group class. Therefore, with the onset of the novel corona virus, CPT clients have reasonably expressed concern about attending group classes.
So, what is one to do?
Fortunately, there are multiple options, including private lessons, in-home private lessons, and virtual training.
One-On-One Dog Training Solutions
With private lessons you travel to CPT to work one-on-one with a CPT Trainer. We implement infection control protocols by washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer before/after exchanging hold of a leash. In addition, we easily implement social distance measures by maintaining a 6-foot distance.
With in-home private lessons we travel to your residence to work one-on-one or with multiple family members. In-home lessons are an outstanding option if you wish to work on housebreaking or household manners behaviors. Moreover, we can still fulfill infection control and social distance etiquette.
Virtual Dog Training
But, what if even one-on-one training poses too much risk? Then, the perfect answer is virtual training. With virtual videoconference instruction a CPT Trainer does not need to visit to “enter” your home. Thus, the Trainer can provide the same benefits as during an in-home appointment, without posing a risk of infectious exchange. Moreover, virtual lessons are less expensive than in-home lessons, since there isn’t an accompanying travel charge. Virtual lessons bill at the same rate as private lessons at CPT.
Virtual Solutions- FaceTime
For the past several years, CPT has conducted FaceTime lessons for out of state and international clients. FaceTime allows excellent one-to-one video conferencing capabilities for any 2 persons owning an Apple computer, iPad, or iPhone containing a forward-facing camera and system software running Mac OS X 10.9.2, iOS 7, or later versions.
Moreover, group FaceTime video conferencing, with up to 32 participants, is available to anyone operating a newer Apple product running Mac OS X 10.14.3, iOS 12.1.4, or later versions. Unfortunately, devices older than iPhone 6s, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4, or iPad 5thgeneration only allow group FaceTime audio participation. Nevertheless, since most of our FaceTime instruction is one-on-one, the age of a device rarely poses an inconvenience.
FaceTime has been factory loaded by Apple since October 2010. Furthermore, FaceTime is free for fully operational international VoIP communication, except in the United Arab Emirates and China, which either fully or partially disable the feature.
From our experience, FaceTime is easy to use and highly functional for dog training lessons, provided there is either a strong cell phone signal or internet connection. However, FaceTime is not an option for people who don’t own an Apple product.
Virtual Solutions- Zoom
Consequently, we have started to also use Zoom. Zoom Video Communications offers a free downloadable videoconferencing app that works with MacOS, iOS, Android, and Windows computers and devices. The free version supports unlimited duration 1-on-1 conversations and group conversations of up to 100 users that may last up to 40 minutes.
System requirements include Mac OS X 10.1, iOS 7, Android 4.0, Windows 7, or later versions. Bandwidth requirements are a minimum of 1.2 Mbps for single-user conversations wishing HD video. Bandwidth requirements are higher for group conversations, between 2 – 6 Mbps, depending upon the number of screens.
In addition to the free personal version, there are business conferencing versions that require monthly fees ranging from $14.99 to $19.99. In conjunction with Emory University, CPT is already using group Zoom for our MRI-dog training. The video and audio resolution are superb. And the host’s ability to control participant video and audio input is simple to operate, highly flexible, and highly practical.
Moreover, the ease of use is high for new users. Consequently, for those without FaceTime access, we look forward to commencing Zoom virtual lessons as a substitute for private and in-home private lessons.
Virtual Solutions- Skype
Skype is an older video conference solution owned by Microsoft. We will use Skype upon request. However, in our opinion, Skype is a less flexible and more unwieldy solution than are FaceTime and Zoom.
If the corona virus has you home full-time and your dog is exhibiting exasperating housebreaking, household manners, obedience, or behavioral problems, there are dog training solutions available that pose little to zero infection risk. Thus, there is no need to let your dog’s problems persist.
Contact CPT by email or phone (404-236-2150) so that we may design a corona-safe program that increases the enjoyment you receive from your pet. When calling, please note that CPT office hours are M – F from 9 am – 4 pm.
© Comprehensive Pet Therapy, Inc., March 2020. All rights reserved.
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