How to train your puppy for less with apps and online videos

Sharing your life with a dog is a rewarding experience, but it can also be an expensive one filled with food, vet visits, toys and traditional training. We can't help you with the first three, but if you're looking for a cheap yet effective way to train your puppy or dog, then technology can help.
Traditionally, training your dog or puppy would entail registering for an expensive class that doesn't meet on your time schedule, but thanks to technology -- the explosion of blogs, online video and apps -- you can train your dog on your own time, and at your own pace, for a fraction of the cost.

To find out more about the benefits of training your dog with technology, WalletPop spoke to Nicola Anderson, an Australian dog trainer and TV personality who runs the Dog Blog and has created the Smart Dog Training app, in a phone interview. Anderson originally started out to write a book about dog training, switched to a dog training blog, and eventually created an app so that dog owners have a way to train their dog in "a couple minutes a day" through "clear and simple lessons."

The Smart Dog Training app is a $6 app that you can download to your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. It contains 12 lessons, with video and notes, that show you how to teach your dog manners -- from not jumping, to chilling out, to walking nicely next to you and more. The nice part about having this info on a portable device is that you can train your dog wherever you are, referring back to the instructions as needed.

Here's a sample of how Anderson teaches in the app:

The Smart Dog Training app isn't alone, Nicola pointed us toward the Dog First Aid app ($1.99) which helps you diagnose pet injuries and decide if you need to go to the vet. We also found the Puppy & Dog Trainer iPad app ($3.99) which covers 35 "advanced" techniques.

In addition to apps, there are also podcasts like The Dog Trainer's Quick and Dirty Tips for Teaching and Caring for Your Pet, plenty of dog training videos on YouTube, Dog Training forums and community sites along with many how to train your dog articles.

While you may be concerned about the lack of social interaction by training your dog on your own at home, Anderson told WalletPop that in a formal training session there shouldn't be a lot of socializing going on. She suggests that you make sure to take your dog or puppy to a dog park or other place where he can interact with other dogs. Since you can look at your training material on your phone, you can even train your dog in the park and then take him over to the leash-free area for playtime.

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