Our Doggy Dan Review: A Certified Dog Behavior Consultant’s Take
YouTube may be an informational gold mine for first-information dog owners.
If you want to watch free dog training videos on YouTube and find various valuable tips and adorable skills, you can.
As opposed to this, just about anyone can start a YouTube channel and upload how-to videos. Sadly, charisma on television doesn’t always translate into sound advice.
Today, we’ll concentrate on Doggy Dan, a popular training channel (channel name: The Online Dog Trainer). Below is a quick explanation of the trainer, his philosophy, and some of his most popular videos. I’ll then discuss my observations of Dan and his training insights with you.
I have experience working with dogs with severe behavioral problems like aggression, anxiety, fear, phobias, reactivity, and obsessions because I am a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (though I certainly do lots of basic manners training as well).
Doggy Dan focuses on domestic dog behavior most of the time. At the same time, he occasionally deviates from behavior modification for canines with fear or aggression issues.
Key Lessons Learned from a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant’s View of Doggy Dan
- A well-known YouTuber who offers a variety of video training courses is named Doggie Dan. These courses are offered at various pricing points; some are free, while others are only accessible for a cost.
- Although Doggie Dan is a skilled marketer, it doesn’t seem like he has participated in any formal or informal mentorship programs for training dogs. Although it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, his courses expose several significant myths regarding dog psychology, training techniques, and behavior.
- Dog owners might find from watching Doggy Dan’s videos that the majority would be better off looking for training advice elsewhere. Owners should look for trainers that avoid old-fashioned methods and meet other crucial criteria, which we’ll mention below.
Dog Dan’s Foundations
Doggy Dan can be found on both his website and YouTube.
Doggy Dan is unquestionably a very skilled marketer and businessman. The opening few phrases of his bio focus more on his success in marketing than they do on his understanding of dog behavior and training.
That always sets off a tiny red flag for me.
Although his book and videos are trendy, I am more concerned about the accuracy of the information he offers than the success of his products.
Many people have heard the story of Doggy Dan, a dog owner. He was confused and overawed by the variety of dog training techniques available.
Instead of naming any mentors, essential books, or educational programs, he says the following:
One user remarked, “I watched more dog training videos and DVDs than I care to recall.” “I read every book I could get my hands on about dog behavior.”
Doggy Dan’s Method of training
Doggy Dan claims to have developed a unique training method that dogs can understand instinctively.
This particular marketing lingo strikes me as another red flag.
In his publications, I have been unable to find any indication that he is conversant in, or has even made an effort to learn about, the ideas of learning theory, ethology, hormones, neurology, applied behavior analysis, or any other essential bodies of work in the study of animal behavior.
His bio is full of grandiose claims, like:
This method is, without a doubt, the quickest, friendliest, and most practical way to change your dog’s behavior. Based firmly on the dogs’ [sic] natural communication cues, they soon understand it.
However, he never goes into more depth on the theoretical underpinnings of this method. After reading his biography, I’m unsure if he supports using shock collars, treats, or something else.
Given how vague and beautiful the wording is, I have serious doubts.
On another area of the website, Doggy Dan does indicate that he aims to use force-free methods. He asserts that he uses no force at all in training dogs.
This is an excellent objective, but when I read his training recommendations, I realized that it necessitates using force (for fact, confining a barking dog in a tiny, quiet area and holding him there until he stops barking).
Although this is not always bad advice, it is misleading to claim it is force-free.
When I watched a separate one of Doggy Dan’s videos about dealing with aggression towards people, I noticed immediately that he was putting the dog through a lack of stress, either because he lacked skill or because he wanted a flashy video.
Instead of carefully approaching the dog from a distance while handing out treats, Doggy Dan emphasizes using non-confrontational body language and teaching the owners to body block. While the dog’s tail is still completely tucked, Doggy Dan claims victory despite the positive start.
Doggy Dan’s assertion that food is not required, which he uses to counter-condition the aggressive dog, concerns me. If you don’t want to give the dog treats, toys, praise, or dog, you will always have to use physical force or intimidation to keep it under control.
To be clear, Doggy Dan has not demonstrated any forceful training techniques to me. He claims that treating such as “bribes and temptation” won’t work in the long run to address serious dog behavior issues, which greatly bothers me.
This contradicts every study on learning theory and the best practices recommended by the greatest behaviorists and dog trainers.
He says that only tricks work with treats, which is a categorical fallacy.
When he, at one point, completely misunderstood the point of clicker training, I was tempted to turn the video off out of rage.
If he had genuinely studied under and learned from various trainers, he would understand that counterconditioning and clicker training are not bribes. They are a method that uses positive reinforcement-based dog training to help four-legged people connect the dots among the lessons they are learning.
He is either not doing any research or purposefully misrepresenting the bodies of work offered by the bulk of reputable animal behavior experts.
What Delivers for Doggy Dan?
Along with his free YouTube videos, Doggy Dan offers dog owners a variety of other training options.
- The Straightforward Way To An Obedient Dog: It is unclear precisely what this course covers. The four featured videos don’t explain or indicate their subject matter. “The One Resource to Fix Every Dog and Puppy Issue,” “How to Get Your Dog to Choose to Follow You,” “Five Rules That Will Change Everything,” and “Why Most Dog and Puppy Training Fails” are just a few of the titles of the videos. The sensationalist marketing language is concerning, as it is with other Doggy Dan products. It hides any information regarding what the customer receives or the type of training methods used.
- Potty Training (free): This course appears to be a standard potty training course. It talks about establishing a schedule, your responsibility as the owner, dealing with mishaps, putting your puppy outside at the correct times, and potential nocturnal potty breaks. Although the course’s sales presentation is exuberant and full of exaggerated claims, the actual content appears to be competent.
- A two-hour video called “The Dog Calming Code” costs $47. Helping owners control hyperactive dogs, and other “naughty” behavior is the aim of this training. The activities listed on the sales page seem to be geared toward combating aggressive behavior, which is distinct from easily exuberant or “naughty” dogs. Like the first, the course page for this one is vague about what is covered. The entire language is sales-y, assuring you’ll learn “The WORST conceivable thing to do… Avoid like the plague rewarding poor behavior while training your naughty dogs.” But what disturbs me more is how frequently “pack leader” is used in the evaluations. The original researcher has since repudiated the pack theory, which is outdated and based on questionable evidence. Considering how well-liked this trainer is, I find it concerning that she continues to support pack theory while forgoing the use of treats to avoid so many problematic issues.
- The Puppy Coach ($19): This course focuses on building bonds with your puppy and understanding animal psychology. I like that sound, but I can’t help but wonder whether Doggy Dan’s understanding of psychology is based more on speculation and anecdotes from his own life than on actual behavioral research. I particularly love Doggy Dan’s apparent emphasis on relationships and opposition to punishment and shock collars. But instead of punishing people, he seems to provide nebulous assurances of cures and paradigm-shifting techniques. This product’s combination of instructive videos and a video diary from Doggy Dan’s new puppy is fantastic. I think Doggy Dan’s puppy products are the best he offers.
What do Do Dog Owners think? Asks Doggy Dan.
Instead of reading Doggy Dan’s glowing reviews on his website, I chose to concentrate on the comments on his YouTube channel. I wanted to hear what customers had to say without being personally selected to be featured on the website.
The comments and ratings on Doggy Dan’s YouTube videos are overwhelmingly positive. Many commenters pointed out that the videos lacked necessary information or that the dogs seemed uneasy.
However, most comments thanked Doggy Dan for his free videos or asked for further information on a specific topic.
It’s important to remember that YouTube people regularly write rash comments. Rarely do people return weeks or months later to talk about successes or, more importantly, errors.
Because of this, it is challenging to determine how beneficial his lectures are over the long term, even when they occasionally have some immediate advantages.
FAQs regarding Dog Dan
A few critical questions must be answered before working with any trainer. Still, Doggy Dan’s background has many questions about him. The following are some of the questions that people most frequently have about Dan and his programs:
- What training techniques does Doggy Dan use? Doggy Dan appears to use a “pack leader” method without using clickers, prong collars, or other training aids. Most of the videos I saw employed physical pressure or intimidation (body blocking) to get the dog to follow commands, in contrast to Doggy Dan’s claims that he uses force-free training.
- How Much Doggy Dan’s Training Programs Cost? Doggy Dan’s programs are reasonably priced, ranging from a $37/per month subscription to free mini-courses.
- What Are Doggy Dan’s Five Golden Rules? Doggy Dan’s “Five Golden Rules” are more like questions than actual rules. What they are are these:
- Who controls the supply of food?
- Who will respond to potential threats?
- When you are away from your dog, who is in charge of the pack?
- Do you follow your dog’s rules, or do you follow those of others?
- Identifies the walker.
- Are there coupons available for Doggy Dan’s classes? The majority of Doggy Dan’s courses seem to be always on sale. Even though I tested a few coupons on websites that aggregate coupons, none appeared effective.
- Does Doggy Dan Offer a Guarantee? Doggy Dan provides a 60-day money-back guarantee. According to the website, you will get a refund if you decide to cancel with no hassles.
To sum up, Doggy Dan is a Doggy-Don’t in My Book.
In his videos, Doggy Dan is concerned, caring, and friendly. Still, his training methods and lack of interest in additional education deeply alarm me. Doggy Dan’s popularity may be due to his personality and marketing skills than his understanding of dog behavior.
Doggy Dan adopts a rigorous, hard-to-follow pack leader style that is outdated. His instruction centers on how to control people physically and nonverbally. Doggy Dan is not the best training, even if I have seen much worse in my time!
The programs offered by Doggy Dan are moderately priced, and his puppy programs seem to be on a level with those offered by other trainers, so they might be helpful to specific owners. However, I would avoid his other programs.