The Humane Society in the Stratford area is promoting a virtual approach to training

Perth County dog ​​owners who are struggling to find timely training for their new four-legged companions should consider taking the virtual route before abandoning their pet for misbehavior, says the area’s Humane Society.

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Perth County dog ​​owners who are struggling to find timely training for their new four-legged companions should consider taking the virtual route before abandoning their pet for misbehavior, says the area’s Humane Society.

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The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and Stratford Perth recently announced it was teaming up with a US-based virtual dog training service, as a spike in adoptions during the pandemic continues to fuel demand for local classes.

“A lot of trainers, especially in this field, have a long waiting list right now,” said Brooke Bell, the Humane Society’s canine coordinator. “(Dog owners) may wait weeks to actually be admitted. We really want… those adopters to get a little bit more help sooner rather than later.”

The Humane Society’s partnership with GoodPup, a virtual training service developed by Massachusetts-based company PetCareNow, could help.

The app — which its website says has more than 55,000 users — offers dog owners flexible online one-on-one appointments with certified positive reinforcement trainers and 24/7 chat support. Both elements were important in the Humane Society’s search for a virtual training service to recommend to local pet owners, Bell said.

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“Unfortunately we can’t help at 3am but GoodPup will be there,” she said. “Ensuring that it’s easier for adopters to make that transition into a home is … a big part of why we believe this will be of great benefit to everyone.”

Dog training is among the services that have come online during the pandemic, especially as many people decided to take advantage of lockdown periods to adopt a new pet. The online method might not be for everyone, Bell said, but it has been effective for those willing to put in the time.

“Obviously having that one-to-one connection in person is an ideal situation for most people … but if people really really want that help and commit to doing that training and that work with a trainer, virtual sessions too.” will also be extremely beneficial,” she said.

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Another training option for new owners could not have come at a better time for the humane society. Many animal shelters are now reporting an increase in the number of animals being adopted into them following the pandemic’s adoption surge. In Stratford and Kitchener, Bell said behavioral issues are one of the most common reasons dogs come into her care.

“We really want to help keep people and their dogs together, rather than putting those dogs in a shelter,” she said. “We know that many people struggle with (undesirable) behaviors and training often does not come cheap, especially one-on-one training.

“GoodPup is a much cheaper option. It’s a big deal for a new adopter to be able to have a safety net to get help with any training issues they’re struggling with or behaviors they might not even know about… once they have to is home.”

Like many online services, GoodPup offers a free trial just for signing up.

After that, the service costs about $40 per week, but as an added incentive, GoodPup has committed to donating $40 to the humane for every user who signs up with the local shelter’s QR code and continues after their free trial to donate to society.

Visit the Humane Society website for more information.

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