The Online Dog Trainer Review (2023 Upd.) Legit or a Scam?

Last Updated on October, 2023

The Online Dog Trainer from Doggy Dan is one of the widespread online dog training programs out there.

Not only that, it is considered one of the best-selling dog training courses too.

So, what exactly is Dan doing?

Well, he’s training dogs, and that’s an answer everyone probably knows by now. But, what no one knows is the techniques that doggy dan actually uses to train all the dogs.

I thought of training my Rottie “Hulk” using his “The Online Dog Trainer”. Only because of the fact that it offers more than I could ever ask to train my Dog.

I subscribed for a full 6-months along with the 3-day trial of the online dog trainer program, hoping that I can turn Hulk into the dog that I’ve always wanted. But, just after a few days, I decided to cancel the subscription.

Simply because of the techniques used by Dan to train the dogs. 

Right after getting to know the ways he trains the dogs, I decided not to touch the program.

I would never use any of the training techniques that Dan uses to train my Dog. 

Also, I would never recommend any of you guys teach your dog using Dan’s philosophy. 

Because the training philosophy of Dan can severely backfire and cause a lot of problems if you fail to execute them properly.

Almost all the reviews on the internet completely neglect this and claim that The online dog trainer program is 100% safe. I largely disagree on that, and I don’t know why no one has yet talked about this issue.

Anyways, now here I’m to expose all of it. In this Doggy Dan’s The Online Dog Trainer Review, I’ll uncover each and every secret about Doggy Dan online program and will let you know why you should stay away from it.

So without further ado, let’s dive straight in…

Who is Doggy Dan?

Doggy Dan Dog Trainer
Doggy Dan review

Dan Abdelnoor, aka Doggy Dan, is one of the most renowned Canine Trainers out there. 

He is also an author and wrote the book, namely “What the Dogs Taught Me About Being a Father,” a TV personality and a speaker. Plus, he also loves to help other parents to raise their children in a proper way. 

Dan moved to Auckland from the UK, and now he is with his wife, two children, and three dogs.

Before he was a Dog trainer, he was actually an engineer and a teacher. It was 2008 when he decided to become a dog trainer and behavioral specialist. 

After becoming a trainer, he found success instantly and got proposals for many TV shows. 

That’s where the producers of “Dog Almighty” saw the limelight in Dan and snatched him for their TV show; he has also recently started his own podcast. 


Also, he is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainer, and finally, he is a “Qualified Dog listener.” He has gained basic and advanced certificates from Jan Fennell, a world-famous ‘Dog Listener.’

Even though his credentials seem appealing, you should know that he is not a certified professional dog trainer. Unfortunately, after digging all around the internet, I couldn’t find a single source proving he’s a certified trainer. 

Are Doggy Dan’s Methods Of Training Safe?

TODT- Online training Program
The doggy dan review

This is what led me to stay away from Dan’s dog training program. I won’t say his methods are safe. If I do, I’ll be completely wrong. 

Dan’s training methods are Dominance Theory or Dominance hierarchy-based training. It’s also known as “alpha dog training,” “pack theory training,” or “dog whispering.” 

I’m never into training courses that involve these training methods. If I had known this earlier, I wouldn’t have even considered Doggy Dan’s online dog trainer program. 

However, for some reason, his dog training course is fully approved and recommended by the Royal New Zealand SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

But that does not alleviate the fact that Dan uses alpha training and the concepts related to it. In fact, one of the essential parts of the Doggy Dan Program is based on how to become the pack leader; there is even a separate section related to this category.

UPDATE: SPCA New Zealand has informed iPET Guides that they no longer endorse Doggy Dan’s Online Dog Trainer and are working to remove all associations with SPCA from his website.

SPCA mail
  • So, What and Who is a “Pack Leader”? 
5 Golden rule menu bar

The basic idea of pack training is to train your dog to respect and regard you as an authoritative person and mainly his/her leader. Not only that, but you’ll also need to constantly remind your pooch that he/she is at the bottom and you’re in charge. 

To establish yourself as a pack leader, you’ll need to interact with your Dog like an alpha wolf. If your Fido is still a puppy, you’ll need to interact with him as the mama wolf. 

Suppose If you fail to train your dog this way, he/she will take over the pack and will start to behave in their own ways. 

This theory is not even considered true for wolves these days, then; how come we humans can think that it’ll work on our dogs?

Anyways, below I’ve put up all the techniques Dan recommends in order for us to become the leader of the pack.

Principles Of Doggy Dan Online Dog Training Program

Doggy Dan teaches 5 Golden Rules for you to become the Pack Leader. Below is every one of them.

The 5 ‘Golden’ Rules

  • Gesture Eating

This is one of the most popular aspects of pack training and the first step you’ll learn on your way to becoming the pack leader. 

Gesture Eating means eating anything before your Dog does and while your Dog is watching.

The idea behind this is, every time in a wolf pack, the alpha is the one who’ll eat first.

Next is, after having your meals, you should feed your Dog the food. But the main thing here is if he or she does not eat the food you kept within a few seconds, you should take it away. Also, while placing your Furry Friend’s meal, you should not look at them or speak to them.

This is to remind your Dog that you are the one who controls its resources.

  • Ignoring Your Dog After Separation

This is the next rule. Here, the thing you have to do is after being away from your Dog. Doggy Dan says you should totally ignore them once you come back home. You should avoid contacting eye, speaking and should just take care of your business. 

  • Who Walks Who?

This step comes in when taking your dog for a walk. Every time while you’re outside with your Dog, you shouldn’t be the one who is being walked. 

Instead, to assert Dominance while walking, you should be the Former, and your Fido should be the latter, without letting it become the other way around. 

According to this theory, If you let your Dog walk ahead of you, he’ll start walking all over you in other parts of your relationship. 

The idea behind this is, while traveling the alpha of the wolf pack takes the lead position.

  • Show Your Dog That You’re Capable Of Handling Any Danger 

Another way to show yourself as the alpha according to “Pack Training” is whenever your Dog starts behaving aggressively, you as the dog owner should avoid showing any sudden reaction. No shouting or yelling eye contact. You just need to be calm and assertive and show that you’re not happy with what your Dog is doing in a subdued way.

This will show your dog that you’re not interested in any of its stupidity.

The idea behind this rule is, in the wild, when something is going on in the surroundings. Then, the leader of the pack will interact with it calmly and assertively without projecting any emotional or nervous energy. 

  • You Should Dictate The Terms

In this rule, your Dog should obey whatever you say, make your Dog listen to you, and show them that you’re the one who’s giving the orders.

These are all the 5 ‘Golden’ Rules that have been outlined in Doggy Dan’s online dog training program. And to be honest, I’m totally against this. 

Things to Know About the 5 ‘Golden’ Rules

Doggy dan The Online dog trainer

Taking charge of the pack by eating first, ignoring after separation, and occupying a higher position are all unnecessary and sometimes even considered cruel techniques. 

And what’s more, this Dominance Based Training is also considered incorrect, outdated, and is not supported by proper scientific studies.

By the way, as I mentioned before, even wolves don’t follow these anymore. 

According to observation by wildlife biologists, alpha wolves these days, instead of taking the lead while traveling in packs, survey from the back or near the pack. 

The same goes while eating. Before the leaders feed themselves, they will allow the young ones to eat. 

And recent observations also suggest that wolves don’t seek higher positions over the pack anymore. 

Anyways, if we get into more details about the 5 ‘Golden’ Rules, they make no sense.

For example, Gesture Eating, this is entirely unnecessary. Eating before your Dog and in front of him is simply not going to convince that intelligent species that you’re the alpha. Also, they’re more than aware that you’re the one who fulfills their needs.

Next is who walks who. The way a dog walks will not reflect the relationship between the Dog, and its owner. If your Dog is taking the lead while on a walk, it’s not because he’s dominating you. Basically, you have not taught him to walk next to you. Dog’s are not born knowing how to walk next to you, So it’s a matter of training.

A little about Ignoring Your Dog After Separation, I don’t know who would do that. Your Dog will miss you terribly once you’re away, and ignoring them after coming back, No way. That’s pretty cruel. Your Dog will be the happiest creature after they see you back, so make sure you greet them with the same energy and enthusiasm they greet you with. 

Finally, these Dominance-based techniques affect the bond between the owner and the Dog. They sometimes even pose a serious risk of physical injury to the owner. 

  • Next Downside Of The Doggy Dan Online Dog Training Program

After dominance training comes, there is another big problem with Doggy Dan’s training program. That is the use of correction style training, which is a technique closely related to dominance-based training. Both training styles share many of the same principles.

But before I get into that, I have to say that Doggy Dan is a balanced canine trainer. If you don’t know who is a balanced trainer, here’s some information.

A balanced canine trainer is someone who uses both food rewards techniques and punishments-based training in order to get the Dog trained. Balanced canine trainers don’t often don’t use the word punishments. Instead, they use “correcting your dog” or simply “corrections.” 

They usually start the training with positive techniques, but punishments are introduced if they don’t work.

This is a significant downside because the poor soul that is your Dog might experience stress and anxiety during training.

Anyways, enough of the techniques Doggy Dan uses. Now, let’s take a look at some important information about the doggy dan program itself. 

What’s Included With Doggy Dan’s The Online Dog Trainer? 

Doggy Dan playing piano with a dog

This online dog training program thankfully comes with a 3-day trial. You can access all of the materials that this course has during this time. I failed to do this since I straight away subscribed to the program along with the trial. 

Anyways coming back to the contents included, what you’ll see here is simply staggering. This was one of the reasons I decided to pay for the program; you get so much for what you pay.

After the payment, you get instant access to the homepage. Here you will be treated with an introduction video from Doggy Dan, where he’ll share some of the experiences he gained with various dog breeds over the years.

Dog Calming Code

The section that made me give up on the program. 

This is considered the most essential section of the whole Dan’s Online Program because this is where you’ll discover the 5 “golden” rules, which will help you in the journey of becoming the pack leader.

22 videos along with some audio, articles, and PDFs are included in this Dog Calming Code section. All of these are outlined in a manner that’ll be easy for you to understand.

Everyday Tools & Techniques

In this section, Doggy Dan provides you with techniques that he personally uses with his clients. This was a great section, as some of the tools focused on force-free techniques instead of punishments. 

Here, Doggy Dan will teach you how to use the short line and long line, the energy meter, the stick trick, the calm freeze, and some more. 

Dan claims that these techniques work with more mature adult dogs.

However, in this same section, Doggy Dan also talks about isolating a dog. He even points out that isolating your Dog is a form of punishment. 

This is where that balanced trainer trait of Dan comes in. Even after you’ve trained your dog to stop unwanted behavior problems and he still keeps doing it, you have to isolate him without stimuli. 

Placing your Dog in isolation can cause stress and can even lead to aggression. Plus, isolating your Dog in areas such as the basement or laundry room should be totally avoided.

And by the way, there’s a total of 18 Videos with some articles and PDFs here. 

Puppy Training

The online dog trainer course puppy training section

This section includes 18 videos and covers everything that you need to know about puppy training. If you own a puppy for the first time, this can be very useful.

All the videos here provide good information for new and old puppy owners. And before moving to the next dog training section, you should’ve completed this.

Here’s a tiny sneak peek of the things you’ll learn from the pooch training advice section:

  • Introduction.
  • General Health.
  • Getting Started.
  • Meeting the World.
  • Dog behavior problem Issues.
  • Basic Command Training.

These categories go even further with sub-sections, and Doggy Dan easily orchestrates everything without overcomplicating things. 

Project Moses

project moses section
Project moses

This is the category I like the most.

It’s an excellent documentation where Doggy Dan uses his very own Dog Moses. Moses is a Border Collie x Labrador puppy. In this section, Dan shares every experience he gained by training Moses, from him being 8 weeks old to 8 months old. 

This project covers everything similar to Puppy Training but with more details and with real-life experiences. Also, it contains 68 videos.

A good benefit of this part is that Dan teaches what you should teach your Dog at its particular age. 

For example, here’s what you’ll teach your dog at 15 weeks old, according to the Project Moses section:

  • Moses socializing with Blue.
  • Moses socializing with Gimli.
  • Keeping Moses out of the house.
  • Keeping Moses off the Picnic.
  • Retrieving a stolen shoe.
  • The sit-down stand exercise.

Project Moses covers problems that you’ll be facing from day one after bringing home your new puppy. Below is everyone one of those. 

  • Chewing.
  • Mouthing.
  • Potty training.
  • Crate training. 
  • Sit Down. 
  • Desensitizing.
  • Stay. 
  • Leash Walking.
  • Swimming. 
  • Stand.
  • Socializing. 

Along with these, there’s even more:

  • Bringing the puppy for the time into the house.
  • Introducing the puppy to your family members.
  • Things you can do when the puppy cries in the crate at night.
  • A detailed guide of what toys you can buy.
  • Teaching the puppy to deal with separation anxiety. 
  • Dog obedience training.

That’s a lot, and to be honest, this section covers more than what a new puppy owner could ever ask for.

Dog Problems

dog problems section
Dog problems

This section is primarily for those who missed proper puppy training or those who owned an adult dog from the beginning. The section can be helpful for the dogs who came from shelters and bad backgrounds too. 

Doggy Dan here comes up with a solution to eliminate problem behaviors you might be facing with an old dog. 

He also uses various science-based techniques in this section and gives some bits of advice. This section contains 56 videos.

Here is everything you’ll be learning from this section:

Introduction to Dog Problems.

  • Dogs Running Away From Home.
  • Aggression.
  • Barking.
  • Separation Anxiety.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Jumping Up.
  • Pulling on the Leash.
  • Not Coming When Called.
  • Fears and Phobias.
  • Obsessions.
  • Eating Poop.
  • Jumping on Furniture.

Dog Training

member homepage
Dan’s dog training 101

This section with 41 videos covers some pretty valuable information that you cannot find in any other dog training programs online

Yes, in my opinion, you will not find it on any online program. 

Dan here teaches you how to understand your Dog through its body/face language.

Not only that, in this section, he covers Basic training concepts, command training, reward, and finally, swim and play fetch. Teaching Hulk, all these would’ve been a lot of fun, but due to Doggy Dan’s training philosophy, I couldn’t. 

And finally, he goes on to talk about safety within the human-canine family unit. 


The Community Forum is a great place to get answers to your doubts about the training system and stuff related to the program. So it’s great to see that it is available in this program too.

The available hundreds and thousands of members are always active, and even Doggy Dan himself might answer your questions which is great, and many other dog training programs don’t do this.

Overall it’s a great addition to Doggy Dan program. 


Over 250 Videos Covering Every Topic

Dan’s Online Dog Trainer is no short of informational training videos.

There are over 250 videos for each and every training. 

All the training videos here have their own details, and I was very surprised at how everything was explained.

Plus, after each video, you get a written section highlighting the crucial part in that particular video. 

There are PDF downloads for other information, and most sections are included with some of his podcasts. 

One of the good benefits of these dog training tutorials is that you’ll get to see Real Life Client Consultations with problematic dogs and their dog owners. You’ll see everything from Dan arriving at the location to how he solves the problems right at the client’s house.

You can access the complete doggy dan’s training program through their mobile app. But at the time I was using it, it was so sluggish and was completely broken. I think this was due to the app being in its early stages.

Check Doggy Dan in action:

How Much Does Doggy Dan’s The Online Dog Trainer Cost?

First and foremost, you’re given the luxury to try out the program for 3-days, and it costs $1. This trial will not restrict what you’ll be using; you get access to everything and anything that his website has. 

And if you’re not happy with what you’re seeing, you can happily cancel the subscription. 

But if you’re ok with all the Dominance and Punishments involved in this dog training program and just want to train your Dog, you can sign up for a monthly subscription fee of $37 per month.

You’ll be able to cancel the subscription anytime, by the way. 

With this, there are other subscription plans too:

  • 6-Month Membership: $147 ($24.50/month)
  • 12-Month Membership: $198 ($16.50/month)
the online dog trainer cost

After purchase, You’ll also get a 60-day Money Back Guarantee. You can cancel your subscription at any time by simply mailing Dan. 

$37 for a month is not cheap, even though the program comes with a lot of content included. In addition, the fact that Doggy Dan uses outdated, cruel, and incorrect techniques in order to training dogs makes it very hard to recommend the program to anyone.

Will the Online Dog Trainer Program Work?

the online dog trainer vs other dog trainining

For many dog owners, no matter what the training philosophy is, if the program works, that’s it, they’re in. 

If you ask me whether Doggy Dan online dog training program works or not, I’ll probably say it will.

If you do everything according to what Dan says, Yes, you can get your pooch trained. However, Doggy Dan’s philosophy is known to cause more harm than good. 

So now that you know everything about his philosophy, you’ll have to think twice before trying it on your Dog.

Other dog training programs we’ve reviewed:

Pros and Cons of the Online Dog Trainer

Even after getting to know this, and still, you’re dead set on going with Dan’s program, here are some Pros and Cons you’ll need to know. 


The New Zealand SPCA approves the program.
Over 250 detailed professional dog training videos solve a massive amount of behavioral problems.
You get so much content for what you pay.
The forum is a great addition.
The 3-day Trial is helpful.
A 60-day money-back guarantee is available if you’re not happy with the program.
Few training sessions are based on positive reinforcement techniques, which is positive.


You need an active internet connection to view videos, plus the videos cannot be downloaded.
This is to ensure that members who enroll in the 3-day Trial do not download all the videos.
A few videos look a bit low quality.
Doggy Dan is not a certified canine trainer.
Doggy Dan’s training techniques are primarily based on Dominance and Punishments.
Dan’s approach can have adverse side effects down the line and can even lead to aggression issues in your Dog.
Dominance-based techniques can also affect the bond between the Dog and its owner.
Slightly on the expensive side.

Cheaper and Better Alternative to the Online Dog Trainer

After unsubscribing from the online dog trainer program, I had no other option but to search for professional dog trainer. 

I also considered signing up for a PetSmart group class, but it’s reviews in my area were Meh!

So my only bet was going with a pro dog coacher. 

After checking on dozens of canine trainers calling and collecting all the information needed, I have to say that these guys charge so much. 

We’re talking $75 for an hour session, which is way over my budget. 

Brain Training for Dogs Program

Now that all of my options were gone, I once again decided to give an online program a final chance. So I took my phone and searched for the best online dog training course, and that’s where I found Brain Training For Dogs (BT4D).

After digging in deep and collecting a bunch of information about the program, I couldn’t find a single negative review, which was great. 

Plus, the program is based on positive reinforcement techniques. And Adrienne Faricelli, the creator and the trainer, is a certified professional dog trainer

Apart from all this, the price of Brain Training For Dogs is what caught my eyes. This program just costs $67. 

Which considering the amount of content you get, is a steal. By the way, it’s a one-off fee, meaning that, after paying the asking price, that’s it; the course is yours forever. Also, you can access it anywhere anytime.

Here’s everything I got after purchasing the program:

Ways to prevent behavioral problems like:

  • Digging.
  • Whining.
  • Chewing.
  • Excessive barking.
  • Impulse control.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Ignoring your commands.
  • Potty training.
  • Dealing with aggression.
  • Jumping.

And much more…

7 Trick Training Videos:

  • Play Dead.
  • Take a Bow.
  • Shake Hands.
  • Rollover.
  • Dance Howl.
  • Cover His Eyes.

Obedience 101 Training:

  • Stay.
  • Heel.
  • Come To You.
  • Drop It.
  • Sit.
  • Lie Down.
  • Take or Leave Items.

Adrienne’s Archive:

  • Includes over 100 in-depth articles. All of them cover everyone of the behavioral problems that you’ll be facing with your pup.
  • Dog Training Secrets: here, you’ll get to know force-free methods to crate training, potty training, bite inhibition training, and socializing your Dog.
  • Easy and Simple ways to tackle the root cause of some unwanted behaviors.
  • Ask Adrienne: here, you’ll get to ask questions directly to the author herself. She’ll answer any of the questions you have related to the program. 
  • Case Studies: this revolves around a service dog named Sadie. Adrienne here shares everything she went through while training Sadie.
  • A private forum similar to Doggy Dan Online Course is also accessible.

These are all that you’ll be getting after purchasing BT4D. There is a 60-day cash-back guarantee available too. 

I’ve been using this program for a couple of months now. And I have to say, this program really exceeded my expectations, and for its price, it’s a steal.

Update: I have found a coupon code for brain train for dogs where you can get it cheaper by going to this page

Over To You

So there you have it!

I hope this Doggy Dan Review was worth your time. And I think now you might have a clear idea of what The Online Dog Trainer is all about.

It is not a bad program; some things can be helpful to most dog owners, like the information and videos, those are great. Even I found some aspects of the program useful. Plus, one thing worth mentioning is that this program covers many problems that other programs don’t.

However, the simple fact that the course is all about Dominance-based techniques makes it very hard to digest. Moreover, as researchers suggest, these techniques can have a negative impact on dogs.

If this program were based on food rewards techniques through and through, it would’ve been a gem. But, that’s not the case here. 

Anyways, the decisions are up to you. You might be a person who’s totally fine with the philosophies of Doggy Dan. 

But if you’re not, Brain Training For Dogs can be life-changing; this program checks all the boxes when it comes to dog training. 

But, as mentioned earlier, you’re going to be the one who’ll be making the decisions. 


Better alternative
Brain Training for Dogs
brain training for dogs review
Ease of Use




Overall Score


Extremely Inexpensive
Easy to Follow
Positive Reinforcement Training
Professional Dog Trainer
Money-Back Guarantee
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Andrew Marshall
Andrew Marshall is a versatile writer with 2 years of experience writing & contributing for IPetGuides. He is based in US, LA and currently, he has a Rottweiler & a Dachsund dog breed.

13 thoughts on “The Online Dog Trainer Review (2023 Upd.) Legit or a Scam?”

  1. Doggy Dan’s products are just useless! I ordered No-Pull Harness for my Labrador dog. A few days later, the belt started to fray and now the wool of the belt are spilling out of the exterior. I really don’t know why these people sell low-quality products.

  2. Doggy Dan’s The Online Dog Trainer Program is terrible. It is very confusing and my dog still isn’t trained. Waste of spending money on this program. Worth trying this review’s alternative for just $47.

  3. I was really disappointed with Doggy Dan’s online dog training program. I found it to be very repetitive and boring. My dog didn’t seem to be learning anything new. And right after wasting money his program, i was searching for another better option. This is where i found this review and read the whole thing. As i experienced bad, this review proves it. And i felt sorry for not researching about his program before buying. After that i found your alternative bt4d and now i’m training my dog easily with fun guides. Thanks to you.

  4. This program is terrible and a waste of money. The techniques don’t work and the customer service is nonexistent. I would not recommend this to anyone.

  5. This program is a joke. I wasted my money on it and my dog is still not trained. Save your money and don’t bother with this program. I think brain training for dogs can solve your dog’s bad behaviour. Coz I’ve heard about this program is with fun and engaging guides. And also as said in this review, their techniques are with positive reinforcement. And i’m gonna try it.

  6. This program is a complete waste of time and money. The so-called “dog expert” are nothing more than fraud who are only out to make a quick buck. Save your money and find a better way to train your dog.

  7. This program is a complete waste of time and money. It does nothing to calm your dog, and in fact, may make them more anxious. Save your money and find another solution for your dog’s anxiety.

  8. This book is complete garbage. It is nothing more than a collection of random stories that have no relation to each other. The author clearly has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to parenting. Save your money and don’t bother with this book.

  9. I bought Doggy Dan’s Angel Oil CBD Treats & Drops. These treats are terrible! My dog refused to eat them and they made her sick. I would not recommend them to anyone. Waste.

  10. Thank you Andrew great review as I was nervous about Doggy Dan’s program and it was brilliant to be able to read an independent review of it. I am looking at Brain Training for Dogs now – I am living in Ireland so an online program is very helpful. Thanks again Philip

  11. Thanks for your excellent review. I did give him the benefit of the doubt and used Doggy Dans program to train my puppy, and I sincerely regret it. I now know how much damage it has done, and am trying to undo the damage in my poor dog who is now an adult; but when I contacted Dans organisation to ask relevant questions I was brushed off and patronised and the answer was that I should spend more money by rejoining his program so I can have the privilege to ask a question in a group setting. This is when I felt angry and ripped off. Any other dog trainers will answer directly or get someone who works in the organisation to answer.


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