As with just about every other service available on the internet, the challenge with dog training resources is not quantity but quality of information. I have reviewed various internet sites, mobile training apps and YouTube channels hosted by dog trainers. I subscribe to many but I only pay for a membership to one, robertcabral.com, let me tell you why.
Responsiveness and Integrity:
This variable makes me value membership most and is the reason I will remain a member for a long time. Robert’s pride in his services is easily discernible in every interaction he has with his members. Using synchronous sessions, Live Member Chats, or asynchronous sessions like the bi-weekly Member Q&A sessions, he actively engages with his members. He responds to questions in a timely manner and provides honest feedback. As a member, I almost feel like I know Robert personally, for the record I do not, however when he interacts with his members he makes people feel like his service is personalized. He reads your questions verbatim, so he never changes the context of your question just to provide a simple answer. He answers them unscripted and with a level of candor that is severely under-utilized in our present time. Honesty is hard to hear but necessary for real change and introspection. Robert isn’t harsh but he doesn’t pander which makes the things he says valuable, what you get is honest and he stands by it, there is much to be said about that quality. I have even used his member consultation phone service, I can attest to the fact that even on the phone he is invested in his members, he is forthcoming and answers comprehensively, he doesn’t rush you or judge the value of your questions. My last word on this subject is that he is consistent and what you see is what you get, I value that greatly.
Ease of Use:
Robert’s website is professionally laid out and well organized, content is easily accessible and appropriately labelled. While this seems insignificant at first, consider the frustration most web users feel when navigation is convoluted and requires multiple clicks to access a desired page. With minimal navigation a member can access a range of resources organized logically in various ways. You can look up content by level of expertise, the most recently posted or by focusing sequentially when new to the site. The website is mobile friendly and I access content on my smartphone all the time. The web and mobile versions are seamless and that makes Robert consistently accessible.
Regardless of whether you own a new puppy, have a young dog that needs training for the first time or re-training for problematic behaviours, have a rescue or adopted older dog, Robert offers content that is relevant to all owners. From basic interactions with a new pup, fundamental obedience, fair and balanced corrections/guidance intended to correct issues or even advanced skills like the focused heel and IPO skills, he offers something for every type of dog owner. Appeal to the various stages of canine development and owner interaction is key to user engagement over a long period.
Robert focuses on providing tools that will allow you to foster a positive relationship with your dog and builds upon that with structure, obedience and fun. Most importantly he understands that learning is a life long process and his content has value when repeated and reinforced at the various stages of your dog’s development. His content allows for gradual application and a guide that sets you up to train your pup. The key take-away section is a quick checklist that is beneficial to have once you are ready to start your daily training sessions.
Lastly, yet pragmatically important to many, value for money. The cost of the membership is less than most of the common streaming audio/visual services available. I have paid for personal training services and I have priced out most obedience classes available in my area. For the range of topics and the sheer volume of content Robert covers, the ability to return to the lessons as often as I like, the community of dog owners I benefit from when I hear the many questions and challenges other members also face, along with Robert’s detailed answers, the capacity to ask personalized questions and receive specific and personalized answers in a timely manner, not to mention the option to do one on one phone consults, the membership rates are extremely reasonable. A deal quite frankly given the quality of instruction!
Your dog is your companion for the duration of their life, it a responsibility and a commitment. What you invest in your dog is the most important thing that gives it the structure and opportunity to live a fulfilled, happy and healthy life, balanced training gives your dog the best chance at being a good canine citizen. I have a young GSD named Sarge and even though Robert does not know it, he has been there with us every step of the way while I have guided my pup through his development and built the most amazing bond with Sarge. Robert’s teaching and presentation style makes retention and transfer easy and as a college professor I assure you, those two factors are the most critical in order for learning and application to occur.
Thank you Robert Cabral, well done sir !!!