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Brandon McMillan MasterClass Review: Dog Training

Are you interested in taking Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass? Find out everything you need to know about the class in our honest review.

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Brandon McMillan Teaches Dog Training: Our Verdict (2023)


4.6 / 5

Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass provides fundamentals of dog training. One of America’s most popular dog trainers teaches his simple training system and talks about the importance of trust and control. This is a perfect class for new dog owners as well as anyone who wants to understand their dog’s behavior a little better.


  • Great teacher
  • Detailed lessons
  • Key points
  • Useful workbook


  • Heavily focused on early training

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Trust is one of the most important things to begin with when training a dog.… Dogs are not going to learn efficiently from someone they don’t trust.

My dog, Zola, is more than three years old. She is a rescue dog, so I’m not familiar with her history, which I’ve always believed is one of the most crucial factors that shape a dog’s personality.

Luckily, she is a well-behaved dog. She does have her moments from time to time, but I guess that’s the case with every dog (or dogs that haven’t been trained by Brandon McMillan.)

Nevertheless, I am always curious to learn more about dogs’ behavior and effective training systems. And I’ve never had a chance to learn from Brandon McMillan – through his TV show or online – so taking this course seemed like a great idea.

Now, how much did I learn in Brandon’s MasterClass, and will I be able to use his advice?

In this honest review, I’ll tell you everything about my learning experience.

Also, I tried some of Brandon’s tricks with my dog, so I’ll share how that turned out as well.

Table of Contents

What is the Brandon McMillan MasterClass?

Brandon McMillan teaches Dog Training” is an online course offered by MasterClass, a subscription-based platform known for well-produced video lessons taught by experts in the field. 

Brandon McMillan is a dog trainer, author, and TV host best known for the CBS television series Lucky Dog. Brandon’s experience, knowledge, and teaching skills make him a perfect instructor for a dog training course.

In his MasterClass, Brandon teaches his easy yet effective dog training system. He also explains the variables that make your dog unique and singles out control as the cornerstone of all training.

According to Brandon, there are no untrainable dogs.

The course contains 15 lessons with a duration of 2 hours and 58 minutes. Lessons are fast-paced and condensed, including all the dog training fundamentals, examples, and practical tips.

the course instructor, Brandon McMillan
The course instructor, Brandon McMillan

Who is Brandon McMillan?

Brandon McMillan is an American dog trainer, TV host, and author.

He grew up in a family of wild animal trainers, so he was helping raise tigers when he was only four years old. He later realized his calling was in training dogs, so he started taking dogs out of shelters and training them to be service dogs, therapy dogs, and emotional support animals.

Brandon McMillan is now one of the world’s most popular dog trainers. Thanks to the success of his show Lucky Dog, he has received three Emmy Awards: two for Best Host and one for Best Lifestyle Series.

He is also the author of the book Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days and a co-founder of the Argus Service Dog Foundation.

Who is Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass for?

In essence, Brandon McMillan provides a guide for training dogs. Therefore, it’s ideal for new dog owners who want to learn about commands, building trust, and teaching techniques.

But this course is also great for dog owners who want to expand their knowledge of dogs’ behavior. This way, they can get to know their dog even better.

In other words, Brandon’s class is geared toward dog owners who want to understand their dogs and, therefore, deepen their relationship with them.

Finally, this course is useful for people who are thinking about getting dogs, providing great insights into the world of dogs.

To sum things up, here are some of the people who would benefit the most from this course:

  • New dog owners
  • Dog owners who want to acquire new skills and knowledge
  • Future dog owners

What does Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass cover?

Brandon’s MasterClass covers the basics of dog training.

Lessons include basic commands such as sit and stay as well as more advanced training techniques for solving door dashing, excessive barking, and chewing.

Brandon also talks about building trust and groundwork for training, which is essential to learn before starting anything.

In addition, Brandon includes some theory. For instance, he explains the difference between dog groups. This is especially useful for people who aren’t sure which dog breed they want to get. 

All in all, this is a well-rounded course that provides a nice balance of theory and practice and a great foundation to build on.

In terms of specific content, here is what you can expect from the course:

  • Lesson 1 is the introductory lesson where Brandon briefly introduces himself and the course
  • Lesson 2 introduces variables that make your dog unique.
  • Lesson 3 is dedicated to building trust as the foundation of effective training.
  • Lesson 4 covers training foundations and the seven common commands. Brandon also explains the simple principles you need to bring to each training session.
  • Lesson 5 covers signaling commands and leash techniques.
  • Lessons 6-12 include training lessons for sit, down, stay, no, off, come, and heel commands.
  • Lesson 13 revolves around housebreaking and effective housetraining techniques.
  • Lesson 14 is another behavior lesson. This time, Brandon teaches how to prevent door dashing.
  • Lesson 15 is focused on common issues of digging, chewing, and barking. Brandon introduces simple and effective tools that can help your dog get rid of these bad habits.

My favorite lessons from Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass

Honestly, each lesson in this course is important.

Brandon explains and shows how to teach basic commands. He also shares examples and stories that can help you understand your dog’s background and behavior.

So, it’s hard to pick the best part since each chapter had something I found interesting or useful.

Nevertheless, here are some of the lessons I enjoyed the most.

Variables that make your dog unique

Brandon McMillan discussing different dog breeds and groups
Brandon McMillan discussing different breeds and groups

There are four variables that make your dog unique:

  • Breed
  • Age
  • History
  • Imprinted DNA

Brandon breaks down each variable and explains why this information is important for dog training. For instance, when talking about the breed, he explains that there are different tasks each dog is bred for.

Trust and groundwork for training

Emphasizing that building trust with dogs with a difficult past requires time and patience
It takes time to build trust with dogs who have a difficult past

Apart from understanding your dog’s background and natural impulses, you also need to understand what’s essential for effective training.

For example, you first need to build trust.

To prove the importance of trust in dog training, Brandon shares the story of his rescue dog, Lulu. I’ll just say that I didn’t think I would ever cry during a MasterClass, but here we are…

Behavior: door dashing

Brandon training Rufus not to doordash

Door dashing is a common behavioral issue that many dog owners have to deal with. Well, including me…

In this insightful lesson, Brandon teaches Rufus not to doordash. It was interesting to see how Brandon acted during the training and how Rufus eventually realized what he was expected to do.

How much does the MasterClass cost?

MasterClass is a subscription-based learning platform, so it’s not possible to purchase courses individually. If you want to take this MasterClass, you have to become a subscriber.

The standard annual plan has been renamed "Plus" and is available at $120 a year (which makes it $10 per month, billed annually), and now provides access to all MasterClass courses on two devices instead of one. The Premium plan, providing access for up to six devices costs $240 per year.

A MasterClass subscription gives you unlimited access to a catalog of 200+ classes, so if you want to take multiple classes throughout the year, the subscription is definitely worth it, and there are pleny of interesting courses on related topics to explore.

Also, the platform offers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re not happy with your learning experience, you can request a full refund.

Note that the "Standard" membership, priced at $72 per year, only gives you access to their short-form learning content – none of their full MasterClasses are included.

What I liked about Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass

If you have a dog, Brandon’s MasterClass is definitely worth taking, especially if you have a MasterClass subscription.

Lessons are well-produced, nicely structured, and insightful.

Each chapter brings something new and useful, and Brandon explains his dog training system in a very detailed yet understandable way.

I do wish there were some lessons for ‘older’ dogs… But I guess I’ll have to wait for another MasterClass.

Either way, I would recommend this course to fellow dog owners, and here are some of the main reasons:

Great teacher

Brandon McMillan is obviously a skilled and experienced dog trainer. But being an expert is not the only thing that makes you a good teacher.

Brand is also friendly and honest, and his lessons are insightful as well as entertaining. His points are always clear, and I didn’t feel confused or overwhelmed at any point.

Detailed lessons

Some of Brandon’s lessons are very detailed.

For instance, he takes his time during behavior lessons. When teaching how to train your dog not to door dash, he doesn’t just explain what you need to do; he also shows how to do it, so you can observe his moves, words, and attitude.

I got the chance to witness the whole training process, which was extremely useful.

Key points

At the end of each chapter, there are key points written on the screen. This is a great way to point out what’s really important and for learners to retain information more easily.

Useful workbook

If you subscribe to MasterClass, you’ll get a free PDF workbook with most of the classes.

The guidebook for this MasterClass is especially useful, including key takeaways from the class as well as additional information that allows you to expand your knowledge.

Drawbacks of Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass

Although I genuinely enjoyed Brandon’s class, there are some things that I wish were different…

Heavily focused on early training

For instance, I wish there were some lessons aimed at dogs who are partly trained.

If you have a pup or you’re planning to adopt a dog, this is a great class to take. But if you already have a trained or a partly trained dog, you’ll probably want to skip some of the lessons.

The course contains some basic stuff and guidelines for early training, and that’s great, but it would be cool if Brandon also talked about more advanced techniques or some behavioral issues that occur in adolescence.

Does it really work?

As I mentioned before, Zola is a well-behaved dog. Or at least that’s what I like to think.

She is a rescue dog, so it’s hard to determine whether some of her behavioral issues are tied to her unknown history. Nevertheless, as Brandon suggests, a dog’s personality is shaped by three other factors: age, imprinted DNA, and breed.

One of the things I tried with Zola right after watching Brandon’s course was the door-dashing training.  

Zola is not a serious door dasher – just an occasional one. If she’s in the mood and the opportunity occurs, she will rush out of the door first. So I applied Brandon’s advice: I took the treats and kept opening the doors until she stopped reacting. And after a couple of times, she was ready to let me out first.

During the training, I tried to copy Brandon’s moves and voice, and I think that helped a lot.

So, in my case, it worked. But I know every dog is different, and it takes time to achieve certain goals. Patience, trust, and understanding why your dog might behave a certain way are the key.

Review conclusion: Is Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass worth it?

All things considered, I’m glad I took Brandon’s course. It’s insightful, entertaining, and easy to follow.

Brandon teaches some basic theory and commands and explains how to deal with behavioral issues, all while providing practical tips that can help you make your training process easier and more effective.

My dog has already mastered most of the commands Brandon demonstrated in the course, but I gained some new insights that helped me understand some of her behaviors. And if I adopt a new pup, I’ll definitely put everything I learned in this MasterClass into practice.

Either way, I think Brandon’s MasterClass provides a bunch of useful tips for dog owners and a solid foundation to build on.