PRODUCT REVIEW

Brandon McMillan MasterClass Review: Is it Worth it?

Kevin Kessler
November 8, 2021

Brandon McMillan MasterClass review synopsis

What you’ll learn: The basics of dog training from world-class dog trainer Brandon McMillan

How long does the Brandon McMillan MasterClass take?: This MasterClass is composed of 15 videos which should take 2 hours and 58 minutes to complete.

Similar courses: Dr. Jane Goodall, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ron Finley

Do I recommend Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass?: Yes. Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass is an informative and educational class that I would recommend to any dog owner.

Learn to train your dog with Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass

brandon mcmillan masterclass review

Dogs are truly man’s best friend.

But they’re also sometimes unruly brats who carve a path of destruction through your home and belongings.

That’s where training comes in.

There are a lot of urban legends that surround dog training, like that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks or good instruction is all about establishing dominance and becoming the alpha.

Brandon McMillan turns these folktales on their heads in the Brandon McMillan MasterClass.

McMillan hosts the Lucky Dog TV show, where he trains dogs to find their forever homes. It all stems from a love of furry four-legged friends that is evident from the earliest moments of this class.

Brandon McMillen playing with a chihuahua
Brandon McMillen playing with a chihuahua

McMillan is blatantly passionate about dog training, and he’s also clearly an established expert in it.

But does that translate to a good MasterClass that’s worth your money?

That’s what we’re going to find out in this Brandon McMillan MasterClass review.

Disclosure: In the interest of full transparency, Codeless uses affiliate links in our MasterClass reviews to cover our site’s costs.

Our Verdict

If you have a dog or are thinking about getting a dog (especially a puppy), this MasterClass is for you. Brandon McMillan has a great take on the dog training process and teaches you with patience, compassion, and respect.

Brandon McMillan MasterClass Learn the basics of dog training

$15 /month
PROS
  • Has a true love for animals and shows it
  • Starts with his backstory
  • Lots of dogs throughout the course!
  • Real clips from training sessions
  • Shows you the materials you’re going to need
CONS
  • No ending chapter

A few frequently-asked questions…

Let’s start by reviewing some of the most frequently asked questions about Brandon’s MasterClass.

Do I need a subscription to access this course?

Yes, like all MasterClasses, you need to be subscribed to one of the three MasterClass memberships to take the Brandon McMillan dog training MasterClass. The good news is that once you’re subscribed, you can watch every course without any additional fees.

How long is the MasterClass?

Brandon’s MasterClass is 2 hours and 58 minutes long and includes 15 video lessons.

Does MasterClass have a cancellation policy?

Yes, all MasterClass memberships come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Is the Brandon McMillan MasterClass worth it?

McMillan’s MasterClass is perfect for any dog owner who is looking to implement training.

Start training your dog now.

About Brandon McMillan

Brandon McMillan grew up around animals. Both of his parents were wild animal trainers, and he followed in their footsteps.

He famously trained animals for TV and music videos. He even trained the tiger that starred in the popular Ed Helms movie, The Hangover (no CGI there).

Brandon McMillen being interviewed by Ellen Degeneres
Brandon McMillan being interviewed by Ellen Degeneres

However, McMillan eventually moved away from all of that and found a passion for training service dogs. It all started when he was asked to train a service dog for a military veteran who lost both of his legs overseas. When McMillan saw the man’s urgent need and how happy the service dog made him, he realized that dog training was a worthwhile field.

Since then, he has become the host of Lucky Dog, where he trains shelter dogs to find forever homes.

How much does Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass cost?

You can’t pay for Brandon McMillan’s MasterClass specifically. Instead, you subscribe to the MasterClass service, gaining access to McMillan’s MasterClass and a wealth of other classes, including those taught by Gordon Ramsay, Neil Gaiman, Alicia Keys, Annie Leibovitz, and many other recognizable names.

There are three MasterClass subscriptions to choose from.

Pricing for MasterClass subscriptions
MasterClass pricing and plans

Standard

Cost: $15 per month billed annually

With this level, you have access to all MasterClasses and can watch them on one device at a time. Every class comes with a supplementary workbook and access to a members-only community forum.

Plus

Cost: $20 per month billed annually

This level includes everything from the Standard plan. You can also access classes on two devices simultaneously and download videos for offline viewing on an iOS device.

Premium

Cost: $23 per month billed annually 

Premium members get everything from the Plus Plan, along with the option to watch classes on six simultaneous devices.

Choose the MasterClass subscription that’s right for you.

What is included in the Brandon McMillan MasterClass?

Runtime:  2 hours 58 minutes

Course Value: 4.5/5

Lessons: 15

Supplementary materials: Workbook and MasterClass Hub

Supplementary workbook

I love the supplementary workbook for this class. I could go on and on about how amazing it is.

A page from the Brandon McMillan MasterClass workbook
McMillan Masterclass Workbook

As you can see in this image, the workbook is filled with colorful, practical guides that act more like a textbook than a workbook. Some MasterClass workbooks are dry and intimidating. They’re walls of text that only summarize the lessons in each video.

This workbook, however, has guides, clear illustrations, and so many pictures of dogs!

It is a total home run. After watching the class, this workbook can continue to help you learn as you train your dog.

The MasterClass Hub

Every MasterClass comes with access to a corresponding MasterClass hub. It’s a community forum where you can interact with your classmates and share information.

The MasterClass hub for Brandon McMillan's dog training class
MasterClass hub for Brandon McMillan

McMillan’s MasterClass Hub is sadly not very active. Most of the threads only have a few responses, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of back and forth conversation.

But this is a fairly common problem with the MasterClass hubs and similar communities that I’ve seen.

A complete breakdown of the Brandon McMillan MasterClass curriculum

McMillan starts his class by talking about his personal experience as an animal trainer and how he came to train dogs. He then moves into some general theory regarding dog training before jumping into the training sessions for the seven most common commands.

Below, you can see the whole curriculum from start to finish.

Curriculum:

  • Meet Your Instructor: Brandon McMillan
  • Variables That Make Your Dog Unique
  • Trust & Groundwork for Training
  • Training Foundations & the 7 Common Commands
  • Signaling Commands & Leash Techniques
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • No
  • Off
  • Come
  • Heel
  • Behavior: Housebreaking
  • Behavior: Door Dashing
  • Behavior: Digging, Chewing, Barking

Course summary:

As a doggie daddy myself, I got a lot out of this class. My dog is fairly docile, but he’s become something of a barker of late, and I was hoping to get some tips on how I can curb this behavior.

It’s a fairly common situation for most dog parents. My editor’s dog routinely eats entire trays of cookies despite her attempts to keep them from him. So, we all have things about our dogs that we wish were different.

I think McMillan knows that he’s not a household name, and he spends the first 10 minutes of this class telling you his story. I loved this because he’s showing you that he knows what he’s talking about and, above all, that he cares.

Brandon McMillan lecturing during his MasterClass
Brandon McMillan lecturing during his MasterClass

Oh, boy, does he care about dogs. It’s honestly touching, and I found myself immediately trusting him.

Wait…was he training me like a dog there? If so, he did a good job.

About training

Brandon starts his MasterClass by talking to you about training as a general concept. I liked this because he dispelled a lot of big rumors right off the bat.

First, he lets you know that it’s not impossible to “teach an old dog new tricks.” It’s just more challenging. But with a dedicated lesson for each command, it’s not insurmountable.

He also talks about how no dog is untrainable and how many behavioral issues come from a lack of exercise.

Brandon McMillan training a dog
Brandon McMillan training a dog

Then, he compellingly dispels the theory of nature vs. nurture, explaining how certain things are hardwired into a dog’s DNA.

Most importantly, he states that dog training is not about being the alpha or establishing dominance. He says that it’s about leading and showing a dog that it should follow you.

There’s never any mention of shock collars, electric fences, or any other questionable training methods.

Actual training

McMillan has chapters for each of the seven main commands.

They are:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • No
  • Off
  • Come
  • Heel

Brandon McMillan teaching a small dog to sit
Brandon McMillan teaching a small dog to sit

And he doesn’t just stare at the camera talking about these commands. You get to see him actually train a dog so that you can emulate it at home.

The one thing that really comes through when McMillan trains these dogs is how much he cares. He’s so effective because he leads with compassion. These dogs trust him completely.

Behavior

The last three chapters focus on behavior-related issues, like housebreaking, door rushing, barking, digging, and chewing.

After that, it abruptly ends. There’s no closing or conclusion chapter. He offers no wrap-up inspirational speech to tell you to go out there and train your dogs.

He just finished a behavior chapter, and the class ended out of nowhere. It was jarring, but it was far from a deal-breaker.

What I learned

I learned that the frustrations I have as a dog parent aren’t unsolvable. Before taking the class, I’d started to throw my hands in the air and say that my dog is just being himself and there’s nothing I can do about it.

McMillan showed me that I was wrong, and showed me how to correct the problematic behavior.

I took so much away from this class, and I know that you — and your dog — will too.

16 takeaways from this MasterClass

1. Four key elements make your dog different from all other dogs:

Brandon calls these elements variables. They are breed, age, history, and imprinted DNA.

2. Dog breeds are separated into seven categories which correspond to jobs that are now mostly obsolete:

These job categories include herding, working, hounds, sporting, non-sporting, toy, and terrier. While most of these jobs are now obsolete, hundreds of years’ worth of breeding instincts are still in there. For example, terriers were bred to hunt vermin, so they’re likely to chase squirrels.

3. It is impossible to stop “prey drive”:

Dogs with a strong prey drive will go after that prey no matter what you do. While you can’t eliminate prey drive, you can manage it. What we can’t train, we manage.

4. Nature vs. nurture debate:

Many people believe that dogs are born as a blank slate and learn everything from what you teach them. McMillan says that this could not be further from the truth. Herding dogs aren’t taught to herd, but if you put one in front of a flock of sheep, it will naturally start to herd them. It comes from imprinted DNA. To that end, some dogs are naturally born aggressive, but it doesn’t come out until their adolescence.

5. Dogs are great poker players:

Authenticity is essential when building trust with dogs. They know your tells and can determine whether you’re being authentic or full of it.

6. Before you can train a dog, you have to make that dog trust you:

Trust makes the training process much easier, and it’s not hard to get. The best ways to build trust are typically the easiest things to do. Even just sitting on the couch with your dog next to you can create a bond. Giving treats, walking, and playing are all great ways to establish trust.

7. Rescue dogs might be slow to trust:

McMillan notes that rescue dogs have a history that you mostly know nothing of. They may have been with a neglectful or abusive person. But spending quality time with that dog will help them grow accustomed to you. You can build trust and show them that you are not the bad guy who hurt them.

8. There is no timeline for trust:

Brandon’s chihuahua, Lulu, didn’t trust him for four years. Trust can happen overnight, it can take a week, or it could take years.

9. 90% of a dog’s behavior issues come from a lack of exercise:

If a dog has an enormous amount of energy and no way to release it, they’re going to act out. That’s why you need to take your dog out for a run or a walk. Go jogging with them. Take them to a dog park. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up with an out-of-control dog. Dogs were meant to run and explore, not sit around all day.

10. Socialization is crucial:

Dogs need to socialize with both people and other dogs. If you don’t let them socialize, they will be either afraid of people and dogs or aggressive toward them.

11. You can still socialize older dogs:

It is more challenging, as an adult dog is more set in its ways than a puppy. But you can get them used to people and other dogs and alter their perceptions and behavior.

12. Dog training is not about dominance:

For years people said that dog training was about being dominant. It’s not. According to McMillan, training a dog boils down to leadership. Dominance makes a dog afraid of you, while leadership will make them look up to you and want to be like you.

13. One bad training session isn’t the end:

Sometimes a dog needs to sleep on what it learned. Dogs have to absorb the information in the same way we do. There will be ups and downs throughout the process. It’s a chess match. As you try to figure the dog out, the dog is trying to figure you out. They’ll try to figure out how to get out of it, and you’ll have to beat them at their own game.

14. There are two basic rules of training: technique and conditioning:

The technique is the mechanics of something. Conditioning is muscle memory, doing it over and over again.

15. Control, train, treat:

That’s the basic order of training an animal. You control the situation, usually with a leash, you train them using technique and conditioning, and then you reward them. If you try to mix up that order, it won’t work.

16. Seven common commands:

The seven common commands are: sit, down, stay, come, no, off, and heel. It’s best to start with the sit command and then move on in no particular order.

Learn all there is to know about dog training.

Memorable quotes from this MasterClass

“Training builds trust, and it deepens your relationship with your dog.”

Meet Your Instructor: Brandon McMillan

“When you learn these things, you’ll not only have a well-trained dog, but you’ll have a best friend who trusts and loves you and will be there with you through thick and thin.”

– Meet Your Instructor: Brandon McMillan

“There are no untrainable dogs, just untrained humans.”

Meet Your Instructor: Brandon McMillan

“A dog with proper technique is trained. A dog with proper technique and conditioning is well trained.”

– Meet Your Instructor: Brandon McMillan

“Trust and bonding fall under the same category; they’re the exact same thing.”

– Trust & Groundwork for Training

“If you give up during this training process, always remember you were beaten by an animal who walks on all fours, cannot read, write, or understand detailed logic like you.”

 – Training Foundations & the 7 Common Commands

Brandon McMillan MasterClass pros and cons

There was a lot to love in this class, but before you trust your dog’s future to this course, it’s best to get familiar with its pros and cons.

Pros

Brandon walks you through the training process in a passionate and understandable way. Here are the pros of the Brandon McMillan dog training MasterClass:

  • Has a true love for animals and shows it
  • Starts with his backstory
  • Lots of dogs throughout the course!
  • Real clips from training sessions
  • Shows you the materials you’re going to need

A list of items you'll need for dog training
Items you’ll need for dog training

Cons

There wasn’t a lot to be critical of here. I only found one con in the entire class, and this was it:

  • No ending chapter

Do I recommend this MasterClass?

If you have a dog or are thinking about getting a dog (especially a puppy), I highly recommend this class. Brandon McMillan has a great take on the dog training process and teaches you through patience, compassion, and respect.

This class can profoundly affect your relationship with your furry best friend, which can, in turn, improve your life in many ways.

Get started with the Brandon McMillan MasterClass now.