Puppy School

Congratulations on your new puppy!

Raising and training a puppy is so much fun. However, it also comes with some unique challenges.

Your puppy will grow very quickly and needs to learn so a lot in a very short space of time, if he or she is to grow into a happy and confident, well-behaved dog.

The best way to set your puppy up for success is to enrol him or her into puppy school, with a well-structured puppy training program, provided by a Certified Puppy Class Instructor.

Our Puppy School offers training classes based on your puppy's age and developmental needs:

PUPPY CLASS I - 4-Week Puppy Pre-School for puppies aged between 8 and 16 weeks old.

PUPPY CLASS II - 4-Week Puppy Class for puppies aged between 5 and 12 months old.

Screenshot of video

PUPPY CLASS I

Puppy Pre-School for puppies aged between 8 and 16 weeks old.

What You Will Learn

Over 4 weeks you will learn:

  • How puppies learn and communicate.
  • How to socialise your puppy safely and effectively.
  • Teach your puppy - The BIG 4: sit, down, come when called, loose lead walking
  • How to teach your puppy real life skills AND how to apply them in the real world.
  • Strategies to prevent or change unwanted behaviour.

Course Fees & Inclusions

The upfront course fee is $199.00 and includes:

  • Weekly follow-up emails with your "Puppy Class I Course Notes" and homework.
  • FREE - 60-page e-Book "Puppy Socialisation Guide".
  • FREE - phone and email support for all our Puppy Class Graduates*, up until puppy's 1st Birthday! * Conditions apply: Your puppy has attended all 4 sessions of our puppy class and has shown clear progress from week to week.
  • EXCLUSIVE SUPER BONUS! - Our puppy school students and recent graduates (aged between 12 and 24 weeks) are invited to join our weekly "Play & Train" PUPPY PLAY DATES on Sundays - FREE of charge! (Limited spots, so advance booking is essential.)

Enquiries & Enrolment

Option 1: Click the Enrol Now button below to book your puppy's spot using our online form.

Option 2: Call Radica on 0423 623 302 or email woof@themindfuldog.com.au

Option 3: visit our Puppy School partner
Paw Republic, 47 Alexander Street in Crows Nest,
and book on the spot!

Prerequisites

Your puppy is between 8 and 16 weeks old at the start of class, and has had his/her 1st puppy vaccination (C3), at least 1 week prior to commencing puppy class.

When & Where

Our 4-week puppy classes run for approx. 1 hour, on 4 consecutive Sundays.
Location: Paw Republic: 47 Alexander Street, Crows Nest, NSW 2065 (laneway entrance at the back, in Paw Republic garage).

Upcoming dates: PUPPY SCHOOL
Small class size (max. 6 puppies) = Limited availability!

What To Bring

  • A regular, flat buckle collar and a regular, fabric lead (no flexi or bungy leads please).
  • Your puppy's favourite soft treats (tiny pieces), in a doggy treat pouch (no plastic zip-lock bags please).
  • Your puppy's favourite chew toy.
  • Your puppy's doggy poo bags.

PUPPY CLASS I: Week by Week Overview

Please note that weekly activities may vary, depending on group dynamics or urgent needs (e.g. a fearful puppy might require more individual attention).

Week1

Your Puppy at Home

A lot of theory this first week, in order for you to get an overview of the important life skills you will need to teach your puppy, and the training concepts you will apply to do so. There are lots of important lessons to be learnt at home. During your puppy's first week at home, keep their world small. Focus on building strong foundations and developing a healthy relationship with your puppy.

  • Here to Socialise! How to build confidence and curb over-excitement to develop your puppy's social skills.
  • Introduction to dog body language: "How does that feel for you?"
  • Be the caretaker and leader your puppy needs you to be: set clear and consistent rules and boundaries.
  • How to train your puppy to collaborate, become calm, confident and resilient.
  • How can early puppy socialisation impact our puppy's future behaviour and how do we to do it safely and effectively.
  • How puppies and dogs learn.
  • How to deal with "naughty" puppy behaviours.
  • How to "Cultivate Calmness".
  • Behaviour vaccination: "Being Alone is OK!"
  • Behaviour vaccination: "Danger? Never mind that."
  • How to communicate clearly and consistently: the building blocks of your Human-Dog language.
  • Why it's important to gradually stop puppy biting, nipping and mouthing.
  • Game Changer: the truth about tug-of-war.
  • Behaviour vaccination: "Chew this instead."
  • Behaviour vaccination: "Sharing is Good!"
  • Rewards-based Training: Why do we use Food to Train Animals? How do we do it properly? NO Bribes Here!
  • Puppy's first tricks: "Sit", "Down" and "Stand".
  • Steps to puppy toilet training success.
  • Tips for puppy proofing your home.
  • Homework overview and time for questions.

Week2

Your Puppy at the Vet & at the Groomer

We're diving straight into training this week: teaching the all-important "Come" when called. We'll also be introducing more basic dog training concepts, to enable you to progress your puppy's training at home. We'll "swap the puppy" to practice puppy handling, so we can help make those trips to the Vet and the Groomer less stressful for everyone involved. And finally, we'll be taking our first steps to "Loose Lead Walking" bliss.

  • New trick: "Come!" when called.
  • Game time: "Hide & Seek".
  • Let's start "Loose Lead Walking".
  • Dog Training 101: the 3 D's (Duration, Distance, Distractions)
  • How to progress: "Sit".
  • How to progress: "Down".
  • How to progress: "Stand".
  • New trick: "Roll Over".
  • Handling desensitisation: "Can I have a look?"
  • Game time: new rules tug-of-war.
  • Discuss socialisation progress and concerns.
  • Homework overview and time for Questions.

Week3

Your Puppy in the Community

Enjoying time outdoors with your puppy dog is the best! But, do you know there are certain community expectations and even specific government rules and regulations with regards to responsible dog ownership and dog behaviour in public? We'll also be progressing our "Loose Lead Walking" with "Heel" today. And,... the Big Challenge: can you call your puppy away from tasty treats?

  • Progress "Come!" when called (Can you call your puppy away from... food?!).
  • Progress "Loose Lead Walking" ("Heel").
  • New trick: "Leave" (Don't touch... ).
  • Where can I take my puppy next? Safe socialisation places?
  • Is my puppy ready to visit the off leash dog park?
  • Responsible dog ownership: more than your dog and the law.
  • How to prevent excessive barking
  • How to prevent separation anxiety.
  • How to prevent reactivity and dog aggression.
  • Progress: "Sit".
  • Progress: "Down".
  • New trick: "Stay".
  • Discuss Socialisation Progress and Concerns.
  • Homework overview and time for Questions.

Week4

Puppy Carnaval! - Graduation Party

A fun way to celebrate and practice everything our puppies have learnt so far: a fancy dress party! Yes, let's all wear something fun and quirky, or perhaps a bit "scary"... and give the best puppy socialisation bash ever!

  • Puppy Graduation Dress-Up Party! (Practice: socialisation, environmental conditioning, desensitisation, counter-conditioning.)
  • Demo a special trick you've taught your puppy!
  • Practice: polite greeting behaviour when meeting people and other dogs (on- and off lead).
  • Our puppies will finally enjoy actively supervised off lead play time. (Practice: speaking dog, interpreting dog play and know when to intervene, call your puppy away from their play mates and what to do if puppy does not come.)
  • Discuss socialisation progress and concerns.
  • Where do we go from here?
  • Graduation: Acknowledgement and hand-out of Certificate of Completion - The Mindful Dog, Puppy School

PUPPY CLASS II

Puppy Class for puppies aged between 5 and 12 months old.

What You Will Learn

Over 4 weeks you will learn:

  • How to take your puppy training to the next level: off leash reliability.
  • How continue socialising your puppy safely and effectively during your puppy's adolescence.
  • Teach your puppy to pay attention to you and focus, even amidst distractions.
  • Strategies to change bad habits and survive the dreaded teenage puppy period.

Course Fees & Inclusions

The upfront course fee is $199.00 and includes:

  • Weekly follow-up emails with your "Puppy Class II Course Notes" and homework.
  • FREE phone and email support for all our Puppy Class Graduates*, up until puppy's 1st Birthday! * Conditions apply: Your puppy has attended all 4 sessions of our puppy class and has shown clear progress from week to week.

Enquiries & Enrolment

Option 1: Click the Enrol Now button below to book your puppy's spot using our online form.

Option 2: Call Radica on 0423 623 302 or email woof@themindfuldog.com.au

Option 3: visit our Puppy School partner
Paw Republic, 47 Alexander Street in Crows Nest,
and book on the spot!

Prerequisites

Your puppy is between 5 and 12 months old at the start of class, and has had all his/her 3 puppy vaccinations (C5). If your puppy exhibits any of the following behaviours, a private training session would be a more appropriate option: excessive barking, fearful/reactive/aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs and/or people. Please contact us to discuss.

When & Where

Our 4-week Puppy Class II runs for approx. 1 hour, on 4 consecutive Sundays.
Location: Paw Republic: 47 Alexander Street, Crows Nest, NSW 2065 (laneway entrance at the back, in Paw Republic garage).

Upcoming dates: PUPPY SCHOOL
Small class size (max. 6 puppies) = Limited availability!

What To Bring

  • A regular, flat buckle collar and a regular, fabric lead (no flexi or bungy leads please).
  • Your puppy's favourite soft treats (tiny pieces), in a doggy treat pouch (no plastic zip-lock bags please).
  • Your puppy's favourite chew toy.
  • Your puppy's doggy poo bags.

PUPPY CLASS II: Week by Week Overview

Please note that weekly activities may vary, depending on group dynamics or urgent needs.

Week1

There is Freedom on the other side of Self-Discipline.

Does it seem like puppy has forgotten everything you have patiently tried to teach so far? Is your teenage puppy ignoring you completely unless you have piece of food in your hand? (Oh dear... Have we been bribing puppy?). This week we'll cover some basic training principles and practice them during the sit/stay and down/stay exercises, in order to teach our puppies to focus and pay attention.

  • How dogs learn.
  • Conditioning associations: Help your dog make sense of the world. (Threat? Opportunity? Irrelevant?)
  • Training good behaviours: good choices = pleasant consequences.
  • What phase of training is your puppy at for this behaviour?
  • The 3 D's: Duration, Distance and Distractions.
  • Setting realistic criteria.
  • Work the system: Drop, Stick or Move.
  • All-or-None Reward Training: Behaviour first... and reward "might" follow.
  • How to train without food in your hand or on your person: rediscover your ultimate training tool!
  • How to progress Sit/Stay.
  • How to progress Down/Stay.
  • Introducing a new skill: "Place".
  • Homework overview and time for questions.

Week2

Show me the World!

At this age our puppies are usually pretty well-behaved at home. They know the house rules by now, are toilet trained, and we have developed some basic common language cues. However, taking puppy out for a walk can still be a big challenge. So many distractions!!! This week our entire focus is progressing our puppy's loose lead walking skills, so we can enjoy our outings and go more places together.

  • Why walking on a loose lead is so difficult for most puppy dogs.
  • The core elements of loose lead walking.
  • Position, position, position...
  • Look at me ("Watch").
  • Let's trot our stuff.
  • Stay close ("Heel").
  • What do we do when puppy pulls?
  • Greeting manners on a walk.
  • I stop = you Sit.
  • Boundary training: can we teach puppy basic road rules?
  • Never mind that ("Leave").
  • How to progress the walk: it's all about quality first, not quantity.
  • What is the Premack Principle and how can we use it when practicing loose lead walking?
  • The Freedom Walk.
  • Homework overview and time for Questions.

Week3

The Invisible Link

What is the ultimate goal or vision of a well trained dog? Off leash reliability at a distance without the need for any kind of training equipment or bribe? It's just you and your dog... "Naked dog training." Can you make it happen? Yes you can!

  • How strong is your bond and how can you make it better?
  • Know your dog.
  • The Power of Play.
  • Game time: "Musical Chairs" (Down/Stay - proofing: amidst distractions).
  • Game time: "Hide & Seek" (Come when called - proofing: away from distractions).
  • Game time: "Tug Tag" (Building value for the game of tug and refining the rules).
  • Homework overview and time for Questions.

Week4

The Useful Helper

Dogs are an incredible species. They have super senses and are capable of so much more than we can possibly imagine. Our family pet dogs might seem to have an easy life, but easy can quickly become dreadfully boring... How can we jazz it up a bit? How can we teach them to be more useful around the house for example? Teaching our dogs simple tricks can go a long way to enrich their lives and provide them with a range of fun behaviours they can offer in exchange for what they want or need. Let's empower our dogs with some practical skills and turn them into our little handy helper.

  • Game time: "Find it!"
  • Trick time: "Fetch" my ...
  • Trick time: "Tidy Up!"
  • Where do we go from here?
  • Graduation: Acknowledgement and hand-out of Certificate of Completion - The Mindful Dog, Puppy School

PUPPY SCHOOL: Class Timetable & Enrolment

Key benefits of a group Puppy Class vs. private, in home Puppy Training:

Early puppy socialisation:
a "behavioural vaccination”

Did you know more dogs are put to sleep each year because of behaviour problems rather than due to health reasons? Group puppy classes, as opposed to private puppy training, offer a perfect set-up for early puppy socialisation exercises. A safe and controlled environment for your puppy to have lots of positive experiences; especially when meeting different puppies and people. Unless you plan to throw regular “puppy parties” at home, it will be difficult for you to match this major benefit of group classes.

Decoding dog body language:
real live action!

There’s no better way to learn how dogs communicate, than by watching your puppy interact with other puppies. You’ll learn to spot the lip lick, the look-away, the shake off, etc.

Is this normal puppy behaviour?

Meeting other puppy parents and having the opportunity to share experiences and solutions, can give you a much needed boost of confidence. Especially, if you’ve been dealing with some vexing puppy problems.

Social learning:
learning by observation.

Dogs, just like us humans, are social animals. We both have the capacity to learn from observation. E.g. When your puppy sees other puppies getting food treats or attention for being nice and calm, or doing basic obedience tricks; he or she will quickly deduce that these behaviour are "valuable" and could also work to their advantage...

Your Instructor

Radica made a big shift from the IT world to the animal industry in 2012, when she decided to join Mosman Vet as a full-time Veterinary Receptionist. During her five years there, one of her responsibilities was to coordinate Vicki Austin’s puppy class bookings.

Always keen to improve things, Radica took the initiative to make some changes: she streamlined the booking process and email confirmations, designed a Puppy Class Certificate, purchased new stools for the attendees, printed educational posters for the classroom etc.

But, it was not until she observed the very experienced and skilled dog trainer, Vicki Austin, at work; that Radica’s early childhood passion for dog training was reignited.

She started taking professional dog trainer courses and workshops, and continued her study using the best science-based dog training and behaviour resources she could find.

In 2014 Radica completed Vicki Austin’s Puppy Class Instructor Course, and was given the incredible opportunity to assist Vicki for 6 months during her puppy classes at Mosman Vet.

She has since gained much hands-on puppy and dog training experience, and has attained her professional certification through the independent and globally recognised Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA).

As an eager dog training and behaviour student, she continues her journey to expand her knowledge and training skills, by taking additional courses, attending seminars and workshops, and visiting pet industry expo’s and dog day out events.

Radica currently lives in Crows Nest NSW Australia, with her husband and Pet Photographer, Jean-Jacques Halans. They share their lives with the always happy and gorgeous Nero (Belgian Mechelaar/Malinois x Kelpie, rescue dog); and the ever suave Mr. Mauro (rescue cat).

As your qualified instructor, Radica will help you set the right priorities and put effective strategies in place to teach your puppy how to get it right. She also provides FREE, phone and email support to all her Puppy School Graduates* up until their 1st birthday! (* Conditions apply: Your puppy has attended all 4 sessions of our puppy class and has shown clear progress from week to week.)

 
 
 

Location Map: Paw Republic, Laneway Entrance (Alexander Lane)

Crows Nest map with laneway access