The Mindful Dog

Puppy Classes in Crows Nest

Congratulations on your new puppy!

Raising a puppy is so much fun, but also comes with it’s own particular challenges. Your puppy needs to learn a lot in a very short space of time, if he or she is to grow into a well-balanced, well-behaved dog. There’s no time to lose!

The best way to set your puppy up for success is to enrol them in a well-structured puppy class,
provided by a Certified Puppy Class Instructor.

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, drop, 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 $150.00, payable prior to commencing class (cash, EFT, credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, Amex) - and includes:

  • a 60-page e-Book "Puppy Socialisation Guide"
  • weekly follow-up emails with your "Puppy Class Course Notes" and homework
  • FREE ongoing phone and email support for all puppy class graduates up until their 1st birthday!

Enquiries & Enrolment

Option 1: enrol now using our web form below.

Option 2: call 0423 623 302 or email us woof@themindfuldog.com.au

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

Prerequisites

Your puppy is between 8 and 16 weeks old, and has had his/her 1st puppy booster vaccination, at least 1 week prior to commencing puppy class.

When & Where

Our weekend puppy classes run for 1.5 hours, over 4 consecutive Sundays, and are conducted at:
Paw Republic: 47 Alexander Street, Crows Nest, NSW 2065.

WEEKLY START DATES - Limited spots available:
Sunday 28th May - 18th June: 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Sunday 4th June - 25th June: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Sunday 11th June - 2nd July: 12:00 PM - 13:30 PM
Sunday 18th June - 9th July: 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

What To Bring

  • A regular, flat buckle collar and a regular, fabric lead (no Flexi leads please).
  • Your puppy's favourite soft treats (tiny pieces), in a doggy treat pouch.
  • Your puppy's favourite toy.
  • Your puppy's doggy poo bags.

Week by Week Overview

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 guide our Puppies through New Encounters: their first "Meet & Greet".
  • Dog Body Language: "How does that feel for you?" (on lead Play Time).
  • Be the Leader your Puppy needs you to be.
  • How to raise your Puppy to be Calm, Confident and Resilient: Socialisation and Environmental Conditioning.
  • Being Alone is OK!
  • Danger? Never mind that...
  • Variety is the Spice of Life!
  • Setting Rules & Boundaries: Can I do that? (Eat it? Chew it? Play with it? Jump on it? ... Hump it?).
  • How to Communicate Clearly and Consistently: Hello Dr. Dolittle! Develop your own Human-Dog Language.
  • Who's Training Who? How to prevent Attention Seeking behaviour from becoming a problem (Barking, Whining, Jumping... etc.).
  • Cultivate Calmness.
  • Manners at Mealtime.
  • Sharing is Good! How to prevent (or fix) Possessive Behaviour (Resource Guarding).
  • Where will I sleep tonight?
  • Silent Interventions: the Power of Silence and "Time-Out".
  • To Crate, or not to Crate...
  • Puppy Nipping & Biting: don't Chew that, Chew this instead.
  • How to survive Witches Hour.
  • The Importance of Play.
  • Game Changer: the Truth about Tug-Of-War.
  • Rewards-based Training: why do we use Food to Train Animals? How do we do it properly? NO Bribes Here!
  • Puppy's first trick: "Sit".
  • The secret to Toilet Training.
  • Puppy Proofing your Home: Potential Dangers (Plants, Foods, Chemicals, etc.)
  • Homework overview and time for Questions.

Week2

Your Puppy at the Vet / at the Groomer

We're diving straight into training this week: teaching our puppy "Down", "Come" when called and the first steps to "Loose Lead Walking" bliss. We'll also be introducing you to some basic training concepts, which you'll apply going forward. And, we'll start practicing handling with our puppies, to help make those trips to the Vet and the Groomer less stressful.

  • Dog Training 101: Classical Conditioning? Operant Conditioning? Reinforcement? Punishment?
  • How to progress: "Sit".
  • New trick: "Down".
  • Handling Desensitisation: "Can I have a look?"
  • New trick: "Come!" (Recall).
  • Game time: "Hide & Seek".
  • New trick: "Loose Lead Walking".
  • Discuss Socialisation Progress and Concerns.
  • Homework overview and time for Questions.

Week3

Your Puppy in the Community

Enjoying time outdoors with your puppy is the best! But, do you know there are certain community expectations and specific responsibilities and laws we and our dogs need to abide to? How can we be responsible dog owners and raise our puppy to be a good canine citizen?

  • Progress "Sit" (Duration, Distance: Stay is implied. Hand Signal.).
  • Progress "Down" (Duration, Distance: Stay is implied. Stand up. Hand Signal.).
  • How to correctly Fade Out Food Rewards. NO Bribes Here!
  • Progress "Come!" (Recall - Distraction: call your puppy away from... Food!).
  • Progress "Loose Lead Walking" ("Heel").
  • New Tricks: "Watch" and "Let's Go!" (U-Turn).
  • Where can I take my Puppy next? Socialisation Places?
  • Should I take my Puppy to the Off Lead Dog Park? Dog Park Etiquette. Dog Culture: is this appropriate Play?
  • Your Dog and the Law.
  • How to be a Responsible Dog Owner... And why it's so important to improve the lives of Dogs in general.
  • How to prevent Barking from becoming a Problem. Why do Dogs Bark? Is it even Bark-Worthy?
  • How to (NOT) create a Dangerous Dog.
  • How to prevent Reactivity from developing: detecting early signs of Fear and how to deal with it (Counter-Conditioning and Desensitisation).
  • How to prevent Separation Anxiety: Calm Departures & Arrivals. How to manage Home Alone Time. Environmental Enrichment.
  • New tricks: "Leave" (don't touch that) and "Out!" (let go).
  • Discuss Socialisation Progress and Concerns.
  • Homework overview and time for Questions.

Week4

Puppy Carnaval! - Graduation Party

A fun way to celebrate and practice everything we've learnt together: Dress-Up Party! (the People, not the Pooches ;-)

  • Puppy Graduation Dress-Up Party! (Practice: Socialisation, Environmental Conditioning, Desensitisation, Counter-Conditioning.)
  • Demo of Tricks learnt in Class: "Sit", "Down", "Come!", "Heel" (Loose Lead Walking), "Watch", "Let's Go!" (U-Turn), "Leave" (Don't touch that.), "Out!" (Let go.).
  • Demo any Special Tricks you've taught your Puppy at Home.
  • Supervised Off Lead Play Time. (Practice: Speaking Dog, Interpreting Play and Intervening when necessary, "Come!" when called away from Distractions, ... and what to do if it does not happen.)
  • Discuss Socialisation Progress and Concerns.
  • Where do we go from here?
  • Graduation: Acknowledgement and hand-out of Certificate of Completion - The Mindful Dog Puppy Training Class
  • Group Photo Shoot!

Puppy Class Enrolment

Prerequisites

Upon Enrolment

  • We will email confirmation of your puppy's enrolment, including: class dates, session times and details regarding payment options.

    Please be advised: Full payment is required prior to commencing class (no exceptions).

Key benefits of group Puppy Classes vs. Private 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 a treat or affection for lying down and being calm, he or she will quickly learn that this calm behaviour could work to their advantage, because it could earn them some yummy food treats or some attention in the form of a pat or praise.

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.

But, it was not until she observed the very experienced dog trainer, Vicki Austin at work; that Radica’s early childhood passion for dog training was reignited. She started taking dog training courses and reading only the best science-based resources and books on dog training and behaviour she could find - this included "devouring" Steven R. Lindsay's tomes (Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior & Training, Vol I, II and III).

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 experience, training both puppies and adult dogs, and likes to keep her dog training skills up-to-date by taking online courses, attending seminars, workshops and industry events. She is also on track to attain the globally recognised professional dog trainer certification (CPDT-KA) through the independent organisation, The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

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, a Belgian Malinois x Kelpie rescue pup; and the ever suave, adopted feline, Mr. Mauro.

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, ongoing phone and email support to all her puppy school graduates up until their 1st birthday.