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"
  • a Puppy Passport
  • 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: visit our Puppy Class partner
Paw Republic, 47 Alexander Street in Crows Nest,
and book on the spot!

Option 2: call 0423 623 302 or email us

Option 3: enrol now using our web form


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

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

Sunday morning: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Sunday afternoon: 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 non-squeaky toy
    (Tug! Ball! Tug-ball! ;-)

Week by Week Overview


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 learn to do so. There are lots of important lessons to be learnt at home. So during your puppy's first week at home, keep their world small. Focus on strong foundations by building a healthy relationship with your new puppy.

  • environmental conditioning and socialisation (free 60-page "How to socialise your puppy" e-Book + Puppy Passport provided)
  • dog body language (how does that feel for you), signs of fear and stress, what does healthy play look like (on lead play time)
  • developing resilience (tie-up and restraint exercise, being alone is OK, separation/reunion, never mind that... )
  • puppy proofing your home, potential dangers (plants, foods), chew this instead (choice of chew toys)
  • routine vs variety: feeding (manners at mealtime), toiletting (the secret to toilet training), play, outings (socialisation, environmental conditioning), sleeping arrangements
  • consistent communication, cultivate calmness (only reward calm behaviour, the importance of play to teach impulse control, how to control nipping and biting, tug-of-war)
  • how to survive witches hour
  • silent interventions, the power of time-out, to crate or not to crate (and if so, how)
  • rewards-based training: why do we use food to train animals (from pigeons to killer whales), how do we do it properly (fade out food rewards, no bribes!)
  • puppy's first trick: sit
  • homework overview and time for questions (incl. selecting a special trick to teach your puppy to demo on graduation day)
  • hand-out of Puppy Passports


Your Puppy at the Vet / at the Groomer

  • dog training 101: the A-B-C of operant conditioning, the law of effect, Pavlov always comes along for the ride
  • how to progress sit
  • new trick: down
  • handling desensitisation, mock vet exams, does that feel normal, mock nail trims, kids play
  • new trick: recall (come when called)
  • playing hide and seek
  • the walk, social vs structured walking, trotting to loose lead walking
  • socialisation progress, concerns
  • homework overview and time for questions


Your Puppy in the Community

  • progress sit (stay is implied)
  • progress down (stay is implied, standing upright)
  • fading out food rewards
  • progress recall (call away from distractions)
  • progress loose lead walking (heel)
  • new tricks: watch and U-turn (related to walking)
  • where can I take my puppy, socialisation suggestions
  • should I take my puppy to the dog park, dog park etiquette, dog culture
  • your dog and the law
  • be a responsible dog owner
  • how to prevent barking from becoming a problem, why do dogs bark and is it bark-worthy
  • how to prevent aggression from becoming a problem, detecting fear and anxiety, counter-conditioning and desensitisation
  • how to prevent separation anxiety, how to manage home alone time, environmental enrichment
  • new tricks: leave (don't touch that) and out (drop it)
  • socialisation progress, concerns
  • homework overview and time for questions


Puppy Carnaval! - Graduation Party

  • puppy graduation dress-up party (socialisation, environmental conditioning, desensitisation, counter-conditioning)
  • demo of tricks learnt in class
  • special trick demo time
  • puppy obstacle course
  • off lead play time (practice interpreting play, speaking dog and intervening when necessary, come when called away from playing... and what to do if it does not happen)
  • socialistion progress, concerns
  • where do we go from here, our adolescent classes
  • graduation acknowledgement: hand-out of certificate of completion of our Puppy Training Class
  • photo shoot (group / individual - conditions apply)

Puppy Class Enrolment


Upon Enrolment

  • We will contact you with available 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.