This list of Frequently Asked Questions should answer a lot of the questions you have. If you wish to know more please contact us.
- Your dog (of course!) on a flat collar and lead (body harnesses are also acceptable). Please – no check chains!
- Some good quality treats (eg dried meats, liver, lamb puff, small bits of cheese, chicken etc). Please note – treats are available for sale during class.
- Your dog’s favourite toy
- A mat or blanket for your dog to sit on
- Water (for yourself and your dog)
- A chair for yourself (optional)
- Your dog’s current vaccination certificate
- A smile and willingness to have fun!
We accept cash, cheque, bank transfer, PAYPAL, credit card & EFTPOS.
Your space is confirmed once payment has been received. As these classes tend to book out, it is recommended that you pay at the time of booking to secure your place.
If you have any questions relating to payment for the classes, please do not hesitate to
We understand that things happen and if you need to cancel your booking, please let us know. Bookings that have been pre paid need at least 48 hours notice for a full refund.
We do understand that sometimes missed classes cannot be avoided and while we do not offer “make up” classes, we will accommodate you where possible to get you back up to speed. This may be in the form of arriving early the following week or booking a private lesson at a discounted rate. Feel free to discuss options with your trainer or click here to email Sarah.
Yes – providing the child is over 12 years of age and is willing and physically able to manage the dog without parental assistance.
Yes – provided there is one handler for each dog.
Yes – provided that the child is over 8 years of age and is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Yes – different members of the family may attend different classes, providing they go home and share the information learned in class with the rest of the family. In this way everyone can remain consist and set your dog up for success.
For the majority of our classes we encourage as many family members as possible to attend. In this way everyone hears the same message and can provide consistency to the dog outside of class time to aid in their learning. However, for safety reasons, if bringing along children under 8 years old please bring another adult (over 18 years) along to supervise the child.
Please note – due to limited space at the Racecourse Road Vet Clinic, it is recommended that a maximum of 3 family members only accompany their puppy to Puppy Preschool.
No. We do not advocate the use of check chains. We feel that they are unnecessary and can inflict severe damage to your dog when used incorrectly. Similarly, under no circumstances do we advocate the use of prong collars, electric shock collars or any other training device that can cause your dog pain, stress, fear or anxiety.
Class size does depend on venue and ranges between 4-8 dogs. Classes are kept small so that everyone receives personal attention during class.
Group classes are ideal for dogs and owners looking for a more social aspect to their training experience. Group class numbers are kept to a minimum so that you and your dog receive personal attention and are usually held once a week for a set number of weeks.
However, some dogs feel overwhelmed by the presence of other dogs or are fearful or anxious around other dogs or people. Sometimes people are unable to attend due to social or work commitments, or have young children that would like to participate in training. Some owners would like to accelerate learning or would like some extra support in training their dog to be well mannered. If this is you, then private lessons may be more suitable. If you are unsure whether group classes or private lessons would suit, please
In human society, this is called a “love job” – or working for no pay. It’s not much fun and productivity drops pretty quickly. People worry that using food as reinforcement will cause dogs to become reliant on the food. We can show you when and how to start fading food treats out while still maintaining your dog’s desirable behaviour.
Some dogs are very selective about the food that they like, so trying different foods can be helpful. Dogs will also have a preference – they may prefer BBQ chicken over kibble, or dried kangaroo over beef liver. Knowing what your dog likes is important. If your dog has recently eaten, is stressed, overly excited or too distracted they may also be unwilling to eat. If this is the case, it may indicate where additional training may be required.
There are some dogs who are simply not motivated by food, no matter what you offer them. For these dogs, we need to discover what does motivate them. Once we know what that is, we can use it to positively reinforce desirable behaviour.
Food is known as a “primary resource” – in other words, it’s necessary for survival. The majority of dogs are food motivated, making it an easy way to positively reinforce (or reward) their behaviour. We use food when teaching new behaviours, but once the dog has learnt what is expected, food can start to be faded out and things like pats, praise, toys, games and life rewards can take its place. Rewarding every now and then with a food treat (known as random reinforcement) does help to maintain the strength of the behaviour however.
Not at all! The oldest dog so far we have had in our classes was 10 years of age. Like with humans, a dog’s brain does slow down with age, and some undesirable behaviours have been practiced for many many years, making changes to those behaviours more challenging. However, we don’t believe you are ever too old to learn new things!
Short training sessions (around 5-10 mins in length) work very well when training your dog. Obviously the more consistent you are, the easier it is for your dog to learn. Try to aim for 5 minutes, 3 times per day. You could also mix in some training throughout the day – have your dog “sit” or “drop” to have their lead put on or taken off, to have the ball thrown, to go outside or come inside. It is amazing how much you practice you can get in this way!
That is a difficult question to answer as like human, not all dogs learn at the same rate. However, the more time you spend training your dog and the more consistent you are, the quicker that learning will take place.
At The Canine Perspective, we use positive reinforcement (or reward based) techniques. These techniques are scientifically proven and are based on the principles of animal learning theory and operant conditioning. The focus is on setting your dog up for success by teaching and reinforcing your dog for desirable behaviour, rather than setting them to fail and then punishing or “correcting” bad behaviour.
Our techniques are the same as those used by exotic animal trainers around the world to train animals such as seals and dolphins. We never use fear, intimidation or harsh punishment to elicit behaviour from your dog. Our techniques are fun (for both you and the dog), can be implemented by the whole family and focus on developing the bond between you and your dog.
It is virtually impossible to provide a guarantee when working with behaviour as there are so many variables. However, if you follow the advice and techniques recommended by us, your dog’s behaviour will improve, along with your relationship with your dog.
Sarah has a Diploma in Canine Behaviour Science and Technology and a Cert IV in Dog Behavioural Training. She is a qualified CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Assessor, Department of Local Government Temperament Assessor and Greenhounds Assessor. Sarah also lectures in training and behaviour at TAFE NSW (Lismore Campus) and has been successfully working with dogs and their owners for over 11 years.
Sarah also attends regular workshops and seminars (both in Australia and overseas) to remains up-to-date with the latest research in training and behaviour.