FAQ's

Browse through our frequently asked questions.

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What will I learn?


Puppy Start Right is much more than socialising with other dogs. It is a pro-active positive approach to learning to love their world through exploration, problem solving, prevention, management and training.

  • Having fun with puppy is the number one priority.
  • Building lifelong relationship with your puppy right from the start
  • Being confident around new and novel stimuli, people, sounds, dogs and animals
  • How to use positive pro-active experiences during critical socialisation
  • Importance of exploring environments at puppy’s own pace
  • Positive approach to problem solving, prevention and training
  • Non-aversive handling and restraint techniques to build positive associations with husbandry, grooming and visits to the Vet
  • Understanding of normal canine behaviour
  • How to read canine body language
  • Independence to help prevent separation distress
  • Successful puppy play interactions and exercise recommendations
Fun, Socialisation Themes:
  • Wheels and Children’s Toys
  • Health and Handling
  • People, Costumes and Appearances & Sounds
  • Obstacles and Sounds
Training Topics:
  • Clicker Training
  • Attention / Name Game
  • Targeting
  • Sit
  • Recall/Come
  • Leave food and objects (prevent resource guarding)
  • Drop It (Give/Take/Exchange
  • Targeting
  • Loose Leash Walking (Introduction)
  • Prevention, Problem Solving & management Topics
  • Play Biting/Mouthing
  • Toilet Training
  • Chewing
  • Jumping
  • Crate/confinement training
  • Handling and restraint (including grooming tips)
  • Muzzle Training
  • Counter surfing/stealing objects
  • Digging
  • Independence training
  • Hide and seek game
  • Food Bowl exercise (resource guarding & growling)
  • Gotcha Game (Collar Grab)
  • Spay and Neuter




How is this structured?


  • Orientation online zoom session held weekly
  • 4 face-to-face theme based training sessions once per week
  • Assigned practical training tasks
  • Small group specialized sessions
  • Facilitated puppy socialisation play sessions




When can I start?


Puppy Start Right is an online “rolling intake” course. There are no set start dates. The course is five weeks from the date of enrolment. The main advantage is that you can start as soon as your puppy arrives home – no waiting! Start Early to Start Right. You will also link up with other puppy parents on private online groups to learn and share experiences.




How old does my puppy need to be?


This program is preferably suited for puppies 8-16 weeks of age although consideration will be given to older puppies. Start Early to Start Right. If you have recently adopted an adolescent dog this program may also be suitable.
A vaccination certificate is required in order to start this program. A puppy must have had its first vaccination plus two weeks to participate in puppy play dates (if applicable).




What equipment is required?


An equipment list will be provided during the Orientation. To get started you will need:-




Don't I have to wait until my puppy is fully vaccinated?


The risk of illness from exposure to infectious disease is a concern because puppies have not completed their full vaccinations until after 16 weeks of age. However, lack of socialisation in public places is behaviourally damaging and of greater risk to your puppy. Vaccinations and early puppy socialisation are equally as important. The finite window of socialisation closes by 16 weeks of age therefore controlled socialisation and exposure are important during this period. Early puppy socialisation is a way to prevent the development of behaviour problems. More dogs die each year due to behavioural issues than infectious disease. Use common sense. Many diseases are passed via contact with faeces from an infected dog. Avoid public and populated dog areas such as dog parks and restrict to non-grass areas. Carry your puppy to the beach foreshore rather than walk. See the AVSAB on Puppy Socialisation.




Why socialisation over obedience?


The socialisation period is the most influential learning period of a dog’s life. What a puppy learns during the socialisation period will have a life-long effect on his personality and how he reacts to meeting new people, making new dog friends, getting along with the cat and being chilled in different environments. This stage of development is when puppies can readily learn not to fear new things and to develop appropriate social behaviour. As your puppy grows that openness will dwindle. Puppy’s genes will tell him to be wary of anything he hasn’t already had plenty of positive experience with. Whilst puppy behaviours such as biting, nipping, jumping and toilet training are on top of the list and are important, ensuring that puppies love the world they live in is critical. Obedience behaviours such as Sit, Drop, Come, Stand, Stay etc. can be taught at any stage of a dog’s life. Adult dogs love to learn. It is never too late. If you missed the socialisation window, it is not too late. In fact, socialisation continues right through a dog’s life. It just means that it will take longer, use treats liberally and allow puppy to investigate at his own pace.




Why Puppy Start Right?


Puppy Start Right program is an accredited science-based program developed by the Karen Pyror Academy (KPA). The authors include Dr. Kenneth Martin, DVM, Dipl. ACVB, a board certified veterinarian behaviorist and his wife Debbie Martin, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, LVT, VTS (Behavior), a professional dog trainer and faculty member of the Karen Pryor Academy. The sessions will be instructed by Vicki Cleaver of CleverPawz Oz who is a certified Puppy Start Right Instructor and Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CPT).