Save up to 20% with Repeat Delivery

Click and Collect in 60 minutes

Free Metro Deliveryorders over $49

Puppy School

Petbarn Puppy School is a fun and interactive group dog training course conducted by qualified trainers at selected Petbarn and City Farmers stores. During the early months, positive socialisation, training and play is vital for the development of your puppy, so all classes are conducted using a reward-based method to teach you and your puppy vital lifelong skills.


COVID-19 Update: To adhere to social distancing requirements, we request that only one pet parent or family member attend class with each puppy until further notice. In some locations we may be able to accommodate more attendees, please discuss this with your trainer beforehand.

 

Available Courses

To help your puppy put their best paw forward, we currently offer two types of courses to cater to puppies of different ages and levels of training. Read more about our courses below to find out which course is best suited for you and your puppy.

Puppy School Beginner Classes
About Puppy pre-school is designed for puppies in their critical socialisation period who are new to training and learning new skills for the first time. Beginner classes are designed for dogs who may have missed out on puppy school during their early socialisation period, or may be lacking in manners and want a refresh in training.
Age Puppies must be between 8 – 16 weeks on their first day of class Puppies and dogs beyond 17 weeks old.
Duration of course One hour per week, over 5 weeks. Week 1 is an intro class for puppy parents only (puppies do not attend) Weeks 2-5 include puppies. One hour per week, over 5 weeks. Puppies and dogs attend every week.
Course Cost $150 for 5 weeks $150 for 5 weeks
What’s covered in the course?
  • Toilet training
  • Behaving calmly around others
  • Settling into a new home
  • Settling your puppy for sleep
  • Safety and health essentials
  • Introduction to good manners
  • Basic cues for lifelong handling (sit, look, down, recall, wait, walking on a loose lead and heel)
  • Preparing for life in the family
  • Preparing your puppy for handling (e.g. by vets, groomers and new friends)
  • Understanding how puppies learn for lifelong training
  • Understanding dog behaviour and how to communicate effectively with your puppy
  • Troubleshooting challenging behaviours like jumping and biting
  • Basic cues for lifelong handling (sit, look, down, recall, wait, walking on a loose lead and heel)
  • Listening to handlers in distracting situations
  • How to remain calm and focused around other dogs and new environments
  • Troubleshooting `terrible teens’ type behaviour
  • Understanding how to train for lifelong learning
  • Learning good manners for home and when out-and-about
  • Basics of clicker training (optional)
  • Understanding dog behaviour and how to communicate effectively with your dog
  • Shaping a current cue to improve performance

Why should I join Petbarn Puppy School?

When it comes to training, the early months of your puppy’s life is essential. They will learn vital socialisation and communication skills when they are young and these early life experiences influence how your puppy will play, communicate and learn as they develop into an adult dog. Our Petbarn Puppy Schools are conducted by our trained and qualified Puppy Trainers to help your puppy reach their potential.

Our courses also connect you to our national network of Trainers, Veterinarians, Veterinary Behaviourists, Groomers and Retail experts you can rely on for ongoing tips and advice. We work with some of the best in the industry to ensure we are up to date with leading scientific research and collectively draw on many thousands of hours of training and practice. All our Trainers undergo theory and practical training and assessments to meet our strict standards.

Book now

Frequently asked questions

How many people can attend? Can I bring the family?

COVID-19 Update: To adhere to social distancing requirements, we request that only one pet parent or family member attend class with each puppy until further notice. In some locations we may be able to accommodate more attendees, please discuss this with your trainer beforehand.

What do I need to bring?

- Collar or harness and light lead.
- Bed, Mat or towel for pup to sit on
- Treats for training if they have special dietary needs.
We advocate force-free training methods so no check chains or tightening collars are permitted.

Is my puppy suitable for Petbarn Puppy School?

At Petbarn, it’s important that we provide all puppies and handlers with a safe, healthy and positive learning environment. To be suitable for our classes:
- Your dog must be up to date with vaccinations as applicable (see detail below)
- Your dog must be healthy and free of any health issues that could be contagious or affect their wellbeing and wellbeing of others
- Your puppy must remain on-lead, and with the handler at all times
- Your dog must not be dangerously aggressive towards dogs or people
- The primary handler must be over 16 years old.

Does my puppy need to be fully vaccinated before attending class?

To attend our puppy school: No. Your pup needs to have a minimum of one vaccination (usually this is done at 6 weeks of age) at least two weeks before the first class that the puppy will attend. The first week of Puppy School is people only and no puppies, so the first week that your puppy attends is week two. We ask that you carry your puppy from the car to inside the training enclosure so that your puppy has no contact with any areas that are not freshly disinfected.
To attend Beginner class: Yes. Your puppy must have completed the entire course of puppy vaccinations more than two weeks before the start of first class, adult dogs must be up to date with adult vaccinations. We use a safe, enclosed area to train in and we disinfect it thoroughly before and after every class with veterinary disinfectant. This means there is the same level of safety as taking your puppy to the vet clinic. We require you to keep your dog at home if they show any signs of illness.

My dog knows how to sit, stay and lie down, but he pulls on the lead and doesn’t listen when we are at the dog park. What class should I join?

The Beginner class is perfect for your dog.

I don’t know which class to join and I don’t want to go to one that is too easy. What should I do?

All classes are adaptable to suit the needs of the students. If your puppy is 16 weeks or younger when the course starts, we recommend enrolling them in the Puppy Course. If your puppy is older than 16 weeks, or you aren’t sure, we suggest joining the Beginner Course. We increase the challenge level week-on-week, so we don’t recommend joining a class that is too advanced. When in doubt, have a chat with your local trainer, and feel free to bring your dog in to meet the Trainer for a friendly opinion!

I want to teach my dog who is boss, and I don’t like the idea of using ‘bribes’ and treats to train. Do I have to bring treats?

Modern canine behavioural science shows that positive reinforcement is the most effective way to train. For most dogs, this means treats. There are a very few dogs who prefer to be rewarded with a toy. Your Trainer will give you specific advice on how to reward and train your dog, so feel free to discuss this with them and have them meet your dog before booking into a course. We will teach you how to decrease the reliance on treats so that you aren’t using them forever.

My dog misbehaves, and I need to use a check chain to control him. Why can’t I use one in class?

At Petbarn, we believe in positive, force-free training methods. Check chains are unpleasant for dogs and can hinder their learning. We do not permit aversives of any kind in our training, which includes check chains, electronic correction collars, ‘lead corrections’, shouting, smacking or otherwise providing an unpleasant experience for your dog. Speak to your Trainer before the course starts, and we can help you find a harness type that will allow you to guide your dog.

My dog is out of control and I don’t feel ready to attend a group class. What should I do?

The one-on-one consultations are a wonderful way to prepare you and your dog for a group class, and to give you tools and strategies to attend a class confidently. It is very normal to have one or two one on one sessions and then enrol in a class after that when you feel ready. If a one on one consult is not available, please chat with your Trainer and get some basic tips and info to help you before enrolling. We are always here to help!

Do you allow off-lead play in puppy class?

Off-lead play is not available during class, but the puppies do get to meet each other one at a time under the supervision of our Trainers. We teach puppies how to learn good social manners, listen to their handlers, remain calm and interact with other puppies politely to ensure they don’t get frightened or overwhelmed by more boisterous pups.