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Life Skills (Foundation) Classes

Puppies have a LOT of learning to do in a VERY short space of time. Developmentally, their critical learning period (when most puppies tend to approach new things with curiosity rather than fear), starts when your puppy is born and quickly tapers off after about 12 weeks of age (up to 16 weeks of age for larger breeds), which is often before most puppies arrive at their first training class.


The Life Skills (Foundation) course has been developed for:


  • Owners with new puppies who have either not started, or not yet completed, their primary vaccine course - enabling you to access the guidance and support of a trainer soon after your puppy’s arrival, so that you can start building a solid foundation for your life together, without vital time being lost waiting for your puppy to complete their vaccine course before they start experiencing life more fully

  • Owners whose puppies have completed their primary vaccine course - providing you with access to the guidance and support of a trainer on a broader range of new puppy topics than may be covered in an in-person group training class, particularly in relation to types of training which by definition must be practised at home, such as house-training and training your puppy to feel relaxed being left at home alone.


The course has been designed to cover a wide range of topics that are fundamental to ensuring that your young puppy’s developmental needs are being met, whilst also helping them to settle as smoothly as possible into their new home life with you, setting your puppy firmly on the road towards developing into a confident, relaxed and adaptable adult dog.

To help ensure that as many puppies and their owners are getting the support that they need as early as possible, the course has a rolling enrolment, meaning that you and your puppy can join on any week of the course (you’ll just get the content in a different order!).


One of the topics that will be discussed in detail is how to ensure that your puppy gets the socialisation and habituation experiences that they require, within the restrictions outlined in the UK Government’s guidance for limiting the transmission of the novel coronavirus.


Through interactive discussion sessions, the following topics will be covered:


  • Reducing and eliminating mouthing / biting

  • Stopping jumping-up

  • Time alone – avoiding separation-related problems

  • House-training

  • Socialisation - how to give your puppy the social experiences that they need in a world of social-distancing

  • Your puppy and children

  • Integrating your puppy into a home with other pets

  • Habituation - developing your puppy’s confidence with new sensory experiences

  • Dog communication – understanding what your puppy is telling you through their body language, facial expressions and vocalisations, and how to respond appropriately

  • Establishing calm behaviours and turning down over-excitement!

  • Learning to settle – including crate-training

  • How to enrich your puppy’s life to avoid a wide range of behavioural issues

  • Handling for confidence – including at the vets and groomers

  • Training safety behaviours – giving up items calmly (‘drop’) and accepting people around food bowls, chews and toys (resource-guarding prevention)

  • Appropriate amount and types of physical exercise

  • Introducing collar, harness and lead

Classes will be delivered to you and your puppy in the comfort of your own home via Zoom online video meeting. The benefits of ‘living-room’ training classes include:


  • Starting your puppy’s training as soon as they arrive at home with you – no delays in learning caused by waiting for vaccinations to be complete

  • All of the family can take part (since in-person classes are currently restricted to one owner per dog, because of the limits placed by UK Government guidance relating to the novel coronavirus, on the number of people from different households who may come together in a group)

  • You don’t have to travel to classes, saving you time and money

  • Our overheads are lower which means we can deliver online classes to you at a lower price than our in-person classes


The course includes 4 x 45 minute classes, as well as after-class support via telephone, video call or email.​


You can also join our Life Skills (Stage 1) course (online or in-person – the latter subject to completion of your puppy’s primary vaccine course) even if you haven’t yet finished our Life Skills (Foundation) course, and take part in two different classes every week (these should be taken on separate days so as not to overwhelm your puppy).



4 week course:     £40.00

The days and times when our Life Skills (Foundation) course runs can be found on the Class Dates & Prices page. To register your interest in booking onto the course, please complete and submit the Registration Form on the Booking Information page.

What clients say

“Attending Sara’s puppy socialisation classes was such an enjoyable experience and one which I found so educational for Herbie and me. Along with socialising Herbie with other pups his age, it gave us the foundations of puppy training from such a young age and I think that it was so beneficial to start the training earlier than other training classes would allow.”

Sam and Herbie the Sprocker Spaniel

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