Life Skills (Stage 1) Classes

The Life Skills (Stage 1) course is designed for puppies aged around 12 to 18 weeks old at the start of the course, and has been developed to help you learn how to teach your puppy key life skills, by providing you with a solid foundation in core training and management techniques.

The focus of the course is helping you:


  • Learn how to train your puppy to understand what behaviour you would like them to choose in a range of different situations (whether you cue the behaviour or not)

  • Enhance your understanding of what your puppy is communicating through their behaviour and how to respond to them appropriately

  • Develop your training technique to give both you and your puppy the best chances of success in reaching your training goals.

Through a variety of reward-based training exercises, you will learn how to work with your puppy to encourage, and request from them, a wide range of desirable behaviours, including:


  • Focus / attention towards you

  • ‘Go to mat' and 'settle’ in place

  • Positions - 'sit', 'down' and 'stand'

  • Recall - games to make coming back to you reliable and fun!

  • Loose-lead walking – no pulling or sticking!

  • ‘Stay’ / 'wait'

  • Release cues - inviting your dog to do something else

  • Safety behaviours including 'leave-it' and 'drop'

  • How to play politely with people

  • Preventing jumping-up

  • Calm greetings – with people and other dogs


If your puppy currently has, or has previously had, any difficulties socialising with other dogs, or unfamiliar people, please contact Sara to discuss whether this course will be appropriate for them, or whether there are other training options which may be better-suited to your canine chum.

Classes take place outdoors in a securely-fenced grass paddock at K9 Woodland Services, located just off the A4074 at Summer Barn, Cane End, RG4 9HG, approximately equidistant between the main local towns of Henley-on-Thames, Reading and Wallingford, which are all around a 15 minute drive away.


There are a maximum of five puppies in each class to ensure lots of individual attention. Since Government Covid restrictions have been eased on numbers of people permitted to gather together outdoors, more than one person may now once again accompany each puppy to classes.

The Life Skills (Stage 1) course include 6 x 45 minute classes, as well as follow-up training notes, and after-class support via telephone, video call or email.

You and your puppy will also receive a graduation gift for completing the course.

For additional support with settling your new puppy in at home, you may also be interested in our New Puppy Home Visit service. Our New Puppy Home Visits are particularly relevant for young puppies up to around the age of 16 weeks old, to help ensure that their early developmental needs are being met during the critical early socialisation period of their life, which starts at birth and goes on until your puppy is around 3 to 4 months of age. ​


6 week course:     £120.00

For upcoming start dates and times for the Life Skills (Stage 1) course, please visit 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

“Sara was very patient with us humans as well as dogs, and her knowledge and expertise really shone through during instructions and demonstrations. The small class size was great as all the dogs were able to get some more targeted instruction, and Sara was always very relaxed and calm during the sessions. I can highly recommend Sara’s classes for any new puppy owners.”

Vicky and Bran the Border Collie

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