Life Skills (Stage 1) Classes for ADOLESCENTS & ADULTS

The Life Skills (Stage 1) course for ADOLESCENTS & ADULTS is designed for dogs over 20 weeks of age at the start of the course.

We recognise that not everyone will have had the opportunity to start out on a training journey with their dog when they were a young puppy, and we know that the saying ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ is not true!


While neither you nor your dog needs to have had any previous training experience, all dogs attending the course must be sociable with unfamiliar people and dogs. If your dog has ever demonstrated reactive behaviour (e.g. barking, growling, lunging, snapping, biting) towards people or dogs, in any context, please contact Sara to discuss how we may best be able to help you and your dog with your training goals.


The Life Skills (Stage 1) classes have been developed to help you learn how to teach your dog 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 dog 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 dog is communicating through their behaviour and how to respond to them appropriately

  • Develop your training technique to give both you and your dog 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 dog to encourage, and request from them, a wide range of desirable behaviours, including:


  • Focus / attention towards you

  • ‘Go to mat / bed / crate' and 'settle’ calmly

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

  • Coming back to you when called

  • Walking on a loose-lead - no pulling!

  • ‘Stay’ / 'wait'

  • Relaxed response to handling - including at the vets and groomers

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

  • How to play politely with people – no mouthing / biting!

  • Feet-on-the-floor instead of jumping-up

  • Calm approach and greetings – with people and other dogs


Classes take place outdoors in a securely-fenced grass paddock / adjoining sand arena 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 dogs in each class to ensure lots of individual attention. There is no limit on the number of people who may accompany each dog to classes, although your dog may find it easier to concentrate and learn if they only have one or two people trying to work with them during any given session.


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 dog will also receive a graduation gift for completing the course.


Puppies up to 20 weeks of age are invited to join our Life Skills (Stage 1) Classes for PUPPIES. Puppies reach adolescence at around five to six months of age, and typically become more confident and boisterous at this time, as well as being physically larger and stronger, therefore we split the ages into different classes to ensure younger puppies do not feel intimidated or get accidentally squashed!


If however, you have a five to six month old pup who is small and / or rather shy / worried about approaching other dogs, please contact Sara to discuss whether the PUPPIES or ADOLESCENTS & ADULTS classes will be most appropriate for them.




6 week course:     £120.00


For upcoming start dates and times for the Life Skills (Stage 1) – ADOLESCENTS & ADULTS 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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