Puppy School at Townsend Veterinary Clinic


Puppies are not automatically programmed to develop into calm, attentive and friendly adult dogs; the kind of dogs that we all dream of owning! Setting a puppy up for success takes time, consistency, clear communication, and a whole lot of patience! Getting on top of your puppy’s socialisation and training from the very start is crucial. If they are poorly socialised prior to 16 weeks old, and have the chance to learn unwanted behaviours, they are very likely to develop behaviour problems as adults.


What sets our puppy school apart?

At TVC, we have worked hard to develop a puppy school curriculum that sets your puppy up for success. The classes are structured according to the Karen Pryor Academy Puppy Start Right curriculum which focuses on proactive, positive socialisation and positive reinforcement. Our staff have also had training from local Veterinary Behaviour consultant, Dr. Sally Nixon, who has special qualifications in Veterinary Behaviour. 

What is the class format?

The classes run weekly for four weeks in the clinic waiting room and consult rooms, beginning the first Tuesday of each month. The class size is capped at five to ensure that each pup is given the individual care and attention they need to have a positive experience.   You will be given access to an eBook and library of videos as well as homework to work on between classes. Classes fill fast so payment is required to secure your spot.

What will we learn at puppy school?

Puppy school is very much about teaching both puppies and owners to understand each other, and build a harmonious and rewarding relationship built on trust. Some of the concepts we will cover in the four weeks of school include;


- Basic principles of clicker training

- The importance of socialisation

- Use of treats and other rewards

- Simple cues- sit, look

- Loose leash walking

- House training

- Confinement training

- Name attention and recall training

- Handling and restraint

- Trouble shooting behaviours like chewing and play biting


When can my puppy start?

Puppies have a ‘critical socialisation period’ from about 3 weeks to 16 weeks.

We recommend that your puppy start puppy school as close to 8 weeks as possible (after their first vaccination) to make the most of this prime window for learning. 

Please phone the clinic on (02) 6046 9846 for more information and to secure your spot.