Older Puppy and Adult Dog Training Class Rules

Positive Response Dog Training utilizes ONLY Positive Reinforcement (Force Free) Training methods.

Force Free Training is NOT just about food!

Operant conditioning (as it is known) is a method of learning that occurs when an animal makes an association between a behaviour (e.g. sit) and the reward (e.g. food, toys, pat, etc.). The reward helps to increase the animal’s behaviour so that it earns as it learns.

We can find examples of operant conditioning all around us:

    • Children completing homework to earn a reward from a parent or teacher
    • Employees finishing projects to receive praise or promotions.

In these examples, the guarantee or possibility of a reward causes an increase in the behaviour. This method of training allows the dog to freely decide to participate.

There is no force or coercion.

Gone are the days of pushing an animal into place or using aversives such as check chains, prong collars and other barbaric equipment. If you are told to use any old-school methods – say NO to force and join a training school that works with the latest scientific information as listed above.

Only you can make the difference to your pet in training.

What to do If your Away for a Class:

If you are going to be away for a class, you MUST follow this procedure:

  • SMS Only: your name, your dog’s name, the venue you are at, the class and time to the absentee line 0424 058 450
  • Example “John Smith – Ruby – Cleveland – Older Puppy – 6.15 Class – Away this week.”

What not to bring to Class:

  • NO hot beverages are permitted in class during training
  • NO retractable leads or chain leads or bungee leads.
  • Do NOT bring your dog on check chains, electric shock collars, citronella or prong collars. We are a reward based training organisation. This means we work with equipment designed to do no harm to your pet and work with the same ethics used by the RSPCA and AVA.
  • No other pets
  • No entire (un-desexed) adult dogs (unless assessed by Positive Response Dog Training)

What to bring to Class:

  • Your puppy/dog
  • Current vaccination certificate (MUST be sighted or no admittance to class). 
  • Titre Tests are NOT accepted.
  • Enclosed shoes (NO thongs or open sandals are permitted under Workplace Health & Safety Rules)
  • Family members willing to attend (where possible we recommend the whole family comes along – see below for young children)
  • A dry dog bone* (mandatory) such as kangaroo or lamb. OR loose change up to $10 to purchase from us
  • Your dog’s mat or a towel for them to lay on
  • SOFT treats (See Below for full explanation)
  • Poo bags
  • Acceptable collars and leads (See Below for full explanation)
  • Water for your dog if you do not wish to use a communal bowl
  • Adequate water for yourself
  • Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses when training in outdoor venues

*Note: We do not recommend rawhide as it gets stringy and is a choking hazard.  Ensure the chew you give your dog is big enough that it cannot be easily swallowed. Make sure you are supervising them when chewing. Bits of small dry chews should be removed and discarded.

Acceptable Collars & Leads

  • Flat Collars
  • Harness – if you are looking to buy a harness we sell and strongly recommend the Harmony Harness (front loaded harness). These can be purchased on the day or pre-purchased online. They come in many colours and can also be made to measure for dogs if required.)
  • NO retractable leads or chain leads or bungee leads.
  • DO NOT bring your dog on a check chain, electric shock collar, citronella or prong collar.

Entire (Un-Desexed) Adult Dogs

Hormones can cause major behavioural issues in entire male dogs and bitches.Due to the complications that can arise, it is our policy that anyone with an entire dog or bitch must have a 30 min assessment prior to booking into a class.  If an entire bitch comes into season whilst in class, she must be removed immediately.  If your dog or bitch is assessed as suitable to come into class and behaviour changes whilst in class, your dog will be removed.  No Refund will be given. We reserve the right to convert you to private training and additional fees will apply.

Feeding Before Class

Dogs can become completely unfocused when entering a new environment. We ask that you do not feed your dog their normal meal prior to class. Your dog can have a small portion of their breakfast or dinner at home and the rest at training. This helps your pet to concentrate on you and learn more effectively.

Treats For Class

Bring high value human food to treat your dog in class, please see below for a list of suggestions .  Ensure that treats are cut up into small portions.  Please bring at least two varieties to class.   If your puppy has not had processed food, please bring roast chicken.

  • Devon/Luncheon Meat
  • Sausage/Cabana
  • Roast chicken
  • Boiled Chicken (good for sensitive tummies)
  • Steak
  • Hot Dogs
  • Cheese
  • Dog dry food – please bring only a small portion along with another type of treat as your dog may not focus on you for dry food only in class

Children In Class

Children are welcome to come along to our classes, however, there are important safety considerations that must be adhered to for the benefit of your children, other clients and the dogs in class:

  • Can your child sit still and be quiet for 1 hour and 15 minutes under your strict supervision?
  • Will they take directions from a trainer and from you the adult?

Children under the age of 8 must have another adult to assist with supervision otherwise it may be easier to leave them with a carer to give you a chance to work and absorb the information given in class.

If your children come to class please bring them something to keep them entertained (e.g. a snack, colouring book, etc.). Children must stay seated with parents or carers at all times unless the trainer has asked them to do some of the training.

If a child is not able to comply then a second adult must remove them from the class and stay with them. Please ensure that your children do not wander around unattended during class.

For Workplace Health and Safety reasons at NO stage are children allowed to be on any play equipment or touch any other animals on the premises such as other clients dogs or horses.

As a policy, children under 12 years of age are not permitted to hold the lead in class. This is for the safety of every client within the class group. We do encourage children to participate in the exercises while parents hold the lead. It is the responsibility of the adult over 18 to control the situation with a child under the age of 18 and above the age of 12 who is holding the lead. At any point in time the adult must still give the child permission to work with the dog and must be in full control of the situation.

Class Considerations

Consideration is the key to a successful training program.

  • SWITCH OFF MOBILE PHONES prior to class.
  • Smoking and Alcohol is prohibited on the training grounds.
  • Give your instructor your full attention.
  • Ensure children are not chatting or being disruptive

Exercise Prior To Class

Do NOT allow young puppies to play and become exhausted before class. Keeping them calm and quiet and a little hungry will make your training run more smoothly.

Sick Or Injured

Do NOT bring your dog to class if they are:

  • Sick such as affected by canine cough or being treated for any other reason by a vet who deems it possibly contagious
  • If your dog has been in contact with another dog that potentially may be ill

Please contact us prior to class. Contact the office on 07 34592121 and we will discuss options with you.

Arriving For Class

When arriving for class ensure you are at the training venue 5 minutes prior to class commencing. Please ensure all puppies are carried in where possible. If unable to carry because of size/ injury ensure you keep hold of the lead and do not allow them to drag you over to another puppy. Dogs of all ages are not permitted to meet while on lead.

Week 1 Adult (Part 1) Course – please ensure that you wait IN YOUR CAR with your dog until a staff member comes over to direct you to the training area, this will ensure that your dog is not put under any unnecessary stress or distraction prior to class.

THORNLANDS SATURDAYS – Please park under the trees or on the side road opposite the vet car park. Please only park in the vet clinic car park if there are no parks elsewhere.

All other venues have adequate parking outside the venue in both car park and street parking. If unsure, please contact us prior to the class to discuss this with you.

Late Arrivals

Please ensure you arrive to each class at least 5 minutes prior to start time and are ready to start on time. Late arrivals will disrupt dogs already in class and can be very disruptive for everyone concerned.

Class Make Up Policy

As a rule, we do not offer make up classes. We do understand that sometimes missed classes cannot be avoided. We provide extensive training notes and videos for each class so you can go through these in your own time in order to be all caught up for the following class. Please advise the trainer or office as soon as you know you are going to be away.

If you do not attend class after payment has been made and do not contact us as to the reason why, you are not entitled to a refund of the class fee. A transfer fee WILL apply if you wish to transfer into another class. As per our Terms of Service, we have the right to terminate your enrollment and you will surrender all monies paid.

Extra Dogs

Only dogs enrolled in the course are permitted to attend the class. We do not endorse that another dog be left in the car for the duration of the class. Please leave any other dogs/animals at home!

In Case Of Incidents

Please advise your instructor IMMEDIATELY if you or someone else is sick or injured. All instructors carry mobile telephones and will organise medical assistance if required. We have a first aid kit on hand for minor injuries.

Public Holidays

We are Closed for Christmas Day and Easter Sunday ONLY. Classes will run for all other public holidays. Your Trainer will remind everyone of the public holiday the week before and advise those away what to work on.

Delayed Class POLICY

In the case of low numbers in class (minimum of three (3) to commence a class), we reserve the right to delay classes. You will be notified if this occurs.


While we endevour to ensure consistency with one trainer within your course, at times trainers fall ill or go on holidays. If this occurs a fill in trainer will take your class. While trainers may have a variance in teaching style – the curriculum remains the same. We appreciate that clients often form a rapport with trainers but at no time can we guarantee a trainer you prefer will take ongoing classes.


Positive Response is lucky to have indoor and outdoor facilities.  In the case of wet weather, our Thornlands venue has an undercover area and it is rare that classes and private consults are cancelled.  If we ever need to change a venue, (this can happen on the morning) all clients would be notified by SMS. Venue change would mean somewhere else within a 15KM radius from the venue your class was originally set at.

Living in Australia means temperatures can fluctuate. As a business we have taken this into consideration for our venues.

Thornlands – This is a grass fenced in area with huge shady trees. The temperature is generally 10 degrees cooler under the trees where classes are conducted. In case of rain or storms, classes are conducted in an undercover facility on the same grounds.

One on One training is also conducted at this venue – set up away from classes for your comfort or at our office.

Cleveland – This is a vet clinic and classes are run inside the clinic of an evening. The clinic is air conditioned. Walking and some training is conducted in the bitumen car park.

Stones Corner- This is a grooming salon and doggy daycare facility. Classes are run indoors. Walking and some training segments may be conducted in the bitumen car park.

Mt Gravatt – This is a vet clinic and classes are run inside in the reception area of an evening.  The clinic is air conditioned. Walking and some training segments may be conducted in the bitumen carpark.

Management strategies are always in place to ensure the comfort of you and your dog to the best of our ability. Extreme heat is classified at 40 degrees plus in the suburb where training is conducted and in this instance if the temperature reaches or exceeds this training may be postpones.

Natural Disasters

As was the case in Jan 2011 and Jan 2013, Positive Response endeavours to ensure the safety of all clients and staff. We will contact you via SMS and phone to ensure first that you are well and safe. We then make a decision based on the severity of the disaster. We will ensure you and your pet can continue in classes and will make every effort to assist. We also pray that this never happens again and that our clients affected recover and can move forward with their lives in a positive way.