The formal study of animal behaviour started over a century ago, by curious individuals who paved the way for ethology and applied animal behaviour today. By utilising decades of extensive studies put into understanding dogs, we can better discern their habits, needs and behaviour.
As Ethology alone is not enough, we have combined our training plans with the latest science in Neurology and Animal Behaviour, as well as working together with experts in veterinary medicine when needed.
Aside from utilising treats during training through positive reinforcement, we also use plenty of environmental and functional reinforcement to strengthen the reliability of the cues they’ve learned.
A main key difference is the way we socialise the puppies. Using the ethological approach, we let a variety of well-mannered older dogs or slightly older puppies with good socialisation skills (selected carefully based on the pup’s size, play style and personality) guide the new pups. Since we have taken the pup away from their mother and family, it is now our responsibility to present them with opportunities to learn from proper role models.
Our trainers are educated in Ethology, the scientific study of animal behaviour as it occurs in the natural environment. Properly equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively use the most suitable training methods, we train not only your dog but also teach you how to work with your dog. Dog training isn’t just about your dog, but also you, as the owner, as this is also a bond-building process.
Dogs and humans are two very distinct and unique species, but at some point, human emotions or behaviours have been attributed to dogs in a bid to understand them. It can be hard to avoid since we have only seen the world from our own, human perspective. So, if we really want to understand our dogs, we have to learn how to interpret their behaviours from their contextual viewpoint.
Over the years, research into canine behaviour and psychology have been evolving. Some training methods become extinct because newer discoveries debunk the foundations it was built upon, while others continue to evolve in order to meet the needs of the ever-changing domestic dog. The driving force here, then, is consistent evidence. If a training method has a record of producing good outcomes, the chances of your dog responding to it will be higher.
By utilising evidence-based (science-based) practices, we are able to remain up-to-date on the latest research to provide your dog with the most effective training curriculum. Although many disciplines (aside from animal-related ones) intersect, the primary science animal trainers utilise is applied behaviour anaylsis. This applied field teaches the owner and their dog behaviours that can allow you to succeed in your current environment.
As such, our trainers also default to the ethical codes that researchers and doctors adhere to: First, Do No Harm. We employ the use of positive reinforcement as there’s plenty of evidence that encourages such methods over others in both the human and animal training world. It is essential to teach humanely when changing behaviour, so that it doesn’t create new problems.
Loving your dog and bonding with your dog may sound like they’re the same thing, but they’re not. Love is when your dog sees you and snuggles up to you, but a bond takes love to the next level.
A bonded relationship is anchored in mutual respect and trust. It strengthens and encourages cooperation, attentiveness and good manners between your dog and you. One way to build a strong relationship with your dog is through training, where they get to work with you and stimulate their mind and body, while you get to teach them basic manners and other tricks in a fun and engaging manner. Don’t forget to inject play and enjoy the process! It’s about learning and growing together, even through mistakes.
Whether you’re looking for in-campus or private classes, we are situated in two central locations (Newton and Namly) in Singapore for easy access.
Our campuses have been carefully planned and designed with our dog and human students in mind. The result is a dog-friendly environment that is spacious, well-lit, hygienic and safe.
Electromagnetic locks are also used to secure the campuses and ensure the safety of all students entering and leaving. In an environment that’s comfortable and safe for everyone, classes can then be conducted with a peace of mind.
Both campuses feature a private consultation room, where private and group classes are held in; and a day school classroom, where the Montessori School programme is conducted on weekdays, and Saturdays (Newton campus only).
MSc – Bergin University of Canine Studies – USA (Alumni page)
BA – Arnhem Business School – The Netherlands
UW-AAB – Washington University – US
PG-dip Applied Neuroscience – King’s College London – UK
ACDBC – International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) – US
Certificate in Advanced Applied Ethology (CAAE) – Ethology Institute Cambridge – UK
KPA-CTP, Graduate (Distinction) – Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior, USA (CTP certification number: 93552)
Level 2 TAGteach International certified trainer
Puppy Start Right Instructor
A certified dog trainer, Kristina loves working with both dogs and humans. She believes that animal training is both a form of science and art, and enjoys figuring out elegant and practical solutions to overcome challenges. Having witnessed firsthand the differences positive reinforcement and positive signals she can bring when training her dog, Josh – a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, she decided to learn more about dog behaviour in the US.
Under the supervision of Terry Ryan, the world-renowned dog trainer, Kristina graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behaviour in the US. She also took the Puppy Start Right for Instructor course from the same institution to learn more about puppy socialisation and learning.
As an avid life-long learner, Kristina is currently upgrading her knowledge in Neurobiology and Ethology, the scientific study of behaviour based on biological mechanisms, as well as evolutionary biology. She is completing her Degree in Ethology – a field of study focusing in animal behaviour – under the guidance of Dr Roger Abrantes, the Scientific Director of Ethology Institute Cambridge. At the same time, she is also completing her thesis for her Master’s degree in Applied Neuroscience with King’s College London.
Kristina specialises in training puppies and helping shy and fearful dogs through counter-conditioning and desensitisation techniques, allowing them to build up their confidence, happiness, and trust in their owner. The curriculum she plans for the school combines the above-mentioned method with neurobiology and ethology to provide a multi-disciplinary approach. By proactively providing puppies with the much-needed social and life skills, most behaviour problems can be prevented.
Employing humane and easy-to-understand methods to teach humans and dogs alike in her training programmes, Kristina embraces the standard that medical physicians hold: using evidence-based approaches, and to be kind and respectful to both humans and animals.
Puppy Start Right Instructor
Dog Trainer Foundations — Karen Pryor Academy
Better Veterinary Visits — Karen Pryor Academy
Dog Sports Essentials — Karen Pryor Academy
Izzy’s first spark in wanting to understand canine behaviour was lit in SPCA Singapore, focusing on sorely needed socialisation and rehabilitation of animals in shelter environments — in large part working with fearful and under-socialised Singapore Specials. This led her to the next steps in her career path: a Veterinary Assistant and neo-natal caregiver. The opportunity to hand-rear puppies from birth to adoption allowed her the chance to socialise and train them using positive reinforcement.
Her next career change arose out of wanting to help her adopted dog Jonah, who started as a fearful and hand-shy dog but gradually grew confident using positive reinforcement, slow desensitisation, and patience. These experiences eventually lead to Izzy stepping into the world of canine behaviour professionally.
Joining the Puppy Colours team in early 2017, she has helped shape many puppies through healthy structures and routines, and ensuring they have safe and happy interactions with their peers and teachers. Izzy particularly enjoys building confidence and socialising in classes as this is a key part in helping dogs grow through their puppy and teen stages into well-behaved, happy adults.
Under Kristina’s mentorship, she has gone on to teach one-on-one private classes and group classes since 2021. Whilst teaching, she continues to improve her knowledge on starting puppies out on the right foot, and drawing on past experiences as well as evidence-based research from the course of her studies for behavioural cases.
Currently, Izzy is studying to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) through the Ethology Institute. She is also a certified Puppy Start Right Instructor, has completed Karen Pryor Foundations and Better Vet Visits courses, and is a member of the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants.
BSc (Zoology) — Massey University (Manawatu Campus) — NZ
Diploma in Applied Science (Veterinary Technology) – Temasek Polytechnic — SG
Dog Trainer Foundations — Karen Pryor Academy
The symbiotic relationship between man and dog has always been something that intrigued Wei En, and that’s something that always kept her interest piqued. Furthering her studies in Veterinary Technology and Zoology came naturally to satiate her curiosity about the natural world. It was only during her part-time stint in Puppy Colours in late 2016, where she witnessed Kristina train firsthand, that her interest in dog training and psychology was kindled. She has since become a full-time teacher with Puppy Colours.
Adding on to her formal education, Wei En has gone on to complete the Dog Trainer Foundation from Karen Pryor Academy in 2017, gaining a deeper understanding about canine behaviour and acquiring the skills of marker-based training. She is currently attaining the Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) certification from Ethology Institute, under the guidance of Kristina.
Wei En is always looking to further educate and improve herself about understanding canine behaviour, particularly, the evolution of canine and the effects of breeds have on behaviour. As she continues to expand her knowledge, she keeps a constant lookout for different science-based training methods that can help her adjust and fine-tune her classes to suit her student’s needs and circumstances best.
The biggest achievement is witnessing how much her students grow over time, becoming unique individuals — an experience Wei En finds incredibly humbling, having been a part of their journey.