Nurturing Thinking Dogs

Puppy Life Skills

A client practicing polite walking with a puppy on leash indoor during a group class.

About Puppy Life Skills

Unlike Little Paws (group class), Puppy Life Skills (private class) allows the trainer to fully focus on your pup and you. This class is great for all puppies! Puppies who especially shy, fearful, highly active, easily overwhelmed in a class setting, or get distracted easily will benefit highly from this.

Classes that are held in-campus will have the option of socialising with other well-behaved and friendly puppies from the day school that are matched by the trainer under our Puppy Colours Socialisation Programme.

What makes our socialisation programme unique

The Puppy Colours Socialisation Programme

Socialisation isn’t just about acclimatising your puppy to common sights, sounds and smells in a positive manner. It is also about shaping their future personality and reactions to their world as they grow up.

A typical puppy group class involves puppies of similar ages and social skills. This can be chaotic as puppies usually have yet to learn appropriate play skills and may result in learning rough and inappropriate play from one another.

In our exclusive Puppy Colours Socialisation Programme, we take other factors into account as well when choosing another dog to socialise with your pup. Aside from your pup’s age and size, we also consider their personality and temperament. Our trainer will then carefully select a suitable dog from our Montessori School programme — one who has undergone some level of training. This way, your pup will be able to learn proper social skills to interact with other dogs. So we highly recommend having some classes in-campus to kickstart your pup’s education!

Our trainers will choose a fitting playmate by selecting an older puppy or dog from our Montessori School programme that has a suitable social skill level and personality with your pup.

This will help maximise the chances of your pup having an enjoyable experience, where they can learn from other dogs who are more well-versed in polite greeting and play.

Not only will your pup learn how to ask for play and to play nicely, they will also learn when play is over and when to back off if the other dog shows subtle body language (to defuse the situation), indicating that they are not keen to play — all within a controlled setting.

Understanding another dog’s body language is a potentially life-saving skill for your pup. If your pup is unable to understand the other dog’s disinterest or subtle signal to back off, the other dog could escalate the signal in order for them to put more distance between them and your pup. This could result in increased chances of potential conflict.

We also focus on practicing brief and polite sniff-and-greets, and walking past other dogs calmly. This is to ensure your puppy does not start barking (throwing tantrums) if they are not allowed to meet a dog during the walk. Your pup does not need to greet every dog during a walk as it may not always be safe to do so.

A Bichon Frise and West Highland Terrier running together during play time in our Montessori School programme.

Class information


Puppy age eligibility



More about Puppy Life Skills

What will your pup learn?

🐾 Independence training;
🐾 Potty training;
🐾 Low-stress handling (teaching your dog to cooperate while being groomed and checked);
🐾 Prevent unwanted behaviours;
🐾 Prevent fear and aggression;

🐾 Food bowl exercise to prevent resource guarding; and
🐾 Handling play biting & chewing.

Some of the following basic commands will be taught to your puppy in this private class:
🐾 Sit;
🐾 Down;
🐾 Stay;
🐾 Come;
🐾 Leave it; and
🐾 Drop.

Your pup will also learn to walk with a loose leash.

As this is a private class, you may also discuss with your trainer other areas you want to work on, that may not be in the training plan.

🐾 Meet other pups, carefully selected by our trainers, in a safe and positive manner.
🐾 Learn how to read a good play and a risky play.
🐾 You will also learn the best way to interrupt play and get your pup’s attention.

Kristina and Izzy demonstrating loose leash walking in a group class.

Puppy Life Skills is a one-on-one private class that can be tailored to meet your needs!

A Maltipoo and Pomeranian playing tug together calmly with our trainer in the Montessori School programme.

In the Puppy Life Skills private class, your pup will learn fundamental skills essential for their wellbeing. You, as the owner, will also learn the importance of positive and safe socialisation for puppies. This helps to set a solid foundation for your pup. Furthermore, this can help prevent potential behavioural issues, such as fear, reactivity or aggression in the future.

As Puppy Life Skills (private class) focuses on early socialisation in a positive and safe manner, along with fundamental skills essential for your pup to learn in a one-on-one setting, it is advised to take an intermediate class, such as Teenage Paws (group class) or Teenage Life Skills (private class), to learn more comprehensive real-life skills to complement the skills they have learnt in this class.

Have other areas you would like to work on that’s not listed in the training plan (for example, jumping behaviour, mouthiness, learning to be calm when being alone for some time, etc)? You can discuss them with your trainer and they will customise the class to you and your pup’s needs.

As the science in canine behaviour, ethology and neuroscience continue to advance, we come to understand our canine companions better. Thus, allowing us to formulate better ways to connect with them. Whether you’re a first-time dog parent or not, our puppy class curriculums are always evolving, ensuring you have the latest knowledge on canine behaviour.

This is a great class for teaching your pup what they need to know, along with socialising them with new dogs, people and things within a controlled environment. With adequate socialisation during their sensitive period, you will be able to prevent most behaviour problems that could arise or worsen in the future. You will also learn how to work with your pup and understand their little quirks better, which helps to build the bond between you two in a rewarding and fun way.

Read more about the importance of puppy classes here.

The first three months are the period when sociability outweighs fear. Participation in well-run classes helps minimise potential problems such as fearfulness towards strangers, other dogs and anxiety. The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour (AVSAB) released a position paper outlining the importance of early puppy socialisation, preferably before the puppy reaches 12 to 16 weeks old.

Impulse control
Impulse control is also known as emotional self-control. As dogs tend to do what works best for them in the moment, domestic dogs need to learn some level of patience and restraint to live well in a family setting. A patient dog generally behaves better and is less demanding. They will also feel more in control, thus calmer, because they know what to do to get what they want instead of wrestling for control against you.

Being happy when alone
Although dogs are social creatures, it is important for them to learn how to be alone. This helps to build their confidence and composure when you’re not around, which reduces their overall stress level. You will also be able to trust them when you’re not around, and in turn, increase the bond in your relationship with them.

Mouthing & jumping up
Mouthing and jumping are common behaviours dogs display when playing with their friends. So, they employ such techniques when trying to get your attention. In general, mouthing is a behaviour dogs use to explore the world, so it’s important to properly socialise them to teach them bite inhibition. Jumping, on the other hand, is a behaviour that should not be encouraged, as it can be dangerous when your dog does not learn how to greet young children or older people in a calm manner.

Enjoying vet visits & grooming
Vet visits and grooming sessions are the most common forms of handling your dog should be comfortable with. By handling their sensitive areas (such as their mouth, paws and ears to name a few) at a young age, your dog will learn that such touches are not harmful.

House training
Teaching your dog where to potty is one of the most important lessons, whether it be indoors or outdoors. Each dog learns at their own pace, and with enough patience, consistency and persistence, they will eventually get the hang of it.

Different types of barking
Aside from body language, barking is another way dogs communicate. While their vocalisation varies, there are a few patterns you will learn that can help you decipher what some of their bark means, together with the body language displayed.

Preventing unwanted behaviour, fear and aggression
Teaching our pups early in life with consistency and constructively can help discourage unwanted behaviour from developing into an unwanted behaviour, or a worse problem. As some breeds may be predisposed to certain behaviours, it is important to take their breed history into account when working on the issues in a practical manner, whether you wish to change, curb or stop it.

Disclaimer: The training plan may be adjusted according to the puppy’s needs. Any changes will be discussed with you as your class progresses. 

Puppy Life Skills (private class) is great for:
🐾 Families with young children who need the full attention of the teacher;
🐾 Families who would like to have individual one-to-one attention for their puppies;
🐾 Owners with shy puppies that will need individual attention and will do better in a home environment;
🐾 Owners with very active or challenging puppies that will need extra attention and less distraction in their learning environment; and
🐾 Owners who have specific areas they would like to work with their pup.

The Puppy Life Skills private class is designed to facilitate socialisation, address normal puppy behaviours and prevent the development of potential behaviour problems.

It is not designed for puppies with existing behaviour issues such as excessive barking, over excitement, aggression anxiety, extreme fear or other issues that is beyond the normal puppy behaviour. Should there be any existing behaviour issues, please take a look at the classes offered for Behaviour Modification!

A Bichon Frise walking calmly on a leash outdoors at a playground with our trainer.

Who can enrol in Puppy Life Skills?

Interested in signing your pup up?

Please reach out to us through our Contact Us page!