Coffs Harbour and surrounding areas ~ 0421-784292 ~ Call to discuss your specific needs.

Canine Education & Puppy Classes ~ Susanne Bark

Welcome to my website!

The site describes the wide variety of classes I have structured to suit the needs of all dogs and their owners.

I am a veterinary nurse with 20 years’ experience. For the last 15 of those years my duties have included conducting the practice’s ‘Puppy Pre-School’.

During those years, I perceived a need for more specialized classes dealing with adult dogs and in particular those exhibiting problematic behaviours, as well as those whose owners simply desired to experience the joy of a highly trained companion.

I am one of Australia’s very few certified Behaviour Adjustment Training instructors. Certification at this level requires a deep understanding of canine psychology. The BAT skills are of particular benefit in assisting dogs suffering from fear, aggression and frustration.

I am, of course, a member of the Australian Association of Professional Dog Trainers.In addition to my professional endeavours I have, for many years, provided volunteer assistance to organizations such as RSPCA, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the Delta Society (Pets for Therapy).

This, and my ongoing education is some small reflection of the endless passion I have for dogs and, in particular, my commitment to bringing you the most humane and effective solutions to canine behavioural and communication issues.

My other passion is photography, and of course my favourite subject involves capturing emotion, expression and movement in dogs. The body language of dogs is key to understanding how she or he feels and what they are communicating to us. Observation through the camera lens adds another dimension to understanding my favourite creature on Earth: the DOG.

And yes, my name has always been Bark!!


A little bit about the classes... 

'Positive Reinforcement' is the foundation of all our classes. This style of training is scientifically proven and based on sound learning theory principles of operant conditioning. I place a strong emphasis on motivating dogs to learn and practice desirable behaviours through play and reward.


Puppy Classes    (ages 8-16 weeks)

The best place to start! All puppies benefit from socialization with other puppies at this age as this is their one and ...ONLY... socialization period! This is the optimal time to acquire social skills, learning to get along with different breeds and sizes. The older more mature dog does not play the same games as a puppy and can often be grumpy towards your exhausting playful puppy. Being told off by an older dog can be detrimental to the new puppy's outlook on life with other dogs. Puppy-hood is ideally supposed to be playful and fun! Building confidence is the key at this age.

Our course covers all the puppy behaviours that new "puppy parents" find challenging.  Learn how to raise your puppy in a gentle way and understand the dogs language better. Learn to communicate and bond properly which leads to a happier puppy with far fewer behavioural difficulties.

Brochures are also available at 152 Sawtell Road at Pacific Vetcare and is the main drop off point for the enrollment form.

Puppy Classes comprise 7 x 2 hour consecutive weekly sessions. Puppy classes are formed subject to demand, which is high, and places are limited. Accordingly, enrolment should be made as soon as possible and must be secured by a cash part payment of $50 (non refundable) The remainder of course fee is payable on the first night ($100) in cash.

Click here for more information and enrollment form

Watch this VIDEO to learn what socialization is, why it is so important, and how to use it to give your puppy the best start in life.   


Classes for Junior dogs     (ages 5-12 months)

The bouncy adolescent! When you have completed the Puppy School program the next step is to enroll in the Junior School.
This consists of two foundation courses.

"Junior Focus and Drive class" comprises 8 x 90 minute weekly classes focusing on promoting the dogs enthusiastic and joyful engagement which builds a natural drive for your dog to learn. This is a foundation class which is used as a platform to build behaviours upon.

Total price is $160

Click here for more information

"Junior Formal Heeling Class" comprises 7 x 90 minute classes that focus on formal heeling for beginners. Foundation exercises are taught and more advanced heeling is able to be created after this class.

Total price is $140

Click here for more information

NB If your dog is not a graduate of our Puppy Class, entry to Junior School is subject to a 90 minute private assessment and orientation session, the cost of which is $90 


Rapid Recall classes   (all ages)

Positive and fun approach to teaching your dog to come to you! This course enables you  to improve your relationship with your dog and step by step instructions what to practice each week. Teach your dog to love coming back to you through these simple games.
Requirements to this class is your dog likes other dogs and understands the "Sit" cue

You will need to have your dog on a 5 meter lead to teach your dog to come back to you. ( available for purchase during your first session)

Rapid recall classes comprise 5 x 90 minute consecutive weekend sessions.

Total price is $100


Adult classes    (over 1yr)

Reaching maturity!  Designed for "dog parents" which would like to further their dogs education and keep the social skills you have created thus far.
We practice walking on a loose leash, sit, drop, stand, stay, come, wait, leave it, just to name a few, in a more distracting environment. Some of the existing dogs in this class are more advanced but you are encouraged to work at your own dogs level of understanding.

Adult classes comprise of 90 minute weekly sessions. Each class cost is $20 and for simplicity we ask you to pay $100 in advance for each set of 5 classes. These class are available on an ongoing basis. This enables you to access support and advice at any stage throughout your dogs life.

NB If your dog is not a graduate of our Puppy Class or Junior classes entry is subject to a 90 minute private assessment and orientation session, the cost of which is $90. This enables me to asses your dog and give you solutions to specific problems. It also gives you and your dog an opportunity to familiarize itself with the environment before a joining a group class.

Tricks class   (any age)

Your dog requires to be dog friendly and have mastered sit and drop to be able to attend this class. The more tricks you teach your dog the more fun you and your dog will have.
This is a introductory class to tricks and we cover:

*  Sit pretty

*  Fetch anything to your hand

*  Put your toys away in a bucket

*  Play bow

*  Roll over 

*  Relax on your side

Tricks classes comprise 5 x 90 minute consecutive weekend sessions.

Total price is $100


Private Classes  (any age)

Learn faster and work on individual issues! If you need help with a specific behavioural issue and it is occurring at home you may want to organize a house call. Private classes can also be arranged at the training grounds to give you "one on one" time. If your dog is fearful, frustrated or aggressive I recommend BAT, see below.

Cost $60/hr
Add $20 for a house visit in the CBD or Toormina area.


BAT- Behaviour Adjustment Training   (any age)

If you have a "reactive rover" then of course more private classes are required before you and your dog have suitable experience to  join a group situation. Your dog must be able to offer you certain behaviours before we overwhelm your dog with a group of unfamiliar dogs,people and a completely new environment. I will be working closely with you to achieve the best result for you and your dog .

BAT is a humane and dog friendly training method for dogs who experience fear, frustration or aggression.

BAT empowers animals to live with confidence and joy among humans.

You will require at least 3 private sessions before you are able to attend BAT group sessions as it involves teaching you how to handle your dog in these classes. You will learn how to manage a 5 meter lead, read your dogs body language better and understand the fundamentals of how and why we orchestrate "set ups"  You will receive handouts to enable you to understand the concept of BAT.

Cost for  private BAT classes is $200 and comprises 3 x 90 minutes classes which ideally should be attended within the space of a months time.

Group BAT classes  comprises of a 90 minute session with several dog and handler teams taking turns  working on their specific trigger.

Each class costs $20 and for simplicity we ask you to pay $100 in advance for each set of 5 classes. 

"BAT is a living method that evolves as new research and its positive practical applications are explored, developed and verified. The core of BAT is that it is a dog-friendly application of desensitization with a giant dose of empowerment to the dog. Giving dogs a high degree of control over what happens to them is important for humane care and is what sets BAT apart from other training techniques. By setting up situations in which dogs can safely explore the environment and investigate other dogs, people, etc., BAT helps dogs learn to control their own comfort level through peaceful means"- Grisha Stewart

For more info on BAT visit Grisha Stewart "Empowered animals" website.


What to bring to class:

*   Your dog wearing a harness or flat collar and lead- Please – no check chains.

 A harness will always be the most comfortable option for your dog to learn in. "Callicoma  Kelpies" supply a very comfortable  harness that is easy to put onto your dog. Click here to view harness. 

*   Lots of high value  treats! (cooked chicken, sausages, cheese, beef, kangaroo are all good  options, avoid dry treats as they can

     get stuck in their throats during training) Have these  ready and cut in small pieces, bring more than you think you will need.

*   A treat bag or training vest so you can have the treats on your body to reward your dog.

*   Your dog’s favourite tug toy ( tug toys can be bought at class advice me in advance)

*   A towel or bed for your dog to sit on

*   Enclosed shoes

*   Pen and paper if you would like to make notes.

*   A water bowl (we have water)

*   Patience while you and your dog is learning new behaviours


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