Dog Training

Lort Smith offers three training programs to cater for dogs of all ages:

  • Puppy Preschool
  • Junior Adult classes
  • One-on-One classes.

Bookings and enquiries

Should you wish to make a booking or have an enquiry, please phone 03 9287 6433 or email.

Training is held in our Adoption Hub, 38 Villiers Street, North Melbourne.

All profits from Dog Training help support the operation of our Adoption Centre.

Conditions of the Lort Smith Dog Training Program can be downloaded here.

Mia Shaw, Head Dog Trainer

Your beloved pooch is in great hands with Mia. She is a Lort Smith Animal Welfare Officer and a National Dog Trainers Federation (NDTF) accredited Dog Trainer/Behaviourist.

Mia has worked in a professional capacity with dogs since 2009. Beginning with assistance dogs, she now works with private clients and rescue organisations – conducting both one-on-one and group obedience classes. Mia uses modern reward-based, science-driven training techniques.

With a particular passion for training shelter/rescue dogs, Mia loves to work with families, helping them understand their new dog’s behaviours and building a lifelong bond.

Puppy Preschool

  • Five-week program, running on Wednesday nights
  • One-hour class per week plus homework
  • Up to 20 weeks old
  • Cost: $185.

What is covered in this five-week puppy training obedience course?

  • We will provide you with a puppy training folder. This contains all the documents you will require for practising training with your pup at home as well as some extra advice and information. We will also send these out in digital copies via email on a weekly basis after every class
  • Correct leash-handling techniques
  • Explaining marker training and release words – this will involve the ‘how’ and ‘why’ to mark behaviour
  • Explanation of the reward-based program
  • How to teach sit with the luring technique
  • How to teach touch/targeting
  • How to teach drop with the luring technique
  • How to teach your pup to leave it and give
  • Mat/bed training with the luring technique
  • How to teach to walk on a loose lead
  • Teaching how to train a reliable recall (problem solve and recall games)
  • Discussion and exercises on motivational play – pups learn to give toys back
  • Discussion of common puppy problems and ways to solve these issues: house-training, jumping up, pulling on lead, not walking on lead, nipping, mouthing, biting
  • Discussion and explanation of proofing behaviours, fading out food (schedules of reinforcement)
  • Discussion and demonstrating the use of food and toys in training
  • Discussion of luring and shaping
  • Discussion of advantages and disadvantages of training with food
  • Controlled socialisation and environmental desensitisation including pool of balls, stepping up, onto and over raised buckets and surfaces, through tunnel, pup-to-pup socialisation (discuss safety, play styles and body language)
  • Discussion of socialisation and environmental desensitisation – other pups and adult dogs, people, places, situations, locations, sounds, surfaces, objects
  • Puppy socialisation tracker and sound desensitisation app
  • Discussion of off-lead dog parks, on- and off-lead areas
  • Discussion of the importance of generalising behaviours
  • Q&A and problem-solving in each class.

Junior Adult Classes

  • Five-week program, running on Wednesday nights
  • One-hour class per week plus homework
  • 5–12 months of age
  • Cost: $185.

What is covered in this five-week junior adult obedience course:

  • We will provide you with a junior adult training folder. This contains all the documents you will require for practising training with your dog at home as well as some extra training advice and information. We will also send these out in digital copies via email on a weekly basis after every class.
  • Correct leash-handling technique
  • Explaining marker training and release words – this will involve the ‘how’ and ‘why’ to mark behaviour
  • Explaining the reward-based program
  • How to teach sit with the luring technique
  • How to teach touch/targeting and shaping behaviours
  • How to teach drop with the luring technique
  • How to teach your dog to leave it and give
  • Mat/bed training with the luring technique
  • How to teach to walk on a loose lead and heeling
  • How to teach how to train a reliable recall (problem-solve and recall games)
  • Hand signals
  • Depending on your dog’s level of obedience, we may discuss and teach some other fun skills such as spin, crawl, beg, leg weaving, etc
  • Discussion and exercises on motivational play – dog learns to give toys back
  • Discussion of common problems and ways to solve these issues: house-training, jumping up, pulling on lead, not walking on lead, mouthing, biting
  • Discussion and explanation of proofing behaviours, fading out food (schedules of reinforcement)
  • Discussion and demonstration of the use of food and toys in training
  • Discussion of luring and shaping
  • Discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of training with food
  • Controlled socialisation and environmental desensitisation including pool of balls, stepping up, onto and over raised buckets and surfaces, through tunnel, dog-to-dog socialisation (discussion of safety, play styles and body language)
  • Discussion of socialisation and environmental desensitisation – other pups and adult dogs, people, places, situations, locations, sounds, surfaces, objects
  • Socialisation tracker and sound desensitisation app
  • Discussion about off-lead dog parks, on- and off-lead areas
  • Discussion of the importance of generalising behaviours
  • Q&A and problem-solving in each class.

One-On-One Classes

  • One hour in duration and one follow-up phone call (Saturdays 4:30–5:30pm)
  • Open age
  • Cost: $100.

Not all dogs are comfortable in a group situation and will be better suited to one-on-one training. In these sessions, the trainer will focus on specific issues that you are facing and develop an ongoing training program to suit you, your family and environment.

Many dogs experience challenges on walks including lead reactivity, pulling on lead, lack of attention/engagement, dog-to-dog reactivity, so a short walk is included in this class to be able to accurately observe and assess the behaviour.