Riverina K9


Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the answers to questions we get asked all of the time. Feel free to get in touch if you have any other queries we can assist you with.

In our eyes YES! 

Every person and every dog can benefit from professional training and instruction whether your a beginner, already training at an intermediate or advanced level we have something to offer you! 

Rather than guessing, googling endlessly or applying incorrect techniques, professional guidance will give you a structured means of reaching your individual training goals in the most efficient way with your dog.

Two words : straight away!

We encourage training to begin as soon as you bring your puppy home. No need to wing it, feeling lost on what is best to do and not to do with your new puppy. We can begin a puppy training program anytime when your puppy is between the ages of 8-20 weeks of age.  In our eyes the earlier you gain professional guidance with your puppy the better as the critical development window that occurs between 8-16 weeks has a massive impact on how your dog will go on to view the world, interact, cope and act as an adult dog out in the world. Getting the right foundations established in the beginning can set your puppy up for positive behaviour as a well-adjusted adult dog. Take a look at what we can provide in our beginners in our puppy program

We are working on it! Watch this space…..

We are currently in the process of building a state of the art dog training facility in Griffith, NSW which will accommodate group training and puppy preschool and adolescent group classes weekly in our large indoor training area. We are passionate about educating Guardians about the important stages of critical development that occur when a puppy first comes into their lives. We are looking forward to having a purpose-built space to nurture and support Griffith’s future super-pups. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to speed with our progress. We currently coach puppies and their guardians 1:1 within our Ultimate Puppy Program online or with blended face to face in-home training to give you the best start possible. This supports the development of a great relationship and introduces foundational obedience training skills.

Yes of course they can! 

Any dog of any age can benefit from training and learning new skills. In fact working with older dogs can be very enriching and mentally stimulating for them in their senior years. We liken it to the old saying “move it or loose it!” Training older dogs can potentially improve overall cognitive function and keeps them mobile and active for longer which has so many benefits. There are no age limits when it comes to us taking on older doggy clients!

Your dogs comfort and wellbeing is our priority

Ultimately the individual dog and owner will indicate what will work best for them and will give them the best chance of success. This is precisely why our initial contact and any further evaluation is a very important part of our process in gaining insight into what will work best for each individual dog. We use a positive-first balanced approach within our training practice. We focus and promote the power of positive reinforcement within dog training as a means of building the best relationship possible between owners and their dogs.

We focus on reinforcing what we want the dog to do and are mindful of the correct application of a least intrusive and minimally aversive strategy. As much choice and control is left in the dogs hands as realistically possible during training. We deeply respect each individual animal’s nature, preferences, abilities and needs throughout the training process.

One size does not fit all…..

This varies from client to client, and dog to dog weighing heavily on the goals you set and your ongoing progress. When it comes to training your dog you get out what you put in. Daily consistency is key to not only working sustainably but also working towards your goals efficiently. We keep our programs as flexible as possible so that you complete them at a pace both you and your dog are comfortable with, which is important when implementing change, making solid progress and, most importantly, having fun!

Our new blended delivery training programs give clients the option to choose what they feel is best for them according to how much 1:1 assistance they require. Alternatively with customized training programs you can book in sessions on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis to suite your needs and progress. The number and frequency of sessions within a customized program will depend on the skills and behaviours we’re working with, your dogs current skill level, the goals we’re aiming to achieve and your level of motivation day to day.

They sure can! 

We love having kids and young people along to the sessions, especially as it also helps them learn about how to treat and train dogs. Teaching the next generation about responsible pet Guardianship is something we are super passionate about. We do however ask that any child present be assisted and supervised by an adult 18+ years during the session. The experience of working virtually through our online programs can be a wonderful bonding experience for parents and children to share elevating their pets skills together as a team. Face to face training sessions held in public spaces may denote age limits on handling specific to the circumstance upon the Trainers request.

No worries

That’s absolutely fine, however we would appreciate you letting us know 48 hours beforehand so we are able to reschedule with you and give someone else this working spot. All clients are given access to read and agree to our terms and conditions prior to accessing training services with us. This form clearly details our cancellation and postponement policy further.

We sure can! 

We pride ourselves on being able to provide a multitude of training at different levels and for different purposes. Whether it be for basic sports, in-home manners, complex skills or you just want to learn some cool tricks to show off… we’ve got you covered ☺
If for any reason we feel you may gain more from a referral to a different trainer or pet professional we are happy to do this too.

Your dogs Guardian

Rather than talking about dog ‘owners’ we talk about dog or pet Guardians. We believe pets are a part of the family, rather than a piece of property. When we talk about Guardians, we mean the human who is responsible for caring for the dog. There’s a whole debate out there about the legal implications of the terms ‘owner’ and ‘guardian’. For our purposes we use ‘Guardian’ to more accurately represent the positive relationship between responsible humans and their well cared for dogs.

When a dog is displaying problem behaviour, it’s a common idea that they are lonely and need a friend. However, bringing a new dog in at this point is often not the best decision if there is already an issue with communication – you could end up with double trouble and two dogs exhibiting nuisance behaviours. Ideally it is recommended you need to address any existing issues with your dog before introducing a new family pet, especially as another dog will mean more costs, time and effort on your behalf. There are many ways to fulfill and provide your dog social outlets, get in touch and we can work on a solution together!

You’ve come to the right place! Asking this question is the first and most important step in the right direction. There are so many factors we can’t control in the lives of our pets, but we can control what we are putting in their dinner bowls and support their mobility in multiple ways. 

We are qualified to consult on pet nutrition, and can work with you to create tailored nutritional advice with guidelines around canine exercise to help your dog back to a healthy body condition. We also suggest you might first visit the vet for a check-up to rule out any underlying health issues that may be contributing.

No, this is an absolute myth. 

A balanced diet with highly bioavailable proteins can be very beneficial for your dog and improve their health and behaviour overall. If your dog becomes slightly tense or displays aggressive behaviours around food you may be dealing with a resource guarding issue that requires management. See how we can help with behavioural modification consultation

Yes we can! 

Often when dogs are demonstrating problem or nuisance behaviours, there’s a reason for it. Our initial contact with you and your pet will be a chance for us to assess the big picture and all the factors that may be affecting their behaviour. We’ll make a recommendation or come up with a realistic plan and strategy to help address those behaviours, and assist you and your dog to efficiently get back to enjoying each other again.

We are here to help

It’s natural to feel a bit disheartened when your dog isn’t behaving at the standard you desire or expect despite your efforts. At Riverina K9 Services we are a judgment-free zone who only want to support you and your dog towards a brighter future together. We’ve helped plenty of dog Guardians over the years who were trying their best but still not ultimately finding the success they were after. We’ll work with you to identify what is required, and set up a solution-focused approach to get you and your dog on the road to where you want to be.

It is important to discuss the pros and cons surrounding desexing with your Veterinarian according to your dogs breed, age, situation and lifestyle. Desexing is a broad and somewhat complex topic. Due to every dog experiencing a multitude of variables in day-to-day life there is much to consider in terms of what is best for each dog and these choices need to be made on a case-by-case basis. 

Desexing can be recommended as part of a behaviour modification program however the current literature, primarily surrounding findings in male dogs, provides evidence of a decrease in performing associated reproductive related behaviours only. A reduction in behaviours were noted such as an overall libido decrease, roaming, inter-male dog aggression, reproductive mounting and urinary marking but as for its effectiveness as a method to modify behaviours specific to human-directed aggression, human or object mounting, resource guarding, shyness and anxiety-related behaviours is inconsistent and sometimes contradictory. As such it is clear more research needs to be conducted to provide evidence-based recommendations surrounding desexing for clinical practice.

As a pet Guardian it is important to be educated about this topic so you are confidently acting in the best interest of your pet when making informed decisions around desexing or any type of surgical intervention. It is a good idea to review the latest research for your particular breed, for mixed breeds, expected adult size, as this area is changing.

Absolutely! We are more than happy to provide you a fully confidential service, should you require. We’re aware there can be sensitivities when it comes to asking for help with your pet, and we are a judgment-free zone. We applaud anyone who reaches out to make positive changes, and it is not our place to assign blame. Instead, we’ll look at the facts of the situation and provide the most ethical and productive advice we can to get things moving in the right direction for everyone.

Dog trainers and animal health practitioners can really make a difference but we are not magicians. We can’t work miracles overnight or provide guarantees. However, we at Riverina K9 Services do believe all pets have the potential to improve their health and behaviour with the right support and encouragement from a Guardian that is 100% committed to them. Ultimately, your dogs progress is directly linked to your willingness to commit and be consistent applying what you learn with us: if you’re willing to do the work, you’ll reap the rewards. We’ll give you plenty of help, assistance, encouragement and guidance along the way with our coach-led programs or customized assistance.

Great question! 

Different dogs can take different amounts of time to train according to their circumstances. Primarily though this weighs heavily on two things: 

  1. Access to a high level of training advice and support from an experienced and accredited Trainer
  2. The Guardian having a proactive mindset prioritizing learning and training with daily consistency.

Other variables like a dogs history, age, certain lifestyle factors, health and sometimes genetics may also play a part in the length of reaching a training milestone or goal. 

Racheal, our Owner and head dog trainer is qualified in various modalities including Dog Training and Behaviour, Canine Myotherapy, Massage and Animal Nutrition. She has been working in the pet industry around dogs for the better part of a decade, servicing her local region for the past 8 years. Get to know her and find out more about her qualifications and professional memberships here.

You can also learn more about us and Riverina K9’s mission and values which are firmly rooted in education, empowerment and support for our clients and their dog’s. 

When looking for a suitable trainer, behaviour consultant or allied health professional to support your and your dog we highly recommend look into the following details in a practitioner:

*Look for formal qualifications based around the services you are after

*Look for national accreditation or legitimate certifications that meet a high standard of knowledge and practical assessment for the services on offer

*Look for a good number of positive customers/client reviews and testimonials. These may be via word of mouth, on social media, their website or via google reviews. Ideally you are after someone that has worked with many clients in a broad range of areas or focus points. A small number of total customer reviews may indicate lack of experience, limited time in the industry and lack of overall client satisfaction or results.

*Look for professional memberships to industry organisations. This demonstrates a professionals level of accreditation and experience as these organisations generally will only accept those that have a higher standard of qualification or experience in their field. A professional membership also demonstrates that professional abides by the code of ethics within that organisation or institution. These are generally accessible for the public to read via the organisations websites.

*Search a trusted industry registry for highly recommended qualified professionals and practitioners. These organisations recommend practitioners or trainers that have met a high level of qualification and experience in their industry. A national dog training registry is offered via the NDTF (National Dog Trainers Federation) and for bodywork and rehabilitation practitioner registries are offered through SAENA (Small animal & Equine Naturopathic Association) and ACRA (Australian Canine Rehabilitation Association)

*Look for a practitioner that is experienced in their field. Many proud and experience professionals happily share how long they have worked with dogs or within the industry. Depending on the service you are after we believe experience plays a key role in setting yourself and your dog up for a successful experience both in terms of your goals, efficiency and financially. This is especially important when working on behavioural issues, physical rehabilitation and puppy development and socialisation guidance and where inexperience or lack of knowledge may cause more harm than good. Certain dog trainers may also specialise in particular areas so this is also something to keep in mind if you have particular goals.

*Look for a practitioners bio or quick story on how or why they got into the industry the work within. This generally demonstrates a persons passion and route they have taken to gain their qualifications and education. Passion and ethics are very important!

*Look for a trainer or practitioner showing direct video evidence of them working with animals or providing instruction to clients (outside of client reviews). This might be in the form of social media video training or informative posts or online course instructional or demonstration videos. This is more like evidence this practitioner can deliver on the services you might be after. Making sure the practitioner knows how to walk the walk and talk the talk is VERY IMPORTANT! Unfortunately the dog training industry remains unregulated in Australia and just about anyone can and may claim they can train a dog with limited experience and next to no credentials, buyer beware! It’s extremely important customers and prospective clients do their own due diligence before settling on a professional that will provide them and their dog the best possible outcomes with your animals best interests at heart.

*Look for a practitioner or trainer that values ongoing study, personal research, attending seminars, work experience, shadow programs and professional mentorship. This generally relays someone that is proactive and values ongoing professional development staying up to speed with the current science, other professionals. techniques and methods of delivery within their chosen field.

*Ask and enquire any questions you have with them. Most practitioners will have website and contact page or an email to make contact. It may be a flag if a practitioner dodges questions or queries you have on their credentials or experience level.

We are not a veterinary or medical service. 

We do however refer to veterinary services when we think a dog’s health needs further assessment, and we’re always happy to work in partnership with veterinarians for a fully-integrated approach to your dog’s needs. We believe allopathic medical care has just as much an important place in your pets lives as our training, behavioural advice and other allied health specialties do.

We offer consultation primarily in Dog training & Behaviour modification, Pet nutrition, Canine Myotherapy & Massage.


Remember your relationship with your dog is an investment, never an expense….

We offer a range of services and products with different price points to suite everyone! These include a mixture of online programs and in-person or private support and instruction. Many of our training programs are also on offer with payment plans or pay-as-you-go sessions to keep things affordable.

We believe the benefits of giving your pet the best possible life are absolutely worth the investment, and the most cost-effective way to do this is to start working with a professional while your dog is young or when any behaviours may first be noticed. Check out our services or get in touch so we can recommend the best service or program for you.

We offer a range of payment options to our clients depending on the service:

  • For initial or specialty bookings through our online booking system we accept online payment via Stripe
  • For all instant access flagships courses and mini-courses and other online bookings we accept online payment via Stripe
  • We also offer direct deposit details on request for all of our services
  • Payment plans are also on offer with our puppy program, obedience training programs and packages

We’re based in the beautiful town of Griffith in the Riverina, New South Wales. We work with dog guardians in person across the region, and will travel anywhere up to 3 hours from Griffith where travel costs apply. We also offer online training programs and can conduct virtual sessions or consultations if required.

Yes we do! 

We now offer online program options and can provide virtual training sessions, teleconsults and video conferencing, so that people can still access our guidance even when social distancing, staying at home, or living long distances away. While virtual consultations or lessons can be limiting in some ways, they’re a great way to make progress when an in-person meet-up isn’t possible. If we feel the situation or behaviours you’re dealing with need to be dealt with in person, we’ll let you know, however most things can be conducted remotely if needed.

You can register for instant access into our puppy program, range of obedience programs and mini-courses via our training course page. Click the ‘LEARN MORE & ENROLL TODAY‘ buttons. Once you are enrolled as a student with us you have access to book in as many additional private training sessions with our Trainer as you like to assist you on your way!

You might also be interested in taking our FREE QUIZ where we provide you with an instant training recommendation based on a few quick questions

If you are not sure what you are after or would like customized or specialty training or assistance relating to our other services get in touch with us today via our contact page and tell us more about your dog and how we can help you.  We offer a range of services that can assist any pet guardian to facilitating good behaviour, health and well-being with their companion animal.

Get in touch via the enquiry form on our contact page and we will get back to you as soon as possible

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