Pooch Proficiency is Shutting Down

Hello Puppy Parents,
First and foremost I want to thank each and every one of you for letting us play a role in the lives of your family and your dog. It has really been an absolute joy getting to work and know each and every one of you. I have made the incredibly difficult decision to shut Pooch Proficiency down come the end of April. We will not be taking any new bookings from this point onwards, but will see our current clients through to the end of their courses and private training packages. If you need any recommendations for local trainers or walkers please reach out! Our email, phone and online courses will be active through to September 2024. They will be monitored roughly once a week.
Phone: 0482 578 032
I started Pooch Proficiency almost 5 years ago. I was running Puppy Preschool for the Fitzroy Vet as a staff member, and had a few people ask for some extra help outside of class. So, I registered the business name, got myself an ABN and started offering one on ones! I have learnt so much and had such an amazing time meeting the community, working with dogs and people of different backgrounds, and helping people understand their dogs better.
Working in the animal industry is incredibly rewarding, but presents its own sets of challenges. I hear all the time “you must have the easiest and best job in the world, getting to play with puppies all day”. While there is a lot of truth to that statement, it is far from easy! The work we do is demanding and challenging. We play the role of dog trainer, human teacher, therapist and confidant while getting glimpses into the most intimate parts of a family’s day to day life, and we are only really trained for one of those things! We get asked about veterinary medical questions well beyond the scope of our training. We provide emotional support when complex behaviour training takes time and people are at the edge. We help guide families through some of the toughest decisions they have to make regarding their dog. We help families learn how to communicate better with their animal, and for their animal to be better understood. We help repair damaged human-animal relationships. We have often done years and years of ongoing training and development, to more often than not be called “JUST a dog trainer”. The burnout is real, the compassion fatigue is real, the struggle with mental health is real. Across the animal industry, vets, vet nurses, trainers, vet techs, animal welfare workers, shelter staff and more do their absolute best to help keep you and your animals supported. Please be kind to them. Please treat them with respect. They are the most passionate and empathetic people I know, who just want what is best for you and your animal. Sometimes they have to tell you things that you don’t want to hear, or present you with impossible decisions. I completely understand you will have your own big emotions through those moments. I just ask that you be kind. The vet who has to euthanise the senior dog, has to then run and put a smile on their face as they jump straight into a puppy vaccination. The trainer who has just had to help guide a family to the decision of behavioural euthanasia, has to then head straight into puppy preschool. They don’t get the beat to reset or process their own emotions after that.
I am now studying Psychology, with the goal of offering mental health support to those in the animal industry. Like every industry, there is good, bad and ugly. There is an enormous amount of absolute joy I have gotten from working this role and that all of my colleagues in the animal industry get when working with you and your pets. All I ask of you going forward is to treat your animal professionals with empathy and kindness.
Thank you again for entrusting me with your dogs over the last half decade. I wish you all the very best in the future.
David – Director and Lead Animal Behaviour Trainer of Pooch Proficiency

Transform Your Dog’s Behavior and Strengthen Your Bond

Pooch Proficiency: Dog, Puppy Training for Melbourne Dogs and Their Guardians, Separation Anxiety Training for Dogs Everywhere

Are You Struggling to Train Your Furry Friend?

We know that every dog is unique and so are your training challenges, and those challenges can be stressful for both you and them. That’s why we offer services that cater to your dog’s individual needs and personality!

We prioritise communication and understanding, and we’ll work closely with you to achieve your goals. Whether you are dealing with new puppy problems, struggling with general manners, or have a pup with separation anxiety, we are here to help.

Don’t let struggles affect your relationship with your best friend, let us at Pooch Proficiency help you and your pup reach your training goals!

Are You Struggling to Train Your Furry Friend?

We know that every dog is unique and so are your training challenges, and those challenges can be stressful for both you and them. That’s why we offer services that cater to your dog’s individual needs and personality!

We prioritise communication and understanding, and we’ll work closely with you to achieve your goals. Whether you are dealing with new puppy problems, struggling with general manners, or have a pup with separation anxiety, we are here to help.

Don’t let struggles affect your relationship with your best friend, let us at Pooch Proficiency help you and your pup reach your training goals!

How We Can Help

Private Dog Training

Looking for a personalised approach to dog training that caters to the specific needs and goals of you and your dog? Our Private Training is perfect for those seeking one-on-one training at their own pace.

Dog Training Classes

Looking to train your furry friend while having some fun? Group dog classes are the perfect way to get your dog’s tail wagging! Our group classes offer the best of both worlds – a chance to train your pup while making new friends for you and your furry pal.

Puppy Training Classes

Our puppy classes provide a safe and fun environment for puppies to learn socialisation skills, basic cues, and build confidence. Start your furry friend off on the right paw and establish a foundation for a lifetime of good behaviour by joining our puppy classes!

Separation Anxiety Training

If your pup is showing signs of excessive distress when left alone, leading to destructive behaviours, excessive barking or howling, or other worrisome behaviours, they may have separation anxiety. Our training program will help you and them feel better about being alone!

Training Philosophy

At Pooch Proficiency, our training philosophy is based on the belief that every dog is unique and deserves a personalised and compassionate approach to training.

We utilise positive reinforcement training methods that are tailored to each dog’s individual needs, personality, and learning style.

By building a strong and positive bond between dogs and their guardians, we aim to help dogs reach their full potential and become well-behaved and confident furry friends.

Are You Ready to Transform Your Dog’s Behavior?

Testimonials

Yona

“I’ve done two puppy school courses and they have been wonderful. My pup learned good social skills and I learned how to best train and raise her to get the most happy confident and well behaved dog she could be. I highly recommend Pooch Proficiency and David as a trainer and dog walker. His ability to connect to dogs and have them engage with him in training is top notch. I trust him especially as he uses positive reinforcement training and there is zero harm and fear involved. It’s been over a year since we first worked with David at puppy preschool and I would do it again, I’m still really happy with his ongoing advice and support.”

Henry

“Coming home to a calm and sleepy 7 month old puppy and nothing destroyed after a walk with David and doggy friends is just exactly what I need after a long day at work.”

Iggy

“David helped us with our schnoodle Iggy’s Isolation Distress, who was initially only able to be left alone for under a minute. With Iggy’s wellbeing at the centre of David’s approach to training, he provided us with the tools and guidance to teach Iggy to feel safe on her own. David supported us through various successes and setbacks, and over the time we worked with David we were able to gradually build Iggy’s alone time up to over 1.5 hours—an occasion we marked with an Iggy-less evening out at the pub!”