Dog Care & Training

Basic Care

Dog Rescue Newcastle have written a one page Dog Care Basics (PDF format).

We’ve also written a 21 page Basic Dog Care for DRN Adopters booklet (PDF format) which covers topics including veterinary care, feeding, car travel, bad breath, obedience training, housetraining, safety around children, what to do if your pet is lost, rehoming your pet, and more.


Bored Dogs

With our busy lifestyles, many dogs spend hours each day left to their own devices, sometimes leading to social and behavioral problems. As we learn more about animals it is increasingly apparent that mental health is of enormous importance to their wellbeing. The 11-page document Enriching Your Dog’s Life and Environment (PDF format) contains a list of suggestions for keeping your dog amused when you’re not home or you’re not able to engage with him.

Since dogs are social animals it is vitally important that you spend quality time with your dog each day, so these ideas should be used in addition to your normal family interaction, dog training and walking.

Free Comprehensive Guides to Dog Care and Training

So you’ve brought home a new dog … now what? Read this article about settling in period, things you might need, the first month, rules, training, what to do when you have problems.

Adopting a Rescue Dog book 






Adopting a Rescue Dog, A free,107-page guide (1.8 MB PDF file) to the first week of bringing a  rescue dog into your home and helping him become a part of your family. Filled with useful tips, we think it can help both you and your new companion get off to a great start. Topics include:

  • A Month Before You Adopt
  • Selecting a Rescue Dog
  • Preparing Your Home
  • Introducing Your Dog To Your Home
  • Before You Get Your PuppyReal Tips/Stories From Owners
  • Training
  • Socializing
  • Healthcare

After You Get Your Puppy

Before You Get Your Puppy, by Dr. Ian Dunbar, free 104 page guide (2.7 MB PDF file) to preparing for your puppy and basic training especially housetraining.

After You Get Your Puppy, by Dr. Ian Dunbar, free 156 page guide (4.7 MB PDF file) to puppy and dog care and training: including household etiquette, socialisation, bite inhibition, adolescent problems, basic behaviours such as sit, down, come, walking politely on lead, plus games.


You’ll need the free Adobe Reader to open the above PDF files. You probably already have it, but if you don’t you’ll need to download the free Adobe Reader.

It’s important to build a bond of trust with your newly adopted dog. We offered some advice in a blog post for Advantage Petcare titled The Ultimate Guide to Bringing Home Rescue Pets.

Learning Shouldn't Hurt

Dog Training

We advocate the use of only positive training methods only, ie: rewarding good behaviour; no check chains, hitting, yelling or other forms of punishment. Why?
Why I Switched to Positive Training

Common Challenges

Feeling frustrated with your dog? Thinking you might need to find him or her a new home? Please think again! Armed with a bit of knowledge, dog behavioural challenges can be corrected or at least managed. Please read I Need to Return This Dog for advice to help you keep your dog.

Contact a qualified trainer to help guide you through the challenge or sign up for a class.

House Training (Toilet Training)

Dog Rescue Newcastle have produced a 4 page guide How to Housetrain Your Puppy or Dog (PDF). Also watch this video Housetraining Your Dog by Dogmantics.

Puppy and Adult Dog Training Classes

We strongly recommend dog training classes for all puppies and adult dogs. They are a great way to bond with your dog and will give you all the knowledge you need to ensure your dog is a happy, well behaved member of your family.Learning Shouldn't Hurt

Although most vets offer puppy classes, and there are dog clubs in many large towns and cities offering classes, often  the instructors of these classes are not qualified in dog training so the quality of the lessons varies greatly.  Many trainers are still teach damaging, dominating methods, and often classes sizes are too large to provide a safe, positive experience for you and your dog. Here are our recommendations for you and your dog.

Puppy Classes (Newcastle and Lake Macquarie)

Adult Dog Classes (Newcastle and Lake Macquarie)

  • Dog Training Newcastle – Classes for dogs 6 months and older. Small group: maximum of 6 dogs so each dog gets individual attention and learns at his own pace. Friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Taught under cover at Kotara. Delta Society qualified trainer. Six lesson program only $175 or $150 for dogs adopted from DRN. Website: Email
  • Canine Good Citizen classes for dogs 6 months and older. Six week program by Delta Society qualified trainer. Taught at Hillsborough (near Warners Bay) on Thursday evenings. Website. Email

Classes Elsewhere in Australia

Dog Trainers for Private Lessons and Behavioral Consultations

If you want to hire a dog trainer for a private lesson or consultation, especially if you are dealing with problem behaviours, we recommend these in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie area:

Dog Training Books

Positive Perspectives 2Positive Perspectives 2 by Pat Miller. Learn all the basics of training and then go beyond the basics and understand your dog’s behaviour on a deeper level. You’ll enjoy this accessible and informative book. Available from

You Can Train Your DogYou Can Train Your Dog by Pamela Dennison. Expert advice on basic training – sit, down, stay, come, door etiquette, loose lead walking, and more advanced skills. It explains dog body language, puppy socialisation, housetraining and addresses jumping, biting, barking and other problem behaviours. Available from


Puppy Primer bookThe Puppy Primer by Patricia McConnell and Brenda Scidmore. Start your puppy out on the right paw with positive reinforcement training. This guide doesn’t cover all aspects of puppy care, only training, but it covers training in a simple, readable, fun way. Some topics are: Socialization, Positive Reinforcement,  House Training,  Crate Training,  Handling,  How to Stop Unwanted Behavior,  Helping Puppies Conquer Their Fears, How Play Teaches Obedience and Emotional Control,  How Not to Play, Tricks and Games, Adolescence. Available from

Life Skills for Puppies by Helen Zulch and Daniel Mills. Available from

Dog Training Made EasyDownload the FREE StarMark Dog Training Made Easy, a comprehensive 53 page, dog training guide for positive reinforcement training. Nearly every skill/behaviour/trick you might want to teach your dog is in this free guide! Plus problem solving, how dogs learn, and common myths. You can also download this 3 page Quick Start Guide. You can use any clicker available from a pet shop for this gentle, fun, and quick training method. Or, you can also say the word “yesss” to mark good behavior instead of using a clicker. You’ll need the free Adobe Reader to open this 1.2MB PDF file. If you don’t already have it, download the free Adobe Reader.


Dog Training Resources Online

There are lots of free resources on the web. Check out these excellent web sites:

Dog Coach Videos – A collection of the best dog training videos on the web in one place! Sorted into logical categories so you can find what you want. Plus information about dog care, dog body language, how dogs learn, etc. Your first place to go when you need help training your dog.

Dogmantics – An amazing site with loads of dog training videos and information including the basics, tricks, and problem solving. Videos are also on the kikopup Youtube channel.

Training Videos by Victoria Stillwell – learn all the basics to have a well mannered dog, including walking nicely on a loose lead, come when called, puppy socialisation, impulse control, introducing dogs to each other, and much more.

Training Positive – More than 50 helpful dog training videos from basic puppy training to more advanced training and problem solving.

In the Dog House with Nando Brown – Entertaining, informative and short dog training videos.

Collars, Choker Chains, Shock Collars, Prong Collars – Is it harmful to attach a leash to your dog’s neck? All of these issues explored in a well researched, unemotional article.