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Radica at work as puppy preschool trainer Training a dog to be calm and attentive
Training recall in puppy school Radica with a puppy at work in puppy class

Why The Mindful Dog?

Puppy parenting does not come naturally. It requires knowledge and skill.

As a qualified dog professional, I have been providing education for modern puppy parents since 2013. My main goal is to help you and your puppy develop a healthy and happy relationship, so you can enjoy each other's company for many years to come.


Radica Raeves FDM CPDT-KA
Certified Family Dog Mediator,
Puppy Trainer & Puppy Class Instructor.

I made a big shift from the IT world to the animal industry in 2012.

Taking professional dog trainer courses, attending conferences and participating in practical, hands-on dog training workshops, in order to qualify as a certified professional dog trainer CPDT-KA.

A true dog geek, I am always keen to progress my knowledge and skills. And I decided to also qualify as a certified Family Dog Mediator FDM. whereby I help new puppy parents to first understand the "why" of their puppy's behaviour, so we can explore suitable solutions for their puppy and their circumstances. As a Certified Family Dog Mediator I incorporate evolutionary biology and applied ethology, in order to provide more context and a clear framework for puppy parents to both prevent and resolve behaviour challenges.

In recent years, the worsening environmental crisis has come into sharp focus. It has lead me to explore new ways to thread more lightly on the Earth. Looking for better options to minimise our carbon footprint and our puppy's paw prints. My puppy school classes are now plastic free. And I encourage puppy parents to find more eco-friendly products and creative ways to provide their puppy with enrichment, e.g. using carbboard rolls, carboard boxes, natural materials etc. Every action counts. From little things... big things grow.

Radica at work on puppy recall in puppy class 1
Puppy class overview photo

Why choose to work with

My approach is a bit different than most of my fellow dog trainers.

We usually start by encouraging you to make a mindset shift. Because, our beliefs influence our thinking and our behaviour. Ultimately, your mindset and beliefs will shape what kind of relationship you develop with your dog. I hope you are open to embracing a more eco-centric view. And perhaps, learn to let go of culturally conditioned and potentially harmful, anthropocentric ideas.

You will learn to recognise your puppy's body language cues and subtle stress signals, so you can start to see your puppy's "antics" from a more empathetic perspective.

A Family Dog Mediation approach well beyond dog training.

FDM's assess the situation from a more holistic, applied ethology lens, and aim to take into account all four L.E.G.S.™ of the dog's experience. This informs us on what is going on. What the dog's experience is. What the dog's "Why" is. As an FDM I look for the best approach that prevents human-dog conflict and resolves stress-related behaviours... on both ends of hte leash.

For example: Separation related problem behaviours don't exist in a vacuum. A dog who struggles to make sense of day-to-day separation events, is unable to self-regulate emotionally in order to achieve homeostasis. This dog will undoubtedly also struggle in other stressful situations.

We need to look at the whole picture, before we can decide how best to deal with it. Every puppy benefits from social and emotional learning to help make sense of their world. Developing your puppy's ability to self-regulate emotions, will result in more socially acceptable, well-adapted behaviour choices (less barking, nipping, jumping etc.).

You can learn how to teach your puppy how to successfully navigate challenging and stressful situations in their day-to-day life – without over-reacting – and,… with or without you.

A dog who has been taught to make good behaviour choices on their own, is an absolute joy to live with, and a wonderful companion who can join you almost everywhere.

As a certified Family Dog Mediator and experienced puppy school instructor, I can coach you to bridge the common "pet dog" knowledge gap, so you can further develop your understanding of:

"Who?" your puppy really is.
"Why?" your puppy does what s/he does.
"What?" your puppy is trying to tell you, and what your puppy actually needs.
"How?" you can apply the most effective parenting approach to help your puppy – considering your family circumstances – in order to avoid problems, and resolve stress-related and separation related behaviours.

Find out more, and book your initial private coaching consultation, or enrol for one of my specialised training programs:

Mindful Puppy School Separation Anxiety Dog Training

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