Based in Cambridge Park, Paula Smith, owner of Dandy Dog Training provides force free, positive reinforcement training. I enjoy helping people learn how to understand their dog and build a strong bond which ultimately develops a responsive dog that is engaged with their person.

I undertook my Cert IV Companion Animal Services with the Delta Institute.  Delta was the first training organisation in Australia to offer a nationally accredited course in this field. The course teaches scientifically proven, 100% positive, reward-based training techniques and is a structured, competency-based program involving over 600 hours of practical and written assignments. I was also mentored under Rhonda Scholanders at Dog Etiquette in Glenbrook for over two years.

I first developed a desire to start teaching or coaching people when I become a volunteer dog handler with Nepean Therapy Dogs. The impact of seeing positive changes between a handler and dog’s bond, whilst building confidence in their skills and joy in sharing their love of their dog with those in need, was a massive reward and highly impactful. Over the past 5 years I have developed my skills and now provide group and individual training to volunteers to enhance their skills and bond with their dog whilst volunteering as visitation therapy dog handlers.  I’m very excited to be their Head Trainer and continue to improve the training program.

I am also a mindDog assessor, trainer and coach people training their pets to become psychiatric assistance dogs. Every day I am working with people that are dealing with challenges and finding ways to coach and enable people to train their dog way beyond what they imagined.

People sometimes ask me what I can guarantee. I can offer a guarantee in that I will do everything I can as a trainer to set a dog up for success and be there to support a dog owner throughout the training process. But I cannot guarantee that a dog will respond to a training program in a certain amount of time, or that a dog's behaviour will change to the extent that a dog owner wanted.

Most dog trainers specialise in a particular field, so sometimes there will be situations where I may refer you to another trainer that specialises in a specific field. My dog training focus is: pet training for dogs having access to the family and a welcome member of the community; behavioural training, hiking in the Blue Mountains, kayaking in the Nepean River, visitation therapy dogs, therapy dogs for professional therapists and psychiatric assistance dogs.

The important stuff

  • Cert IV Companion Animal Services – Delta Institute

  • Member of Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Australia

  • Member of Pet Professional Guild Australia

  • Head Trainer at Nepean Therapy Dogs

  • mindDog Trainer & Assessor

  • Storydogs - Assessor

  • Ongoing Geeky Stuff

  • Dr. Robert B Bailey PhD, Operant Conditioning workshop

  • Canine Behaviour Assessment Workshop

  • Dr Kat Gregory, Husbandry, target, station and free shaping skills workshop.

  • Dr LE Hammer BVSC, Rearing puppies for Behavioural Brilliance.

  • Dr Ciarin Galvin MVB (UCD Ireland), Factors Affecting Fertility in the Male Dog.

  • Building Capacity: Anxiety & Depression Workshop, Centre for Disability Studies, The University of Sydney.

  • Kelly Gill: The Wonderdogs, Shaping for Trick Training Workshop.

  • Cultivating Calm in Canines, Cassandra Roland, Fur Get Me Not.

  • ​Understanding Livestock Guardian Dogs is critical to their success as Companion Dogs, Erin Williams


  • First Aid Certificate, Australian Red Cross, Current

  • Working With Children Clearance Check, Current

  • Police Check, Current

  • Public Liability, Current


Paula Smith

My heart dog Ladybelle. She's always by my side and a great little companion.

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Kate Darwen

Introducing Kate Darwen our virtual administrator that oversees our group class bookings and accounts. Kate has over 14 years of experience managing accounts in small to medium size business. We’re very lucky to have Kate in our team with her excellent level of detail and super-efficient management of all of the important responsibilities in business.
On her down time Kate enjoys time with her beautiful family Olivia and Grace, Bobby the Quarter horse, Maddie the Boston Terrier, Shadow the Ragdoll cat and Steven Darwin the Python!

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