top of page

John Vella

I am John Vella, your local trainer in The Northern Beaches, The North Shore, Balmain and Drummoyne. I have been a professional dog trainer, and specialist in behaviour and obedience, since 1999.


My Experience

I started training dogs as a hobby in the mid-80s when I acquired 2 rescue dogs, a kelpie cross and a border collie cross German Shepherd dog both of which I trained to a very high standard.

In 1995 I purchased “Bonnie”, a German Shepherd. She was a beautiful dog with excellent lines and papers and I started training her. However, by the time she was 18 months of age I was at my wits end with her as nothing seemed to be working; she was pulling on the lead on walks, barking till all hours in the morning, jumping up and digging up my garden.


I had a number of so-called expert trainers trying to help me and I also sent her away for a 3 weeks boarding and training and it was after this that my problems really began. She became aggressive, she bit my son and tried to bite a few other children.  This was the final straw! I felt that nothing could be done and my vets advice was to euthanise her as she was a definite liability.


My life really turned, when I met John Richardson, aka "The Dog Whisperer".

John helped me to cure Bonnie, who lived with me till she died at around 12 years old. 


I remember asking John, “Why did this happen with all the training I had put into her and my other dogs?” He explained that I had trained them in obedience training but not behaviour training and had listened to the wrong advice from these so-called experts.  He also explained that I did not socialise my dogs by taking them to Puppy School before they were 16 weeks old.


This started a great 16 year relationship between myself and John, who shared his wealth of knowledge about dogs. I also studied and read everything I could get my hands on regarding dog psychology and behaviour.


I have used this knowledge and experience to help thousands of dogs with a variety of behavioural and anxiety issues.


My German shepherd dog "Harley", who I have trained using the DOGWISE method, is my constant helper. I use him on a daily basis to rehabilitate aggressive dogs, for demonstrations & in 2015 he and I worked closelywith Australia Post to help their delivery staff reduce incidents of dog

bites.  The feedback from this programme has been overwhelmingly positive. 


My Training Philosophy

I will show YOU, how to teach YOUR dog, to be a respectful dog, who listens to you and does what you ask.


I feel most satisfied when I achieve a positive outcome with a client, who is at a complete loss regarding their dog's behavioural issues, especially after they have tried other less effective or harsher training methods; - my Positive Reinforcement techniques achieve a solution without cruelty and allows my clients to feel as if they are doing something that works while still allowing them to love

their dog and treat it well.



John Vella, DogWise Northern Beaches

John Vella is fantastic. His understanding of dogs is extraordinary and I feel grateful every day for the traininghe gave me to manage my dog.  -



A male client arrived today at 2pm and Scooby ran out to greet him, tail wagging and went up for a pat whereas before he would bark aggressively and not let him in the door. He is unrecognisable now - he has quietened down so much. A total success and thank you again.- 


My Services

Whether you are planning on raising the Perfect Puppy or have a problem with your dog, I can

help with:


• Puppy schools

• Group classes

• All dog behavioural problems

• In-home Puppy set ups


Our gentle, reward based DOGWISE training methods are appreciated by dog lovers everywhere. DOGWISE supports local council/community doggy day events, local RSPCA chapters, Rescue groups, and Animal shelters in our areas of operation and we provide workplace dog safety



Northern Beaches - Manly - Dee Why - Collaroy - Palm Beach - Pittwater - Terry Hills - St Ives - Belrose - Forestville

North Shore - Mosman - Ryde - Chatswood - Eastwood - Dundas- Hornsby - Brooklyn - Roseville - Pymble -Turramurra - Wahroonga 

Balmain- Gladesville - Hunters Hill - Haberfield - Leichhardt - Glebe - Balmain - Rozelle

Hills Area - Castle Hill - West Pennant Hills - Westleigh - Thornleigh - Hornsby

bottom of page