Training Club 

Upper Hutt

Essential skills classes

Registration for classes, 2019

Term 1: Jan 29 - March 12

Term 2: March 19 - April 30th

Term 3: Sept 3 - Oct 15

Term 4: Oct 22 - Dec 3rd


(Winter class depends on demand)


Click here to be directed to our signup page to be put on the waiting list for Term one 2019. 

Week one - Information evening - 7.30pm

This is for all first time enrolments.

No dogs are required for this session.

It covers a number of important areas:-

1. Outline of what the course covers (Canine Good Basics course - see below)

2. Distribution of clickers and how to use them in your training

3. The care and protection of your dog

4. Upper Hutt  dog control policy

5. Club etiquette, and where things are/how the nights are organised

6. What to bring teach week.

The Essential Skills programme is the foundation for all other activities Upper Hutt Dog Training Club offers, including Canine Good Citizen, Obedience, Agility, Rally-O and Flygility.

Please do not bring your dog.

What to bring to Essential skills #1 classes.
Tuesday 7.30-8.30pm

Please bring to class each week:-

  • Great food rewards e.g.  Possyum or Chunky dog roll (available from PaknSave or Upper Hutt produce), liver cake, luncheon chubb etc. cut into small pieces about the size of your little finger nail) 
  • Food rewards in a belt bag OR in a solid plastic container with a lid  (NOT in a plastic bag)

  • Do NOT bring any dried food or treats or chicken or other meat that crumbles and falls apart.  Read more about food....

  • Clicker . You receive this in week one. Use it to train your dog and bring it every week. Attached it to your belt bag or dog lead.

  • a Mat for your dog to lie on (like a car mat or small piece of carpet)

  • Poo bags

  • a box your dog can sit in – Low sides so they can easily step in, and big enough for the whole dog. eg. banana box from Supermarket.

  • A toy your dog likes

It's handy to put everything in the box. This makes it easy to carry!

Canine Good Basics Course

Our Essential skills #1 class covers the Canine Good Basics syllabus. 

Click here to find out more information about the programme.

The general outline is:-

1.  Teach dog to sit in a box, in front, at side, stay

2. Teach dog to down on a mat - stay, send to mat.

3. Attention to name & Hand touches - for greeting people, come when called, loose lead walking

4. Come when called (using a long line)

5. Loose lead walking.

6. Basic rules around dog ownership (bags and tags)

7. Accept restraint (collar grab).

8. Allowing grooming/handling by owner and others

9. Friendly with people and other dogs (no jumping up, lunging etc)


We divide this into 4 teaching modules with a different person teaching each module.

Directions To Club Grounds 

Entry is via Moehau Grove, off Holdsworth Ave. Please drive slowly, car parking is on the shingle car park, past the club rooms.

Using your dog's food during term.

We want you to have the best chance of learning new things at club, and putting both you and your dog in the best frame of mind for learning is the way to achieve this.

In regards to your dog this means:

  • Bring a hungry dog to training
      We suggest your dog receives no/little food on Tuesdays.
  • Bring a dog with energy to training
     Tired dogs dont train well.

Training Hints

Gentle leader head collar

If your dog is headstrong and you find it difficult to keep him with you, or he pulls like a train and you are worried he might pull you or the lighter members of your family over - Buy a Gentle leader Head collar.

They work incredibly well on calming dogs and they simply cannot pull you when they are wearing one. This means you are free to concentrate on the other aspects of your training.

You can buy them from any Pet shop.

We recommend Gentle Leader headcollars because they can be adjusted easily to suit your individual dog.

Canine Good Basics
We will assess all dogs at the end of the term along the lines of the Canine Good Basics course. 
This is a stepping stone before Canine Good Citizen classes.
Participants will receive a certificate.
Dogs must be 6mths and over.
The syllabus covers:- carrying appropriate equipment (poo bags etc), 11 simple exercises, and some basic good dog ownership questions.
Exercises: Take treat nicely, Name recognition, Collar grab, Handle, Touch hand, Lead loose, Sit, recall, 30 sec stay, friendly dog walks past
Click here to find out more....

Canine Good Basics
training diary

Click here to download your very own Training Diary.

Keep track of what you should be practicing each week, look at the questions and find the answers. 

Recalling the dog

Using a long line and toy to practice getting dog to come back..
You need to be a fun thing to develop that joy in the dog of wanting to be with you!

Sit in a box

This is one of our activities in Essential skills. Why?

  • It ensures all handlers and dogs stay within their own safe space.
  • It creates a focus for the dog
  • Its a safe place for the dog
  • Allows an easy way to practice stays
  • Practice waiting before getting out of the car, going through a door, down stairs etc
  • Teaches dog to interact with an object - improves confidence
  • Handler can try different ways to train the dog - luring and shaping etc
  • Helps dog become more coordinated
  • A place to store all your training stuff!!

Get a box and make a start today!

Hand-targeting.

Practise during the week and remember not to use a cue word just yet or lure your pup to touch your hand. Keep your sessions short and fun. Here is a short video clip of the action for you. Put your clickers away for this and practise giving the reward quickly into the hand your pup has nose touched. The action you want is a nose press as if he is pushing a button hard to open something - no licks or 'cruise bys' allowed :-). Practise hand targetting with your pup lying on his mat (you don't need to use the bed)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylqhq4WHxpU

Collar grab

Here is a video clip to show you how you can practise the collar grab at home - minus the box to get some movement going. This is a skill that you really need to enforce so practise it anytime during the day when you are together, at the clothesline, before getting in the car, at the park, before they are allowed at their food bowls, try putting a toy on the floor and hold his/her collar and make them wait before they dive forward to "get it" - make it fun. Then practise calling them to you and grab hold of the collar then treat.

Puppy lie down on a mat, go to a mat.

This is a training session with Zinc, 4 month old Border collie. It shows the dog going to the mat, and lying down on the mat. It shows the food reward being thrown to different locations. It shows the handler moving as well.

Its your choice

"It's your Choice" here's a lovely little video of teaching this. I like that the handler takes one treat out her open hand and gives it to the dog - he is not allowed to help himself. This will work well for all of you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZlHgF84vQc

Canine Good Basics graduates.

Below: Canine Good Basics graduates, June 2018.

Tania/Rocky, Tony/Moose, Alistair/Holly, Kelsie/Carter, Darren/V, Karen (assessor), Lucy/Matilda, Anne. Kerry and Abbie also passed.


Essential skills #2.

This class follows Essential skills #1.

The class covers a variety of different activities all based on improving your relationship with your dog.

We work on Canine good Citizen exercises, Obedience and rally-O exercises as well as balance and fitness exercises using some agility foundation exercises. 

What to bring each week depends on the roster - if it is the Canine Good citizen option or the RallyO/agility option.

Please bring to class each week:-

  • Toy your dog likes to tug with
  • Food rewards (e.g.  Possyum or Chunky dog roll available from PaknSave or Upper Hutt produce, liver cake, luncheon chubb etc. cut into small   pieces) in a solid plastic container with a lid  (NOT in a plastic bag)
  • Do NOT bring any dried food or treats or meat that crumbles and falls apart.
  • Clicker
  • Poo bags

Canine Good citizen.

Every week you MUST bring poobags and we will check to see your dog is wearing a current registration disc .

Other items you may need to bring include: grooming tools, food bowls etc. Your instructor will let you know what to bring each week.


Pre-agility.

Bring running shoes, a toy your dog likes, clicker, food rewards. You may need to bring additional items - your instructor will let you know.

You will be learning some of the skills listed below.

         Cones/wings 

         Balance on a disc

        Tricks for a good supple body

         Tunnel 

         Jumps – low bars and cavalettis

         Contacts - Planks, confidence and balance,

         Ladder for balance and control       

Essential skills #2 assessments

1. Halt-sit-walk around dog

2. Recall to front

3. loose lead walking

4. Meet and greet another person/dog

5. Turns during walking

6. Figure of eight (swap sides)

7. Go through short tunnel

8. Calm when tied up, 30 seconds

Above:  Essential skills #1 class who sat and passed the Canine Good basics assessment, September 2017
Below: Term one graduates, Essential skills 1 2018