Training with us

General information

Any breed of dog, including crossbreeds, is eligible for training.  They can start as soon as puppy vaccinations are complete (at around 3 months), and older dogs are very welcome too.  If you are new to TADTC and have any questions about classes or how training could benefit you and your dog that are not answered below, please send a query to

For the safety and enjoyment of everyone taking part, we do have a policy on dangerous dogs – in very rare circumstances an owner may be referred to private training if their dog is displaying aggression during classes.  Please contact us using the email address if you are concerned about your dog displaying aggressive or dominating behaviour, and we’ll happily discuss your options with you.

Enrolling in a class

The enrolments for Term 1, 2023 are open until January, 23. Please, follow this link to complete the form.

You will need to complete the enrolment form promptly, as we are only accepting pre-enrolments for each class.  In addition, numbers that can be accommodated on any course are limited – a late enrolment may mean you will be listed for a later term.

If you have a question, please make sure that you go through the list of FAQs. If your question is not answered, feel free to email us.

Training venues

We train at two different venues throughout the year.  In the summer months (terms 1 and 4) we train at the Manawatu Canine Centre grounds in Ashhurst.  In the winter months (terms 2 and 3) we train at our club grounds in Longburn.  Go to Maps to see where these two training venues are, 2022 term dates are listed on our Calendar.

Our training philosophy

We train using the principles of behaviour modification described by behavioural psychologists.  Simply put, these principles state that your dog’s behaviour is influenced by the consequences of its actions.  So, your dog is more likely to repeat the desired behaviour if it receives a reward such as a tasty treat or a fun game (reinforcement), and less likely to repeat a behaviour if ignored or punished (punishment).  Research has shown that reinforcement is much more effective in training as your dog learns what you want him or her to do, whereas punishment does not help it learn what the correct behaviour is that you want.  We, therefore, teach owners to use a range of techniques that focus on positive reinforcement and consistency of consequences.

Most dogs respond to food or toy rewards.  As coming to training is a very exciting experience, particularly for dogs in the basic class, you need to find a treat that is extra special and helps your dog stay focussed on you.

FOOD: Very few dogs care for the same food they eat at home when they come to club, so you might like to consider left-over chunks of roast meat, raw mince, sausages, or cheese. Each treat portion only needs to be very small – just enough to give your dog a taste without having to stop and chew the food.  Moist food is best for training as it is much easier for the dog to swallow, so we recommend you do not use store-bought dog treats or biscuits.

TOYS: If your dog has a strong play drive, you can use this to your advantage in training. Pick a toy that is easy for you to carry as you train – please do not use a noisy or squeaky toy that will distract the other dogs.  Keep this toy hidden at home, only bring it out for training, and make sure that you control when playtime starts and finishes.

While only one family member can handle your dog in classes at any one time, you are welcome to swap who handles the dog on different nights, and of course, other family members can watch and listen each night.  Please note that we do have a minimum age for child handlers for safety reasons – only children aged 12 years and above are permitted to handle dogs in classes.

The first night of the term

We ask that you leave your puppies/dogs at home on the first night of each new term (except those in Rally-O, CGC or Competition training).  This is so we can get the administrative tasks completed quickly (such as confirming you are there, sighting the dog’s vaccination and certificate from the vet). Then you are split into groups, based on the size and age of your dog, and you get to meet your instructor and find out a little more about what will happen during the term – all without being distracted by your dog.


Each class is assessed at the end of the term by someone other than your instructor.  The testing is usually done on the final night of the term.  However, if you have made good progress during the first few weeks of classes, your instructor may arrange to have your assessment conducted earlier, rather than on the final night.  If you do pass the test in an earlier week, we will provide you with some new exercises to teach your dog.

Continuing with obedience training

At TADTC, we offer much more than basic puppy obedience.  Once you pass the basic course, you will be invited to enroll in our intermediate obedience training class.  Intermediate obedience will build upon the training from basic so you have even better control over your dog, and prepare you for the new nationwide obedience programme called Canine Good Citizen (CGC) developed by the New Zealand Kennel Club.  CGC will help you to have a perfectly well-mannered companion, and some City and District Councils may offer you a discount on your annual dog registration fee if you complete the CGC levels.  Find out more about our other classes here.

Other questions?

If this page has not answered all your questions, please use the email .