K-9 Obedience Training Club of Essex County, NJ


Classes Offered

K-9 OTC offers classes at several levels.  All classes are held on Tuesday evenings at the Montclair Cooperative School Annex, located at the corner of Chestnut and Forest Streets in Montclair, NJ. Click here for location details. Classes for the Fall 2016 session are:

     Utility                           6:15 - 7:00 pm

     Beginner Novice          7:00 - 7:45 pm

     Beginner                      7:45 - 8:30 pm

     Novice                         8:30 - 9:15 pm

     Open                           9:15 - 10:00 pm






Schedule of Classes & General Meetings

Class schedule is subject to change based on occurrences such as weather events or conflicts with our rental site.

Sept 6 - General Meeting 

Fall 2016 Session

Sept 13 - All classes
Sept 20 - All classes
Sept 27 - All classes
Oct 4 - All classes
Oct 11 - All classes
Oct 18 - All classes
Oct 25 - Club Degree & Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Testing

Nov 1 - General Meeting 

Winter 2016-2017 Session #1

Nov 8 - All classes
Nov 15 - All classes
Nov 22 - All classes
Nov 29 - All classes
Dec 6 - All classes
Dec 13 - All classes

Dec 20 - General Meeting

Jan 3 - Open week for possible make-up session 

Jan 10 - Club Degree & Pre-Trial run throughs

Winter 2016-2017 Session #2

Jan 17 - All classes
Jan 24 - All classes
Jan 31 - All classes
Feb 7 - All classes
Feb 14 - All classes
Feb 21 - All classes
Feb 28 - Club Degree & Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Testing

March 7 - General Meeting

March 14 - Open week for possible make-up session 

Spring 2017 Session 

March 21 - All classes
March 28 - All classes
April 4 - All classes
April 11 - All classes
April 18 - All classes
April 25 - All classes
May 2 - Club Degree & Canine Good Citizen (CGC) testing

May 9 - General Meeting 

No classes are held during the Summer

Beginner & Non-Member Class fees

$140 for 7 week session. Non-members taking another class pay $125.

Questionnaire for Beginner Classes

If you are interested in joining our Beginner Class, please fill out and submit our questionnaire. More advanced class placement is occasionally granted for experienced dogs and handlers.  Please note if this is desired and we will evaluate your request.

Member Class fees

$90 for first class during each 7 week session, plus $25 for each additional class during the same 7 week session.  Members who are senior citizens pay $85 for each 7 week session.

Drop-In Training Fees

Members may train on a drop-in basis at the rate of $20 for the first class each evening plus $15 for each additional class the same evening.

Non-members may train with us at a rate of $25 for the first class each evening plus $20 for each additional class the same evening.  Non-members must show proof that their dog's shots are current.

Class Descriptions


For puppies 6 months old or younger.  Basic handling, commands, and socialization are addressed. All puppies should have age appropriate shots.  


Focus is on teaching handlers how to gain control of their dogs.  Skills to be taught:

  • Controlled walking
  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Come when called

Everyone who completes the course will receive a Participation Ribbon.  Graduation from this class will be determined by passing a test consisting of:

  • Controlled walking - Mandatory, must be in complete control at all times.
  • Coming when called - Mandatory, dog must respond and go to handler immediately
  • Sit - Minimum of 10 seconds.  Dogs that go down do not necessarily fail, as long as they don't wander.
  • Down - Minimum of 10 seconds.  Dogs that do not stay down do not necessarily fail, as long as they don't wander.

Beginner Novice

Picks up where Beginner leaves off.  Focus on attention skills, which are crucial to advancing to higher levels.  Start introducing Novice topics to prepare for that level.  


Focus is to give members the training and guidance necessary to be competitive in the Novice level show ring.  Non-competition members are welcome and encouraged to train on this level, provided that they accept that some class time will be devoted to competition skills.

In addition to the basic commands in Novice, the class will teach exercises designed to enhance overall performance.  For example, having the dog heel from various positions.  Other items that may be taught, depending on the level of the class: 

  • Pivots
  • Fronts and Finishes
  • Footwork
  • Ring rules and etiquette
  • Preliminary foundation work for Open and Utility (for example - jumps)

Three passing scores at Club Degree night will earn a Club CD.  A member will only progress to the Open class upon completion of an AKC CD, UKC CD, or Club CD.


Provides training and guidance to compete in the Open show ring.  Each class begins with warm-up heeling. Sit-stays and down-stays will be performed each week, time permitting.  Various exercises, including jumps, will be covered each week, such as:

  • Heeling with distractions
  • High jump
  • Figure 8
  • Broad jump
  • Drop on recall
  • Retrieve on flat
  • Retrieve over jump

Time will be allocated to individual problem solving.  Curriculum will be adapted to the needs and desires of the specific attendees.


The Utility class does not have a specific curriculum.  Attendees are our most advanced handlers and dogs, as they have obtained an Open CDX from either the AKC, UKC, or Club Degree.  The class consists of open training time where exercises can be practiced and problems addressed.  Attendees assist each other, as opposed to having a formal teacher.

Our Trainers

Clicking on any highlighted name will bring you to their bio.

Barb Heesemann

Diane Kramer

Caroline Kaplonski

Dave Morgan

Joni Primas

Elizabeth Smith

Lenore Tirgrath

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