K-9 Obedience Training Club of Essex County, NJ

Trained dogs are better companions

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.