Sports and fun training


Got the training bug?  Looking for a new challenge? Or struggling with competitive roadblocks? Whatever you are looking for, HotDogs has just the thing.

Sports Foundations

  • Attention and focus
  • Clicker training next steps
  • Targets
  • Distance
  • Effective play

Sports foundation skills are applicable no matter which discipline you want to play in.  These skills are equally useful for the ‘non-competitve’ team who just want to have some fun and a few new cool (and useful) strings to their bow.

Rally Obedience:

  • Teach the behaviours
  • Learn the signs
  • Practice courses
  • Laugh a lot!

If you’re looking for a fun but structured game to stretch your training skills a wee bit, Rally-O might be just up your street.  Any dog can do Rally-O and most enjoy it immensely.

It’s a great way to learn a whole heap of useful ‘tricks’ and improve your dog’s responsiveness in a ‘no-pressure’ way at the same time.  Find out more about Rally obedience here.

Finn, my Sheltie, was just over a year old when I started with Sarah earlier this year and the leaps and bounds he has come are amazing. We are still working through distractions but his focus is getting much better as we go on.

Finn is timid and easily distracted. I knew he had plenty of potential as I could see he was keen to learn. I had competed in Rally O but knew I needed to find out how to get the best for both of us to work together.

I can’t thank Sarah enough for her help and guidance along the way. I only wish I had heard about Sarah when Finn arrived as a pup as her teaching skills have helped us so much and I am looking forward to the day we both compete again in Rally O.

Sarah is always available to answer questions or view videos of your training to assist you with any issues. If you are looking for a dog trainer I highly recommend Sarah. If I had not been introduced to Sarah I would not be learning to overcome the issues we have and I am so happy with my results.”

Judy W. and Finn

Scent work:

  • Teach your dog to find target odours
  • Perfect for all dogs, all ages
  • Builds confidence, great for shy or anxious dogs

Scentwork, as it’s known in New Zealand, is fast becoming a hugely popular game to play with your dog.  The New Zealand Kennel Club is moving to making it an official discipline – which means you’ll be able to compete and earn titles with your dog.

Any dog can do scent work.  It’s fun and fabulous for building confidence in less outgoing dogs. Read more about the benefits of Nosework here.

Competitive Obedience:

  • Learn how to get precision AND attitude!
  • Beautiful, confident heelwork
  • Fast, slick responses to cues
  • Rock solid stays

If you’re looking for a real challenge then Competitive Obedience might be just the thing!  Despite it’s reputation for being ‘dull as ditch water’, taught with positive training methods it can be a lot of fun for both you and your dog.  (Just ask Breezy, the dog in the video!)

I know I’m biased but to my eye nothing comes close to the beauty of watching a dog and handler move with perfect precision and synchronisation in heelwork.  Find out more about obedience here.

Competition problem solving:

  • Over arousal in the sports context
  • Ring performance woes
  • Needing some polish
  • Handler skills
  • Putting it all together

If you’re already competing but things aren’t going quite to plan, I can help you troubleshoot the issues and get back on track.  Many performance problems are down to emotions rather than lack of skills.  Don’t let this become an established pattern – get it sorted now!

I had high hopes when my black poodle arrived. I had goals and dreams…

However, it’s a very grounding moment in agility when your dog leaves the ring to sniff, or worse! When you call him and he leaves again and again.  So I pushed him – and he pushed back: nothing seemed to work.  I was so frustrated! I also didn’t like the person I was becoming when training my boy. Something had to change.

When we train on our own I’m afraid we tend to believe we are better than we truly are.  This was the case for me.  Just because I had two other dogs doing well I thought I knew what I was doing.  I’d had a lot of luck. I’m afraid my luck ran out when I got Ace. He was a very different dog than my previous two; much more independent and a challenge for me to control.


All my emotions were wild

I remember my first session with Sarah like it was yesterday. I felt quite anxious about getting private lessons. What if I embarrass myself and she laughs at me or my dog?   What if my dog toilets inside?  All my emotions were wild. It’s funny to laugh about it now. Wasn’t funny at the time!

However, at our first session all my doubts in myself went away. Sarah greeted me with a smile and Ace wagged his tail like a mad thing. We decided this was a good, safe place to be.


There were quite a few “oh bugger” moments

We discussed what I hoped to get out of these sessions with Sarah. We put together a plan to get us started.  We still make plans which we review regularly. I like to have a clear direction of where I’m heading; helps me stay on track and not get lost.

We started slowly. When Sarah came into the picture she explained why I was having so many problems; why this  stuff was happening. We worked out where the holes in my training were. There were quite a few “oh bugger” moments.

The thing about dog training, there’s always more to learn and understand.  My regret is that I didn’t go to Sarah and start learning earlier.  Saying that, it’s never too late to start.


Me and Ace understand each other now

I’m not a great listener so working with me can be a challenge for a trainer. It doesn’t seem to worry Sarah.  She takes challenges like me in her stride .

Sarah doesn’t judge me; she just shows me a positive way to train with far better results.  I’m lucky I found someone who I respect and who treats me well; never looking down on me, just wants me to get the best from my black poodle boy, Ace.

I arrived at HotDogs K9 Training as a cross, reactive trainer and believe,  with help from Sarah, I’m changing into a kind, proactive trainer.  Me and Ace understand each other now and enjoy our training much more.

I had someone come up to me the other day and say “Wow! What a nice, well-behaved dog.” I smiled and said “Thank you”.  It felt so good.

— Marjo B. and Ace

“I went to Sarah for help with competitive obedience and while I received great help with this I also learnt how to train the dog as a ‘whole being’, learning about environmental, physical and mental stimuli and to become more of a team in our everyday lives.

Her positive training methods are great and she always has a solution for any problem that arises. I am so pleased with Sarah’s training methods that I am going to her with my new dog as well.”

— Michelle C and Rowan

Want to try your hand at sports? Need some help?

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