Our Mission is ...
To provide a range of dog obedience training, dog sports and events,
and to promote active, healthy and well-mannered dogs in the
Titahi Bay Canine Obedience Club was established in 1969, is a member of Dogs NZ, and was voted Best Domestic Dog Training Club in NZ (a biennial award) for 2017 and 2023.We are a not-for-profit organisation of dedicated volunteers who, every week, turn up at our clubhouse, rain or shine, to train people and dogs how to live in harmony with each other. We have hundreds of dog owners enrol every term to take courses in Domestic Obedience, Competition Obedience, the Canine Good Citizen programme and Rally-Obedience. We are passionate about dogs and passionate about helping people in our community to be safe and happy with the animals in their lives.
Our little club has come a long way, with members volunteering their time and skills to help local dogs and their owners for over 50 years! Here is a little bit about our small beginnings:
Way back in 1969, two people were thinking it was time a dog obedience club was formed in the Porirua area: Mr Cohn O'Daly who lived in Titahi Bay and Mrs Jean Mime (Brenda Wright's mum) who lived in Plimmerton. They heard about one another and combined their efforts.
Another local, Janet Ritchie, was enormous help during the early stages with her knowledge, especially on the administration side, such as who to contact - NZ Kennel Club (now Dogs NZ) - and borrowing a club constitution to be a guideline to our own (Wellington Canine's). Fortunately Dick Lemaire, a dog trainer who moved from Invercargill heard about the club's formation and volunteered to be our first instructor. With Arty Knapp and the late Andy Dickson making the odd visit to assist, the club was formed.
Porirua City Council gave us our first grounds at Titahi Bay, not because we had chosen a particular area, but because the NZ Kennel Club said that, apart from that area, the rest of Porirua was covered by Wellington Clubs and the Kapi Mana Association! Our first training ground was the Owhiti Street Reserve - a tiny plot of land just below the radio masts and partially covered in gorse, with no amenities whatsoever (Cohn didn't have a car in those, days so he didn't mind).
Needless to say we didn't stay there very long. Once the club was up and running, we gained approval from other clubs and moved to Meehan Place - small grounds, but big enough to start holding Ribbon Trials etc. We started by running a 'Fun Day' with ribbons and invited other clubs, to prove to the NZKC we could organise an 'event'. Very importantly, the grounds at Meehan Place (shared with the local Archery Club) had facilities like toilets and a kitchen. In November 1971 we became a recognised obedience club. We held our first Ribbon Trial in 1973 and first Championship Tests in March 1974.
Then in 1975, due to proposed motorway development, we had to move again. We approached the council for land and were shown some horrific sites - mountain goats we weren't!! In the end we were offered a small part of Ngatitoa Domain - where the play area and Kindergarten now are. Facilities were practically non-existent apart from toilets - for years we used tents as offices, and for food sales at our tests. After being there for some time the Kindergarten was to be built and we moved to our present grounds in 1979.
Lack of approval from the PCC to allow building of a clubhouse caused us to think seriously about moving to Tawa, as this council was quite happy to provide land, shared with a pony club. Fortunately Brian Punnett (a member of the committee) decided to approach the Porirua City Council one more time to try and change their mind, and permission was finally granted for us to build our clubrooms, which were officially opened in 1986. The extension followed a few years later, then toilets and veranda and now there is also a big storage shed on site.
Our dealings with Porirua City Council have been great since then and we thank them for all the assistance they have given us, including extending our present grounds for training. The club has gone from strength to strength over the years, and we have been extremely lucky with our committee workers, in the early years especially, who worked so hard to make whichever area we had the best we could for our members, by fund-raising, attending meetings and working bees. The club has always been a friendly place for committee, members, and friends, and a lot of laughter has been the order of the day - long may it remain so.
From small beginnings come great things...
The building of our clubhouse
From a patch of grass to a fully-functioning clubhouse, built by hand by our hard-working and dedicated club members - with their trusty four-legged companions by their sides, as always. Check out those seventies fashions!