The Canine Obedience Club of Townsville Inc is the only non-profit dog-training club in Townsville. Our mandate is to train handlers to train their dogs using positive reinforcement methods, thus promoting good behaviour in the canine population.
The Canine Obedience Club of Townsville Inc arose from the amalgamation of two dog training clubs in 1971. The Club then affiliated with the State Controlling Body, The Canine Control Council of Queensland, and has been conducting basic and advanced obedience lessons and official competitions ever since. COCT initially conducted basic obedience lessons at Hanran Park on the banks of Ross Creek, moved briefly to a car park at the Vincent Village Shopping centre and made its final move to Heatley Park. Initially there were about 30 members and as obedience lessons became more popular over the years, membership peaked to nearly 400. The early days saw an average of twenty dogs at a training session. This has steadily grown over the last 40 years and some weeks saw more than 100 dogs and their owners attending classes – a truly impressive sight to see on the park!
Throughout the year competitions are conducted under the rules set out by the Canine Control Council in obedience, rally obedience, tricks, agility, jumping, tracking, and endurance. The Club is proud to have the honour of having ten Australian Obedience Champions, eighteen Tracking Champions, two Track & Search Champions, a National Agility Champion, four Rally Obedience Champions as well as a Track & Search Grand Champion & Australia’s first ever Agility Champion under the new rules. Around 2001 agility became extremely popular, resulting in the introduction of new competitions in Jumpers, Agility games, and a new Open class in Jumpers & Agility. These new competitions meant the Club had to make and purchase extra equipment, posing problems in adequately storing it all in a manner that was not only neat and tidy but also safe for members to move out to the park and return when finished.
In 2006 the Club made an application to the Gambling Community Benefit Fund for financial assistance, and with support from the Townsville City Council were fortunate to secure the full amount of $25,497. The challenge then was to find a builder who would be willing to take on a small project at a time when building activity in the twin cities is at an all-time high, and to have it completed within the time limit imposed by the Benefit Fund. Construction commenced in November 2006, and, apart from a few problems encountered with the site and a couple of minor adjustments to the plan, the job was completed and opened in January 2007.
Flyball was introduced in 2009 with weekly training sessions being offered, followed by the introduction of Rally-O in 2011 and the new sport of competition Tricks in 2021 and Scent Work in 2022. Unfortunately, flyball is no longer offered as a Club activity.
Following cyclone Yasi, the upgrade of Heatley Park in 2018 & the 2019 Townsville Monsoon event, in 2019 the Club made application to the Category C - FNQ & NQ Monsoon Trough Flexible Funding Grants Round 2 for financial assistance to upgrade/replace our existing shelter shed to current cyclonic codes, and were fortunate to secure the full amount of $87417 including GST for construction of a new Shelter Shed & with support from the Townsville City Council were fortunate to be able to finish the area with a fully concreted pad. The challenge then was for our builder KJ Steel to take on the project at a time when building activity in the twin cities is at an all-time high, and to have it completed within the time limit imposed by the Grant Fund. After several delays outside their control construction commenced in February 2021 just as the heavens opened & it was a race to get completion in time for our Easter triple trial. Apart from a few problems encountered with the site and a couple of minor adjustments to the plan, the job was completed in time and was officially opened at our 50th Anniversary Trial in July 2021.
We look forward to offering dog owners the basic obedience lessons and encouraging handlers to go further in their training either for fun or to enter competitions.