The Hippo


Apr 25, 2019








Join a club

American Kennel Club NH dog clubs
• Agility Club of New Hampshire (
• Cheshire Kennel Club (
• Claremont Beagle Club (
• Collie Club of New Hampshire (
• German Sheepdog Club of Southern New Hampshire (
• Granite State Shetland Sheepdog Club of Southeast New Hampshire (
• Lakes Region Kennel Club (
• Merrimack Valley Kennel Club (
• Monadnock Sportsmen’s Association (
• New Hampshire Beagle Club (
• Northern New England Brittany Club (
• Souhegan Kennel Club (
• Spacetown Beagle Club (
American Cat Fanciers Association NH cat clubs
• New Hampshire Feline Fanciers (
• Seacoast Cat Club (
Dog clubs, playgroups and group classes 
Canine Agility Training Society ( is a dog agility club based in southern New Hampshire that organizes trial events, guest speaker events, agility clinics and more. 
Club Canine Dog Wash (1 Robert Ave., Portsmouth, 433-1999, offers group classes and Drop-in Puppy Play every Saturday at 9:30 a.m., open to puppies ages eight weeks to six months, $15 per puppy.  
Good Mojo University (308 Elm St., Milford, 249-8977, is a training facility with agility obstacles and dog fitness equipment. Programs include agility classes, a Fitness for Fido dog fitness class, a Do More With Your Dog attention and tricks class, Wagit Games, special workshops and a Drop-in Night every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., when dog owners and dogs can use the equipment and socialize with other dogs and people. 
Granite State Disc Dogs ( is a club that hosts seminars, clinics, practice times and competitions dedicated to the sport of Disc Dog. All are welcome to join. 
The Humane Society of Greater Nashua (24 Ferry Road, Nashua, 889-2275, offers a free Puppy Social Time a couple weekend days a month, open to vaccinated puppies age six months or younger. RSVP is required by emailing Kerry Hildebrand at  
New Hampshire SPCA (104 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham, 772-2921, offers several drop-in programs including a Small Dog Play Group every Monday at 10 a.m., and Friday at 3 p.m., open to dogs age 10 weeks and older and weighing 25 pounds or less, $10; Just Fur Fun Class every Wednesday at 3 p.m., open to dogs age four months and up, $25; and Puppy Play every Saturday at 9 a.m., open to puppies two months through eight months of age, $10. There are also a variety of group classes and classes on dog sports like Treibball, Nose Work, Agility, Agility Jumpers, Rally, Weaves and Tricks. 
No Monkey Business Dog Training (141 Old Turnpike Road, Concord, 735-5543, offers a Puppy Kindergarten program focused on building the relationship between owner and puppy; a Fun-gility agility class; The Nose Knows drop-in scent games class every Sunday at 4:30 p.m., $20; and a drop-in Puppy Playgroup every Sunday at 9 a.m., open to vaccinated puppies age nine weeks to 16 weeks, $10 per puppy. 
• Tova Training (15 Freetown Road,  Raymond, 724-8745, offers group classes for agility, obedience and rally, nose work and Treibball, which can be taken as a series or as drop-ins for $25 per class with permission from the instructor. Barn Hunt practices are held every Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. Tova also hosts trial events for TDAA Agility, Performance Scent Dog, Barn Hunt, Cynosport Rally and CDSP Obedience. 

Social pets
Clubs, classes and playgroups for you and your pet

By Angie Sykeny

 From dog sports and skill classes to puppy play groups and cat shows, New Hampshire has all kinds of clubs and group activities where you can bond with your pet and connect with fellow pet owners in your area. 

New tricks 
If your pooch has the “sit” and “stay” routine down pat, you can take it to the next level with a group class on a specialized skill such as agility, tricks or nose work, which some dog trainers and pet centers offer in addition to their standard training services. 
One place with unique group classes for dogs is Good Mojo Dog Center in Milford, which just opened a new training center last month called Good Mojo University. The 7,200-square-foot facility features agility obstacles like tunnels, ramps and jumps, as well as Fitpaws dog fitness equipment and a canine treadmill. There are a variety of programs, including rally and agility classes, a Fitness for Fido dog fitness class, a Do More With Your Dog attention and tricks class, Wagit Games, special workshops and more. 
“We wanted to offer more things for people to do with their dog that aren’t just in the competitive realm,” Good Mojo owner Deniece Johnson said. “There’s this intimidation factor when you go to a place where everyone’s dog is well-behaved and yours doesn’t have leash manners, so we want this to be a place that’s accepting of everyone and that’s geared more towards relationship building and having fun.” 
Drop-in fun
If you’re looking for an activity without the commitment of a full class series, some pet centers offer drop-in classes and weekly play groups designed just for puppies or just for small dogs.  
The play groups allow people to socialize their dogs with other dogs and people in a nonthreatening environment, and they provide an opportunity to connect with other dog owners who have the same kind of dog. Most drop-ins charge a $10 to $20 fee and are often supervised by a professional dog trainer who keeps things running smoothly and is available to answer people’s questions and offer guidance. 
Good Mojo also offers a weekly drop-in night when people can come with their dog and have free use of the equipment, socialize with other dogs and dog owners and talk with trainers. 
“Many people don’t even know they enjoy something — they don’t know that they would love agility or that the tricks would be so fun — until they try it on a drop-in night,” Johnson said. “That’s why I encourage people to get out there and try things. There are so many dog sports and different things people can do to interact with their dog.” 
In the ring 
Another way to engage more with your pet and the pet community is through shows and competitions. 
New Hampshire is home to over a dozen American Kennel Club-affiliated dog clubs that organize and facilitate local AKC-sanctioned events. At a conformation show, purebred dogs are judged based on how well they adhere to their breed’s written standard. Companion events test the teamwork and coordination between the dog and the handler through physical challenges like agility and rally trials. Lastly, there are performance events, during which purebred dogs demonstrate certain skills that are unique to their breed.  
Dogs aren’t the only pets in the show ring. New Hampshire also has two Cat Fanciers’ Association-affiliated cat clubs that each host an annual cat show. 
While a big part of the cat shows revolves around pedigreed cats and how well they conform to their breed’s written standard, there are also opportunities for people with mixed-breed household cats to participate. Instead of being compared to a breed standard, household pets are judged for their unique qualities and appearance as well as their health and how they are groomed. 
“It isn’t like if you have a pedigreed cat you’re better than the household cats. It isn’t a tiered thing,” Marilyn Conde, secretary for the Seacoast Cat Club, said. “We’re all just cat lovers. Whether you have a pedigreed Siamese cat or a household pet cat, they each have their own things which distinguish them.” 
If you’re looking for something more active to do with you cat, you can take part in the agility portion of the show, where cats are led through weave poles, tunnels, hoops and other obstacles. Most cats can easily be trained to do this with some practice and the help of a lure.
While the focus of the cat clubs is on the shows, the clubs also provide a social network for New Hampshire cat owners to find and connect with each other. 
“There are members who aren’t big-time breeders and just do the show for fun,” Conde said, “but what they enjoy most is being able to talk to other people with cats who share their same interests.”

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