Open Practice Times

YES this is RED because I AM ANGRY!!!

There has been a rash of unattended "pee spots" left after open practice.  Guess who is on the floor cleaning those up! 

They are usually found during a subsequent private or group class which results in those individuals loosing training time while I attempt a quick cleanup.  Then  I have to return later to do the job "right".  It can take hours to dry leaving a wet spot on the floor which IS SLIPPERY.   Once urine is absorbed into the mat it can take weeks/months for the odor and stain to fully disappear.

TNC offers Open Practice at a below overhead cost as a service to the community.   The intent is to offer an affordable &  safe place to "train" your dog and "practice" your handling skills. 


I am being faced with 2 choices, 

  • stop offering open practice so that I don't have to feel like your slave or
  • hire someone to supervise and double/triple the prices to pay that person.

YOUR job as a "Pet Parent" and a participant in Open Practice is to:

  1. see to your dogs needs by taking him outside of the building to an APPROPRIATE area before and 1/2 way thru your practice time or more often if needed.
  2. ensure that your dog is supervised at all times!!!!
    • A down or sit stay is an amazing skill to use while setting a knocked bar.
    • A kennel is an awesome tool to give your dog a break while you set bars, re-walk your course, talk to you friend etc.

Most Open Practice times are held opposite Debbie's classes.  You will have access to the side of the field that she is not teaching on.  There is a tennis curtain separating the field.  These time slots are appropriate for dogs who

  • can work with the distraction of other dogs working.
  • can be kept under control at all times. No running around or charging the curtain.
  • are "relatively" quiet.  We know they are dogs and some talk but, out of courtesy to Debbie's students, the barking cannot effect their class.


  • If Debbie is teaching a class she is unavailable for questions until her class is over!!! PLEASE be considerate of the students paying for her time.
  • Please enter the building from the south side if you have reserved time on the Contact side of the field.  Enter from the North side if you have reserved time on the Jumpers side of the field.
  • If you have arrived early please leave your dogs and gear in the car until you have verified that no one is currently practicing on the side of the field that you have reserved.  Please be considerate of their use of the field.
  • Please park in the rear of the building or along the side.  You may unload near the doors when the pavement is hot, then move your vehicle so it is not restricting traffic flow.

The calendar below tells you which days and times the field is available as well as which side of the field is available at that time.

While most Open Practice is held opposite Debbie's classes, you may occasionally see a time slot in the list where the entire field is available.  The calendar states "both sides" if both sides are available.  Do not expect to be able to utilize one side of the field for the entire time.  You may be sharing the field with others.

*** If you are interested in daytime Open Practice time for a dog that is not suitable for these times or if none of these times work with your schedule please click on the "Contact Us for other available times" button.

Open Practice Times

Pre-Registration is Required

  • Daytime Open Practice is limited to 2 dogs when one side of the field is available
  • Daytime Open Practice is limited to 4 dogs when both sides of the field are available.
  • Evening Open Practice is limited to 4 dogs on one side of the field.

Please click on the button above right to register.

Cost for Regularly Scheduled times:
        $12.00   First Dog
        $8.00   Second Dog
Payment methods:
  • CC cards are NOT accepted
  • It helps immensely if you come with exact change or a check.  Debbie cannot interrupt her class to make change :O)
Please Note:
  • All Open Practice times will be held at Top Notch Canines, 107 N 57th Dr. Phoenix, AZ 85043 unless otherwise specified.
  • Please be careful when entering the building.  There may be a dog running on the field very close to the door.
  • Never been to a Open Practice at TNC?  The FAQ's below will help you know what to expect.

You can help us keep our neighbors happy by not parking in their lots during business hours. Those lots are for the use of their customers.

  • During the weekdays, Monday thru Friday, please park behind the TNC building or on the street.
  • On Saturday and Sunday our neighbors to the north and south graciously permit us to park on their property.  Please respect their property by not pottying  your dog on their property and by cleaning up your trash.
  • Please enter the TNC rear parking area from the south side of the building and exit on the North.   The traffic lanes are not designed for handling 2 way traffic. Drive slowly!  Thank you for keeping the tight spaces safe!
  • During AKC and USDAA trials handicap individuals my park parallel to the building on the south side.  Those working out of their car and who made arrangements prior to the trial may park parallel to the building on the north side where there is some shade.

We have limited space for exercise pens.

  • Metal exercise pens at may be used ONLY in the concrete kennel area.
  •  Due to damage that has occurred to the runners and the matting, soft play pens MUST have the bottom zipped or permanently attached.  Bedding of any type or size  is not a replacement for a zipped or permanently attached bottom.  If you must use a soft play pens with no bottom or a velcro bottom, then it  MUST be placed in the concrete areas.

The mats at TNC are anti-fatique,  providing great resilience under foot for both dogs and handlers.  However,

  • They are not designed to hold up to the abrasive dirt and granite in Arizona.  Help us protect them and leave dirt, mud and granite outside.
  • Indoors, dogs and handlers should not have to worry about foxtail, poop, and goat heads in the ring or out.

Smoother soled shoes work best at TNC. The same matting which is awesome for the dogs, giving them the traction for speed and confidence, can trip the handler that doesn’t pick up their feet. Don’t wear shoes designed to give you good traction outside. That will be overkill indoors.

Soccer cleats are not permitted under any circumstances.

All kennels belong to students.  If a student is not attending a trial or other event, their kennel is available for use by someone who will treat it kindly and leave it in the same condition or better than they found it.  Some of the kennels no longer have a tray in them due to breakage and abuse by bouncing, scratching dogs.  You will need to bring appropriate bedding for your dog.

There are white boards on the front or top of all student kennels.  If it is not marked as reserved for the event it is available for use.  Sometimes they are marked as “reserved” for only some days of the weekend.  Please read carefully.

The following are “special” reasons for emailing and asking for us to reserve a kennel for you.  Reservations are not finalized til Wed before the trial.  Mostly because I don’t know whether the owner of the kennel will be here :O)

  • you are handicapped and bringing your kennel into the building is difficult
  • you are entered in Nov/Open at an AKC show on a hot weekend and need a place to put your dog when you arrive.  Out of town exhibitors will get preference due to the difficulty of timing their arrival from long distances.

Carts are not permitted in the building.  Primarily because the tires/wheels on most carts react with the matting and stain it.  Every wheel on the equipment and carts that  are used at TNC has been tested on scrap pieces of mat for 24 hrs to ensure there is no chemical reaction.   We have returned many wheels or swapped them out for safe wheels.

Secondly – there simply isn’t room at most trials  :O)

There are no exceptions to this policy except for the stationary cart policy as outlined below.  If you are handicapped and cannot carry your kennel, please arrive early and ask for help!  Sometimes we have unused wire/plastic kennels that can be borrowed for the trial.   If you want to explore that option please notify the Trial Chairperson – you can use the Contact Us form on this site.

Yes, even the small stationary carts wheels leave green stains on the mat.   We understand that many of us are not getting any younger and wheels are our friend.  We permit the use of stationary carts as long as everyone cooperates and we do not have damage to the mat.  If you choose to use a stationary cart, please empty it as soon as you arrive, collapse it and store it on top of your kennel or ideally back in your car.  If we find it sitting on the mat it will be confiscated along with any contents.  It will cost you $10 to get it back.  We appreciate everyone who helps us preserve TNC for the benefit of the community.

The areas circled in yellow below are suitable for pottying your dog.

Please DO NOT potty your dog on the property of neighboring businesses!  This is a serious issue which merits a trial committee meeting to remove you from the trial.


Photos of potty areas also posted at TNC near access doors

Any chair in good condition with no broken pieces or exposed metal are permitted on the matting.   Please be sure all 4 chair legs have plastic or rubber bases in-tact.  Chair legs with no protection act like a cookie cutter on the mat and will damage it.

You are welcome to use a wire kennel but please follow the special rules below to ensure a long life for TNC matting.

  • No protection is necessary for metal kennels in the concrete areas.
  • As with ALL kennels, wire kennels must be placed in the appropriate area for their size.  The size dimension is the depth of the kennel.
  • Kennel mats are EXACTLY 3 ft except in designated areas where they overlap to permit 4 ft kennels   Metal 3 ft kennels are notorious for being 37/38 inches instead of 36 and they need a towel to protect the mat.  Even if your kennel measures exactly 3 ft,  back to back kennels may slightly exceed 3 ft.  Please be prepared to add a towel under the front of your kennel to protect the mat.
  • All Kennels extending  more than an inch or two off the mat must be moved to an area for deeper kennels due to deeper kennels restricting isle way access.

Food and drink are permitted with common sense :O).   All beverages must be in a closed and/or spill proof containers.  Definition of a spill proof container is that you can turn it upside down and it does not leak.   Soups and liquid meals are best eaten outside.   Hot and acidic items can damage the matting.  Notice that the roll up doors leave the building open to critters from the outside.  We have had ants, snakes, mice etc.  Please clean up all food spills immediately and do not leave food or treats in the building overnight.

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