Dog Behaviour Specialist and Trainer

Hi I’m Flip Calkoen. I have been training dogs for over 40 years. In fact throughout my career I have trained over 10,000 dogs of all varieties and temperaments.  I train dogs in the Auckland area.

I have developed a deep understanding of dogs and training methodologies. My framework for teaching dogs and their owners is built from working with so many dogs of varying ages, breeds, temperaments and challenges.

I offer you an opportunity for you and your dog to be directly coached by me. My Training Programs are focused on creating harmony between you and your dog. I will also provide you with a deeper understanding of what drives dog behaviours and how this differs to ours. My coaching ensures you are equipped to get the best out of your dog and give your dog the best life. I adapt my Training Programs based on you and your dog's individual circumstances, abilities and goals.

I offer Home Consultations followed by private Training Programs from your home and in your local area, as I find this the best way to help dogs of all ages and their owners. Through my Training Programs I focus on teaching your dog to listen to your commands and modify unwanted behaviours. My experience is that individual training results in a better outcome for socialisation and training of your dog than group classes can provide.

Contact Flip at to book your Home Consultation


Your Home Consultation with Flip

COVID-19 Dog Training Update:

I am not offering home consultations or training until the government lockdown is lifted. But I do understand that it can be difficult to wait for help with your puppy or dog when you need it. If you are looking for help while the lockdown is in place, I am offering virtual (video or phone) consultations.

Do feel free to email me if you are interested in either a virtual consultation or to book in for a future home consultation. I will send the questionnaire and brochure to start the process of booking in with me. Stay safe. Kind regards, Flip.

All my clients start with a one-hour Home Consultation with me. This first session is an opportunity for me to meet you and your dog at your home, answer any questions you have, discuss any challenges, assess your dog, give you some training tips that are appropriate for you and your dog and introduce my Training Programs to you.

The price of the one-hour Home Consultation is $300 payable in advance. I offer appointments during weekdays, with my last appointment time being 6pm. I also offer Saturday appointments.

Contact me at to request a Home Consultation

Once you email me, you will receive my brochure about the Home Consultation as well as a short questionnaire to fill in about you and your dog.

Once I receive the answers to the questionnaire, I will call you to answer any questions you may have and coordinate a date and time for your Home Consultation.

My Auckland-Based Dog Training Programs

My Training Programs are enjoyable transformational experiences for you and your dog. Whether you are looking for help to teach your dog the basics or to change unwanted behaviours such as aggression or high anxiety, my programs are proven paths to success.

Programs range from my Starter Program of 4 sessions over 2 weeks through to my longer comprehensive Training Programs.

I train with dogs as young as eight weeks old through to dogs in their senior years. I train dogs to be well-mannered in a variety of environments, such as at home, the park, the beach, the café, the office and when visiting your friends and family, or even on holiday. Training not only enhances your life and the life of your dog but it also enables you to build a stronger bond together.

In my programs, I teach your dog my Foundation Commands, creating a shared language for you and your dog. I also teach you how to provide leadership to your dog through the use of these Foundation Commands, which will create a stronger bond and enhance the relationship between you and your dog. I will also focus on modifying any unwanted behaviours resulting in a more harmonious life with your dog.

Training Programs include:

  • Regular weekly training sessions
  • Mix between me training your dog and sessions with you and your dog
  • Training tailored to your goals and your dog’s abilities
  • Focused on the challenges you are having
  • A variety of locations around your neighbourhood
  • From your home or office
  • Phone, email and text support

My Background

I started my career in Europe in 1978, spending six years training with two of the top dog training schools in Europe including the Royal Netherlands Foundation for the Blind and the Dierenhotel premier dog behavioural training facility in Holland, where I became principal trainer at the age of 23.

The Dierenhotel was at the forefront of dog behaviour training, specialising in dogs that had severe behavioural issues. During my time we set up a guide dog school. As principal trainer, I trained dogs with severe behavioural issues as well as guide dogs and mobility dogs.

I returned to New Zealand in 1984, at the age of 26, and set up my own dog training practice in Napier. I subsequently moved my training business to Auckland in 1995, where I have enjoyed developing my business with a focus on working privately with families and their dogs.

I pride myself on making deep and long-lasting changes in dog behaviours and my clients’ lives. Dog training is an ongoing process. Many clients continue to come back for further training across their dog's life to increase confidence and training skills for them and their dog.

My own dog John, is a Border/Bearded Collie cross. I adopted John when he was about 18 months old in 2012. He had had a life of being neglected on a farm and finally abandoned. I met John and realised he would be the perfect dog for me. He has since become my constant companion and occasionally participates in training sessions.

Contact me at to request a Home Consultation

Auckland Dog Trainer - Flip Calkoen

Flip’s career highlights include:

  • Training over ten thousand dogs and their owners.
  • Working with wolves in Holland.
  • Training guide dogs, mobility dogs and diabetes response dogs.
  • Providing advice, knowledge and support to a significant number of organisations throughout New Zealand including many veterinary practices, dog day stay facilities and SPCA.
  • Guest Speaker at numerous organisations including NZ Police, Auckland University of Technology, Rotary and NZ Veterinary Association.
  • Being a regular presence in the media including guest appearances on TV shows and many years on Talkback Radio.
  • 2015 Kiwibank Local Hero Award.
  • Previously been a board member on the Napier SPCA and a number of assistance dog trusts.
  • Setting up a pet therapy program at Napier Hospital.