The Dover Gardens Club started classes on Sunday 16 March 1969. The club's founders were Betty and Peter McMonagle of Oaklands Park, Jim and Sadie Richardson of Glenelg North, John and Rosemary Fitzgerald of Hackham and Dave and Dot Rootes of Christies Beach. The key figures in the club's establishment were Betty McMonagle and Jim Richardson.
Betty McMonagle was training her first dog at the South Australian Obedience Dog Club in Adelaide's South Parklands. 'Kym' was a German Shepherd that Peter had rescued as a puppy. He had already achieved his Companion Dog Excellent title in trials and they were working towards his Utility Dog title, the highest standard in obedience. Betty had become an instructor with SAODC but also wanted to help people in her neighbourhood who could not travel to the city to train their dogs.
The Richardsons had recently begun breeding German Shepherds under the 'Glenbonnie' prefix. Jim was training their stud dog, an Australian Champion in the show ring, with the Southern Districts Kennel and Obedience Club at Christies Beach. The couples met during 1968 when Jim began entering his dog in Novice trials to gain his Companion Dog title. Both couples were post-war migrants from Scotland, and they became friends when the McMonagles decided to buy a Glenbonnie puppy.