Dog Ability Table Tips

Dog Agility Table Tips

In this article, you'll learn how to train your dog to handle the table properly.  The table can be a big advantage if you know how to use it to your benefit.

In the photo of Magic Momo you can see her getting ready to leap off the table and run to the next obstacle. 

Notice that I am not babysitting her!

Practice Table Stay Everywhere.

At the Trial. You will always find a table for measuring dogs at a trial. Usually it is not being used. So you can use it to prime your dog for the table obstacle. With your dog on leash, give the "Table" cue and lead her to jump on it.  

Count down from Five like a Judge and give the release Que.   You can do the same with chairs or other table like objects.  

Use benches in parks, stools, or chairs in your home. Practice makes perfect. Sometimes run fast up to the table, then give a slow down cue. Some like to use a "SHHH!" sound for that. 


Give a Slow Down Cue

Sometimes dogs are running so fast, that they just skid off the table.  If that happens in AKC you are immediately disqualified.

So train your dog that he has to slow down a when approaching the table so he doesn't slide off. 

This happened to Magic Momo in a Fun Match. She was running super fast and slipped right off the table. But she learned her lesson and that hasn't happened again. You can see dogs slipping off the table in the "Funniest Dog Agility Bloopers"

Wait for the GO! 

Wait for the Go! before releasing your dog. Don't anticipate the "Go" or you may be disqualified for an early release. Make sure you hear the "O" sound -- don't release your dog on the "G" of "GO!"

Wait for the "O" sound.

Imagine the Table is the Start Line
Ask yourself where would you lead out to if the table were the Start Line.  Then go there when your dog is on the table and the judge is counting down. Run there if you need to!  Don't babysit your dog at the table, don't hover over your dog with your hand like a policeman. Don't trust your dog to stay?  Try gradually increasing the distance that you can lead out from the table. Reinforce the stay behavior with $10,000 value reward. With Magic Momo, I can go anywhere I want and do anything while Momo waits patiently for her release.  You can see that in the "Momo Earns Blue Ribbon" video where I move to the next obstacle while Momo waits on the table. 
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