Jumping Protocol in Dog Agility

Agility dog Magic Momo Superdog takes jump to turn right

Above: Magic Momo taking a jump and turning right.

Body Language Cues

It's also important to have body language cues to signal to your dog that you want her to "take an obstacle.."  

Chest Laser Pointer -- imagine there is a laser beam emanating from the middle of your chest. Turn that beam toward the jump.

Hands/Arms -- usually it is best to extend the hand closest to your dog toward the jump, at first keeping the hand low near the dogs nose and then lifting it smoothly up and over the jump. Sometimes, though, with certain techniques we use the opposite arm -- also called the threadle arm to pull the dog in toward us and over a jump.  This is used in techniques developed by One Mind Dog's called "The German Turn" or the "Hungarian Cross." (to be discussed later.)

Dropped Bars in Dog Agility

Dog Agility Jumping Tips

Verbal Cue

It's a good idea to have a verbal cue that signals to your dog that you want her to take a jump.  I suggest you pick a word that you don't use in ordinary conversation, so it will have special meaning to your dog.  I use the verbal cue "hup," since I would only utter that sound when I want Momo to jump. 

Dog Agility with Magic Momo
Dog Agility Trial Video. On this page you can see a video titled "Dog Agility with Magic Momo..." The videos hows how I need to targeting for improvement the use of my Chest Laser Pointer and the use of my Hands and Arms to lead jumps. 

Dropped Bars in Practice

When a dog drops a bar during a practice run, it's important to stop and call attention of your dog in a kind, communicative way.  Don't scold, but let your dog know that dropping bars is not acceptable.  Pause, show your dog the bar on the ground and say, "Oops. We do not drop bars. Let's try that again." Then back up a few obstacles and give your dog another try at the jump. When he takes it fine, go wild with praise and give your dog a super-powerful reinforcer -- food or a toy that he or she loves.  This approach was inspired by Susan Garrett. Her approach is similar to mine but somewhat different.; Checkout Susan's approach by listening to the podcast at...

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