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Things to Do With Only Three Jumps

Training exercises you can do at club or even in your own garden

Based on an article by American Anne E. Smith, South African competitor Sally Adam adapted it for the South African Dog Agility Association (SADAA) web site on a page devoted to various aspects of agility training. It is reprinted here with their permission.


1. Run with dog on your left.
2. Run with dog on your right.
3. Practice the dog’s wait: recall over jump 1, then over jumps 1 and 2, then over all three jumps.
4. Send the dog ahead of you. Build up to sending over all three jumps.
5. Practice call-offs - send dog over jump 1, then run to the left and call the dog to you. Then send dog over two jumps, run to the right and call the dog to you. Mix up the number of jumps and the direction of turn and keep the dog guessing.
6. To sharpen turns, play the 1,2,3 Game. Run with the dog on your left - dog does jump1, then you turn right, calling the dog to heel. Run back to the start and immediately cue the dog to do jumps 1 and 2. Again, turn right after jump 2 and return to the start. Immediately take off again, and this time ask the dog to do all three jumps. Repeat with the dog on the the right. Remember to reward for every recall in the early stages.

1. Run dog in both directions (1, 2, 3 and 3, 2, 1)
2. Move 2 further away and see what happens.
3. Move 3 into the indicated position for a larger angle - run again in both directions.

A dog does not necessarily have to take a jump from a 90° approach.
However, they need to be taught to take jumps at an angle. In this sequence the dog should follow a straight line, as shown.
To make it easier for the beginner dog, try with jump 2 at a less acute angle (shown by the dashed line). Gradually move the jump until it is at right angles to jumps 1 and 3.

1. Again, the dog should run this sequence in as straight a line as possible. It’s a useful exercise for teaching the dog to turn away from you (for example from jump 2 to jump 3) - remember to try the opposite arm here to see if that helps the dog.
2. Try starting in position B - call the dog towards you, then send over 2 and call over 3.
3. Repeat with dog on your right (i.e. start at jump 3).
1. This sequence is for more experienced dogs. Note that jump 2 must now be taken from the same direction as jumps 1 and 3. The dog must therefore be “pulled through” the gap between the jumps. This can take a bit of practice, as the dog will by now be expecting to take jump 2 from the other direction.
2. Try from 3 - 1.
1. Beginner dogs often focus on the obstacle straight ahead of them and will run past jump 2. Practice turning them (a) towards you and (b) away from you.
There are lots of ways of doing this - my favourite is this:
1. Dog on handler’s right. Send over black 1 and 2. When dog has the idea, straddle dog and send over black one and two. If all goes well, have the dog on handler’s left and send over black 1 and 2.
2. Repeat for white numbers.

Sally Adam & JaffaAbout the author...
Sally Adam
started agility in the early 90's with her Miniature Schnauzer, Ziggy before there were any mini classes offered at shows. When little dogs were eventually recognised, Ziggy became the first national mini champion at the age of ten.

Sally now competes with her Beardie (Jaffa) and Border Collie (Tin) and a variety of borrowed dogs. Sally was thrown in at the deep end and asked to start up the agility training class at her club before she had any experience in the sport. With the help of some good books and videos, the class eventually took shape, and Sally has been training and passing on information ever since.

Her proudest agility achievement to date is being a co-founder of the SA Dog Agility Association, which aims to improve the standard of agility and agility judging in South Africa, and to get dog agility into the public eye.

Sally lives in Western Province.


From Janet Varley...
Having a new baby to train, and not that much space to do it in, I found this article really useful indeed... thanks. (21/08/02)

From Jacqui (Western Australia)...
What a wonderfully informative exercise. I work long hours so rarely get to train my Standard Poodle. Due to a lung condition I am trying to train her to work away from me and club training nights generally do not afford us the chance to do repetition work. Now I can train with a minimum of equipment in my own back garden. Thank you I'll be back to this site often.

From Sally Wynnes...
<PRE> very informative article and will be useful to pass on at Club so pupils can practice at home.


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