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Quick Thinking, No Freaking!

Check out this fun training exercise by Deborah Davidson Harpur. It's great for classes!

I played this game with my students to help teach them to think on their feet. I let them choose which course they got to walk and run (the circles or the squares). As soon as they celebrated and were done with their 10 obstacles, I yelled, "Oh no! You missed your walk through. Quick - you have to do the course in reverse. You're NEXT IN LINE! You have to run the same course you just ran but in reverse!" I had them go to their "gate" and they got one minute to figure out their 10 obstacle course and then it was time to run.

I have to say that all of the handlers in my Junior Handler and Adult Novice classes did a great job and most had clean rounds. Then we repeated the exercise on the courses they hadn't run yet. It was an evening full of fun (and surprises!).

You can do this exercise with any class. It's fun to do with Masters courses; you just have to reverse the teeter!

Deborah Davidson Harpur has been competing in agility since 1998. She currently handles 16 dogs of various breeds including Rat Terriers, All Americans, French Bull Dogs, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, a Shetland Sheepdog, a Border Collie and more. She enjoys competing in USDAA agility and is the proud mom of USDAA roving reporter Rickie Roo. Her dogs are all proud canine ambassadors for the Active Care line of dog food by Breeder's Choice and for,, and You can learn more about Deborah and her dogs at


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