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Exercises: Opening Sequence

Marla Friedler-Cooper shares a segment from an international course and discusses many handling options.

This exercise is taken from an international course but the first few obstacles are not unlike a course we might also find in the US.

How many different ways can you handle #1-#4?

1. Keep your dog on right the whole time. Lead out to where the #24 is and pull the dog all the way on your right into the tunnel.

2. If you don't have a start line stay, start where the #23 is and then blind cross between obstacles #1 and #2. Continue #3 and #4 as in option 1. When doing a blind cross, change sides in front of your dog and keep your back to your dog while doing it.

3. Lead out to where the #3 is and do a lead-out pivot. A lead-out pivot is a front cross (crossing in front of your dog while turning in to face him) on the flat (as opposed to at an obstacle) that is performed while the handler is stationary, usually on an opening sequence.

4. Start where the #34 is and push your dog from #3 to #4.

Can you think of any other options?

*NOTE  It is also possible to do a Ketschker turn (a front cross and followed by a blind cross in one smooth movement) or a take-off side front cross from #3 to #4 in all scenarios instead of a pull from #3 to #4.

Marla Friedler-Cooper is an agility trainer and competitor, a film/tv producer, and a college professor. She can be reached at or through her websites: and or through her blog:


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