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Training Exercises: You're Bugging Me

Try this fun exercise in your class or training group. By Deborah Davidson Harpur.

This course makes a fun "follow the leader" exercise for an agility class or training group. Each person will add (and their dog will perform) a prescribed number of obstacles to the "course" designed as the class goes along. You may do this exercise with numbered cones or without. When we play this with my students, I hand out numbered cones and give each person 3-5 each, but we've also done it without cones. With the cones, everyone gets to walk the course and learn it. Without the cones, it becomes a challenge to our memory skills.

Can you see why the exercise is named "You're Bugging Me?" 
Have the first person pick where you start the course. The next person would add one (or more) obstacles and would run his or her dog over the sequence that he or she designed. The third person would do all the obstacles numbered up so far in the order selected and would add on his or her portion. This continues until the course is complete. Then everyone runs the full course. For classes with novice handlers or dogs, you can break your course up into sections. 

This is a good course layout for working weave entries because you can set up various angled entries. 

Check back next week for more training courses based on this layout.

This article is part of USDAA's Training Tuesday series that is appearing on USDAA's facebook page. We encourage you to discuss this course on our facebook and to upload videos of your class or training group playing this game. If you have a facebook account, please join in the fun here:

Deborah Davidson Harpur has been competing in agility since 1999 and is known as a handler of a wide variety of breeds of all shapes and sizes. She offers agility training classes in the Port of Los Angeles area for both recreational and competitive agility students. You can find her on facebook at or read about her dogs at


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