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Training Exercises: Snooker 101

How to play USDAA Snooker with flow and fun! Link by Alicia Nicholas


Snooker is an agility game of strategy that may seem confusing for those new to the class. In a nutshell, as explained in Alicia Nicholas's blog on this subject (Snooker 101: How To Play USDAA Snooker With FLOW & FUN!), Snooker "involves an opening of the handler's choice and a closing of the judge's choice. Red jumps are taken, and if completed successfully, allow the opportunity of taking a numbered/colored obstacle. In the opening, numbered/colored obstacles earn points if completed successfully.  If [they are] not completed successfully in the opening, you earn no points but can continue. In the closing, if a numbered/colored obstacle is not completed successfully, the whistle blows." When the whistle blows, you exit the ring, whether you are "finished" or not.

How do you design the opening in a way that best serves your dog? Nicholas has some great thoughts on "how to play Snooker with your dog's happiness as a priority and to get a Q." She's created a checklist to help you get the most fun out of your Snooker run:

Snooker Checklist
  • Find hardest red jump, start your opening with that jump.
  • Find #2 obstacle, plan to end your opening close to #2.
  • Walk the closing.
  • Plan an opening with flow.
  • Re-number your course map.
  • Memorize the opening and closing as one course.
  • Plan a reasonable course for you and your dog's skills.
  • Leave when the whistle blows.
Read more to help you and your dog love Snooker!


This Snooker course is featured in Nicholas's article.

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