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Training Exercises: Tunnel Discriminations Part 2

Step up your dog's ability to choose the correct end of a tunnel in a discrimination. By Elizabeth Dott

This week we are building on last week's tunnel discriminations exercises. We started with only a little motion, then we added motion in, and, finally, a line of jumps at speed. Now we will add in other obstacles. 

Set up weave poles about 20 feet from your tunnel and center them in the middle. (See Figure 1.) In the first exercise, you will be on the right side of your dog and you will pull your dog to the right side of the tunnel. Ask your dog to weave and use your "close" or "come tunnel" command to pull your dog to the right. Start gradually moving the weave poles to the left side of the tunnel (Figure 2) until they are eventually facing the left tunnel entrance (Figure 3). See if your dog can successfully come out of the weaves facing the left side tunnel entrance and opt to take the right side using your verbal command. 
Now, work the opposite side, asking your dog to work the left side of the tunnel while gradually moving your weave poles to the right. Then substitute different obstacles before the tunnel. For example, use the teeter as your obstacle. Then try the tire, the chute, other contact obstacles, the table or any other obstacle you would like to try. 

Be sure to keep it light and happy and keep your training sessions short. Check back with us next week for more tunnel discriminations. See you next week!

This article is part of USDAA's Training Tuesday series that is appearing on USDAA's facebook page. We encourage you to discuss this exercise 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:

Elizabeth Dott has been competing in agility since 1993. She owns Legendary Agility Training (named after her heart dog, Legend) in Altamonte Springs, Florida. She has competed at the national Level and has put several championships on her dogs over the years. She has also helped many of her students achieve their own championships as well. In addition, Elizabeth runs Legendary Dog Designs and makes custom collars and leashes with agility in mind. She can be reached for questions or classes at

*The video is dark at the beginning but it lightens up enough for you to see the exercise, so keep watching!


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