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Training Distance for Gamblers Part 3

Some final tips in our Gamblers series. By Alicia Nicholas

In the last two weeks, we have been showing how to work the distance portion of a Gamblers class. This is the final part of this series. 

Wrapping a Jump

Figure 1

Which way should you wrap a jump in the Gamble? Remember, only the handler has to stay on the far side of the gamble line. The dog can go anywhere!  I can see a case for both scenarios in figure 1, but turning your dog to the left on jump #2 sets up a great parallel line for the handler and the dog to go towards the tunnel. The handler has to know her dog, and whether or not he will commit to an obstacle that far away on a verbal cue. See figure 1.

Entering the Gamble

Another good question is, "How are you going to enter this Gamble?" You could use the wing jump that is in front of the tunnel, but I liked taking my dog from A to the backside of B and turning him around me. I wanted to turn my dog to the left on jump #2, so a little collection was a good thing anyway. See Figure 2.

Figure 2

This is the end of our series on training for Gamblers. Don't forget to train your dog to move away from you laterally (covered in the first article) and then set them up for success by coming into the Gamble on an angle (and the correct speed) that shows them where to go next! Push on the dog's path, not the obstacles. May the Gamble be with you!

This article is part of USDAA's Training Tuesday series appears 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 trying it out. If you have a facebook account, please join in the fun here:

Alicia Nicholas has been doing agility since 2001 and has been teaching the sport since 2004. She started her agility journey with two Corgis, and since then she has run Border Collies, a Swedish Vallhund and a Papillion. Alicia believes that dog training is a very important aspect of dog agility and encourages a strong foundation for dogs that do agility. Alicia teaches all levels of agility handling, from foundation to international level classes. She also teaches competition obedience, focus and relationship, puppy classes, how to coach yourself classes, tricks classes, and more. Alicia says, "Agility is a sport which requires mental toughness and goal setting while keeping in mind that your canine partner is in it for fun! Goals are an important part of the journey; it's how you attain them that matters!" Alicia can be reached via email at or through her website ( and you can read her blog at


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