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Training Exercises: IFCS World Agility Championships Jumping Individual

Try this breakdown of the first part of the IFCS World Agility Championship Jumping Individual course to help you practice the challenge of international agility. By Elizabeth Dott

#1 to number three might look like a great place for a lead out. You could lead out here but if I wanted a tight turn from #3 to #4, I would opt to hang back a bit beginning from between #1 and #2. This is so you can show collection using deceleration into the turn to #4 from #3. I would begin my deceleration halfway between #2 and #3. I would also be bringing my inside arm up to signal my turning Q if I was doing a Ketschker turn (a front cross, where I turn into my dog to change sides, to a blind cross, where I turn my back to my dog while changing sides), picking the dog up on my left side into the weave poles.

If I was opting for a post turn (a simple turn to the right where my dog and are both going the same direction), I would begin to close my shoulders instead of bringing my turning arm up to signal the turn. My shoulder closure would begin to the right between #2 and #3, ending with my dog headed to #4 on my left side.

With my dog on my left into the weave poles, I have a few options for #6. I can use my lateral motion (a pull to the left or right gradually from the line the dog is traveling) to pull to the right so my dog understands he is coming out of the weave poles to the right side of the tunnel. Another option is to blind cross or front cross at the end of the weave poles, putting my dog on my right side for a push to the correct side of the tunnel.

Once my dog is in the tunnel, I want to move quickly into position for a front cross or a blind cross in between #7 and #8. Make sure you support the area between #6-#7 with your right arm as you move into position for your chosen cross. I would be driving into the right side of the stanchion at #7 to make sure my cross was not too shallow. Your front cross line would be from the right side of stanchion #7 to the right side of stanchion #8 (left side if you are looking at your map face on). If you stay on this invisible line, your front cross should be quite effective.

From #8 to #9, you will need some way to tighten up your turn and save yardage. Again, this is a perfect place to use deceleration to effectively turn your dog using a post turn or to play with some new European moves and use a reverse spin.

#10 to #11 is another great place to use lateral motion followed with a front cross between #11 to #12. I would opt for a front here so I could shape my dog's turn more to line him up tighter to #12.

So how would you finish this course? What handling moves would you choose? Be sure to share them with us on facebook and have fun!

This article is part of a new 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 you and your dog trying out one of the segments or the whole course. 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 in Altamonte Springs, Florida. She has put many championships on her Border Collies over the years, competing in top venues successfully. She has also helped many of her students put championships on their own dogs, which represent a wide variety of breeds. She can be reached for lessons or clinics at


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