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Training Exercises: You're Bugging Me Part 2

Work your weaves and tricky obstacle "call-offs." By Deborah Davidson Harpur

Last week's training exercise was based on a blank course map in which the layout was bug-shaped. This week continues a several-week series based on that same course layout. 

This course starts with two tunnels. You go from the exit of the first tunnel to the opening of the next tunnel that is facing you. By then, most dogs are happily extending and moving close to full speed. On the map, the weave entry for #3 looks easy breezy. However, if you haven't let you dog know where he is going, you might just find him taking the #1 entry again! 

Let's say you were a rock star and your dog made it to the poles and began weaving like mad. Next up isn't the very inviting straight tunnel, but instead the #4 jump to the right of that tunnel. Then, #5 and #6 are nice and smooth and, hooray, you get to do another weave entry for #7. It looks pretty easy, so there must be a trick of some kind coming up right? Well, it's not really a trick, but #8 is after the weaves but to the left. Again, not the inviting tunnel. 

How will you do #6, #7 and #8? Some handlers might like to pull into #7 with the dog on the left and then either front cross (change sides in front of the dog by turning in to face him), rear cross (cross behind the dog) or tandem turn (turn together) at the end of the poles going into the #8-#9-#10 series. Others might do a forced front cross (a front cross on the take-off side of an obstacle) or even a rear cross into the poles so the dog is on the handler's right and then he or she would pull the dog into the #8-#9-#10 series. 

Once again, up next is another set of weaves and most handlers would simply pull their dogs into #11. In my class, when running this course, there were some off-courses into the tunnel (the far end of #1) but most made it just fine. Finally, the dog does get to do the inviting tunnel and then two jumps, #13 and #14, to finish out this course. 

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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