Learning more about jumps…

Agility training is fun for both you and your dog and jumps are the core agility equipment. Here’s more on the types of jumps and tips on how to train your dog to jump correctly.

As you must be aware, jumps are the basic equipment of agility. A basic jump is made of two bars and the dog is supposed to jump over the top of the bar, without touching or knocking it off. Jumps can be made of PVC pipes as it is very convenient and transportable. Following are the types of jumps available and the agile training related to it:

  1. Bar jump: This is the simplest jump, made with a single bar. The dog is supposed to run over the bar without touching or knocking it down.
  2. Double jump: It is made of two bars placed parallel or in ascending order.
  3. Wing jump: It’s a jump with wings attached on its side. Dog is supposed to clear jump without touching the wings or knocking down the top bar.
  4. Board jump: It is made of wooden boards placed in ascending order. The challenge is to jump over the boards and not run on top of them.
  5. Panel jump: It is also called wall and is made of 6 different panels adjusted on top of each other. The dog is supposed to clear this jump which looks like a solid wall to him.
  6. Tyre jump: It is a fun and colourful obstacle in the jump category. It’s a jump made with a tyre placed in the middle of the jump. The challenge for the dog is to go through the centre of the tyre and not any other part of the jump. It can be made of PVC pipes and plastic tubes. The tyre height is adjustable. The opening of the tyre is same for any size dog; however the height is adjusted according to the size of the dog.

Here are a few tips to follow while training your dog how to jump:

  1. Adjust the jump height according to the height of the dog using the equipment.
  2. It’s always useful to get the dog used to the equipment before training him. Simply let him walk through the side poles without any bar in-between. Once the dog is comfortable doing this, repeat from both sides and also by keeping the dog on your left and right side.
  3. Practice this a few more times on or off leash.
  4. Place the bar to the lowest height. For small dogs, you can keep it on the ground and ask them to go over it without touching it.
  5. Use treats/toys to motivate your dog.
  6. Keep training sessions short and funfi lled for the dog.
  7. It’s important to practice jumping right for a longer period instead of increasing jump height too fast.
  8. Once the dog is comfortably jumping over the bar, you can start training him for the tyre. Adjust the tyre to the minimum level for making it comfortable for the dog to attempt.
  9. It’s important to give your dog time to get used to the tyre at a low height as it’s a completely different looking obstacle for your dog.
  10. It’s advisable to teach a dog to jump from middle of the bar or tyre to avoid any problems of knocking it down.

Agility training has to be fun for your dog. Jumping over a bar or jumping through tyre can be very exciting for hyper dogs while it can be very demanding for a dog who is not comfortable with the equipments. It is advisable to give each dog his own time and practice to get used to the equipment and to perform it. And whenever your dog performs well, do not forget to shower him with motivation and praise. Soon, you will be the proud parent of an agile dog. (Pooja Sathe is trained under Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour and Training, UK.)

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