Joy through the tunnel


Tunnel is a fun agility equipment, and you can easily teach your pooch to go through it and see them have loads of fun as well. Here’s more on the types of tunnels and tips on how to train your pooch.

Agility training is fun for both, you and your dog. One of the interesting equipment is a tunnel, which is usually made of plastic/nylon sheet, measuring around 10ft or more. They can be of two types:

  1. Pipe tunnel: It’s a simple tunnel with both ends open.
  2. Collapsed/Chute tunnel: It’s a tunnel where one side is open and other is a collapsible cloth.

Tunnel training is easy and here are a few tips to make it even easier for you and your darling pooch:

  1. In the beginning, keep the tunnel length to its minimum. Keep it short for first few sessions and train your dog with lots of encouragement. Use treats to lure him into the tunnel but do not push him through it. Slowly increase the length as your dog gets used to go through it.
  2. You can take someone’s help during the initial training. Ask that person to hold your dog at one end. Go to other end and call him over other side. Only praise when the dog comes through the tunnel. Treat him at the other opening of the tunnel.
  3. You can also keep the treat at other end and try sending the dog through it from one end. Also you can run with him to encourage him to go through it.
  4. Anytime your dog gets scared, reduce the length as per his comfort level and continue practicing.
  5. Train tunnel from both sides and do not allow him to re-enter the side which he came out from.
  6. Some dogs get over excited around the tunnel. Practice a bit of sit/down at the beginning of tunnel, it gives you proper control over the dog.
  7. Desensitizing your dog in the tunnel is very important. Practice at various places and during various times of the day.
  8. Once your dog is trained for tunnel, you can work on time and speed.
  9. Training for chute tunnel needs an extra effort. Take someone’s help in the beginning of training to hold the cloth up until the dog gets used to it.
  10. While training, tunnels should be properly fixed to the floor with proper tunnel holders to avoid any accidents.
  11. Most of the dogs love tunnels and learn them fast, but some less confident dogs may need extra time and care while training them for tunnels. The handler can also train the dog to work on his both sides.
  12. You should not allow your pooch to attempt the tunnel unsupervised or let him go through it as a play thing.

So, what are you waiting for…get, set and here he goes…right through the tunnel.
(Pooja Sathe is trained under Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour and Training, UK.)

–by Pooja Sathe