Pause Table: teaching him table manners!


Agility is all about speed and proper co-ordnation between handler and his dog while completing obstacles. In the course, there are many obstacles where the dog has to run and finish it but there is one different kind of obstacle and that is a ‘Pause Table’ where the dog has to stay on the table in ‘Sit’ or ‘Down’ position until released. Here’s how you can train your pooch for this feat…
What’s a pause table?
A pause table is a table where your pooch has to stay in ‘Sit’ or ‘Down’ position until released. The table is in square shape (36” X 36”) made of durable material which can be adjusted to different heights (8”, 12”, 20”, 26”) according to the size of your pet. Base of the table should be strong and stable so that it won’t shake while the dog is climbing up or getting down.
What’s the need of pause table?
As most of the equipments in the agility require the dog to run and perform, the pet tends to get hyper and may go out of control due to excitement. Pause table can be taught to calm them down during training.
How to train your pooch for pause table?

  • Train your pooch to ‘Stay’ and ‘Sit’ or ‘Down’ positions without the table initially.
  • Slowly introduce distractions to perfect the stay.
  • Always remember to go slow and increase the ‘stay’ duration with few minutes.
  • Once your dog has fully understood ‘stay,’ introduce the table.
  • Initially, ask the dog to step up on the table and wait there for few minutes. The table should be kept at its minimum height.
  • Use treats or toys to encourage him to go up on the table. Remember you must praise the dog while he is on the table and not when he comes down.
  • Take as many turns as required to make your dog comfortable with this equipment. Do not hurry otherwise your dog may not understand the purpose of this equipment.
  • Once the dog is comfortably doing ‘stay’ on the table, start increasing the distance between the table and you. This also teaches the dog to remain in his position while the handler is going away. This is called Distance Training.
  • You can also combine it with other equipments such as jump, tunnel etc. In this way, dog learns to perform different equipments without going out of control.
  • You can do various combinations such as Jump- Table- Jump, Tunnel- Table – Jump etc.
  • It’s also helpful to train a command specifi c to each equipment. You can use the word ‘Table’ and also use a release command such as ‘Ok’ or ‘Over’ to fi nish the stay on the table. This helps to avoid any confusion in dog’s mind when to Stay and when it’s over.

Training table during agility may sound boring to some people but it is actually a very helpful equipment. Obedience training comes handy while training this equipment. So, let’s get started…it’s time to teach our pets some table manners….
(Pooja Sathe is a qualifi ed professional who was trained at Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour and Training, UK)