Just In Time

Just In Time is a training game for Gamblers, a popular distance skills game. This game is intended to teach an important Gamblers skill, making the approach to the start of a gamble in a timely fashion. This game was first played at Dogwood, Ostrander, Ohio in March 2002.


The objective of this game is to arrive at the table as quickly as possible after the expiration of the point accumulation period.

Just In Time is identical to the point-accumulation period of USDAA Gamblers. The dog has precisely 30 seconds to score points. This is a “dog’s-choice” game. The dog can perform obstacles in the order and direction of his choosing (hopefully, with some collaboration from the handler).

If the dog arrives at the table before the 30-second whistle, time stops and no time bonus can be earned.

Obstacles can be performed only twice for points. Back-to-back performances are permitted.


Just in Time is scored Points, Then Time.

The points system is 1-3-5-7.

  • Jumps are worth 1 point
  • Tunnels and the tire are worth 3 points
  • Contact obstacles are worth 5 points
  • The weave poles are worth 7 points.

When the handler is on the opposite side of the red line from the dog, accumulation points are doubled.

Unproductive loitering near the table is not permitted and shall result in loss of time bonus points.

The dog will earn a time bonus for getting to the table or finish line after the end of the 30-second point-accumulation period.

  • Less than 2 seconds earns 30 time bonus points
  • Less than 4 seconds earns 20 time bonus points
  • Less than 6 seconds earns 10 time bonus points


I intended, with this set of the floor, to provide for the serpentine training sequence using the exercise that I put up in Boise last Sunday (http://wp.me/pmSZZ-Ss). It was a very successful exercise; and I’d like to start collecting some empirical/statistical numbers to understand not only the initial success of the exercise, but the ongoing retention of the skills we’re teaching to our dogs.

It made for a repetitive format for class. With the more novice class I worked the introduction to a Tandem Turn in the turn to the serpentine; and gradually rotated jumps as we worked. With the more advanced class I pulled the jumps together and did a progressive (exploding) Go On! And once the jumps were blown out, I began rotating the jumps into the serpentine while most everyone worked on layering the turn and working their dogs through the serpentine from a distance.

This was probably too much to jam into an hour’s class. Both the exploding line of jumps and the rotation of jumps in the serpentine should be taken in gradual incremental steps. So I’m not completely satisfied with the delivery of instruction.

I did like the game, however.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston BudHouston@hughes.net. The Country Dream web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. You know… I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an embarrassingly inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

One Response to “Just In Time”

  1. beth (steve) murray Says:

    “too much to jam into an hour’s time”??
    I thought, on the ride home, how much I had learned.
    It also revealed a few ideas for “homework”
    Very satisfying! Thanks!
    Beth and Coda

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