Jon’s Jumping Chute

Jon writes:


Set up a six jump, jump chute.  Set the distance between jumps so that it increases by one foot per jump.  Set the distance between the first two jumps so that your dog can easily one bounce between the first two jumps.  Call dog through the jump chute from other end while videotaping.  You may find like I did that your dog will consistently knock one bar.

I’ve only had good jumping dogs until my latest girl.  She would rather go for it (ETS) versus chipping in to keep the bar up.  The above jump chute drill seems to be helping her keep the bars up if I’m stationary.  Now I’m starting to add motion and the bar is coming down again, but I’ve just started the motion.  I think this will take a while and may never be fully fixed, but she does seem to be trying harder to keep the bars up.


I couldn’t resist. I went out first thing this morning to set this up. I didn’t follow the advice to video tape, since I’m here all alone most of the day. Maybe I’ll have an opportunity to film Kory and other dogs in class on Wednesday night.

Kory didn’t knock a bar. Though I only did it as a stationary exercise, taking the long lead-out. Moreover, I was impressed by his thoughtful pace. It’s as though he was measuring movement between jumps still two jumps away from him. I put tables up at either end spaced about 15′ from the terminal jumps. After calling him over, I sent him back down the line to the opposing table.

This reminds me of the Australian Triple, an obstacle recognized by the Australian Kennel club that is comprised of three jumps spaced apart and intended to elicit a “bounce”. I played with it quite a bit years ago, and even used it in classes and in league play. What you learn quickly is that the three jumps represents a technical obstacle; the dog cannot just plow through it at full speed.

Competition Class Plan – Week 5

[Excerpt from The Just for Fun Agility Notebook, Volume 3, Issue #28, August 2006]

White Numbers – This exercise starts off with a straight-forward dog-on-left sequence to the table. Off the table the handler probably should do a modest lead-out during the table count in order to be deep on the landing side of jump #6 when the dog commits over. A quick Front Cross followed by another Front Cross after jump #7 solves the sequence.

The object lesson in this sequence, the dog turns when the handler turns, not where the handler turns. So the handler should be well forward of the dog after jump #6 in order to be in position for another Front Cross after jump #7.

Instructor’s Note: Allow your Novice students to do the entire exercise.

Black Numbers – Mostly this exercise is an introduction to the Australian Triple. The handler probably wants to start the dog off the table with a Front Cross, and then press forward to the landing side of jump #3 to give a modest RFP to slow the dog’s approach to the technical obstacle.

Instructor’s Note: Note that #4 is an Australian Triple; three jumps placed closely together encouraging the dog to bounce the performance of the jumps. The spacing of the jumps in the Triple should be adjusted for dogs jumping different heights.

This is a technical obstacle, which means the handler should slow the dog’s approach to allow a controlled performance.

Competition Class Plan – Page 2 of 4

White Numbers – The handler might solve the early going of this sequence with a Front Cross on the landing side of jump #2 (the triple).

While the instructor counts on the table the handler surely will have to take a long lead-out away from the dog in order to be on the landing side of the tire at #7 for another Front Cross to draw the dog around for the triple at #8 and the finish at #9.

Instructor’s Note: For your Novice students do only the first five obstacles.

Black Numbers – This sequence might be solved with a single Blind Cross (or Front Cross) while the dog is engaged in the performance of the pipe tunnel at #4. This puts the handler in the uncomfortable position of bending in to the dog after jump #6. The handler might want to resort to a static Post Turn at jump #7 (accelerating towards the jump, then braking to sell the turn to the dog).

On the other hand, the handler might keep the dog on left all the way to jump #7. A Back Cross might solve the tightened turn from jump #7 to the panel jump at #8.

Instructor’s Note: Allow your Novice students to do only the first six obstacles.

The Just For Fun Agility Notebook

The Just For Fun Agility Notebook, Volume 3, Issue #28, August 2006 is a volume of lesson plans for the agility training center. This volume is a whopping 364 pages representing 32 weeks of unique lesson plans complete with a game of the week; and is leveled for four levels of instruction: Beginners; Advanced Beginners; Intermediate; and Advanced/Masters. This issue (and 29 more) is available on my webstore.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The Country Dream web store is up and running. 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.

5 Responses to “Jon’s Jumping Chute”

  1. MaryAnn Chappelear Says:

    Comment about Jon’s jumping chute and ETS….my sheltie was totally unable to jump through a line of jumps similar to that, even when I tried backchaining it….she literally could not and would not do it…probably because looking down a line of jumps like that, she was unable to see where each bar was

    MaryAnn & Kinsey ( who copes running at Preferred)

    • budhouston Says:

      I recognized as soon as I saw the exercise that it would expose fundamental jumping problems. That is not to say that the jumping exercise will cure those jumping problems.

      One could expect through practice and determination a dog would adapt to the sequence to keep bars up. But it’s a leap in logic to believe the dog would generalize for the diverse possibilities in jump presentations in practice and competition.


  2. Jon Says:


    How about Tempest? My other Aussies have no problems with this exercise either as they adjust their stride as necessary to keep the bars up. They also don’t knock bars in a trial. It’s only my young girl who wants to one bounce a fifteen foot gap and ends up knocking bars, both in the jump chute and in a trial.

    This jump chute exercise alone will not fix jumping problems, but it does expose jumping deficiencies. Interestingly enough I had a well known trainer recommend that I run my young dog from behind (rear crosses) as she generally kept the bars up. She attributed that to slightly less extension during jumping when I was behind her.


  3. Peggy Johnson Says:

    I set this up and Emma, my BC, bounce jumped every jump except the last one where she took an extra stride. She kept all the bars up, and she looked like she was adding more bounce in her jumps as she went. It didn’t matter if I did a long leadout, ran with or sent ahead. Is this what you mean by the dog regulating its jumps? I was expecting her to take more strides than she did.


    • Jon Says:


      This is not a difficult exercise for most dogs as it is just a straight line, I was surprised how much trouble my young dog had with it. It took her two days before she was consistently keeping all the bars up and to do that she had to learn to regulate her stride. I don’t know why she thought she could jump a distance that she couldn’t. Is it vision or over-excitement or something else? I’ll have a better idea after I do some more training.


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