Jumping Jacks

A fun looking game came to me during my TDAA course review duties. The game is Jumping Jacks, which is an interesting variation of Pole Jacks. Rather than doing weave poles for the “bounce” the dog will do two jumps.

I’ve decided this would be a ripper game to play in league this week (during our mini-clinic tomorrow). Here’s how the game goes:

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks, a variation of Pole Jacks, is the invention of Melissa Wallace of Tacoma, WA. The original Jumping Jacks course was designed for play at Four Paw Sports Center in January of 2012.


Jumping Jacks is played like the children’s game of jacks. The performance of two jumps is the bounce of the ball. All other obstacles on the course are jacks and have specific point values. In our sample course, below, any two wingless jumps qualify as a bounce. It does not matter which two, or the direction they are taken.

After the “bounce” (doing two jumps), the team must “pick up” the appropriate number of jacks by scoring an equivalent number of points. The handler and dog team will bounce “onesies,” bounce “twosies,” bounce “threesies,” and so forth until either they reach bounce and “sevensies” or time expires.

The dog’s time begins when he hits the ground on the landing side of the first jump. Big dogs will have 55 seconds, and small dogs will have 60 seconds. The end-of-time whistle ends scoring only; the clock continues to run until the dog goes to the table. After the time whistle, there will be no fault and no points for the dog taking additional obstacles on the way to the table or finish line to stop time.

The dog must pick up points equaling the number for which the team is shooting after the bounce. For instance, if the team is shooting for 6, they could do a jump and the teeter or they could do a tunnel and the tire.

Obstacles may be taken as many times as the handler or dog chooses. No obstacle may be taken twice on the same pick up.

When a bar is dropped on a “bounce” jump the dog must be directed to bounce again. The jump with the downed bar is still in play.


Jumping Jacks is scored Points, Then Time. The dog’s score will be the number of his last complete pick-up. The winner is the dog with the highest points and with least time in the case of a tie. The maximum points that can be earned are 7.

The following point values are assigned to obstacles:

  • Jumps, 1 point
  • Tunnels and tire, 3 points
  • Teeter, Weave Poles, and A-frame, 5 points
  • Dogwalk, 7 points

If a dog faults during a pick-up, the dog must again bounce (perform two jumps) and retry that same number. Faults include the following:

  • Any of the usual performance faults (missed contact, knocked pole and so on)
  • Picking up a number greater than the number for which the team is shooting
  • Doing a “bounce” jump with too few points in the pick up
  • Repeating an obstacle in the same pick up

Course Design


  • Games I – Score of 4
  • Games II – Score of 5
  • Games III – Score of 6

YouTube Course Review, for Your Entertainment



Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. 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.


3 Responses to “Jumping Jacks”

  1. Melissa Wallace Says:

    The idea for Jumping Jacks belongs completely to Kathy Swan of Tacoma, WA. I took the idea through to course design to be used as a TDAA game in an upcoming trial.

  2. Michelle Says:

    The video course reviews are GREAT Bud. Keep them coming. I hope all TDAA judges are following these.

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