A Fan for Collapsed Tunnel Training

We have traditionally approached teaching a novice dog the Collapsed Tunnel as a two person operation. One person holds the dog on leash while the other person (usually the dog’s person/handler) goes to the other side, lifts open the fabric and calls the dog through. The dog will come to the end of the leash if he tries to go around, left or right; but the leash will release if he offers to move through the tunnel. It’s an effective method, to be sure.

But what if… you are working alone? It is counter-intuitive to the dog to go into the tunnel when he can plainly see that it is closed at just the other end.

So what we’re going to do here is bring into the picture a big barn fan. Got the picture?

Now when you make the presentation of the collapsed tunnel it looks to the dog more like a pipe tunnel. He can see daylight on the other side. It works better if you turn the fan on.

The learning curve for this obstacle is considerably shortened.

Over time, you should rotate the fan in one direction or the other to reduce the amount of air being pushed through the fabric, so that it settles down lower and lower as the dog works.

In about 10 minutes we have a dog who will readily push through the fabric of the collapsed tunnel. We had a little help from a handful of juicy beef treats!

I apologize for the generally poor quality of the pictures. These  were taken with a smart phone. Our little rescue Chihuahua/something Haymitch was the canine talent in this production.


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

5 Responses to “A Fan for Collapsed Tunnel Training”

  1. Beth F. Says:

    Brilliant. Since owning a dog who didn’t like the “helper” and freaked out by some stranger standing at the end of the thing, I had moved to training the chute by shaping an increasingly longer chute with food and a clicker, but its kind of time consuming. Never thought of the fan….

  2. Jean Says:

    you crack me up!! It would be much easier for me to find a friend to help, then to locate a barn fan never mind finding a barn to use it in.
    from San Diego

  3. Barbara Mars Says:

    Haymitch is a pretty brave dude. No way would Jiblet get between the fan and the chute. Great idea!

  4. Margaret Says:

    I’m just happy to see Haymitch happy!

  5. 2mindogtrainer Says:

    Haymitch is generally fearless, Barbara. He arrived in early June, debuts in TDAA in 2 weeks (mid-Aug) and I’m probably entering him in both Petit Prix (just for kicks – no goals other than to keep havin’ fun).

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