In this blog I have been publishing a series of homework exercises for the up-and-coming distance seminar with Canine Manners in Broken Arrow, OK. I’m near to finishing the series, not so much because we’re really done. I’m frankly concerned with heaping too much in the way of work and expectation on those brave souls who’ve elected to attend the seminar.

Distance seminars have always been difficult for me. The real topic in these seminars is “train the dog”. In two or four days you really can’t realize the central ambition of the task. Training the dog is a matter of patience and persistence.

I’ve always said that I’m patient with training a dog because I know exactly how long it takes. The punch line, of course is … “It takes as long as it takes.”



1.a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

synonyms: aspiration · intention · goal · aim · objective · object · purpose · intent ·

Send Around a Barrel

This is a very basic skill that I’ve taught to by agility dogs for about 30 years now. It’s simple and fundamental. Because it’s low impact, sending around a barrel can be taught to a very young pup. Consequently one of the first lessons learned by a dog is to go out and offer an independent performance.

In the Jokers Notebook (issue #0) refer to “Go Around” on page 30.

This was a demonstration video only. Working with Kory, I made a bit of a mistake in putting his reward (the Fisbee) on top of the barrel. But you can get the feeling of it.

Backside Jump

It strikes me that the “Go Around” the barrel might be leveraged into solving a fairly advanced challenge in International style agility coursework… the “backside” jump.

Using “Go Around” to teach a “Backside” is an interesting concept.

In competition the handler might only resort to such a thing when faced with one of those bloody-minded courses with control positions stretching to corners of the ring.



How would you handle such a challenge? Note that in a Minuet the handler will run the same sequence over and over again until the expiration of time.

In a minuet each successfully performed sequence scores 1 point. Should the dog take a wrong course, then the sequence must be started from the beginning. If the dog drops a bar, the handler is required to reset that bar, and resume from that point. When time expires the dog must be directed to the table to stop time. The Minuet is scored: Points, Then Time.

Let’s say you have 30 seconds to run this Minuet. How many times do you suppose you can do this sequence? What distance skills would you use?

BLOG1203 Home

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The web store is up and running. You’ll find in the web store The Joker’s Notebook, an invaluable reference for teaching an agility dog (and his handler) to work a distance apart. 


%d bloggers like this: