Training with Multiple Jumps
Having one jump is great. Having multiple jumps is just over-the-top awesome! The standard bar jump is not only the ‘core’ of agility courses (you’ll see more of these than any other obstacles in a trial) but as you progress in your agility training, you’ll want to try these fun and challenging multi-jump exercises. We’ll show you how using more than one jump can take your agility training to new heights.
Speeding down a row. One of the arrangements you’ll find on courses and can practice at home is an equally spaced row of jumps. Send your dog down the line of at least four jumps. At the end of the jumps reward and praise your dog to encourage his drive. This series is fun for your dog, and good exercise! After practicing until you’re both comfortable, you can ask him to return down the line again, ahead of you, using a command like ‘go jump!’. This teaches your dog to run boldly ahead of you on command (distance work). Once he’s trained to run the row with drive, you can also add the challenge of interrupting his row jumping. While you run alongside him, call him out to you between jumps. This is challenging because once your dog is lov’n the row of jumps, he may not want to quickly stop and come. This is where having a good recall is important.
Squares, pivots, and figure eights, oh my! Another beneficial exercise is square pivoting. Set four jumps up in a square and stand in the center. Send your dog ahead of a jump (you stay in the center) and direct him to come to you in the center, over the jump again. Then send him over another jump. There are many additional exercises you can do with 4 jumps in a square. Try standing outside and sending him into the center, then calling him back out, or doing figure eights by standing in the corner between two jumps.
How many jumps are ideal? While training clubs need more, a home course will do fine with 4 jumps (sold here in a great portable set!), though 6 are even better. Both squares and rows need at least 4. Make certain you leave enough take-off and landing room for your dog between jumps!
What kind of jumps should I have on my home course? For the exercises listed above, a simple “bar jump ” is all you need. They’re easy to travel with, and can be easily moved around your course. To add more of a challenge to these jumps you can add wings to help your dog learn to work farther away from your side.
Try spreading the jumps out more so the dog isn’t always bounce-jumping. This will also allow you to practice turns and crosses.