Fix for Dog Agility Panel Jump Refusal

panel jump for dog agilityIt isn’t uncommon to see green dogs refuse the panel jump, especially if the first time they see one is at a competition. Most common to the obedience ring, AKC and USDAA will use the panel jump on their courses so if you run those venues, or plan to, you need to teach the panel jump to your dog as a new obstacle.

If you are the team that gets a refusal there could be a couple of reasons for the refusal – if that’s the only jump refused, most likely it’s not a health issue, but always ask yourself if your dog may have been injured, and then move on to solving the problem through training.

It is also possible your dog didn’t have the correct approach angle. Jump refusals with green dogs are often cause when the dog is uncertain or doesn’t like the angle. It is also possible they just didn’t have enough speed behind them to get over the jump. Working on jump wrapping exercises will help to eliminate that problem.

Once health, angle and speed are ruled out it is time to get to work teaching your dog how to work the panel Jump. Panel jumps block the view of the landing area after the jump, so your dog is really and truly jumping ‘blind’. While some dogs have no issues with this, many more dogs do. If you are fortunate, your dog may just need to see the landing side to see that there is ground on the other side, and for the rest of their agility careers, they’re good to go!

However, if that doesn’t work you will need to teach the panel jump as if it is an entirely new obstacle and in all reality it is. Just as the dog has to learn how to negoiate the triple and broad jumps, the panel needs to be learned as well. Start by setting up one panel for your dog to step over. If you have a small dog, this may be your full height. For all other heights you will train this jump like you would any other, gradually raising the panels to full height. Stay at each new height until your dog is confident from all angles of approach before moving to the next height. Reward often and extensively to encourage them to enjoy this obstacle, and soon they’ll be flying!

Head on over to our store and order your panel jump today, if you don’t have one, and get started on this new obstacle with your dog.