The Pause Box in Dog Agility
Though pause boxes are not as common as the pause table in American competitions, the pause box is a great way to teach your dog the pause you will find in most agility courses. Plus, if you are short on room the pause box is a great space saving, easy transportable, and inexpensive alternative to a table.
Use it the same way you would a pause table in the middle of your course and teach your dog to stop, lie down and sit inside the box. In UKC competitions there can be the added challenge of distance. The handler has to stay behind or outside the marked area and send the dog to the pause box and perform the necessary position called for on that course.
It can be a very challenging obstacle as pausing is a problem for many dogs as agility is about running really fast and jumping for them. It is hard for them to settle for those few seconds, especially when a sit or down is required. Which makes it important to train the pause in a way that makes your dog enjoy the obstacle.
It can also be a challenge for a dog to “see” the box when they are running full steam. This requires training as well to a verbal command to help the dog “look” for the box, especially if you are competing in grass. Great fun with the help of toys or targets.
To make the obstacle even more challenging in UKC rules state that “the side of the Pause Box closest to the previous obstacle is the correct entry side, and the side closest to the next obstacle is the correct exit side, which the dog must use to receive full credit for the Box. This means you will have to train your dog to change angles inside the box! All great training even if you and your dog never see a pause box.