Agility Obstacle Training

Introducing our Trainer Mick Watson 

Hi Agility Addicts.
Over the next few week’s I will be giving Tip’s/Hint’s and Advice on methods of training your dogs on Agility Obstacles.
I will try to cover all the obstacles you are most likely to come across if attending Agility Training Classes.


Hurdles come in many disguises, usually comprising of 2 wings, poles and or boards. The poles and boards are placed on cradles and should the dog catch these when jumping they will fall off.   

The ‘A’ Frame
An “A” frame is a piece of equipment that looks exactly like the letter “A”. Its purpose is to challenge the dog’s ability to walk up and down a 45 degree incline. The bottom part of each ramp will be a different colour and your dog must put his two front paw’s on this part on the up ramp and his two rear paws when completing the down ramp of the obstacle. This obstacles is  known as ‘Contact Obstacles’

The Dog Walk 
Another challenging piece of agility equipment is the dog walk.  Another contact obstacle. Essentially like a balance beam, which will force the dog to practice his patience and balance while walking on it. Obstacle is in 3 parts each 12′ long and 12″ wide. The same principle for mounting and dismounting the A Frame applies to the Dog Walk. 

The Long Jump
Comprising of 5 boards gradually rising in height, width and length. These are placed between 4 marker poles. The length of the jump depends on the size and ability of your dog.

The Spread Jump
This obstacle is basically two hurdles one in front of the other, the bars are set at two different heights with the higher bar at the front of the obstacle. The height of the poles and the width of the spread again will depend on the size and ability of your dog. 


Tunnels can vary in size and length, there are also Open and Collapsed varieties. They are made from either nylon, canvas or plastic. The open tunnels can and will be bent to form a corner or turning point in an agility course. The collapsed part of the tunnel (the chute) is usually around 10′ to 12′ in length.

Weave Poles 

Weave poles can be set in the ground at a distances of 24″(60cm)apart, each pole is around 3′ high. The idea is for the dog to begin at pole one and weave from left to right throughout each and every pole until he reaches the last of them. These can be set ‘Staggered, or ‘V’d’ during training, leading to straight up on completion of training.

The See Saw
The see saw is one of the more tricky pieces of dog agility training equipment. If you think of a piece of children’s playground equipment in which one child sits on each end, then you are correct in assuming that it is the very same thing in terms of dog agility. The dog must climb up one side of the see saw, balance his weight appropriately in the middle in order for the other side to touch the ground, and then walk down that side of it. This is the final piece of Contact  Equipment. 

I will endeavour to cover all obstacles over the next few weeks with tips, hints and training techniques and support these with photos and maybe a video. I am sure a few of you will now be looking for a dog training club that does agility,  hopefully these training tips will give some idea what to expect when you get there. When I have completed each obstacle I will post these in Tips from the Club House on our Cockapoo Club Chatand will the then hold Q&A’s on each one.

Enjoy your dog’s and their training.