Karen B. London
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Agility Favorites
What obstacle does your dog prefer?
Weave poles, chutes, tunnels, seesaws, A-frames--does any dog love them all?

I had a dog whose favorite part of an agility course was the table. My theory is that it made the most sense to him. It was the first piece of equipment that he learned how to negotiate correctly, and it seemed as though he always knew what to do with it, unlike some other obstacles, which periodically confused him. I loved this dog, but he was, hmm, how best to say it—not the brightest dog I have known. He enjoyed the things in his life that were straightforward, and that’s why I think he liked the table.

Does your dog have a favorite agility obstacle, and if so, what do you think that tells you about your dog?



Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.


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Submitted by Kathy Konetzka-Close | July 28 2009 |

My collie, Wyatt, LOVES the jumps, basically because he loves to run and play chase. But getting him through the tunnels was just a stitch--my husband was actually at class this particular night and was taking photos, so we have an entire series of pictures with our trainer at one end of the tunnel, myself at the other, and Wyatt in various stages with the tunnel in the middle. By the time he actually went all the way through, we were all laughing so hard we couldn't breathe. Agility is definitely a work in progress for us, but the running (herding?) is his absolutely favorite activity; and if he can pull another dog away from the class to chase him, he's in seventh heaven. LOL

Submitted by Maura | July 28 2009 |

Believe it or not my lil agility chihuahua has got the weave poles down best! He always messes up on other things here or there but never the poles. I think it's because he's small so it's not a huge struggle for him to make it through quickly. Now if only he'd do the teater or table as well!

Submitted by Leanne | July 29 2009 |

My dogs favorite is the A-frame. She is an afghan hound which is not a breed known for agility so we worked hard to succeed many of the pieces of equipment. She loves it all now but the A frame is her very favorite,she just flies over it everyone loves to watch her.

Submitted by Julia Kamysz Lane | July 30 2009 |

My two Dalmatians love the jumps! When we do USDAA, I always look for a jump line to start Gamblers because it really gets them moving. I think jumping appeals to their playful nature and the urge to run as fast as possible.

My youngest, a mix in training, loves the dogwalk because we've practiced it so much for a running contact. She also enjoys the weave poles because we used Susan Garrett's 2x2 method to build value for them. Can't wait for her first show!

Submitted by Deb | July 31 2009 |

My Italian Greyhound is a tunnel sucker. She LOVES the tunnel and it's one of my biggest concerns when planning our course. I have to make sure she takes the next jump and NOT the tunnel that may be near by! I read your post with envy. My Dinah HATES the table and it's the one obstacle that consistently keeps us from Q-ing.

Submitted by Paulette, Reno, NV | August 5 2009 |

My Westie is a tunnel monster but it wasn’t always that way. He used to LOVE the dog walk but recently I can’t keep him out of the tunnels, which is beginning to turn into a big problem. During our second agility trial, Cody decided he’d much prefer to take the tunnel than go up the dog walk. When he exited the tunnel the first time I called him back to me to get him to go over the dog walk, only to have him zoom right by me and back in the tunnel. He did this 3 times, just running as fast as he could in a big circle in and out of the tunnel. I was so embarrassed but the spectators just laughed and said that Cody had a better time that day than any of the other dogs... I wish I could say the same for me! Cody just loves to run and have fun!!!

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