Tips & Safety: Agility Jumps

Tips & Safety: Agility Jumps

One of the most exciting parts of watching dogs compete in agility is watching them fly over a bar jump. You can see the focus in the dog's eyes as they prepare to jump. You might even hold you breath until they clear it. Now, you can also teach your dog to hurdle the bar jump as well. Follow the steps below for some basic hurdle training!

You don't work for free, and your dog shouldn't either. Make sure you have some of their favorite treats or toys before you begin training!
Helpful steps for teaching the bar jump:
  1. First things first, allow your dog to get used to how a jump looks fully assembled. Make sure they are comfortable being around it.

  2. Set the height of the bar jump very low - so that the dog can simply step over it. Lure your dog over the bar jump using a treat or a toy - whatever motivates them! Once they make it over, treat them with their reward.

  3. After your dog understands that they are supposed to go over the jump, you can begin using a verbal command such as "jump!" or "over!".

  4. Start increasing the height of the jump gradually as they get comfortable. The bar jump should not exceed the height of your dog's shoulders for safety and to help prevent injury.

  5. Have fun, and enjoy the extra time spent with your furry family member.

As always, you should make sure your dog is in good physical health before beginning any agility training. Young puppies should not be jumping over bar heights to protect their joint health. If you're waiting for a puppy to grow up, now is a great time to work on foundation training.

When the jumps are set up, you want to make sure they are on a soft surface. You do not want to have a dog jump repetitively on a concrete, or asphalt-type surface. Grass, dirt, and indoors work well.