Durango Agility Dogs


Common terms used in agility training - A thru F

  • Back/Rear Cross - Any maneuver where the handler changes sides behind the dog’s direction of motion. Also known as a cross-behind.
  • Back Jumping - Going over a jump or through the tire in the wrong direction.
  • Backweaving – Going through the weave poles in the wrong direction. Performing three poles in the wrong direction usually constitutes an off-course.
  • Bar – The horizontal pole or rail on a jump that the dog must go over.
  • Bent /Leaning Poles – A weave pole training method in which the poles are slanted alternately left and right away from the center line (90° from vertical). The poles are then raised in small steps until they are completely upright. Also called slanted poles, and Weave-a-Matic.
  • Blind cross – 1. Any change of sides that takes place while the dog is in a tunnel (dog is “blind” to handler’s position); 2. A front cross that the handler executes with his back to the dog (handler is “blind” to the dog).
  • Blocking – A handling maneuver in which the handler attempts to prevent a dog from taking the wrong obstacle by standing in front of or “blocking” the dog’s approach to the incorrect obstacle.
  • Briefing – See Judge’s briefing.
  • Call off – A maneuver where the handler calls the dog away from an incorrect obstacle, which in the course design has been placed directly in the dog’s natural path. This is a planned challenge by the judge, differentiating it from a call-off that may be necessitated by a handler misdirecting the dog.
  • Change of side – A handling maneuver where a handler moves from one side of the dog to the other without stopping forward motion.
  • Channeling – A training method in which the weave poles are spread apart and linked with wire or string, creating a channel.
  • Clean approach – An approach to a contact obstacle or jump from straight on or nearly straight in front of the obstacle.
  • Clean entrance – An approach to the weave poles from straight on or from the right side of the poles that does not require the dog to go around the first pole to enter correctly.
  • Come/Here – A relative directional indicating that the dog should come toward the handler.
  • Commands (common examples):
    • Dog Walk: Walk it, walk on, climb, plank
      A-Frame: Scramble, climb, climb it, charge, wall, frame
      Teeter/Seesaw: teeter, seesaw, tip it, bang
      Table: table, place, rest, load-up, box, get on, box
      Tire: hoop, tire
      Tunnel: tunnel, through, zoom
      Chute: chute, tunnel, through, push, go-go-go
      Jumps: jump, hup, over, get up
      Spread Jumps: hup, jump, over, big jump, big hug, big over
      Weaves: weave, poles, do da, wiggle, snake, ,in-out, zig-zag, boogie, 
      Contacts: touch, dirt, get it, bottom, spot, wait, easy
  • Contact – Any obstacle that requires the dog to touch a safety or contact zone.
  • Contact zone – The areas on a contact obstacle that are painted yellow to designate that they are safety zones. Missing a down contact zone is faulted under all agility rules; some agility organizations to not judge all of the up or ascent contact zones.
  • Counter-rotation – Turning toward the dog rather than turning with the dog.
  • Course Builder – A ring worker, responsible for following the direction of the Master Course Builder in setting courses.
  • Course faults – Any fault incurred while running a course. Errors such as refusals, displaced poles, missed contacts, and off-courses are course faults.
  • Course nesting – A technique used when designing a group of courses to help minimize course-building time at the event. The basic structure of each course is based on the previous course, and there are certain key obstacles that are the same for all the courses. The only items that physically move are jumps and tunnels. The rest of the obstacles remain stationary. Each new course is created by a combination of minor obstacle movements, as well as a blend of new and existing paths through the obstacles.
  • Cross – See Change of side.
  • Cross-behind – See Rear cross.
  • Cross in front – See Front cross.
  • Course walk-through – A time period prior to the running of a course in which exhibitors are allowed to walk the assigned sequence, memorize it, and plan their handling strategy.
  • Directional – Any command given to the dog to turn the dog in a desired direction.
  • Dirty approach – A difficult or off-center approach to a jump or contact.
  • Double – The common term for a spread jump with a front and back bar. A double can be ascending or parallel.
  • Down – A position on the table specified by the judge in which the dog must have his hindquarters down and elbows down.
  • Dropped Bar – A bar on a jump that is knocked down by the dog. This performance is faulted.
  • Dummy jump – A jump that is not part of the numbered course, but that has been intentionally placed by the judge in the path of the dog to create a potential off-course.
  • E – The abbreviation for Elimination.
  • Exiting – Refers to the direction in which the dog will come out of the weave poles—even number of poles, the dog comes out to the left; odd number, to the right.
  • Excusal – A course infraction for which the judge immediately excuses the dog and handler from the ring.
  • Faults over time – Method of scoring agility runs. In this method, a dog that runs under the standard course time (SCT) will place ahead of another dog that is faster but has course faults.
  • Flatten – A jumping problem where the dog takes off too soon (resulting in a flat rather than curved arc over the jump) and knocks down the bar.
  • Flow – The smoothness with which a dog and handler can move from one obstacle to the next without interruption. Generally speaking, the straighter the lines, the smoother the run, and hence, the better the flow.
  • Food tube – A training device usually made of clear vinyl tubing in which treats are placed. The tube has either a slit in the side or end caps that come off, which allows only the handler to get out treats for the dog. It is used as a target or can be thrown to aid in training the food-motivated dog.
  • Flyoff – The act of a dog leaving the teeter in an uncontrolled manner when the down side of the teeter is not close to the ground.
  • Framing – Focusing the dog on the succeeding obstacle during performance of the preceding obstacle.
  • Front cross – Any maneuver where the handler changes sides in front of the dog’s direction of motion. It is now generally accepted that in performing a front cross the handler always faces the dog (a blind cross is a front cross where the handler briefly has his back to the dog). Also known as a Belgian cross or Axford Axel.