The Jump Box in Course Design

14 Dec 2005Steve Schwarz

The Jump Box is a very versatile course element for practice and competition courses. One reason is that its jumps can be used for a number of purposes/challenges. This allows nesting courses for multiple handler experience levels in a single equipment setup. Some challenges supported by this jump layout include the following (diagrammed below):

Some Jump Box Dog Paths

Some Jump Box Dog Paths

The diagram above may resemble a London Tube Map, but it still doesn’t show all the possible paths. Each path can be rotated 90 degrees as many as three more times to give many possible paths in and out of the jumps. Reversing these paths gives even more permutations.

When included in a course one or more of the jumps can be used as part of other “standard” sequence elements like Pin Wheels (left below) or combined with yet another box (right below) for even more possibilities.

Box and Pin Wheel

Box PinWheel Combination

Double Box

Double Box

As I mention in my Box definition article:

The arrangement of jumps in the Box can be modified just like any other group of obstacles to provide different handling challenges. Obviously the closer together the jumps the greater the off course potential. The box can be stretched, shrunk or have its jumps slightly rotated. Though as the jumps get further from a square some folks will no longer call it a Box.

Other permutations that might provide handler challenges include:

  • Wing jumps can restrict the available handler space/paths.
  • Substituting another jump for one of the jumps (e.g. Tire, double, triple, spread/broad).
  • Substituting a tunnel or chute (collapsed tunnel) for one or more of the obstacles.
  • Removing one of the jumps.
  • Rotating one of the jump as much as 90 degrees.

Although some of these changes make the obstacle arrangement no longer strictly a Box they may spark ideas for your next course design. Once you’ve played around with a Jump Box in a course design you’ll find how versatile they can be.

Related Articles: