Jump Chute

25 Aug 2006Steve Schwarz

The term Jump Chute typically refers to a set of jumps arranged specifically for training dogs to improve their jumping skills. I have also heard it used to describe a straight line arrangement of jumps within an agility course.

Here is an example of a basic Jump Chute I had setup in my backyard:

Basic Jump Chute

Jump Chute

There are a virtually infinite number of jump chute configurations. The variables that trainers might change include: number of jumps, jump heights, jump spacings, number and orientation of jump bars, types of jumps, dog starting location, handler location, and presence/abscence of gateing around the jump(s). For some types of jump work the trainers will also change the orientation of the jumps, modifying the chute into curved, serpentine, and circular patterns.

The general methodology over the course of a jumping program (lasting several months) is to make minor changes to the jump chute (only one change at a time) to allow the dog to learn how to handle the jump chute in increasingly challenging configurations. Over time the dog develops confidence, learns their jump take off location(s), stride patterns, rhythm, and develops the physical strength and balance to become a better jumper.

If you are interested in Jump training for your dog I’d recommend the following reading list:

  1. Linda Mecklenburg's Mastering Jumping Skills for Awesome Agility Dogs
  2. Suzanne Clothier's Natural Jumping Method -(Read My Review)
  3. Dr. Christine Zinc and Julie Daniels' Jumping From A to Z
  4. Linda Mecklenburg's Jump Foundation Articles in the Jan-Sep 2006 Clean Run Magazine

I’ll be reviewing these books/articles in the near future if you want to check back for my thoughts. I’ll update this article with those links when I do. I also wrote up my experiences at a Jen Pinder jumping seminar back in 2004.

The authors have somewhat conflicting methods and viewpoints; Linda’s approach is the most divergent from the other two. You’ll notice later writers gently rebut the methods of early trainers. Once you’ve digested that reading I’d also recommend seeking out a trainer familiar with jump training before proceeding so you can bounce your questions off them before deciding on the path to take.

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