Confident and Faster Obstacles: Speed Circles

10 Jun 2014Steve Schwarz

I’m always looking to build my dog’s confidence when performing obstacles and with that confidence comes speed. I thought I’d share a simple obstacle setup that you can use to race your dog in to, through and out of any obstacle or obstacle sequence; the Speed Circle. This is a common training configuration that agility trainers have used for many years.

As you can see from the diagram below, you set up your obstacle(s) of interest in a rough loop connected by jumps or tunnels. The key to this setup is it allows you to run in the middle and get ahead of your dog and running fast/driving before each obstacle. Of course you can and should run the sequence in both directions.

Speed Circle Setup

Speed Circle Practice SetupsObstacle Legend

With this setup I was able to get Flyer amped up enough to reproduce his occasional dog walk Self Release. I’m also using this to work on his weave speed and running A Frame.


You don’t have to always use straight on approaches to obstacles like weaves. You can offset the tunnel/jump or even rotate the weaves to work on angled On/Off Side entrances.

For jumping, jump grids, you can change the arrangement to be more circular and work on varying the jump distances/types.

In Action

Here is some video of Flyer and me working on a low dog walk and weaves (using a Weave-A-Matic aka “WAM” weave set up):

So consider adding Speed Circle drills to your dog’s training plan!

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