Make the Second Obstacle Free - UKI Invitational Finals - Video

05 Apr 2024Steve Schwarz

When I teach agility I will often tell at least one person to set up their dog to “make the 2nd obstacle free”. That is, don’t just set your dog up so they are perpendicular to the first obstacle; consider where they are going next and set your dog up to assist with the approach to the second (or even further) obstacle(s).

Well, at the UKI Invitational in the finals I failed to take my own advice. The start was jump to a backside slice on the second jump. I had seen some dogs actually take the front side of the second jump. So, I set up Snap! to make sure he didn’t see the front side of the second jump. Unfortunately, I set him so he didn’t see the second jump at all! You can see what happened in the video below!

Which lets me preach about another saying: for a back side make sure your dog sees the wing. If your body hides the wing on the approach to a back side you dog often won’t know where the dang back side is. I’ve seen dogs veer off the handler to look for a jump’s back side or keep moving past the jump looking for another jump to take as a back side.

So the less easy to say aphorism is something like: “make the second obstacle free and, if it is a back side, make sure your dog can see the obstacle”. Trips right off the tongue doesn’t it!

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