Training for your dog
The Tyre Jump seems like a relatively easy agility obstacle,
at least from a person’s perspective, but in the Novice Agility ring you see many dogs that refuse to go through
it, many go under it, while others choose to go around it. How can you prepare your beginning agility for
success with the Tyre Jump?
Let's go back to foundation training. When introducing any
new obstacle, you want to keep the difficulty low and emphasize the fun and ease that it can be for your dog. If
your dog has a sit stay, leave him about 2 feet in front of the tyre, facing it, walk to the other side and call
your dog, "Come Tyre". If he won't budge, put your hand with his treat or toy through the tyre to coax him to
follow your hand and jump through the tyre. Practice this several times until he willing is coming to you. Keep
him about 2 feet from the tyre, you go to the other side and then move back about 6 feet, "Come
Tyre”. When your dog is able to jump through the tyre when you are
at different distances and angles from the tyre, then it is time to move him further away from the tyre. Start
him back 6 feet, you go to the other side about 6 feet away and call, "Come Tyre". Place your dog at different
distances and angles from the tyre and call him to you. When your dog can succeed 80% of the time, it’s time to
progress to make the challenge a bit harder.
Now that your dog is coming to you, it is time to teach "Go
Tyre". Start close to the tyre again, 3 feet away, this time both you and your dog are facing the tyre. Tell him
"Go Tyre". If he jumps through, great, step to the side and reward him. If you don't get any movement from the
dog, step forward and point to the tyre, "Go Jump". For some dogs this motion on your part is enough to get them
up and going through the tyre. If your dog still won't move, take your treat container or toy and throw through
the tyre, saying, "Go Tyre". Repeat this many times until your dog will successfully go through the tyre without
you having to step toward the tyre or throw his toy through the tyre. If you are using a toy quickly try to get
your dog to go through the tyre then reward with a throw of the toy or treat container. Begin to back away from
the tyre, 3 feet, 6 feet, 9 feet work toward sending your dog from 30 feet away.
If you've started with a very young dog you should still have
the tyre height set low 8" or 12" for a good bit of your training. If your dog is older and large, now begin to
move the tyre height up. Go back and practice you "Come Tyre" and "Go Tyre" when you change the heights. As you
raise the height your dog may try to go under the tyre. At first you may want to setup some wire mesh or angled
jump bars under the tyre for your dog to realize he still needs to go through and not under the tyre. When you
are getting ready for competition, raise the tyre slightly higher than your dog would have in the agility ring.
Preparation and practice are the best training tips for succeeding in the competition ring.