AG210: Making contact - foundation skills for contact obstacles

Instructor: Ashley Deacon

Course Details

The contact obstacles (A-frame, dogwalk and teeter) are an important component of a standard agility course. While the three obstacles share a common performance criteria that requires the dog to hit a contact zone on exiting the obstacle, each one also provides a unique performance challenge. 

A solid foundation is needed to perform these obstacles safely, confidently and reliably. This class will provide an overview of the contact obstacles and their performance/judging requirements. The class will then focus on teaching your dogs a set of foundation skills for fast and accurate stopped contacts. Running contacts will be discussed, particularly in reference to the A-frame and may be the ideal solution for some dogs.

To participate in this class you DO NOT need access to the contact obstacle equipment. 

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Next class session starts: February 01, 2015

Registration starts: January 22, 2015 9am PST

Late Registration ends: February 15, 2015 9am PST

For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.


1) Contacts overview. Review of important considerations in teaching your dog. Discussion of running versus stopped contacts. Dog specific advice for all working spots.
The core syllabus will then be taught in 4 parallel tracks over the following weeks.
2a) Strength, balance and rear-end awareness exercises,

2b) Contact position : teaching 2-on2-off 2 ways

2c) End behavior : nose touch

2d) Plank work

The class will wrap up with

3) Putting it all together

Prerequisites and Equipment

There are no prerequisites for this class. Dogs do not need any experience with contact obstacles. However, dogs with prior experience are welcome in class.

The following equipment is required

1) A ball or two of different sizes : human pilates ball and a basketball.
2) A long plank 12" wide 12' long (12 inches by 12 feet).

A shorter plank (say, 12 inches by 4 to 6 feet) can be used for most of the class.

Other needed items will be readily improvised. Suggestions will be given in class.