Dog Walk -Rule H(1)(B)3a
Dog Walk—a walk plank of approximately 1.2m measured from the ground to the top of the plank, with firmly fixed ramps at either end. The planks must be 3.66m in length and a minimum of 254mm and a maximum of 305mm in width. The last 914mm from the bottom of each ramp should be a different colour to indicate the area with which the dog should make contact. Each ramp should have a non-slip surface, and anti-slip slats at intervals but not within 152mm of the start of a contact area. There is currently no lower dog walk for competition regardless of the size or experience or age of the dog.
Nb it is now a requirement that standard agility classes have all 3 pieces of contact equipment in a course save in exceptional circumstances eg very bad weather.
A dog is considered to have refused the obstacle if it alights before the down plank.
Contact area—5 faults for each failure to make contact – ( ie 5 up and 5 down so a potential 10 faults)
Judge’s comments: All Contact Equipment:
Positioning – Entry onto the contact equipment should be reasonably straight. There should be sufficient room for the dog to get the required speed to reach the top of the obstacle. Consideration should be given to weather conditions at all times.
Judging – Fault if the dog fails to make contact with the contact area.
Recommended – The rules only state that a fault should be given if the dog fails to make contact. A dog that leaves the obstacle, and then puts a paw back onto the obstacle should be eliminated.
There is no guidance on what part of the dog should touch the contact area, but it is suggested that it should be a paw, or part thereof. A judge should be in such a position that both the up and down contacts can be properly judged.
Refusal – Refusal if the dog stops or turns away when in a position to take the obstacle, or if it runs past the line of the furthest point of the first contact area. A dog is considered to have refused the obstacle if it alights before the down ramp or plank (i.e. the down ramp on the A Frame, the pivot point on the See-Saw and the down plank on the Dog Walk
Eliminations – A dog should be eliminated if it touches or alights the obstacle from the wrong direction.
As with all contact equipment you need to train your contacts so they are absolutely sound in training. Always in training make your dog wait on the contact if you do “2 on 2 off” contacts or if running contacts make sure they always get the contact in training. Try to get further away – slowly increasing the gap between you and your dog – both getting ahead of your dog before you release it and also increasing the gap as you run parallel to the dog walk and your dog – to the point where you can layer – putting another obstacle between you and your dog. This is a skill that takes time to learn and has to be built up gradually and may need someone else to help eg putting down a reward at the right time.
For all contacts try to ensure your dog has as straight an entry onto the contact as possible otherwise they might get onto the equipment above the contact or jump right over the dog walk missing it altogether.
For longer striding dogs the “up” contact can be the more difficult to train as they need to learn to shorten their stride in order to make the contact, difficult when they are at full speed.
The dog has to learn to make the contacts – be careful not to allow your dog to miss, then step back onto the contact as that would be an elimination. If your dog fails to get the contact, take it back and do the whole contact again.
Note that regulation H(1)(B)3.n will be changed to 1.2m (4ft) measured from the ground to the top of the plank with effect from 1st January 2019. (lowered by 6 inches)
Mrs Ann Hampshire
Dartmoor Dog Training Club
West Brushford Farm
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Minutes of Kennel Club Agility Liaison Council Meeting 17th January 2019 see here.