Durango Agility Dogs


Common terms used in agility training - G thru O

  • Gamble  A specific sequence of obstacles that the dog must perform at a distance from the handler after the whistle blows in a Gamblers class. Also called a Joker.
  • Games class – Any class other than a Standard or Regular agility class. Snooker, Gamblers, Relay, Jumpers, What’s My Line, Beat the Clock, Team Pursuit, Knockout, and Move Over Rover are examples of games played for fun or to earn titles.
  • Gate Steward – A ring official, responsible for shepherding dogs and handlers into the ring in their correct running order.
  • Get Out – A relative directional instructing the dog to move away from the handler laterally.
  • Go On – A relative directional instructing the dog to go straight away from the handler.
  • Half cross – A handling maneuver in which the handler steers a dog working ahead by momentarily crossing behind the dog to redirect the dog, and then resuming the original side.
  • Handler focus – Handler focus is when a dog focuses on the handler rather than the obstacle, bringing the speed down and increasing the dog’s responsiveness to the handler.
  • Handler restriction – A section of a course where obstacles are placed in a way that is designed to force the handler to work farther away from the dog than usual or on a particular side of the dog.
  • Heel side – The handler’s left side.
  • Highway/City driving – Highway refers to open areas of a course where the dog can move quickly and is associated with obstacle focus. City refers to an area of the course that is tight and controlled and is associated with handler focus.
  • Hoover/Tunnel Sucker – Any dog that preferentially goes to the tunnel over other obstacles regardless of the commands given by the handler.
  I   J
  • Judge – A ring official, responsible for assessing faults for performances.
  • Judge’s briefing – Time prior to the start of the class when the judge will review items such as scoring, time, and distance with all of the exhibitors in a class.
  • Jumping square – A square of four jumps used as the basis for many training sequences. Also called a Hobday box after its originator, Ruth Hobday.
  • Jump pole/bar – The horizontal pole, bar or rail on a jump that the dog must go over.
  K   L
  • Lateral distance – The distance that the dog maintains parallel to the handler.
  • Layering – A distance-handling maneuver, which is particularly useful when a group of obstacles is clustered tightly together. The handler directs the dog to execute one obstacle while another obstacle is between him and the dog (the handler is staying on the outer “layer”). In this close-quarters situation, pushing in toward the correct obstacle could actually cause the dog to push away from that obstacle to an incorrect obstacle.
  • Lead-hand cue – A signal given to the dog with the hand closest to the dog.
  • Lead-off – See Lead-out.
  • Lead-out – A handling maneuver where the dog is placed on a wait at the start line and the handler moves to a strategic position prior to starting the course. However, the term also applies to any situation in which the handler takes up a position “down course” before calling the dog to perform the intervening obstacles; for example, while the dog is in a sit or down on the table or waiting on a contact obstacle.
  • Lead-out advantage – A course design in which the handler gains a substantial advantage by taking a lead-out and getting ahead of the dog to help influence the dog’s performance.
  • Lead-out pivot – A maneuver used to change a dog’s direction off the start line. The handler leads out, faces the direction he initially wants the dog to go, and then calls the dog. As the dog lands, the handler counter-rotates 270° to effect a change of side and change of direction.
  • Leaning poles – A weave pole training method in which the poles are slanted alternately left and right away from the center line (90° from vertical). The poles are then raised in small steps until they are completely upright. Also called bent poles, slanted poles, and Weave-A-Matic.
  • Leash Runner – A ring worker, responsible for taking the exhibitor's leash and depositing it at the finish gate.
  • Look Back or Turn Back – A relative directional that asks the dog to negotiate a 180° turn away from or toward the handler.
  • LOP – See Lead-out pivot.
  • Master Course Builder – A ring worker responsible for setting courses for competition.
  • Maximum course time – The maximum amount of time allotted on course before the dog is considered eliminated. Known as MCT for short, maximum course time is a function of the standard course time (SCT).
  • Nonstandard class – Any class other than a Standard or Regular agility class. Snooker, Gamblers, Relay, Jumpers, What’s My Line, Beat the Clock, Team Pursuit, Knockout, and Move Over Rover are examples of games played for fun or to earn titles.
  • Non-winged jump – A jump consisting of only the vertical uprights. Also called a wingless jump.
  • NQ – A non-qualifying score.
  • Obstacle discrimination – When two obstacles of different structure are placed in close proximity to each other; the purpose being to test the dog’s ability to distinguish between the two obstacles and to select the proper obstacle on verbal command or body cue from the handler.
  • Obstacle focus – Obstacle focus is when the dog focuses on an obstacle rather than the handler, allowing the dog to move away from the handler and increase speed to the target obstacle. This also allows the handler to move more freely without unduly influencing the dog’s motion.
  • Off-arm signal – An arm signal pointing the dog to an obstacle with the arm opposite the dog. Ostensibly, the off-arm signal bends the dog’s path away from the handler. Also known as opposite-arm signal, indirect-arm signal, airplane arm signal, or counter-arm signal.
  • Obstacle discrimination – Two obstacles placed in close proximity. The classic obstacle discrimination is the tunnel under the A-frame.
  • Off-course – A faulted performance in which the dog takes the wrong obstacle.
  • Off side – The handler’s right side; the “non-heel” side.
  • Off-side weave – Situation where the handler is on the left side of the weave poles. Also known as off-side weave.
  • One-bar jump – Any jump on which the judge has placed a single pole or “bar.” Usually, jumps are set with two poles.
  • 180° – A series of three jumps that are performed in such a way that the dog makes a 180° turn to the left or right.
  • On side – The handler’s left side.
  • Opening period – The time allotted by the judge for point accumulation in a Gamblers class. A whistle blows at the end of the opening period to signify the start of the Gambler period.
  • Opposite-arm signal – See Off-arm signal.