Durango Agility Dogs


Common terms used in agility training - P thru Z

  • Pinwheel – A configuration of three jumps in a classic pinwheel design. Also known as a star in European circles.
  • Pivot – Turning with the dog.
  • Popping – Hopping off a contact before reaching the safety zone, hopping out of the weave poles before completing performance, or knocking down a jump bar.
  • Pull-off – An inadvertent move by the handler that causes the dog to pull away from the intended obstacle.
  • Push out – Any maneuver where the handler gets the dog to move away from him.
  • Q – A qualifying score or run.
  • Random targeting – Training method where a course or given sequence has targets placed on the ground in no apparent pattern. After each run, the target placement is changed so that the target is not necessarily in the same place twice.
  • Rate of turn – The speed at which the dog changes direction.
  • Rear cross – Any maneuver where the handler changes sides behind the dog’s direction of motion. Also known as a back cross or cross-behind.
  • Regular class – See Standard class.
  • Refusal – A faulted performance in which the dog turns away, stops in front of significantly, or runs by the intended obstacle. Also applies to a situation where the dog performs the obstacle in a manner not specified in the rulebook (jumping the wing, for example.)
  • Relative directional – A directional command that directs the dog which way to move based on the handler’s position; for example, Come and Get Out, which refer to moving toward the handler and moving laterally away from the handler, respectively.
  • Reverse flow pivot – A handling maneuver used to shorten the dog’s stride and pull the dog quickly into the handler as an aid in making a tight turn or grabbing the dog’s attention before negotiating a challenge, such as an obstacle discrimination problem. The handler performs two pivots in quick succession, first turning into the dog (counter-rotation) and then turning back to the original direction.
  • RFP – Reverse Flow Pivot.
  • Right – An absolute directional that tells the dog to turn to its right.
  • Right-side weave – Situation where the handler is on the left side of the weave poles. Also known as off-side weave.
  • Run by – A specific type of refusal where a dog runs past the intended obstacle.
  • Safety zone – The areas on a contact obstacle that are painted yellow to designate that they are safety zones. Missing a down contact zone is faulted under all agility rules; some agility organizations do not judge all of the up or ascent contact zones.
  • Score Keeper – A show official responsible for posting, ranking, and recording the performances of the agility competitors.
  • Scribe – A ring official, responsible for recording the judge’s calls for a performance, and for recording the dogs’ performance times.
  • SCT – Standard Course Time
  • Send – A situation where the handler commands the dog to move ahead and perform an obstacle or sequence of obstacles while the handler remains behind. Also called a send-away.
  • Send-away – See Send.
  • Send distance – The distance that a dog can be sent straight away from the handler.
  • Sit – A position on the table specified by the judge in which the dog must have his hindquarters down and front legs erect.
  • Slanted 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.
  • Spreads – Any jump with more than one bar set horizontally. There are several types: spread jump, extended spread jump, double, and triple jump.
  • Standard class – 1. Any class that uses all of the different types of agility equipment (contacts, jumps, tunnels, weaves, etc.) in a numerical sequence. Also called Regular class in NADAC. 2. A term used in Europe to designate the Open dog or “big dog” division.
  • Standard course time – The amount of time allotted by the judge for performing a course without incurring time faults. Referred to as SCT for short. 
  • Standards/Uprights - The vertical ends of a jump that have the hardware or jump cups for holding up the bars or planks. A decorative wing may be attached to each upright. Also called standards.
  • Super Q – A qualifying score that places the dog within the top 15% of a USDAA Snooker class.
  • Table position – The performance required by the judge on the table. Depending on the flavor of the competition this might be a sit, a down, a stand, or any of the above.
  • Target – A training device, such as a paper plate, small square of Plexiglas, washcloth, or plastic lid, used to focus a dog’s attention forward or down to a specific area. The target is designed to give the dog an immediate reward for focus.
  • Targeting – A training method where a motivator or “target” (such as a toy or food) is placed on an object or on a specific point on a course to get the dog to focus on that given point.
  • Threadle – An obstacle combination that requires the dog to perform one of two side-by-side obstacles, pass between the two obstacles, and then negotiate the second obstacle in the same direction as the first.
  • Time faults – Faults earned for going over the standard course time assigned to a course by the judge.
  • Time keeper – A ring official responsible for timing performances.
  • Titling class – A Standard agility class which requires a specific number of successful runs to advance to the next level (for example, Starters/Novice, Advanced, Masters, Open, Elite, and Excellent). At each level, the handler earns a title from the organization.
  • Trap – Also known as a handler challenge or discrimination problem; a trap is an arrangement of obstacles that are in close proximity to each other. The trap may be of an obstacle discrimination type (tunnel under the frame) or a directional type (two jumps close together i.e. (left or right).
  • Tunnel sucker – Any dog that preferentially goes to the tunnel over other obstacles regardless of the commands given by the handler.
  • Turn – A relative directional that asks the dog to negotiate a 180° turn away from or toward the handler.
  • 270° such that the eventual exit direction from the jumps will actually be to the right or left. Also known as a German turn.
  • Uprights – The vertical ends of a jump that have the hardware or jump cups for holding up the bars or planks. A decorative wing may be attached to each upright. Also called standards.
  • Verbal cue – Any voice command or cue by the handler.
  • Walk-through – A time period prior to the running of a course in which exhibitors are allowed to walk the assigned sequence, memorize it, and plan their handling strategy.
  • Weave-A-Matic – A special set of weave poles designed by Monica Percival (Pipe Dreams) to teaching weaving using the leaning poles method.
  • Weave pole wires – A weave pole training method using wires to connect the poles and define the dog’s path through the poles by making a “channel.” The wires are gradually removed, usually from the center first, until only the poles remain.
  • Weaving chute – A weave pole training method which starts the poles standing apart from the center line to form an open chute. The poles are moved closer together in small steps until they are in a straight line. The poles are not slanted as in the leaning poles method.
  • Wingless jump – A jump consisting of only the vertical uprights.
  • Wings – An equestrian term for uprights that have a horizontal extension. Wings are usually about two feet wide. While many wings look like a simple section of fence, they also come in a variety of inventive and decorative shapes and designs; for example, wings could be shaped like dogs or fire hydrants.
  X   Y
  • Yards per second – The speed at which a dog moves on a course is measured in yards per second. There are two YPS measurements on a course: the YPS required to meet the judge’s standard course time; and the YPS at which the dog actually ran the course.
  • Yellow/Contact zone – The areas on a contact obstacle that are painted yellow to designate that they are safety zones. Missing a down contact zone is faulted under all agility rules; some agility organizations do not judge all of the up or ascent contact zones.
  • YPS – Yards Per Second
  • Zooming – Any dog who loses concentration and runs around the course in an uncontrolled manner. Also known as buzzing.