Dog Agility – Training your Dog to Walk through Tunnels

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,526
    Karen VanHoy, owner and trainer at Paws @ Play, shows you how to teach your dog to walk through tunnels.

    Karen VanHoy: Hello! I am Karen VanHoy with the Santa Barbara Flyers and this is dog agility. And this is the start of teaching your dog how to do tunnels.

    So we're going to take this tunnel that we have right here. It's a 20 foot tunnel, but we're going to squish it up as close as it can be. I'm going to have my treats in my hand. My dog is flat buckled collar on. I'm going to swing her around.

    Now if your dog is a little bit hesitant about this, you can have a different handle to hold your dog and you can go to the end of the tunnel, kneel down and let your dog see you at the other end of the tunnel.

    Okay, are you ready? Ready, okay, tunnel. Yeah, good girl. And reward them when they come out. You want to make sure that you have rewarded them when their full body is out of the tunnel. So you never want to treat them or throw a toy back in the tunnel.

    Okay, we're going to it one more time. So I've got the treat in my hand and you can use toys too. I'll do that here in just a minute. Ready, wait till she is looking at it. Ready, okay, tunnel. Yeah! Good girl.

    You do want to repeat that having your dog on the left side before you extend the tunnel. Okay, so now we're going to pull it out a little bit. I'm going to kind of jump the gun a little bit and make it just a little bit longer than may be you would. You're going to do very small increments to do that in the beginning. Zing, yeah, good girl.

    So a long straight tunnel, if you have your face at the other end they can definitely see you. So get that cookie out of your pocket, and the hand in the collar. Ready, okay, tunnel. Good girl. The reward comes with the hand closest to the obstacle. You never want to turn your shoulders back in on the dog because you are usually headed in the opposite direction.

    Now do it really quick. If you've got toy drive. You can do it with toy, doesn't always have to be with food. Okay, ready. Now the toy -- I'm going to actually throw it back when she exits the tunnel, her whole body out of it. I don't necessarily need to be around to do that. Be close to her to do that. Ready, okay, tunnel, good girl, good girl and then always play with them. You got to engage that game of play. Good girl.

    Now what we're going to slightly do is take this straight tunnel, take it a little bit further out; put a slight kink in it. Now if I were to look through there like a telescope at the end, I couldn't really see the other end. This is what a little bit scary for the baby dogs. Okay, come on! Zing come, Zing come. Ready, okay. Now I am on my inside of the curve of the tunnel, otherwise I have to run twice as far. Ready, tunnel. Zing yeah. Good girl, good girl, good girl, good girl.

    You can take that tunnel and make it into like a half of a doughnut. Whenever your dog doesn't complete something that means you went too far, too quick. So go back a little bit to where they're successful and then end your training session.

    Okay, now we have a big curve, Zing come. So here's our big curvy tunnel, hand still goes in the collar. We're going to point her at the end here. I'm still going to reward her out of the end with my right hand. She still be on my right side. Ready, okay tunnel. Good girl.

    Okay, so the next segment of dog agility is going to be teaching your dog some basic jumping skills.