Dog/handler teams need to either successfully complete the K-9 Xpress Beginners OR arrange for an evaluation with an instructor to demonstrate a comparable level of agility experience and dog-handler communication.

The primary focus in this class is obstacle proficiency, with a secondary focus on sequencing (doing multiple obstacles in a row).

Graduation Criteria

(1) Graduation Criteria: Obstacle Proficiency

  • A-frame & Dogwalk:
    • “2on/2off” is understood by dog and offered with minimal assistance from handler (e.g. minimal change of motion, target not always necessary).
    • Dog can confidently cross the obstacles at full height
  • Tunnel: Dogs can confidently complete straight, gentle curve, or U-shaped tunnels
  • Teeter:
    • Dog can perform a half height teeter with assistance (e.g. instructor lowers teeter or uses target)
    • Dogs start to understand desired end behavior on teeter (“2on/2off” or “4on”, depending on size of dog)
  • Weave poles: Channel weaves are nearly closed and/or most guides are removed
  • Specialty Obstacles: Familiar with “specialty” obstacles, but may still need strong handler support when present in a sequence:
    • Barrel
    • Broad Jump
    • Double Jump
    • Hoop
    • Table
    • Tire
    • Triple Jump

(2) Graduation Criteria: Sequencing

  • Can sequence 3-5 obstacles in a row, including backsides of jumps, dogwalk, and A-frame
  • “Specialty obstacles” as defined above may need strong handler support in a sequence
  • Can execute a front-cross and post-turn in a sequence
  • Optional: Familiar with a rear-cross, but may not be able to perform rear-cross in a sequence
  • Optional: Able to perform a running blind cross

(3) Graduation Criteria: Verbal Cues

Have taught the dogs verbal cues and handlers are learning to use the following verbal cues (cues should always be supported by appropriate motion and body cues):

  • Go
  • GoGoGo OR Go On
  • Collection cue: Easy (or Quiet)
  • Turning cue: Right/Left, Here/Out, BeepBeep/Out, etc.
  • Obstacle names

(4) Graduation Criteria: Concepts & Theory

Introductory/ Basic understanding of the follow concepts

  • How to perform a front-cross, post-turn, running blind cross, and (optional) rear-cross
  • How to support an obstacle with appropriate motion, verbal, and body cues
  • How to cue a turn with appropriate motion, verbal, and body cues
  • Optional: Extension and Collection
    • How to cue acceleration/extension with body, motion, and verbal cues
    • How to cue deceleration/collection with body, motion, and verbal cues
  • Optional: Obstacle Focus and Handler Focus
    • Dogs who are accelerating are generally in obstacle focus
    • Dogs who are decelerating are generally in handler focus