Agility Equipment: Distance Agility Training With The Pause Table
The pause table might not be the most exciting piece of agility equipment, but when it comes to agility training, learning this apparatus can really improve your dog’s obedience and focus. Here are a few pause table tips, including the important aspect of distance training.
The pause table actually can be a great piece of beginning agility equipment for your dog. Your puppy or dog needs to learn how to sit and stay and lay down anyway, so if you want to teach these skills and plan on doing agility training, it can be a great way to combine obedience training and agility training.
This piece of agility equipment requires a dog to stop during an agility run and pause, sit and stay for a set amount of time before completing a course. Obviously, dogs probably prefer the jumps, weaves and chutes, but the pause table not only showcases a dog’s obedience skill, it also provides a moment where a dog can pause and refocus on the rest of the course. Without the pause table, it actually can be more difficult for many dogs to maintain focus and handle each agility obstacle correctly.
A pause table consists of a white PVC stand with a sturdy plywood table top covered in rugged green outdoor turf. At Carlson Agility, our pause tables are created using sturdy 2” PVC and ¾” plywood. You can opt for the height set at 8 inches, 12 inches, 16 inches or 24 inches depending on the size of your dog. We also offer a mini pause table which has a smaller table top and is ideal for puppy training and for small dogs or perhaps a dog that is a bit timid. For all of these pause tables, you can have us adjust the height to whatever specifications you might need.
When you first begin with the pause table, you actually can just use the table top for training if you like. This can be a good option for a small dog, a puppy or perhaps a dog that just seems a bit wary at first of agility equipment. Give your dog some time to sniff the pause table or table top before they start learning the pause table skills.
Your first agility training steps after introducing this piece of agility equipment to your dog will be teach your dog to sit and stay on the table. Then you will want to increase the amount of time that they sit and stay. When they can sit and stay for about five to ten seconds and do this consistently, it is time to begin distance training.
Distance training simply means that you will be increasing the distance between dog and handler. This is important because handlers might be several feet from a dog while they are running in an agility competition and stand off to the side using commands and signals to guide their dog.
This type of agility training also improves obedience as you will need your dog to obey commands even when they are not right next to you. Simply begin by having your dog sit and stay on the pause table. Then walk a few feet away and provide the sit, stay or down commands. Give praise when the dog completes the task properly and as you train, keep extending your distance until you are about 10 feet away or even further.
After your dog masters this piece of agility equipment, you can use the pause table in conjunction with other pieces of equipment. You might add a few jumps before the pause table and perhaps a tunnel or teeter-totter after the table. Eventually, your dog will feel comfortable using all the different types of agility equipment and your agility training will include setting up the course in many different ways to keep your dog on his or her toes.
At Carlson Agility, we build every imaginable type of agility equipment you might need for your agility training. Our agility equipment includes pause tables, a-frames, dog walks, all types of jumps, tunnels, teeters and more. We sell mini agility equipment for puppies and small breeds, as well as K9 training equipment and UKC equipment.