Class of the Month – Elite Chances

Hi Everyone!

In this Class of the Month we will be going over an Elite Chances course.

I will be discussing different handling options for this course as well as skills that may be needed to have a fluid and smooth run through this particular course.  In future articles, I will be going over the different cues that I use, Switch, Tight, Back, etc. and how I teach them.

Below is the Elite Chances course that I will be discussing for this article:


First, let’s discuss sequence #1-#4

#1-#2 is pretty straight forward, you and the dog are together for both the hoop and through the weave poles. After the weaves we have a send to #3 (the tunnel) when sending your dog you want to make sure you are using your lower body to take a nice big step to help push your dog into the tunnel. If you come to a stop at the line, the dog may pull into you and not get a nice clean send into #3.  Once your dog has committed to #3 make sure you are driving up the line toward #4, again if you come to a stop as your dog comes out of the tunnel, you may pull them towards you and not out toward the #4 jump.  Use your lower body to create movement and impulsion, if your feet are moving your dogs feet will move, if your feet stop, your dogs feet will stop.

Sequence #5-#8

Pushing from #4 to #5 can be very tricky, you don’t want to push to much and end up sending them into the off course #9 tunnel, but if you don’t push enough you risk pulling them in towards the #8 off course jump. This is where you really need to know your dog’s pressure points (check out this article on Pressure Points) and how much pressure to apply to keep them driving to that #5 jump.

Once you push them out to #5 you want to create a nice inside arc, there isn’t an off course opportunity up there, so don’t rush the turn, let them give you a nice round arc. If you let them arc from #6-#7  this will give you a wonderful line from #7 to #8. If you ask for a really tight turn off of #6 the dog may slice #7 and then you have a very hard push to #8.

For #8 really make sure you point your feet toward #8 and give them a nice lower body push. This will create that impulsion you are looking for to drive them up the line to #8 and beyond.

Sequence #9-#11

From #8 you don’t want to be stuck on that line because you want to push them forwards to the #9 tunnel. Remember to point your feet at the tunnel entrance and use your arm to point to the tunnel. This will keep your body in a nice clean line and give your dog a smooth path to the #9 tunnel.

From #9 to the #10 dogwalk, stop movement with your feet to give your dogs a collection cue to collect and come into the dogwalk, make sure you are looking at the dog walk ramp and your feet and arm are pointing at the ramp as well.

From the dogwalk to the last hoop (#11) make sure and drive! We tend to pull up at the finish line, but this is where we really need to push the dogs so they continue to drive through the finish line.

Hope you enjoyed this course breakdown! Stay tuned for more course breakdowns in the coming month!

Amanda Nelson


Command series – Tight

Fluid Motion Command Series – Tight
I will be writing a series of articles giving an overview on how I teach my directional commands. In the first of the series I will be discussing how I teach Tight.
Tight for my dogs means for them to turn as tight as they can toward me, where as a Here for my dog means come toward me, like the inside obstacle for a discrimination. The diagram below shows an example of the difference between a Tight and a Here for my
Tight and Here
When I begin teaching a Tight I want the dogs to learn to tight as they can toward me, I also want them to learn to bend their spine, I begin with one hoop, I send them through the hoop and ask them to turn as tight as they can back towards me while bending their spine around the hoop. I then quickly progress to using two hoops, sending the dog through one hoop and then asking them to Tight back towards me through the second hoop.
Each dog will progress through the lessons at their own pace, when I feel the dog is ready to move on I will start to move the hoops further apart.
Before I progress to the next step I make sure my dog is performing the current step from varying handling positions, sides and distances.
The video below shows an example of introducing a Tight with one hoop.
Tight with two hoops
Adding Tight to a Jump
I will use a Tight in many different situations, but the core of the command is that the dog will turn tightly and I will then direct them to the next obstacle.
The diagram below shows a few different examples of where I may use a Tight.
Tight Examples

Tight Examples