Tunnel Training

Introducing Tunnel

To do the drill:

Set your tunnel to 4-5 feet.

Your agility instructor or training partner will hold the dog at the tunnel entrance. Save the cookies for the end, but you can audibly reward (e.g. “Yes!” or *click*) at any paw the dog places in the tunnel.

You will go to the other end and call your dog through the tunnel,

Repeat multiple times if necessary.

Training Tip: Be patient. Rushing your dog may make them more nervous of the new obstacle.

After your dog is confidently completing a short tunnel you can extend the tunnel 1-2 feet with each attempt.

Build up to 15ft.

NOTE: As dog gains confidence, switch positions with your training partner; You
a release your dog and your training partner rewards at the exit.

Training Tunnel Entries

While we start with a straight on approach, dogs cannot cannot see tunnel entrance clearly from the side. There does not appear to be a “hole”. Ask students to look from dog’s angle & approx. height. Exercise shows dog how to enter from variable approaches.

To do the drill:

Begin with a straight tunnel set to about 10ft, for convenience.

Handler Position: Hold your dog about 2-3 feet away from the entrance and say “Tunnel” as you release dog.

Move forward after dog to support their commitment to the obstacle. Give a verbal “Yes!” and reward at the exit.

As your dog succeeds, rotate through the clock positions to show different approaches to the tunnel entrance.

Repeat angled approaches as necessary.

Tunnel Bypass

This is a discrimination drill for bypassing tunnels.

To Do the Drill:

Handler Position: Begin a few feet before the tunnel. You’ll be on the outside of the dog’s line, so that the dog is closest to the entrances of the tunnel.

Drill Speed: Start slowly by begin with at a walk, we want your dog to be thinking. If you’re successful on the first try of all three stages you can increase your speed.

Drill Stages:
1. “Here” or a “With me” past both tunnel entrances, reward.

2. “Here” or a “With me” past the first tunnel entrance, then send to the second tunnel entrance with “Tunnel!” and a step towards the entrance.

3. “Tunnel!” on approach to the first entrance.

Repeat the drill in reverse; go 3-2-1.

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