Posted by: allstaragility | November 16, 2015

Offset Box Drills

As training with Mooz is progressing into more jumping and sequencing, all of my dogs are benefiting from revisiting some of my favorite drills. This particular one I want to share because I believe it is extremely versatile and will help most every team, regardless of experience or skill level.

I call this drill the Offset Box.   We have all seen box drills where there are 4 jumps, one along each side to make up a box, right?  Well this drill is the same flavor, but with the jumps more on the corners.  Here is an example:

Fig 1

A good distance to start with is about 15 feet from the center of the jump the the wing of the jump the plane of it bisects.  While I always make sure that all 4 jumps are equidistant from each other, I will also vary the overall distance, so sometimes the box is larger or smaller.  This will affect timing of handling cues. 🙂

You can also slightly alter the position of the jumps so that the plane of one jump bisects the middle of the next jump:

Fig 1a

To simplify further explanation, here is how I label the different parts of the box.  Also, the jump identified as “1” is the jump with which we will always begin.

Fig 2

The first two drills are fairly straightforward.  In the first, we take each jump from the inside of the box to the outside and in counter clockwise order from jump 1:

Fig 3

You can see what started as a square is actually a circle for the dog!  I have two main goals for this drill:

1) The dog commits to staying on his line, taking the next jump in his path as I support with motion/ body cues and minimal verbal cues (I don’t tend to give individual verbal jump cues).

2) The handler can cue this path at any radius from the dog and with any amount of motion.  In other words, I want to be able to walk in the middle, paralleling my dog’s path without much motion and still have my dog stay on the line.  Alternatively, I also want to run right along my dog’s path, pushing for speed while my dog still remains on his desired path.  This is good to balance the dogs who are sticky (to work more lateral distance) or who want to exhaust wide with handler motion (work running alongside the dog’s path).  Again, I run parallel to my dog.  My shoulders cue the next obstacle and I should not have to help my dog with recall cues if he wants to go wide.

Here I demonstrate these skills with my young dog, Mooz:

Now, let’s take a look at if we go clockwise on this drill from jump 1, taking each jump from outside to the inside:

Fig 4

It’s another circle, however the jumps are presented to the dog much differently.  I work this exercise the same way as the first:

For the next drill, let’s up the difficulty! Starting with jump 1, we will take each jump from the inside to outside, going clockwise.

Fig 5a

I think most of us initially see this as a threadle drill:

Fig 5

But couldn’t it also be a wrap drill?

Fig 5c

Or, maybe you want to mix it up a little?

Fig 5b

Suddenly, we have many different handling skills to practice. Threadles and wraps and post turns, oh my!

Lastly, now we go back counter clockwise and work from the outside to the inside on each of the jumps (maybe you can predict where this is going):

Fig 6b

You can make it a back-side and serp drill:

Fig 6

Or a back-side wrap exercise:

Fig 6a

Or just go all crazy!

Fig 6x

Enjoy working through all of these exercises and then come up with your own sequences to combine different skills. 🙂


  1. These are great exercises! Thanks for sharing them.

  2. Awesome drills for my young dog who likes to run around jumps. I hope this will help with understanding/commitment!

  3. Thanks so much for posting these!! Can’t wait to try them. 🙂

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