Posted by: allstaragility | June 8, 2018

Make those Posts Disappear!

Having a facility with 3 posts in our arena, we realize that this can be a bit daunting for course designers.  The main thing to remember is that these supports should disappear and not be an influencing factor in handler or dog performance.  Here are a few things I have learned in my years designing courses to fit in facilities all over the country with posts in their rings and how we make ours disappear at All Star Dog Sports!

1) Our wing jumps are wide enough that the post can tuck into the wing between the feet.  This makes it more of a solid wing, but is not in eit1to4her the handler or dog’s way and is the least disruptive to either’s visual field.

2) When the post is to the side of the wing, it is effectively making that wing larger and not only creates a wider distance that the dog must be away from the handler but is more visually distracting.

3) Avoid small spaces between both.  While the handler cannot fit between the post and the wing, their dog could!  This is making the post an added obstacle.

4) The only time to avoid tucking the post in the wing is when the dog has to slice the jump going into the post.  This is not safe as the dog has to change their natural path to avoid hitting the post. Simply place the wing on the other side of the post to solve that problem.


5) Some people like to place wingless jumps on the post.  This does make one side like a wing and the other side non-winged so looks off balance to the dog.

6) While we have had several judges place a tire on the post, it creates a very odd visual to the dog on an obstacle that is already visually difficult.

7) I avoid placing spreads on the post for the same reason as stated above.

8) Since our posts are white, just like our panel jump, this should also be avoided.

9) Tunnels are a great choice!  Nest a post in the middle of a curved tunnel and it totally disappears! 9to12

10) Oops… Here the dog could easily run into the post if they happened to refuse the opening of this tunnel.  So could the handler if he/she were running close to the entry of the tunnel.

11) Here the post isn’t nested in the curve… This poses serious issue to a distracted handler who might be focused on cuing their dog into the tunnel.

12) Use a post on the backside of a tunnel only if there is no reason for a handler to choose to run on that side. Make sure it is sufficiently padded and the tunnel is bagged well!

13to1613 and 15) The same applies to placing a contact or weaves near a post.

14) Here is one way I have used the post near the A-frame.  Placing a tunnel in this position takes out the possibility of a handler running into it.

16) Take care if you are placing the weaves near a post so that it isn’t visually distracting to the dogs as they are entering it.  The post can also create “pressure” if it is too near the poles and cause some dogs to pop out.

17 and 18) Avoid designing a sequence where the handler has to choose whether or not to layer the post.  Handlers should have the freedom to run the path they feel works best.

17                  18

19 and 20) Be aware of dog paths (especially large dogs jumping 24).  Here, you can see the design has the dog slicing the jump and landing into the post.  Instead, tweak the obstacles so that it is much less of a possibility.

19                  20

21) Lastly, avoid the posts being in the dog’s path where they have the choice to go around it, as in this scenario.  A dog taking the first jump in extension may not only end up going around the post, but that will likely cause them to run past the next jump!


I hope you have found this helpful!  Did I miss something?  Feel free to share your comments and suggestions!

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