Landing Side Approaches – First Steps

I've been thinking a lot about landing side approaches lately. You know, pushes to the takeoff side of a jump when the dog is approaching from the landing side, pulls to the same. It doesn't have to be a jump – it could also be a tunnel, or a set of weave poles. I'm reworking my verbal threadle cues course to reflect all my thinking of late, and will be offering it late this month, once the turf is in at the agility hall. Super excited about that, but oy, right now it is a lot of labor! (EDIT: it's live! Check it out at!)

Just a few examples of landing side approaches to obstacles

Just a few examples of landing side approaches to obstacles

In any case, one of the big challenges with landing side approaches is that MOST of the time, our dogs ARE on the takeoff side of an obstacle on approach. Even on an international jumping course, out of the 15-16 jumps a dog takes, maybe only 4 of them or so are landing side approaches. Sometimes more, but sometimes less. However, when those landing side approaches occur, they're usually a problem, because of course your natural cues tell a different story than what you'd like the dog to do, AND, what you'd like them to do is mechanically difficult, typically, when compared to the ‘logical' approach.

So, I really have been wanting to work on this concept with Chispa sooner than later, before she has had the opportunity to TAKE a lot of obstacles ‘logically', or with a takeoff side approach. For those of you who are subscribers, the below is what I've started working on, with an eye toward teaching solid mechanics for landing side approaches, as well as a well trained verbal cue.

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