Tania has been contributing monthly training exercises and event reviews for the USDAA’s website and the OVERview Newsletter  since 2008.

Some of these were previously published articles and are used with expressed permission from USDAA.

You can find them in the Subscriber area at USDAA.


March 2014

Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Monthly Training Exercises | 0 comments

Hello Friends,

If you were looking for a February training exercise and didn’t find one here, I apologize. I fractured my elbow and it was super painful to type.  So here we go for March!

I’ve given you a jumping sequence that you could work alone, with a tunnel/table  and/or a contact option to add.  You can keep one of those in place throughout all three exercises, or even swap out for weave poles, a chute, a triple jump, a dogwalk or a long jump.  Or you could go through and use them all!




































Reprinted with permission from USDAA

January 2014

Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Monthly Training Exercises | 0 comments

Welcome to 2014!!

Does January feel like the month where you want to make changes in your handling, fix the things that were breaking during the year, or adding new handling techniques?  Our sport is evolving all the time and there are many ways to enhance and improve what you’re doing now.  However, that doesn’t mean you have to incorporate a brand new handling system by the end of January.  Try choosing one maneuver to master which means to know it inside and out and when to use it.  When you’re rocking that move in competition without a second thought, try the next one, and so on.  Rome wasn’t built in a day!  Dog agility is a journey with your dog and fun is the most important thing. When you’re confident about what you’re doing, your dog has confidence in you and will give their best.

Here are some fun exercises for a small space.  If your space is even smaller than what I’ve shown, work the top portion of the course with the weave poles/two jumps/straight tunnel/single jump combination.

If you have the room, use a set of 12 weave poles and widen those jumps near it.




jan5_09a jan5_09b jan5_09c













Reprinted with permission and originally posted on USDAA website in January 2009.

December 2013

Posted by on December 4, 2013 in Monthly Training Exercises | 0 comments

Since it’s Christmas time, I’m pulling out an old favorite I did for the USDAA website, published back in December of 2009…


Oh Christmas Tree! – by Tania Chadwick

Enjoy some turns around the Christmas tree and may your holidays be merry and bright!
















Exercise 1


* This is a warm-up through the tree and around the outside.
* Try handling with your dog on your right and left hand and then changing the hand after the table.



Exercise 2













* Handle #4 and #8 by pulling your dog on the inside, with a change of hands, and also sending to the outside with a rear cross.
* Experiment with adding distance between you and your dog from #9 – #12.  While your dog is on the table, lead out to #6 and release your dog while you take the inside line near #10 and #11.  Then, lead out near #6 and send your dog to #10 while you take the inside line near #6 and #3.



Exercise 3













* There are a lot of side changes throughout.
* Experiment with front and rear crosses and your lead-out position after the table.


Exercise 4













* Try the opening on each side; first with the dog on your right side.  Angle your dog at #1 so it faces #4 and upon release, turn your shoulders toward #2 and cross behind for a nice sharp turn to #3.  Next, start with a lead out pivot or simply stand slightly closer to #2 and call the dog to your left hand and then push to #2, running with the dog to #3.
* Experiment with front and rear crosses and shaping your dog’s line.


Tania Chadwick, owner of Fortis Agility Sports Training in San Jose, California, is an agility instructor and full-time mother of a 5 year old and an 18 month old. She currently competes with her Border Collie, ADCh-Platinum, LAA-Gold Kidd, a national Steeplechase Finalist and member of the USDAA’s Top Ten in ’03, ’05, ’07.  Tania can be reached at fortisagility@aol.com.

November 2013

Posted by on November 7, 2013 in Monthly Training Exercises | 0 comments

This is the time of year when the big events have ended and many transition into maintenance mode for the remainder of the year.   These jumping sets are good skill practice for handler and dog.  Enjoy!


Set-up Copy














Figure 1


Figure 2


Figure 3


Figure 4


October 2013

Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Monthly Training Exercises | 0 comments

October 2013

Since we’re on the cusp of the 2013 USDAA Cynosport Games in Tennesse, I thought I’d reach back to 2008 and lay out a couple of practice courses based on the more challenging areas of the 2008 Steeplechase Finals course.  I have replaced the aframe with a teeter for the sake of space, but the aframe can certainly be swapped back in.

Here is the Steeplechase Finals course and you can read through the the real time commentary from the finals on the USDAA website here:

26″ Class
12″ Class
16″ Class
22″ Class

Steeplechase Championship & Performance Finals

Steeplechase Championship & Performance Finals














Figure 1:

*  This portion of the course is the very close to the original lay out from the finals except I have swapped out the aframe for a teeter.
*  Take a couple of passes at this warm-up and pay close attention to the execution of #12-15 as there were handling errors and bars down in the area in the finals.

Figure 1

Figure 1











Figure 2:

* This opening deals with straight line speed and an obstacle discrimination. A pull over over #2 would make for a safe pass by the tunnel, but needs a good turn to #4.
* Be sure to set up for a good turn from #7-8 and then prepare for a rear cross at #9 for a solid weave pole entrance.

Figure 2

Figure 2











Figure 3:

*  Note that I turned the teeter around.
*  A lead-out past #2 and a front cross after #3 would be an option for the start here.
*  Be sure to work the teeter contact after so much speed coming off the huge straight line from #6-7.
*  A rear cross at #10 would create a nice turn to the tunnel (practice some rear crosses at doubles and triples) and be mindful of good shoulder turns through the run for home.

Figure 3

Figure 3











First published for USDAA in 2008