Rearend Awareness In Agility


Honored Member
I have been training agility with Jinx a while now. And things are going great.
But she has been knocking over jumps a lot. Last training, my trainer asked me if she had any physical problems. Well she doesn't, to my knowing.
I think it is just that she doesn't lift up her hindlegs enough, especially when she is at high speed.
So I want to do some jumptraining with her so she gets more aware of those two things dangling behind her:D
But I have no idea of how to do this.
Does anyone have idea's?
I am doing some training to get her more aware of her backside with some tricks, but that is very different.


Honored Member
Thanx Jean, I had read this post. And I will be trying this.
But I don't know how it will help her picking up her feet, when jumping.
I thought maybe someone had some other idea's specific to agility training, that is why I posted it here, in stead of replying to that post.


Staff member
Once your dog figures out she has a back end, she should understand more about where it is, in relation to jumping. However you can also put "ankle wraps" on her back feet, to make her think more about them. Scout used to drag her back toes when walking, I solved this by walking her through a ladder, she learned to pick up her feet properly, and no longer wears her nails to bleeding.


Staff member
For knocking bars when jumping there are a couple of reasons but it's not really a rear awareness problem. I listed the 4 that are most common and how to fix them.

1. Structural build of dog, or an injury, makes it painful or difficult for dog to jump cleanly every time.
If you think she might be in pain, you might want to take her to the vet or let her rest for a couple of days with no jumping. If she has a weak rear or is more heavily built in the rear it can be pulling her down to the bar.

2. Dog takes off too early, clips bar with feet
The one I use is a bar on the ground well before the take off spot, so your dog steps over that bar then jumps the jump. Ideally you want it about one stride before the take off. For the large dogs we try the bar 6 feet away to start. Use just one jump to begin with until you know that you have the correct placement of the bar.

3. Dog takes off too late, clips bar with feet or even chest
Place another jump right in front of the actual jump but have it be about an inch taller or shorter (It doesn't matter which however I like to go higher but I know people that like to go shorter) This is to trick the dog into thinking that the jump is closer to him that it actually is. He'll take off a little early in order to clear it.

4. Dog jumps very fast and flat, crashing bars as he goes.

Start with bounce jump drills. Put the jumps close enough together (start with 4 feet for small dog, 7 feet for large dog) that the dog cannot take an extra stride between jumps. The dog should land and immediately take off again for the next jump. Keep the distance between jumps short, and keep your dog jumping more rounded. Eventually add some enticing obstacles like tunnels before and after the jumps and show your dog how to bounce and THEN go on.


Honored Member
Thanx Charmedwolf!
I guess it is a combination of 2 and 4. And excitement, because when she barks, she knocks of even more bars. And she usually knocks the bar off with her hind legs.
I had not thought of putting the bar before the jump, while that is common in horse jumping.
And I wil try the bounce jumps.


Experienced Member
I second the idea of jump grids. There are some wonderful jumping programs out there: Susan Salo's is the most common, Linda Mecklenburg, and Susan Clothier also have jumping programs. Salo has a DVD out there as well as a book, I believe the others just have books.

Rear end awareness exercises can also help and so can strength building exercises such as ball work. But if you could only do one thing, I would do jump grids.


Experienced Member
Was going to say Susan Salo jumping grids they are brilliant. Had done it with Gabby and I can see the difference between her and Inka even though Inka very rarely knocks a bar she still doesnt know what her legs are for. We had done extension and compression work and Gabby flew across them without a problem and poor little Inka well she just about tripped over her feet eventually she ended up trotting cause that was the only way for her to get over it without falling lol. So am doing it with Inka now lol

Good luck with it

Danni and the girls