Well, of course we had to try it, too!
Do It Yourself Police Dog TrialsSand Pilarski - firstname.lastname@example.org
Now if you want to see a dog work up close, you have to watch your own. This is our obstacle course for agility, and I'm sending my German Shepherd, Babe the Blue Ox, to do his version of the agility phase of the police dog trials.
I give the command "UP!" and Babe will climb the structure to the top. Having been a flatlander dog in a one-story house all his life, Babe had to be taught how to go up steps. He learned that skill on playground equipment around town, buildings with stairs being in short supply around here.
The police dogs had to leap to the top of an upright barrel, pause and sit before jumping down. Babe has to make do with a park bench. He wouldn't fit on top of a barrel, anyway; he's too big. All of the police dogs are smaller -- and so faster and more agile -- than the 100-lb Babe. "STOP!" is the command that makes him stand and check to see what is to happen next.
A little bridge on the structure is a wobbly rope-and-plank thing. "GO!" I command him, Babe crosses, splaying his toes out for more stability. Getting Babe to learn the obstacles, including walking through a large pipe we found at a construction site, really was not difficult. Once he knew what I wanted him to do, he was willing to try, and always proud of himself when he's been successful at carrying out commands.
Good boy, Babe. Have a cookie.