"Fan Work": Guide 2

Get Started in Dog Agility at Home. Guide 2: fan work foundations: direct with a driving arm around four jump wings arranged in a circle (up to 5m)

Dog Agility at Home, Introducing Agility Equipment: Fan work 

Requirement: your dog can complete a full circle (set out with poles in the ground) in both directions following a food or toy lure. Find a guide to training this first part here: https://angliandogworks.com/blogs/how-to-practice-dog-agility-at-home/fan-work-one


What: The handler stands in the centre of a circle of poles upright in the ground, the hand closest to the dog will be held out and empty and used to guide the dog around a complete circle 1 – 5m wide set out by posts or jump wings. 

Why: This exercise teaches the dogs to follow an outstretched arm, circling loosely left or right, and that doing so earns them a reward.

How to practice dog agility at home:

  1. The handler stands in the middle of the circle.  
  2. The handler holds out an empty hand but moves it in the same way as in guide 1 to direct the dog around the circle. 
  3. Say ‘good’ and reward by giving them a treat from their pouch or a game with a toy that was held behind their back when the dog goes past the second wing. 
  4. With each success, guide them past an additional wing before saying ‘good’ and rewarding. 
  5. Keep practising until the dog can go past all four wings before getting a reward. 
  6. Repeat on the other side so that you have practised moving clockwise and anticlockwise. 
  7. Add the verbal cue 'left' or 'right' as the dog circles.  


Want a challenge? 

You can make the exercise harder by...


Goal to achieve: Practice until your dog can complete a full circle in both directions following an empty hand to develop their 'Fan work' foundations. Start and finish at different places on the fan to vary where the reward will be delivered. 


About the author:

Hi 👋 I’m Emma, accredited as a professional dog trainer by the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT). I help owners of energetic dogs achieve the dog-owning life they envisioned by providing robust obedience & agility training for dogs in Balsham, near Cambridge.

DisclaimerThe content of this article does not include personalised advice and is for information purposes only. If you need individual advice or other enquiries please click here to get in contact or if you're not local to Anglian Dog Works, you can find a trainer in your area by going to the IMDT website: https://www.imdt.uk.com/find-a-qualified-imdt-trainer


Please share your questions and progress: 

We would love to see how you get on with your dog’s introduction to place boards. For tips from our trainer and to share success post your pictures and videos in the Anglian Dog Works Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/angliandogworks 

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