Supporting agility dogs with specialist lifetime cover
Ho ho ho & a big fat Bonio...
you've been 'volunteered' to organise your club Christmas party this year, don't despair. In
addition to the usual competition games such as Gambles, Helter Skelter, Snooker and Knock Outs
competition, there are a lot of party games that you can play for fun and amusement - all of
which can be adapted to include everyone, regardless of level, breed or age. For starters, here
are some tried and tested games you can play with all levels of handler, breeds or ages. Enjoy
If you have a favourite game or two that you want to
email details to Agilitynet
- Stack 'em High
Best game we ever did was a simple relay
over jumps and tunnels to get six wine boxes which were painted with a
picture of a Christmas tree when stacked together correctly. Humans were
supposed to get the boxes, but it didn't quite work out like that. Dogs
grabbing boxes and running away - just the funniest thing ever! Great fun.
Set up four sets of 12 weave poles in
the shape of a square and watch the fun. The winner is the dog who can do the box fastest.
Wufts is the fun and educational board game for
all dog lovers. You will love playing it with family and friends at home, club or at shows.
It consists of two parts, a small obedience section at the beginning and the second part is a
dog agility section where the race starts in earnest. Wufts contains 300 questions/answers
and can be played by two or more handlers or teams of any ability.
Rocking Around the Christmas Tree
At our club last year, we did rocking around
the Christmas tree. We had a 'tree' in the middle of the room, then four sets of three jumps
at each point of the compass. We had to go around each bit, passing the tree each time. If we
got anything wrong, we had to call the dog back to the tree and go round twice before trying
again. Fastest time won. Maria Johnson
- Agility Send Away
To make this an agility game, have the handler
stand in a small box in the middle of agility equipment. Without leaving the box, the handler
has to send the dog out to different pieces of equipment. Each piece of equipment has a point
value. Pieces close to the handler have lower point value while those further away have
higher point value. The handler has o certain amount of time to acquire as many points as
possible with the dog getting points for one piece of equipment only once. This is a good
distance training game.
Each team is made up of the same number
of dogs and handlers. Each pair competes one at a time against the clock. Each dog has to
bark three times and then shush. The team with the shortest total time for 15 woofs wins.
Probably most difficult game for Flyball dogs. The keeping quiet, that is!
Handlers form a circle with their dogs
while someone gives the Snoopy commands such as 'Snoopy says... sit, Snoopy says down etc.
The last team to do the trick, is out! The last pair standing wins!
- Tunnel Terrors
Make up a course consisting solely of tunnels
and jumps. Kennel Club rules apply. Each handler and dog must run against the clock - fastest
wins. A fun game to play and lots of fun for the spectators to watch as well as the handlers
go round and round.
- Sausage Weave Game
Wallingford DTC has
played this game for a couple of years now, and is very popular - except with those whose dogs
can't resist food. You need a table, and about 6 feet away, some weaves (at
least 6 - I think we usually have 8). And a supply of small sausages. Handlers put their dogs
in a down on the table, facing the weaves, and the scorer puts a piece of sausage on the
table in front of the dog. The handler has to tell the dog to leave the sausage, and
when told, do the weaves up and back. Handlers can continue to give commands to their
dog as they weave. Scorer times the handler through the weaves - stopped
either when the dog eats the sausage, or when the handler returns. If the handler returns to
the table before the dog eats the sausage, it's allowed to eat the sausage. Scorer also gives
marks for handler's 'style' through the weaves. We sorted on times (fastest completed course,
then longest before the dog to eat the sausage) taking into account style marks.
Suggested by Jacky Hutchinson
- The Water Game
A tray with some paper cups filled with water is carried around a
simple course, at the end of the course, any water left is tipped into a bucket or large jug,
winning team is the one who has the most water. Suggested by Jackie Kenny
Divide your handlers into equal-sized teams. Be sure to pick your
teams carefully to include Beginners. You can have more than one lane going at the same time.
The team with the best time overall is the winner. Undue hauling or force leads to
Two groups of handlers/dogs run a simple line of equipment. When they reach one end have to
put on a piece of fun clothing, and then run back along the equipment to allow the next member
to go. The winning group is the one who completes the quickest. The best most fun article of
clothing was a white disposable all-in-one paper suit with hood. One member put in on and her
dog seemed to think she had vanished into thin air !
Suggested by Jackie Kenny
This game is similar to Fancy dress, but instead of putting on clothing, handlers are given a
piece of jigsaw before they start the course. (The jigsaw is a giant Christmas card.) As
each team member reaches the jigsaw, the pressure is on to try to add their piece. Again
winning group is the one that completes their jigsaw correctly.
Suggested by Jackie Kenny
- Avoid the Liver
All handlers and dogs have to walk around two plates of liver or
something equally as tempting. The handlers have to stop the dogs from touching the liver; If
they do they're out. Then the group gets closer to the liver etc. until you have a winner. Can
be played with liver, sausage or liver sausage.
Suggested by Hazel Kitchin
- Bonio & Spoon Race
Both handler and dog to go over Mini jumps while only the handler has
to weave six poles, carrying Bonio/dog biscuit on pudding spoon or, if you're feeling evil, a
smaller spoon . Suggested by Becky Parks
Heelwork to music (just normal walking while the music plays.) When the music stops, the
dogs have to go into either a sit or down, whichever position they have been forewarned
about. The slowest one is out. Keeps going until only two , to get the winner. Suggested by Jackie Kenny
Handlers and dogs move around a set of weave poles in a circle. When
music stops, they run to middle and grab weave pole.
Suggested by Becky Parks
- Musical Chairs
Exactly the same as normal musical chairs except the dog has to be
sat on the chair. Suggested by Hazel Kitchin
It's like the children's game Musical Statues except that it's the
dog that has to stay still. As the game progresses certain enticements such as squeaky toys can
Suggested by Hazel Kitchin
Eleven Legs Race
Same as three-legged but with a dog each.
- Cold Turkey
A variation of the game Blind Man's Bluff which involves running a
course where you don't know the course layout until you run it. Lots of fun.
Our favourite game is the human tunnel. Put all the handlers into
equal sized teams. Each team should form a line, one behind the other, with their legs wide
apart. The handler at the back gets their dog to run through the tunnel formed by the legs,
then joins the tunnel at the front. The next handler at the back puts their dog through the
tunnel and so on. The winning team is the one who gets all their dogs through the tunnel first.
Suggested by Eleanor Balchin
Guess your own
Not just for the fast dogs... A simple agility course. No faults or
eliminations as long as all of the obstacles are corrected if they have gone wrong. Handler can
stop the dog on the course if they need to waste time, but no clockwatching on the course is
allowed. The person who has the closest guess wins!
Suggested by Karen Bulmer
An idea borrowed from a show whereby handlers have to run their dogs silently. They are
allowed to use a release command but otherwise handlers can only use their hands and/or body to steer
the dog around the course. Five faults for each utterance.
Snakes & Ladders
A fast and furious version of Steeple Chase (aka
Up and Under) - It just gets faster and faster. A course is set up consisting of jumps and pipe
tunnels. Sit back and enjoy the chaos.
From Tonny Wierda (a Dutch
Greetings from Holland. Ok it has just been Easter, but this is the
game we play at our club here in Holland. In the middle we have a Christmas tree. On the floor
are all the decorations (of course, made out of plastic.) You have to run a course, and after
each obstacle you may run to the tree and put a decoration into the tree. The combination that
put on the most in the tree in 30 seconds is the winner.
Sorry for my terrible English. But we always have a
lot of fun at this game so I wanted to write it to you.
From Alice Greenland
For some more suggestions for good games to play at Christmas or during class, visit
http://www.dogpatch.org. Their agility pages is a good
source for these types of thing. (02/12/01)
If you can you think of some other
good 'agility' games that all standards of dogs and handlers can take part in and enjoy, send
your suggestions to Christmas Fun 'n' Games at
From Bob Kipling
You've just made my Christmas party a lot more 'Stress free' than it
would otherwise have been. Shows what a good bunch of readers (viewers?) you have.
Just a quick note to say thanks once again for the Party Games page.
Had the party last night and used lots of the games and it really went down well. I changed
some of the rules slightly and the look on the faces when I uttered the words 'and of course
the handlers have to return THROUGH the tunnel as well as the dogs' was a sight to behold - as
was some of the handlers struggling through the tunnels! People said afterwards that they had
thoroughly enjoyed it.
Could have kicked myself for forgetting the camera.
Agility graphics by K-9 Rule