Canine Hoopers Training!

Piper age 5 – photo credit Joe Nutkins


What is Hoopers?

Canine Hoopers is still quite a new dog sport that has officially been running for around 3-4 years. It originally was part of Agility in other countries outside of UK but came to the UK as a new sport on it’s own and has become popular with dogs of all ages and training levels!

With the main equipment being Hoops, Tunnels, Barrels and Touch n Go Mat there isn’t too much for dogs to learn at the beginning so we quickly move onto skills, distance handling and courses – dogs with Agility training experience may find moving to Hoopers easy as they already have an understanding of moving ahead on cue, left and right turns etc, while dogs without any Agility training under their belts will pick up the new skills very quickly using shaping methods to help dogs to find value in using the equipment!

What do dogs do with the equipment?
Hoops – stand up hoops for dogs to run through – following a smooth pattern including straight lines and arcs
Tunnels – 800mm diameter, and either 1, 2 or 3 metres long – tunnels are to be run through in a straight line
Barrels – these are for dogs to go around, in both directions depending on the course requirements
Touch n Go Mat – re flat replacement for the Agility A Frame, dogs run across these mats, ignoring poles at the corners, to move to the next equipment.

We start with teaching dogs how to navigate the Hoops without needing luring – lots of shaping here! Then adding more Hoops, pinwheel of Hoops, Arcs etc.

Moving on to Tunnels and Barrels we ensure dogs are comfortable moving around the equipment in both directions.

Touch n Go Mat (also known as Tango Mat) comes in around the time that we are starting smaller courses and typically doesn’t take long for dogs to learn!

Then we start linking different equipment together so dogs can learn to go through hoops and tunnels, around barrels and across the mat to see how a course developments and for handlers to learn where they should be to help their dogs.

Moving on to changes of direction, crossing over from one side of a course to another, sending dogs ahead and more as we progress!

Dogs really enjoy the fun and freedom of Hoopers training – there are exercises Puppies can start with as there is no impact and no sharp turns. Adult dogs can progress skills continuously which helps with focus. Senior dogs enjoy taking part in Hoopers as they prepare for potential muscle or joint issues so dogs needing to retire from Agility, Heelwork to Music, Flyball etc often find Hoopers a great alternative but we also have a lot of dogs taking part that are starting their training journey after the age of 7 years plus!

Inca age 8 – photo credit Joe Nutkins

We currently run Hoopers Training as One Off Workshops as well as 1-2-1 Training sessions. 1-2-1’s can be for a single dog/handler, a single handler with more then one dog, or for friends/family to train together in their own session for some fun.

For more information about Hoopers in-person and online contact us: We have our next One Off Hoopers sessions running on:
Intro and Foundations – Saturday 16th April 2022 2-3pm
Advanced Monthly Session – Saturday 16th April 2022 3.30-4.30pm

What to join in? What’s App or Text us on 07809 117912, Email joe@dogtrainingessex-suffolk.co.uk or take a look at our online booking system for availability and next dates!

https://calendly.com/dogtrainingessexsuffolk/canine-hoopers-one-off-intro

Merlin age 8 – photo credit Joe Nutkins