Small Spaces Agility Skills Pt 1

Taught by Lisa Schmit, PhD, CCFT, CPMP

Winter is coming! So for many of us that means we lose our beautiful outdoor training areas and have to go inside to smaller spaces. Fortunately, there is so much we can do to work on our connection, cues and distance even in a small area!

Sometimes we get excited to move forward with our training and skip a few steps along the way. Other times, we didn’t know what skills to work or what skills we can work in a small space. Or we don’t realize that we can work distance skills in a small space!! Teaching Distance is about teaching you and your dog the appropriate cues and gaining the confidence to work away from your dog and these can be taught in a small area. There are so many things we can work on to enhance our agility training without using lots of equipment or space.

This is also a great time to work on our connection exercises and fun tricks that can be extremely helpful keeping our dog focused, calm and connected with us.

In January 2020, I will be offering Small Spaces Agility Skills Part 2 that will continue on the skills we work on in this class.

There will be discussion threads to ask questions and post video for review. Everyone is a participant. Each class is broken into sections with at least three lessons within each section. Each week we will work on a connection exercise, bucket/toy exercise and an exercise using agility equipment in a small space. You can post ONE short 1-2 min video per section for instructional review.

Class will start on the 15th of the enrolling month. Each section will post to the site every 7 days. Class will start 11/15. The course is open for video submission, questions, review and comments for 90 days after the first day of class - access to material lasts for 1 yr

Why Take this Class?

Give you exercises to work on in a small space

Work on distance in a small area

Work on Connection Exercises

Learn how important targeting is

Learn how to use targeting to teach cues and distance

Learn now to use toys to teach cues

LEVEL: This is open to any level and age of dog.


Below is the syllabus. The minimum space is listed in each area. Minimum equipment is listed in each section. I will be using a tunnel in a few exercises, so the area used will depend on the size of your tunnel, but tunnels can be curved to save space or if you do not have a tunnel, you can use two hoops, Hoops are great as you can move them close together and not worry about jumping. If you do not have hoops, jumps can work, we may put any bars on them depending on how much room you have.

Week 1

Importance of Targeting

Connection: Shadow-Handling for Connection & to Teach Distance

Bucket- Lectures, Drive Forward

Toy Lectures, how teach your dog not to grab toy

Skill: Tight Turns and Distance - Angled Hoop Work (1 hoop or jump, 10 x 10 area)

Week 2:

Connection: Chin Rest and Applications

Bucket Work: Lateral Distance and Drive from Behind

Skill: Lateral Distance - 2 hoops or jumps to teach distance (2 hoops or jumps, 10x20 area)

Week 3:

Connection: Sustained Nose Touch

Bucket Work: Switch and Here

Skill: Working Directionals with Tunnel and Hoops and adding distance (1 tunnel, 2 hoops or jumps. 20 x20) If you do not have a tunnel, hoops can be used in place of a tunnel.


Connection: Head Down

Bucket Work: Out

Toy Work: Using Toy to Teach Out

Skill: Pinwheels , close to teach turns and spread out to work distance(3 Hoops or jumps, 20 x20)

Week 5:

Connection: Space Games

Bucket Work: Discriminations (2 buckets)

Toy Work: Using a toy to teach discriminations

Skill: Discriminations (Curved Tunnel and 1 or 2 hoops, 20x20)

Week 6:

Connection: Moving Waits

Bucket Work: Sweep/Back

Skill: Distance off Contacts using a bench, board, or pad, 1 hoop (10x10)

Bonus Exercise:

Wraps- wraps towards you and away from you ( 2 hoops or jumps, 10 x 10)

Disclaimer: The information in this class may overlap or appear in other classes due to the foundation needed for many behaviors, tricks and fitness exercises.

Your Instructor

Lisa Schmit, PhD, CCFT, CPMP
Lisa Schmit, PhD, CCFT, CPMP

Certified Canine Fitness Trainer

Certified Pet Massage Practitioner

Bobbie Lyons K9FITteam Member

Lisa is the owner of In The Zone, LLC.and is one of the most accomplished handlers in NADAC. Her consistent, clear positive approach to dog training is evidence with her continual success with multiple dogs! She offers agility, conditioning and massage seminars across the continent and puts on about 12 NADAC trails a year.

Lisa has come home from the NADAC Championships with 10 trophies with 5 different dogs. She has finished in Overall Top 3 at NADAC Champs 22 times with 9 different dogs including her Brittany and Aussie. Tandem, JP7 and Revolution earned the coveted Purple MODSQUAD award--Master of Distance and Speed which requires high level distance handling and speed. Less than 25 dogs in the world have this award and Lisa has three of them. JP7 and Tandem earned the Distance Cup Award. Nine of her dogs have over 175 NATCHES, over 45 Speed Stars. Eight of her dogs have almost 200 Bonus Runs (requires big distance skills). Her dogs are consistently in the Top 10 every year and in most categories in the NADAC Hall of Fame.

To learn more about Lisa visit:

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
Read each class description. Some classes start immediately after you enroll and some will start the day after enrollment ends.. New material will be posted every 7 days after class begins to allow you time to process the information and start the training process. Video review and commenting will be open for 90 days from the start of class allowing you plenty of time to work through the material, take and edit video and formulate your questions as well as allow me time to review and give feedback. I have built in extra time after all class materials are available so that students that are behind or students still working on behaviors can ask questions and post video for review and comment.
How long do I have access to the course?
For one year from the start of class. The school reserves the right to modify, update or remove this class at any time.
What is your refund policy for current courses?
You will receive a refund if you request your cancellation at least 1 day before the class begins. There are no refunds after class has started.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We make every effort to offer valuable information at an affordable rate. We suggest you read the class description carefully before making your purchase to determine if the class is right for you. Because there are many levels of trainers, there will be material that is review for some and new to others. For those that are review, it will give you an opportunity to look at what you have trained and refine the behaviors as needed. If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, please contact admin at [email protected]
Can Bobbie Lyons diagnose or treat injury??
No - Bobbie Lyons, CCFT, KPA CPT cannot diagnose or treat injury. She can design fitness plans for healthy dogs or dogs that have a written release from veterinary care and/or veterinary rehabilitation care.