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

Lisa Schmit, PhD, CCFT, CPMP 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! While she primarily competes in NADAC, her training and handling philosophy translates to all venues. Path work is paramount in all venues. Being able to draw efficient lines, speedy independent obstacles, and providing clear and consistent cues help teams compete successfully in all venues from Teacup to USDAA.

Lisa has come home from the NADAC Championships with 10 trophies with 5 different dogs. Nine of her dogs have over 150 NATCHES, over 35 Speed Stars. Eight of her dogs have 140 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. In September 2018, Tandem earned the coveted Purple MODSQUAD award--Master of Distance and Speed which requires high level distance handling and speed. He is the 15th dog in the world to earn this award. JP7 achieved his Silver MODSQUAD in Dec 2018. Revolution only need one more bonus to achieve this award also. At the 2018 NADAC Championships, Tandem was the NADAC World Large Vet Dog Champion and NADAC Large Vet Dog Champion. JP7 was NADAC World Starter Stakes Reserve Champion and NADAC Reserve Champion Starter Stakes (high level distance class) and Distance Bonus Cup Champion. Revolution brought home 1stPlace Team Trophy. Here is a link to 2018 Champs Highlights Video: the 2017 NADAC Championships, Revolution was Reserve Champion, JP7 achieved 4 sashes in Starter Stakes, and Tandem and Synergy also made it to finals. Amazingly, in 2018 and 2017, her four dogs earned 26 NATCHES and 10 Speed Stars each year! Talk about being consistent at a high levelJIn 2015, Tandem won the highest number of Bonus Points Trophy in Starter Stakes. From 2008-20011, Moxie and Lisa won their class at champs! In 2007, Expedite won the Skilled Veteran Class and in 2006 Haley (Brittany) won Double Digit Class. To view a complete list of accomplishments, videos of runs and photos please visit To view some bonus’ runs

Lisa is a NADAC Certified Clinician, Certified Pet Massage Practitioner, FITPAWS Master Trainer, Certified Canine Fitness Trainer and a member of Bobbie Lyon’s K9 Fit Team. She gives agility, conditioning and massage seminars across the continent. She teaches online classes through in as well as through Bobbie Lyons Canine Campus - Lisa hosts over 15 NADAC Trials yearly as In The Zone Agility and In The Zone Agility of Illinois. Lisa currently has five Border Collies including a young dog aging from 18 months to 12 years old and deaf. Running a deaf dog has brought a new element of training which has made her a much better handler and trainer. She has owned, trained and completed with 12 dogs which have ranged from soft to hard and slow to fast and novice to multiple championships. This allows Lisa to bring real life experiences into her training that includes good foundation training, skill training, motivation and consistent, clear handling all in a fun positive way.

Her goal is to have amazing relationships with her dogs and for them to run fast and confidently well into their double-digit years. The core of her training philosophy is based on solid foundation skills and consistent handling to motivate her dogs in a fun and positive way. She uses a positive reward-based system of training and errs on the side of rewarding too often than not enough. She believes it is her responsibility to maintain cues in a clear, crisp, calm and confident manner. This gives her dogs confidence to trust her cues which builds relationships, speed, drive and distance. As a skill trainer, she focuses on developing, refining and rewarding obstacle performance and handling. She believes groundwork and foundation skills are the building blocks to success. She trains in short fun sequences so she can train various handling options, push for distance and reward often. She trains skills and obstacles so that her dogs are confident in their ability to understand her cues and to perform obstacles efficiently, at speed and at a distance.

Lisa grew up in the horse world training and showing Quarter Horses as well as dabbling on the racetrack. She also played volleyball and softball. The skills learned training and competing in other sports have transferred to dog training. She currently has and runs five Border Collies including a young dog debuting this year to a 12 year old deaf dog. Running a deaf dog has brought a new element of training which has made her a much better handler and trainer. She has owned, trained and completed with 12 dogs (including a lab, a Brittany and an Australian Shepherd) which have ranged from soft to hard and slow to fast and novice to multiple championships. This brings real life experiences into her training that includes good foundation training, skill training, motivation and consistent, clear handling all in a fun positive way.

Lisa is a consummate learner. She continues to take classes and attend seminars whenever possible. She continues to evaluate her training and adjusts accordingly. She puts on many seminars across the continent and in doing so, meets lots of different teams with different issues. This has taught her to be open minded, to think on her feet and outside the box! She loves to be challenged and to help people succeed.

Lisa’s info: [email protected] Newsletter:

To learn more about Lisa's training philosophy click HERE

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.