a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Shoot the Chute

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Shoot the Chute

SUMMARY: Buh-bye to another piece of equipment.

Today, an amazing thing happened: USDAA and AKC on the same day did away with the chute ("collapsed tunnel")! It's a rare case of the Powers That Be listening to competitor's concerns and petitions and acting quickly--and I don't know that the 2 organizations have ever done anything in concert before!

The other astonishing thing is that I don't think I've seen any topic, in all my years on Facebook with all of the agility friends there, where it seems like everyone was posting about that one topic all day long. The crowds rejoiced!

I always thought it was fun to see dogs learn how to get through the fabric part of the chute--they couldn't see where they were going, the material was pressing on their face and head and back, lots of challenges. The down side is that, as dogs have gotten faster and faster, more and more dogs are getting tangled in the material no matter how carefully the chute is "fluffed" before each dog's run. Tres bad juju.

So, its time has come and gone and now everyone's discussing what to do with their barrel and their fabric.  I don't know what I'm going to do with mine.  The former I might just drag out into the yard for the dogs to play on. Nice fabric that I've stored carefully for 15 years or so (and used only a few times when Boost was young, maybe when Tika was younger)? Dunno, dunno, dunno.

In memory of Mr. Chute, here are some highlights of his glory days. (In order: Tika, Boost, Fawkes, Jake, Remington, Tika.)


  1. I've got a lovely picture of Roxy bursting from a chute at a USDAA trial, but I've not been a fan of the things since I saw a different dog get horribly tangled in one at that very same trial. Not having them removes the need for one dedicated ring crew who needs to fluff the thing after every pass.

    The barrels (sans cloth) are still useful for teaching novice dogs to go through things before introducing them to the tunnel.

    NADAC got rid of chutes years ago. I'm not sure if they're still on the official equipment list for CPE or not, but if so, I'm guessing the "collapsed tunnel's" days are numbered there as well.

    1. Not everyone is thrilled with the chute being gone--their dogs have never gotten tangled, their dogs were properly trained, people whine too much. All of those things might be true. But the fact that all of the organizations are now getting on board in record time and together says something, too.

    2. Heard last night that CPE yesterday (?) announced that they're doing away with the chut and the tire and the triple jump! Tire surprises me, since there are some fine breakaway alternatives nowadays.