Jumping style

Discussion in 'Agility and Dog Sports' started by Laurelin, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    That's pretty common actually. Off hand I know the fastest run in the Eukanuba finals last year was the winning 8" dog, a mix breed. As stated earlier, the little dogs can run flat out the whole way. Different challenges.
     
  2. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I know you guys weren't repsonding to me. But this to me isn't the issue. Sure if the jumps were like 3 feet or something (we do high jump classes at JRT trials.. my little dogs sure can jump high when its only a jump or two) But I think we seriously underestimate a normal healthy dog's jumping ability.

    And if agility isn't at least in part a test of a dogs athletic ability why not have all dogs jump 5 inches?

    One thing that is nice, fairly recently the AAC made to if you run specials or vets you get the same titles as if you were running regular. Unlike some other venues when you switch from regular to vet or specials all your legs move over. That way it makes making the decision to move your dog to a lower jump height if they need it easier.

    Kaiden (who can do a whole course at 26) just got moved to vets, so he will jump 10. I did it not due to the jumps but as I wanted a lowered frame. He was looking a little uncomfortable on the way down and would leap of early to make the angle shallower. The extra time is nice too ;)
     
  3. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    For me it's more about the life time of the dog. Whatever means less percussion on her body of the course of years of jumping gets my vote. Of course it should still be a test of athletic ability, and I realize you're being sarcastic with the 5" remark but really it's just a somewhat arbitrary call that needs to be made. Who jumps what height. And considering the sheer number of organizations out there all with their own height requirements and settings, there are many opinions on what is the right balance between safety and challenge.

    AKC made a similar call recently, according to what I heard at our last trial. in the past if you switched from regular to preferred (their name for running your dog one height lower than required), you had to start back over in novice. Now if you are in Excellent or Masters (the soon-to-be-new name for ExcellentB) you continue to run those courses unless you WANT to go back and start in Novice. Your call. You do start over on the preferred titles regardless...can't get a MACH running preferred just like you can't get a PACH running regular. I personally think it's a good way of doing it.
     
  4. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    I think people expect to much of them, honestly. Jumping over their shoulder height isn't really that normal for a dog. And if jumping the required heights is so easy, why are there so many knocked bars?

    But dogs are also all different body types and structures. AKC agility in particular is designed to be possible for the widest possible range of body styles. It isn't supposed to be just for BCs and other light bodied dogs that can easily and safely jump over their heads repeatedly. It's meant to be at least vaguely possible for all AKC dogs. My dogs are healthy and athletic, but they are heavy for their height, and carry most of their weight on the front half of their body. Asking them to repeatedly do high jumps is not healthy. Watch the vid of my girl jumping 20", and where she's close to the camera, you can hear her "oof" as she lands.

    She can jump that height, it's just not safe or fair to her.
     
  5. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    See for longevity I would say you can moving your dog down. I do agree there should be balance.

    See here you can get your championship and its a championship regardless of how you get there so people aren't feeling pressured to run their dogs where its not good for them. Kaiden has jumped 16 his whole life. He is very sound, but now as he gets older I have the option of moving him down and still getting an ATChC regardless of what stream he is in.

    When it comes to longevity IMO sharp corners had hard landings have more of an impact on jump height. And what you train at. Same with horses.. all those GP horses don't train over 5 foot fences. They train over lower fences and work on training. I know many an agility competitor who jumps their dogs lower in practise. So for longevity I don't think jumping a few inches higher a few weekends a year is going to have a serious impact on the vast majority of dogs.

    ETA I think ALL agility venues are designed for ALL dogs. Most don't even require a pedigree to play with everyone. Some are harder than others (like AAC with fast course times, and the totally clear requirements and higher jump heights) some are easier (like CPE with its lower jump heights, slow course times and ability to Q with a bar, or being over time) Having variety is awesome so each can find their place. But to imply one is 'better' for dogs IMO is a bit silly. Forcing people (previously) to go back to start over if they think their dog should jump lower was not in the best interest of dogs. Glad to hear its changing. I believe all venues try to benefit dogs in general vs just BCs. I don't run BCs, I run JRTs and whippets. I don't feel any venue I have tried is 'against' my kind of dog. Just a different set of challenges to try to rise to.
     
  6. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I will tell you that the 'flyball' bred BC I know jumps like a flyball trained dog, despite having never done the sport. I expect it is at least as much to do with body and mind type as to do with the training they get in flyball.

    I don't really mind USDAA heights, and I love the classes and competitiveness of the venue so much, no other venue I've done appeals to me much. Yes, I might get screwed a bit on Gusto because of how close he is to the cutoff - but oh well. I have no qualms about running him performance. Meg is 17.75" and 36 lbs, and so not a long lanky BC type, and she managed to be quite competitive in 16" Performance straight up through the Masters level. She got her Super Qs the first two Masters Snooker classes she did, and consistently could Q in Steeplechase (the only two classes where your result is based on the other dogs in the class). Yes, the really good BC could always beat her if they ran clean and left the bars up. But when they would zoom off course, or spin and get a refusal, or pull a bar, she was right there to move ahead.

    I actually ran Meg in Performance because of the A-frame height rather than the jump heights. She's a fairly blocky dog with a big front end, and an old elbow injury.
     
  7. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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  8. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    I like the different names for the lower height option from a pedigree standpoint. Being able to look back and see if, okay two of the grandparents have PACHs (for instance). Why were they running preferred? Were they older? Handler made the call? Or could they not handle the measured jump height? Could be important info. And as you said, jumps are supposed to be a challenge...working the higher jumps height is more of a challenge. It's still a championship title and should be a well-earned source of pride in what the team accomplished!

    Now I would be fully in support of unused MACH legs, for instance, counting toward a PACH if the dog moved down. They shouldn't have to repeat those, but I think right now they do...I haven't personally read the exact wording so can't be sure.

    Agreed with all the above except for the "few weekends a year." Don't underestimate the trialing schedules of a lot of competitors. Those have been at it a long time and have a heavy trial schedule often don't even practice that much...they are running trials 3-4 weeks per month all year long, with a month off somewhere to rest their dogs. And the trials are often 3 or 4 days, not just two. It's not an insignificant amount of jumping for a surprisingly large number of dogs.

    Mine not included in that of course...would need to win the lotto to afford that many entry fees and hotels!

    Where did anyone say one was better than another? It's been compare and contrast, yeah, and people talking about the ones they know best, but maybe I missed the "better" comment?

    I know very little about AAC agility and can't comment on whether it's "harder" than other venues and for who. NADAC and CPE are considered easier in the U.S. but that's in terms of requirements to Q...again you are competing against dogs who are running under the same rules you are, so taking home Blue is still challenging no matter the rules. AKC and USDAA...depends on who you talk to. USDAA people usually swear by USDAA, AKC, people by AKC. People who run both vary depending on the running style of their dog. I'm in a one-venue sort of area (though have run CPE a couple times when we were first starting out and living in another state) so I run with what I got and am just happy to have fierce competition to test ourselves against :)
     
  9. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Flyinbt said that "AKC in particular is designed to be possible for the widest possible range of body styles. It isn't supposed to be just for BCs and other light bodied dogs that can easily and safely jump over their heads.. " Implying that other venues aren't for all dogs. Which isn't true as I see a very wide range of dogs competing, we have seen Irish wolfounds, PGVB (which are built like bassets) a frenchie won at nationals.. (which is a very heavy bodied dog..)

    LOL well here it isn't the blue.. its the red ;) But yes. But the discussion about how other venues aren't fair etc etc. I was just pointing out ALL venues have their pros and cons. Some are harder to Q in (but yes when you compete against each other everyone is under the same rules) some are easier. Some have lower jump heights, some have faster course times (though that often goes hand in hand). Luckily I have the option of various venues, though myself I wouldn't do a venue that was descriminatory, but I don't care if others do. As long as everyone is having fun with their dogs. If you don't like a venue, don't run it.
     
  10. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    I've never seen so many people complain rather than train. We too primarily play AAC agility. Cider runs 16" against some highly competitive dogs. We come home with firsts. Not all the time but enough of the time when we are on our game. Smudge has a back issue, I've always run him at 10" specials because of it.

    If your dog measures over, either run it at whatever the venue calls the lower level, pick another venue, or go train. This thread is so full of whining about dogs measuring over. It's just a game we play with our dogs.. the dog doesn't care if its not running in the more 'prestigious' classes.
     
  11. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    Steve started training in agility well before he started training in flyball, and he's done both for most of the time.

    I think he just tries to do everything in life as quickly as possible, so that naturally leads to a flatter jump. Higher jumps make him pay more attention and think about what he's doing a bit more, which is I think why he takes fewer bars.
     
  12. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    And that is also a consideration. Some dogs jump better, bio mechanically at a higher jump so actually are safer jumping higher than lower. Dekka jumps like a bull in a china shop. She can get away with it as she jumps 10 inches. She just flings herself at the jump. If I jump her higher she slows down, rounds better and actually lands with less impact.

    For those who feel that these jumps heights are unfair should be very glad they don't live in the UK.. wow Psyfalcon those jump heights are HIGH. And I do find their reasoning interesting.
     
  13. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    That article is interesting, this in particular

     
  14. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    That's reasonable enough. But I'll say that there is a difference between choosing to run a dog who fits into the middle of the cutoff in Performance, and running a dog at the cutoff in Performance.

    I'm not knocking USDAA Performance, or saying I wouldn't use it if I had a dog who it seemed appropriate for. I moved my old gal, Tully, into Performance when she reached Masters level, she was just under 16", so that was 12". She wasn't super competitive due to training, she wasn't fast (did get a SuperQ or 2 before retiring, she was an awesome Snooker dog. I could pull her off of anything.), but she was fun to play with, and I let her just play on the easier jumps there at the end of her career. 12" was a lot easier to run her at, I didn't have to worry about bars at that height, and could concentrate on motivating my dog to move. (here she is finishing her MACH, so you can see what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvfMcVLhas8 ) She kept plenty of 16" bars up, but knocked her fair share, too. I could turn her a lot tighter when I ran her at 12".

    If my Pirate (16" dog I mentioned) were no more competitive than his grandma there, I would be happy to run him in 16" Performance. But he's not, he's a dog who has a chance to be seriously competitive when up against dogs where the mismatch isn't too great. I wouldn't be competing if I didn't like winning. I do. And I have a dog who can win, so I'm going to run him against competition where the match is more fair for him.
     
  15. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Guess it's all in how you read it. I saw it more as, AKC is geared more to the expectation that there will be a lot of dogs of shall we say challenging body types...not that other organizations are deliberating excluding those dogs. But yeah upon a reread I can see how especially that second line could be combative.

    Well like I said, "in the U.S." lol! And yeah that was kind of my point all along :). To be entirely honest, if we had USDAA here I'd switch. There's one trial all year that's within 2 hours...I'm hoping to go next summer to try it out and support having the venue in the area at all. Should be fun.

    But yeah, that last sentence is right on the money IMO. Though when you're addicted to the sport, sometimes it can be a matter of picking your poison!
     
  16. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    Your reading of it was how it was intended.

    As far as dogs jumping better at higher heights... some do. Depends a lot on body type, and on how the dog jumps. I actually think that the best height for my Tess (15.5" Stafford) is 18". That's what she has mostly practiced at for the last few years, since I was preparing her for WT tryouts, and I felt it made her more thoughtful. (she did knock a lot of bars at 18", particularly in competition, but she got to see it so rarely in competition and I don't think she ever learned to expect it). She's almost 7 now, so I don't think I'd like to ask it much longer. Staffords are another breed that tends to jump flat.

    But 18" isn't generally an option for us, so of the available options, I feel most comfortable with 16. And actually, Tess will move to Preferred and jump 12" soon. Just want to finish her MACH first. I'll keep her at 16" in USDAA for now, if she can keep the bars up, it would be fun to try and finish her ADCH. We don't get to much USDAA, though, so I'll move her down there, too, if needed. She's too heavy-bodied a dog to jump her full height for her entire life.
     
  17. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    TBH I haven't seen any whining here. I've seen a lot of people trying to balance a LOT of different factors for their own animals.

    Kes jumps 39" in schutzhund/IPO as part of the obedience routine. There is just one jump height for ANY dog that competes in the sport. He clears it cleanly almost every time, even while retrieving a large dumbbell and sent from a standstill 8' away. It's a nondisplaceable jump, so this is VERY good for safety.

    I jump him at 22" in agility. He almost went into the 26" class by height (right at the cutoff).

    Just because he *can* jump 39" with an item in his mouth and a nondisplaceable jump doesn't mean that he *should* jump 39" in agility. Just because dogs *can* jump higher, doesn't mean that it's a good idea.

    I have a friend with a dog right on the height cutoff. She jumps her higher because the dog jumps better at the higher height. For her, that's the best option, but it doesn't mean that it's true across the board.

    I do think that there should be less than 6" difference between jump heights (I like AKC's 4" spacing) because 6" is HUGE, especially in the smaller height classes, but I'm on the fence about lowering the overall highest heights just because of dogs like my friend's.
     
  18. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    Don't go by a fixed difference at all. 12 vs 16 (4 inches) is the same percent difference as 20 vs 26 (6 inch).
     
  19. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    but in aac the difference is 10 to 16, then 16 to 22, which arent. AAC doesn't affect me, but that seems to be one of the biggest illustrations of such gaps.
     
  20. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    Right, each org should pick a percent difference they can handle based on the number of classes they want to run and fairness to the different dogs.
     

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