Practice Jump Heights in Agility

Discussion in 'Agility and Dog Sports' started by AgilityKrazii, May 8, 2009.

  1. AgilityKrazii

    AgilityKrazii Addicted to Agility

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    I was just curious to hear from all you agility people what height your dog jumps in competion and what you practice at home.
    My dog jumps 20" in NADAC and 24" in AKC we do both venues regulary and I have my jumps set up at 24" and thats what we practice at. I just have one jump cup on my jumps so adjusting them isnt easy but I might add more on this summer. He has good form and is not a bar knocker, all tho they do happen he isnt known to knock them.

    So what do you guys think of this topic, better to jump lower when your practicing and how low do you go? Or is jumping at 24" in practice not that big of a deal.
     
  2. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    I always jump my dog lower. As long as the dog is fit and you know the dog is capable of jumping that high, I see no reason to stress the body.

    The exception to that is my old dog jumps 12" in competition (he's 20.5") and that's what he jumps when we practice too.
     
  3. Snip

    Snip Banned

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    AAC jump heights, from memory, so may be off a bit, are 6, 10, 16, 22, and 26", so the jumps I weld have cups at those heights only. since our own dogs are mostly smaller, they often train at the same height as they compete though.
     
  4. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Auggie jumps 12 when we're practicing, though right now he's jumping 10 in the jumping program we're working through. Hopefully we'll get his height card in and he'll be at 12 officially; if things don't go well, he's at 16, and we'll start practicing him at 16. Jumping him at 12, then switching to 16 during a trial, was too stressful on him mentally. He didn't know what jump height to expect so he had a really hard time with it and it screwed up his confidence.
    But that's just Auggie - other dogs might not have a hard time adjusting. And, who knows, when we get through the jumping program and he becomes a smarter jumper, he might no longer have a problem with it.
     
  5. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Dekka jumps 10 in competitions, and as 10 is so low that is what her practice height is. Kaiden jumps 16.. now he can easily jump a course set at 24, but I will jump him at 10 as well as 16. Bounce jumps 22, generally I practice at 16. Not sure what Sport's height will be, but right now he jumps mostly 16.

    Now I also jump my dogs a little higher on occasion. I will have a jump in a course or sequence that is higher than their normal jump height. I do this so they actually look at the jumps and calculate vs just jumping by muscle memory.
     
  6. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    Cider jumps 16" in AAC. I was jumping her most of the time at 16". We have been practicing more often than we have been in past, so I have been jumping her 10". Smudge is the same size, but due to back issues I'm jumping him as a 10" special (under chiro care) and he is happy enough and it is low enough that he has been doing 10 in lessons too.
     
  7. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Meg jumps 16" in both CPE and USDAA (performance). I generally practice over 16", unless I'm the only 16" dog in our group, at which point I'll do either 12" or 20".

    It's weird - with horses, I would always be careful to keep the jumps lower in practice, but I hear a lot of agility people say that their dog has trouble adjusting to various heights, and that changing the heights can throw them off. I don't know if it's just habit and muscle memory like Dekka mentioned, but it was something that surprised me.
     
  8. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I train dogs to jump whatever is in front of them no matter what the height is. Jumps are set at various jump heights during training, but only after a dog is no longer a novice, for a sequence or course.

    But when training something new, the heights are always lower or if I am having to do a lot of reps.
     
  9. Bear Luv

    Bear Luv CEO of the Candy Cult

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    With Rush I always jump her 18" or above, she is nearly 20" tops and gets really lazy if I dont. Most times I jump 20"-22" but if I am working on something harder I will jump her 18", sometimes even I go way way lower if I am just trying to work on flatwork and I want her to understand its a jump (otherwise she gets weird and like starts going around jumps).

    Bear is like 26" tall and she jumps whatever Rush jumps, since her jump height would be 26" in usdaa and we only do NADAC right now, she would jump 16" (in skilled), and so usually I am to lazy to reset all the jumps since 18-20" is like nothing for Bear, and it keeps her picking up her feet (when I had her jumping lower then 16 she started knocking bars in competition).

    Diane
     
  10. k9krazee

    k9krazee Active Member

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    This is what I do too.

    We used to only train at 16" and at our first trial we were measured to 20". He didn't like it at all and was very unsure, so we started varying jump heights (from 12-20) at home. Then we got our permanent height card for 16" -phew-
     
  11. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Yes, that happens a lot to people and who needs the added stress on their dog and themselves at their first trial.

    I remember once years ago, my dog was at 16 inches, he's a 13.25 dog and as we were approaching a jump (on a corner no less) we all realized that jump was set to 26 inches.
    I saw it about the same time the judge did, because I heard her gasp lol. Petie never even blinked at it, sailed over it and we continued on to a Q. But in the event that he knocked, ran out on it etc, in that case the Judge could offer us another run. But I would rather train to be able to cope with such a situation instead of having a re-run, which is wasting my dog, imo.
     
  12. Brandyb

    Brandyb New Member

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    Hmm, well Brandy used to jump 10" AAC and 8" CPE, we'd practice at 10" always. However, we don't practice a lot, so I'm not worried about any repetitive strain. Now she's down to 6" specials in AAC, but have left her at 8" in CPE. We've only been practicing at 6" and we'll see how she fairs at 8" in June (then I'll decide if she goes 4" vets in CPE). I'll use a couple 8" jumps here and there to get her ready. She would have taken anything up to 16" in front of her, she rarely drops bars, regardless of height, but it seems natural to her to "read" jump height rather than "remember" jump height. Helps when you run different venues with different heights, but it'll be interesting to see how she reads the 8" going from 6".
     
  13. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Suzanne Clothier's jumping program was actually inspired by watching and studying horses jumping, so I do think there's a pretty safe comparison between horses and dogs.
    From reading her book, I think there is muscle memory involved and also "smart jumping" involved. Muscle memory can be bad, like in Auggie's case where he developed a habit of stutter-stepping no matter the jump height, but it can also be good - hence why about half her program is a series of five jumps set at two stride-lengths apart, and then oxers set at two stride-lengths apart. Dogs get into a nice rhythm and it completely broke Auggie of his stutter-stepping because he learned instead to just have a nice, steady, even pace (and the oxers teach them how to properly sail over bars and clear jumps.)
    But then the other half of the program is teaching dogs to be thinking jumpers. This is really important IMO for agility dogs since they HAVE to be able to think on their feet.

    And I can only speak for Auggie and say that when he has been used to 12 inches in practice, 16 at a trial is too much for him. He can still jump them, he can clear bars, it's not a physical thing. Our NAJ we got running 16. But mentally it seems to be too much to make that sudden switch up AND have everything else going on. If you set the bars at 16 and ran him through a straight jumping chute, that might be different... it's the combined trialing factor, IMHO, not just the height of the jumps alone.
    Then again, Auggie is pretty young and certainly early in his agility career, so as he gets more seasoned when it comes to trialing things might change. I think there's a LOT involved there. It is definitely a mental strain of running a course, not a physical strain to get over the jump or a problem judging the height of the jump.
    Buuut I think I would still prefer to mainly practice jump him at the same height he is running in order to keep him largely conditioned to that... I'm not sure. It's definitely an interesting question and something to think about.

    JMO and from my own experience - other people might have totally different situations with their dogs!
     
  14. AgilityKrazii

    AgilityKrazii Addicted to Agility

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    All these replys are interesting to read, thanks for posting!

    My jumps have a fixed bottom bar at 14" and I'm going to get some more jump cups so that there is a 16" and 20" height as well. I want to work on him being smart about jumping and not just going off of muscle memory. I agree with the wear and tear of jumping and I think when working on a new skill keeping the jumps lower is a good idea, then they can focus on the skill and not so much on jumping, plus you can do more reps without them getting tired then slowly raise to full height.
     

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