Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 23

© SABY ROCHON / SPORTPHOTOGRAPHY.CA Kathy Lofthouse Since 1988, Kathy has competed successfully in USDAA and AKC to tournament and championship levels. Kathy enjoys introducing a variety of dogs to agility in a positive way and is also available to help resolve problems. Contact Kathy at runjumpweave@prodigy.net or visit www.runjumpweave.com. The answer depends upon the attitude, level of fitness, confidence, and experience of your dog, as well as how frequently and how much you jump the dog, and your experience as a handler. Still, athletic dogs with a good attitude toward jumping should be capable of jumping safely placed jumps whether they are slightly lower or slightly higher than their regular competition jump height. Tired dogs should not be asked to jump, whatever the height, so be sure to limit the jumping your dog does so that he can always perform to his utmost ability. Handlers who are trying out various handling maneuvers or working on sequences that they find tricky should do so in small increments and have their dog jumping well below his competition height. I hope that abundant rewards will keep the dog “in the game” until the handler is confidently guiding the dog through the sequence. This same sequence can then be set up on another occasion and presented to a fresh dog and handler to perform at their full height with gusto. When encouraging confidence in a dog, offering short, highly rewarded jump sequences with the jumps set at variable heights, all well below his maximum comfortable jump height, is often beneficial. As his confidence grows you can raise some of the jumps in easier parts of the course to full competition height, until finally he is comfortably jumping with full confidence and enthusiasm. For a dog lacking in athletic ability due to his conformation or structure I would offer various heights with most jumps being below and some being at his competition height. For this dog, however, I would make jumping very special and rewarding and any handling practice should only be done with the dog once you are willing to bet that you can get it right—no repetition for these guys. My dogs are athletically built and very fit. Although we practice infrequently and for very short periods, they are not always required to practice at full height. The jumps are usually varying within 4" to 6", but once my dogs are jumping with confidence I do make sure that the height is “worth jumping” for their size and skill level. So keep jumping fun and don’t stress about height differences. A confident dog with a handler who trusts his ability should be able to adjust to a few inches difference in height. If you need to fine-tune your timing for a big event simply set up a few short sequences, run them with the same attitude as you will have in the competition, and celebrate at the end, because running, jumping, and having fun are what agility is all about. 23 The consensus is that practicing at different heights has benefits, but when preparing for a competition, practicing at the appropriate height is the best strategy. Stephanie Spyr Stephanie works full time as an agility instructor in southern California, and has competed in agility for eight years. Her dogs include a Boxer, Trevor CDX, MX, MXJ, AD; and four Border Collies: MACH ADCH Jag; ADCH Whip MX, MXJ; Rage AX, OA; and Catalyst. Contact Stephanie at sspyr@socal.rr.com. I jump my own dogs at their competition heights when practicing handling sequences. I compete in two different organizations: AKC where my dogs jump 20" and USDAA where my dogs jump 22". Since the heights are so similar I practice primarily at 22", but I occasionally set a jump at 24" to keep the dogs keen and attentive to their jumping. When practicing jump grids, I vary the heights, using lots of jumps lower than competition height and some at or above height. For some of my students, the jump height question can be more complicated. I have March 08 | Clean Run many students who compete in multiple organizations and they may have as much as a 6" difference in their jump heights. For these students I suggest they practice their handling sequences at the height of their next competition. It is important to practice handling sequences at your competition height so you can practice your timing and hone your handling skills. The height of the jump affects how dogs jump, where they land, where they commit to jumps, and consequently where they need information.
http://SPORTPHOTOGRAPHY.CA http://www.runjumpweave.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - March 2008

Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Contents
Editorializing: An Anthropologist at a Dog Show
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Give Your Dog a Running Start
On Course with Ronda Carter
Trainer’s Forum
How to Get the Most from Your Agility Classes
Foundation Fundamentals: Restrained Recalls and Chase Games
What Is a Handling System?
Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 1
Alternative Medicine for Your Canine Athlete: Navigating the Options
Agility? Deaf-initely!
When Pigs Fly: Agility Success with “Impossible” Dogs
Skill of the Month
Shelter Champs: Sadie
Spy Kids: Goals to Prepare for Competition
Distance Challenge
Focus on Recalls
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Back and Trunk Strengthening
In Cider
Letters
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - March 2008
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Contents
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Editorializing: An Anthropologist at a Dog Show
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Give Your Dog a Running Start
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 12
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 14
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 16
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 17
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - On Course with Ronda Carter
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 23
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - How to Get the Most from Your Agility Classes
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 26
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Restrained Recalls and Chase Games
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 31
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 32
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - What Is a Handling System?
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 36
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Pre-Agility Skills: Laying the Foundation, Part 1
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 39
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 42
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Alternative Medicine for Your Canine Athlete: Navigating the Options
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 45
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Agility? Deaf-initely!
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 49
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - When Pigs Fly: Agility Success with “Impossible” Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 52
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 57
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Shelter Champs: Sadie
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 62
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Spy Kids: Goals to Prepare for Competition
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 65
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 68
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Distance Challenge
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 72
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Focus on Recalls
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Back and Trunk Strengthening
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 75
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - In Cider
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 79
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Letters
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 84
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