Clean Run Magazine - March 2008 - 24

Angelica Steinker The answer depends on the dog and your goals. If your dog is a good jumper, meaning that he arcs nicely over jumps with the jump roughly in the center of the highest point of the dog’s flight path, then jumping one height lower should be fine. If the dog is young and an inexperienced jumper, however, competition height would be ideal since the dog needs experience learning to adjust the takeoff point, trajectory, and turning before, after, and while jumping. Young dogs ideally are exposed to a jumping program that includes Susan Salo’s jump bumps (PVC tubes, 6"-9" in diameter, depending on the size of the dog, that are cut in half and create a speed bump) and that assist the dog in learning striding. Dogs are clicked and treated for striding over the bumps rather than ticking or stepping on them. Rhythmic striding is the key to successful jumping, because a jump then becomes just another larger and higher stride. Jump bumps are placed in various patterns, including straight lines and curves so that your dog learns to stride in both situations. Jump bumps lead to actual low jumps that ultimately lead to competitionheight jumping. Young dogs also need to develop the strength and conditioning for full-height jumping separately from learning the striding, so that they don’t cut underneath bars instead of jumping them. Experienced agility dogs that are good jumpers could certainly work one or even two jump heights lower in training, although I would always raise the bars to full height sporadically to maintain conditioning. It is a good idea to vary heights of jumps within the same training session, especially for young or inexperienced dogs; it can be a nice way to gradually ramp up to full height. Generally, jumping a dog one jump height higher than required is putting additional wear and tear on your dog and may cause physical problems, depending on the dog’s size, build, and athleticism. Dogs that are still growing and have open growth plates should not be jumped higher than the height of the wrist. In my experience it is not necessary to physically push a young dog to jump full height before his growth plates are closed to have a successful agility dog. I hope that some day we will have a study on long-term effects of full-height agility training before the growth plates are closed; current thinking is that it is damaging and should be avoided. Jumping is a critical skill to agility and one frequently ignored in training. Structure and handling also affect jumping. A dog long in back and short in neck or with poor front assembly angulation may be unable to Angelica Steinker, M Ed, CDBC is owner and operator of Courteous Canine, Inc. in Lutz, Florida, is the author of both Agility Success, a book on the mental training aspects of agility, and a new book, Click and Play Agility on clicker training agility. Visit her website at www.AngelicaSteinker.com. create the lift that will carry him up and over a bar. Also dogs that naturally extend their stride, covering a lot of ground, may have a hard time jumping successfully if they are unable to collect and shorten their stride as many courses require. A handler who is calling cues or signaling the next obstacle while a dog is jumping can cause the dog to knock bars of any height. How high a bar is set affects the timing of your handling. If you normally run your dog at 16" and you run him at 12" in practice you will notice that you have less time to handle because the dog spends less time in the air clearing the jumps. Conversely if you normally run 16" and practice at 20" you will notice that you have a lot more time between jumps. Because of this it can be a fun training exercise to run your dog at a lower height to overprepare your timing for the competition ring. Or you can run one height higher to set yourself up for success and then gradually go to competition height. But if you are preparing for a major competition, doing anything but running your dog at competition height would be a mistake. For your dog and you to be in optimum sync, try to make everything as close as you can to what you will see in the competition ring. D Brenna Fender is a freelance writer with an undergraduate degree in mass communications and a masters degree in elementary education. She lives with her husband, two young children, a Vizsla, a Whippet, and a cat. The dogs are collectively titled in agility, obedience, conformation, hunting, rally, and lure coursing. The cat, husband, and children are lacking in this regard. Contact Brenna at BrennaFender@gmail.com. “It’s official: my entire crew loves this toy!” © DOGHOUSE ARTS The Crunch ‘N’ Tug “Most dogs love to crunch on an empty water bottle, others love the feel of a fleecy exterior. This toy has both. I love it because once you remove the water bottle, it folds flat for easy packing. Plus the bungee makes tugging easy on my back (and I’m sure on my dog’s body as well!).” Susan Garrett Twister, Buzz, Decaff & Encore www.dogdreamstoys.com 24 Clean Run | March 08
http://www.AngelicaSteinker.com http://www.dogdreamstoys.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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