Clean Run - November 2017 - 7

EVERYTHING YOU NEED
TO KNOW ABOUT

EARLY
© ian Coggins PhotograPhy

Many jumping problems we see in dogs can be attributed to
training or handling factors. Physical impairments that affect
soundness (such as musculoskeletal injuries), hormone problems (such as hypothyroidism), and other health problems can
also result in poor jumping, and should always be ruled out before a training solution is sought. In addition, vision impairment,
resulting from eye disease (such as progressive retinal atrophy),
abnormal ocular alignment (such as strabismus) and/or refractive error (such as nearsightedness), can impact a dog's jumping.
A thorough veterinary examination, preferably by a sports
medicine specialist, and a complete ophthalmic examination
by a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist should be performed on any dog that is having trouble jumping, particularly if
the onset of the problems is recent.
While the focus of this article is on agility dogs, the performance
of obedience dogs, flyball dogs, field trial dogs, dock diving
dogs, tricks dogs, and dogs involved in other sports can be affected if a dog's vision is impaired.
Note: Not all dogs represented in the photos used in this article
have vision impairment. All dogs will occasionally have jumping
errors. Photos have been used where the photographer has captured a dog jumping in a particular manner to illustrate a characteristic of a dog with ETOs. The difference is that the dog being
photographed displays this characteristic once in a while rather
than on a regular basis.

whAT ARE EARLY TAKEOFFS?
An "early takeoff " (ETO) is a specific jumping problem seen in
some performance dogs. ETO is the term used to describe an
instance where the dog's takeoff distance to a jump is inappropriately long, so his jumping arc is centered before the bar and
his landing distance is comparatively short; therefore, the takeoff point appears to have occurred early. See Figure 1.
The ETO may be the result of the dog inappropriately shortening his final stride(s) before taking off, or leaving out the final
November 17 | Clean Run

TAKEOFFS
By Linda Mecklenburg, DVM

stride altogether. Each results in a longer takeoff distance than
desirable in situations where typically it would be more appropriate for the dog to take one more stride before lifting. In order
to jump cleanly, without knocking the bar on descent, the dog
commonly compensates for the ETO by overjumping, which can
be minimal or very dramatic.
When a dog is approaching a jump and is going to have an ETO,
you can see changes in his approach. These changes range from
barely noticeable, such as a subtle hitch on the dog's final stride
with a lowering of the dog's head ("measuring"), to significant,
such as hesitation and/or multiple shortened final strides before
the jump ("stuttering"). In each case, the takeoff distance is too
far from the jump, leading to the dog's jumping arc peaking before the bar, and the dog beginning the descent phase of the arc
before he reaches the jump, which may cause him to knock the
bar. To help you better understand which takeoffs may be considered early and which are considered normal, see Figure 2.
ETOs, as described here, are not caused by inadequate training
methods, physical pain, or poor structure. ETOs are caused by vision impairment. Factors that have been associated with higher
risk of ETOs include ocular abnormalities or eye disease (problems of the cornea, lens, retina, and so on) and vision problems
related to refraction error or abnormal ocular alignment.
It is important to note that ETOs may be observed in any canine
performance sport that involves jumping, such as agility, higher
levels of obedience, and even flyball in some dogs. Although the
vision impairment is most notable over jumps, dogs participating in other canine sports such as field trials have also been observed misjudging distances.
Identification of the specific cause of ETOs can be challenging;
most dogs do not present with abnormalities or disease detectable on a routine eye exam, and canine vision is not easily
evaluated with the tests currently available. At the time of publication, there are still some cases for which no definitive cause
can be identified.
7



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - November 2017

Contents
Clean Run - November 2017 - Cover1
Clean Run - November 2017 - Cover2
Clean Run - November 2017 - Contents
Clean Run - November 2017 - 4
Clean Run - November 2017 - 5
Clean Run - November 2017 - 6
Clean Run - November 2017 - 7
Clean Run - November 2017 - 8
Clean Run - November 2017 - 9
Clean Run - November 2017 - 10
Clean Run - November 2017 - 11
Clean Run - November 2017 - 12
Clean Run - November 2017 - 13
Clean Run - November 2017 - 14
Clean Run - November 2017 - 15
Clean Run - November 2017 - 16
Clean Run - November 2017 - 17
Clean Run - November 2017 - 18
Clean Run - November 2017 - 19
Clean Run - November 2017 - 20
Clean Run - November 2017 - 21
Clean Run - November 2017 - 22
Clean Run - November 2017 - 23
Clean Run - November 2017 - 24
Clean Run - November 2017 - 25
Clean Run - November 2017 - 26
Clean Run - November 2017 - 27
Clean Run - November 2017 - 28
Clean Run - November 2017 - 29
Clean Run - November 2017 - 30
Clean Run - November 2017 - 31
Clean Run - November 2017 - 32
Clean Run - November 2017 - 33
Clean Run - November 2017 - 34
Clean Run - November 2017 - 35
Clean Run - November 2017 - 36
Clean Run - November 2017 - 37
Clean Run - November 2017 - 38
Clean Run - November 2017 - 39
Clean Run - November 2017 - 40
Clean Run - November 2017 - 41
Clean Run - November 2017 - 42
Clean Run - November 2017 - 43
Clean Run - November 2017 - 44
Clean Run - November 2017 - 45
Clean Run - November 2017 - 46
Clean Run - November 2017 - 47
Clean Run - November 2017 - 48
Clean Run - November 2017 - 49
Clean Run - November 2017 - 50
Clean Run - November 2017 - 51
Clean Run - November 2017 - 52
Clean Run - November 2017 - 53
Clean Run - November 2017 - 54
Clean Run - November 2017 - 55
Clean Run - November 2017 - 56
Clean Run - November 2017 - 57
Clean Run - November 2017 - 58
Clean Run - November 2017 - 59
Clean Run - November 2017 - 60
Clean Run - November 2017 - 61
Clean Run - November 2017 - 62
Clean Run - November 2017 - 63
Clean Run - November 2017 - 64
Clean Run - November 2017 - 65
Clean Run - November 2017 - 66
Clean Run - November 2017 - Cover3
Clean Run - November 2017 - Cover4
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