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Old 10-13-2012, 11:03 AM
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Default Jumping style

Is there a structural reason that makes certain breeds tend to jump differently? I notice BCs jump very flat and long often. Poodles tend to jump very high and short. A lot of Belgians I've seen seem to collect kind of unusually (they also seem to jump high and shorter).

Just wondering. I was watching a doodle practicing and it definitely had the 'poodle jump'.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:15 AM
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Short answer: Yes. Definitely. Generally has to do with angles and balance.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:19 AM
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Absolutely. The "poodle jump" is, from my understanding, the result of a short and relatively inflexible back. A lot of Aussies jump in a similar style from what I've seen.

Some of it is training with a lot of dogs - dogs who aren't trained to jump 'correctly' will jump however they do naturally. Some dogs are naturally good jumpers (Meg has pulled one bar ever in a trial, and jumps like show hunter), some are more interesting.

The border collies, I'm not sure if it is conformation or training. They are such fast, flat dogs running, that I think they need very specific work to learn to collect. Otherwise they turn into lawn darts and take down half the bars!
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai View Post
Short answer: Yes. Definitely. Generally has to do with angles and balance.
Care to post the long answer?

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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
Absolutely. The "poodle jump" is, from my understanding, the result of a short and relatively inflexible back. A lot of Aussies jump in a similar style from what I've seen.

Some of it is training with a lot of dogs - dogs who aren't trained to jump 'correctly' will jump however they do naturally. Some dogs are naturally good jumpers (Meg has pulled one bar ever in a trial, and jumps like show hunter), some are more interesting.

The border collies, I'm not sure if it is conformation or training. They are such fast, flat dogs running, that I think they need very specific work to learn to collect. Otherwise they turn into lawn darts and take down half the bars!
I've noticed the high/shallow (is that the right term?) jumping in poodles, belgians, and then some aussies. Other Aussies and belgians seem to jump nicer though.

It doesn't seem like other breeds jump as flat as BCs, even very very fast dogs.

It's interesting.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:20 PM
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Well I mean there's not really one answer lol. There's a reason there are whole seminars and books and DVDs on this stuff. What I've learned is based partially on that, and mostly on spending thousands of hours watching dogs run agility.

And to every rule there is just one exception after another.

There are a lot of poodles in agility but I've never personally seen a Standard who jumps well. Between the short back and the (usually) ramrod straight fronts they just sort of fling themselves over.

Belgians in general seem to jump big and have trouble turning over the bars. Probably the same reason they are so good at the big jumps required in some of the protection sports and dock diving. Many seem really straight and stiff...from pastern to back to front/rear angles.

Retrievers are often front-heavy and bigger boned. Angles vary hugely...from very well angled to imbalanced to straight as sticks. But even the lighter boned retrievers like FCRs tend to be front-heavy for agility, and some have so much front it impedes them. They are bullets in the water but we're talking jumping styles. Then there are very moderate retrievers who tear up a course and compete right up there with the BCs.

GSDs are the opposite extreme. Most are so overangulated for agility and with such soft pasterns and such that is undermines their stability and ability to get off the ground or land safely. Probably 90% of the GSDs I see run preferred (4" lower jump heights) for this reason, and they still struggle.

One of the only breeds I can think of that seems to be as flexible on an agility course as BCs are the Shelties. There are reasons these breeds are so common and it's not just the biddability and such. They have long (but not too long) flexible backs.

And like I said it varies a great deal. And you have to really watch the dog, watch the handler, watch the clock. See the course type. Big open flowy courses will favor open, extended jumping styles. Tight technical courses will favor a dog who really turn over the bar. The best dogs can do both. Which as BB said is a combination of both training and physical ability.

And honestly really good training is going to get you farther than incredible athletic ability, as long as the dog is sound and reasonably athletic. Because when the dog has the training to be very efficient on course, make every stride count, accel/decel appropriately...they have a huge advantage on course in terms of time, consistency, and longevity of career.

All this is just my opinion of course so take it as you will And as I said, for every "rule" especially in terms of generalizations of how breeds move on course, there are endless exceptions.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai View Post
Belgians in general seem to jump big and have trouble turning over the bars. Probably the same reason they are so good at the big jumps required in some of the protection sports and dock diving. Many seem really straight and stiff...from pastern to back to front/rear angles.
Yes! I am working to try to get Pan more flexible over jumps, but it's very slow going. She much prefers to jump then turn as opposed to turning while in the air. Pan also is not the greatest at judging distances at speed and has a weird jumping style where she tucks her rear legs under her instead of extending them.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:47 PM
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Yes! I am working to try to get Pan more flexible over jumps, but it's very slow going. She much prefers to jump then turn as opposed to turning while in the air. Pan also is not the greatest at judging distances at speed and has a weird jumping style where she tucks her rear legs under her instead of extending them.
Good luck! Pan is in good hands, for sure!

A friend of mine with a Mal just got so fed up...the dog just had a terrible time turning over bars...handle could angle the approach but other than that it was straight across every time. No wrapping the uprights, it was jump-land-turn. Just had no flexibility through his back. That she could manage from handling standpoint though it wasn't ideal...what was so frustrating was any time she would go to an agility seminar, the instructor(s) (usually BC folks) would hone in on this and all the advice she would get was about getting him to flex over the bar...and after a while she'd just be like...I KNOW and yes I am working the whole list of everything to get him flexing can we please move on and critique my handling or anything other than this??? After a few times of this happening other folks would start to chime in to back her up so she would get something out of the seminar other than yet another lecture about how her dog isn't flexing over bars...
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:15 PM
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Good to know it's not too many people like that, Shai. It seems silly to me that people wouldn't consider shelties to be a 'real agility breed' since they're so well represented.

I've seen quite a few slow BCs and shelties though too. It's not like every dog in a breed will be fast.

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Originally Posted by Panzerotti View Post
Yes! I am working to try to get Pan more flexible over jumps, but it's very slow going. She much prefers to jump then turn as opposed to turning while in the air. Pan also is not the greatest at judging distances at speed and has a weird jumping style where she tucks her rear legs under her instead of extending them.
I've seen quite a bit of that in the belgians (though these were tervs)
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:31 PM
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Obviously, the answer to the original question is "YES!", there are certain breed tendencies with jumping.

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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
Well I mean there's not really one answer lol. There's a reason there are whole seminars and books and DVDs on this stuff. What I've learned is based partially on that, and mostly on spending thousands of hours watching dogs run agility.

And to every rule there is just one exception after another.
Very true!

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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
There are a lot of poodles in agility but I've never personally seen a Standard who jumps well. Between the short back and the (usually) ramrod straight fronts they just sort of fling themselves over.
My experience with Standards is that they have a very exaggerated, flashy looking jumping style that is not terribly functional. I see a lot of Dobes who jump similarly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai View Post
Belgians in general seem to jump big and have trouble turning over the bars. Probably the same reason they are so good at the big jumps required in some of the protection sports and dock diving. Many seem really straight and stiff...from pastern to back to front/rear angles.
Belgians can have a few issues with jumping. They are a breed prone to ETS, some jump flat and some are just...awkward jumpers. But there are some who are beautiful, efficient jumpers too.


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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
GSDs are the opposite extreme. Most are so overangulated for agility and with such soft pasterns and such that is undermines their stability and ability to get off the ground or land safely. Probably 90% of the GSDs I see run preferred (4" lower jump heights) for this reason, and they still struggle.
I don't think it is fair to say the majority of GSDs are overangulated with weak pasterns. That is pretty much an issue with showlines and not any other type of GSD. However, I agree that those dogs tend to struggle with jumps even in preferred. I have known more than one to wash out of agility because they just couldn't manage the jumping requirements, even jumping only 20". I think that is sad, for a breed that is supposed to be very athletic. That said, you wouldn't find those things to be an issue with a nice moderate working line GSD. I don't see many of those dogs in agility around here though.

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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
One of the only breeds I can think of that seems to be as flexible on an agility course as BCs are the Shelties. There are reasons these breeds are so common and it's not just the biddability and such. They have long (but not too long) flexible backs.
I have always thought it was a bit strange that the breed that many feel are best for agility (BCs) are often not naturally talented jumpers. Yes they do have the flexibility but they also can be prone to very flat jumping and ETS. There are a lot of would be great BCs that just can't keep the bars up consistently. And around here, there seems to be a lot of Shelties with signs of ETS even at the highest levels. That isn't to say those breeds aren't good for agilty. Obviously many people have achieved the highest levels of success with them. It is just to say that no breed is without their potential drawbacks in terms of ability. And a good reason to pay attention to jump training and style, no matter what kind of dog you have.

I admit, one thing I looked at with PyrSheps was jumping ability and tendencies towards having jumping issues. I loved that PyrSheps often tend to be really good jumpers naturally. That doesn't mean I didn't put thought into jump training for Savvy though, it's just nice that jumping has always been pretty easy for him. I have been practicing at 16" and 20" lately because I really don't know what he will measure into and 20" will certainly not be an issue for him if that is where we end up.

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It's not just BCs though...it's just the people who've been in it long enough to get by with this stuff often have BCs...I can think of several "off breed" folks who've been in it a long time who have ummm questionable measurements. It's always interesting when we're first in for the 24's so I'm at the gate with a bunch of 20s (not counting Preferred dogs) and my FCR's the same height or shorter than a lot of them...granted her measurement is also questionable (but high...she was measured as an overly excited bouncy pup, imagine that...) but I don't think she's any shorter than 22" even...which is the tallest allowed 20" jumping height...
LOL I know how you feel! Whim measured to jump 24" at one trial and she looked so tiny next to all the other 24" dogs.

Between Whim's unofficial AKC measures, her official measurements and her CPE measurement there was a 2 1/2" gap. CPE she measured at 20 1/2, she got a 23" measurement once in AKC, a 22 1/2, a 21" and two 22". So you can't assume all questionable measurements are political. Her first VMO measurement was 22 1/2", which bumped us into 24" for that trial and another she was measured at 23"...which is definitely wrong. Her last two were right at 22" which is probably most accurate (that judge seriously took no time at all with the measurement either). I always got her at 22" or just under. The last two VMOs were super nice and really worked with me to get her measurements. Not because they were being political because I'm not any body in agility but because that asked if she was close to a cut off and I said yes. I greatly appreciate their willingness to take their time, get her settled and make sure she was standing properly. The way they did it, they had me tell her to stay on the table and walk away so she was watching me. It worked really well. Hopefully I get some patient VMOs for Savvy too!

FWIW I'm not whining. I was ok with her jumping 24" to, if that was what she truly measured into. The biggest advantage of her measuring into 20" is getting to jump 16" when she's old and in preferred

I tend to think that all things being equal it's ideal to have a dog on the high end of the cut off for their height rather than the low end. But of course, there are many dogs who are at the low end of their hieght division who do really well too.

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To play devils advocate.. why shouldn't the jump effort be an actual effort? I can tell you my sub 12 inch dogs can easily jump 16 inches.. Why should a healthy dog have an issue?
I do think USDAA should have breed exemptions since they tend to have lower cut-offs for each height. Ziggy is over 12" and would have to jump 16" in USDAA. He definitely can jump 16" and has but I'm just not sure jumping a dwarf dog at 16" at the speed he runs over many years is reasonable. He jumps 12" in AKC and other than having typical crazy dog bar knocking sometimes, he's never had any issues at that height. It really doesn't matter, we don't do USDAA because there are very few trials close to home.

So saying because your JRTs are suited at 12" to jump 16" is sort of only taking into account a certain body type. My friends have a tiny JRT girl who just barely measured to jump 16" in USDAA and did so without any issues, even with bad knees. There is a world of difference between that dog's build and Ziggy's though. He's perfectly healthy and sound but his legs are probably shorter than most JRTs of the same height.

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CPE is similar except that I think any judge can measure. My information may be outdated though.
Yes any judge can measure in CPE. I'm not sure how they handle if there is a dispute about height though.

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Originally Posted by elegy View Post
I am very curious if he'd jump the same way if he'd never played flyball. And it makes me unsure what I should do with young mister Bean.
I'd probably teach Bean all about jumping first before doing much flyball jumping. Make sure he's already a good jumper before introducing him to the fast, flat, predictable style that is required in flyball. I know you roll your eyes at the idea that people think flyball causes problems with jumping but...well people tend to think that after seeing many dogs who are primarily flyball dogs struggle with jumping in agility. Not that dogs with no flyball background never have issues but flyball doesn't seem to stack the odds in your favor if you have a fast, driven dog who already has tendencies to jump flat.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:56 PM
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I do think USDAA should have breed exemptions since they tend to have lower cut-offs for each height. Ziggy is over 12" and would have to jump 16" in USDAA. He definitely can jump 16" and has but I'm just not sure jumping a dwarf dog at 16" at the speed he runs over many years is reasonable. He jumps 12" in AKC and other than having typical crazy dog bar knocking sometimes, he's never had any issues at that height. It really doesn't matter, we don't do USDAA because there are very few trials close to home.

So saying because your JRTs are suited at 12" to jump 16" is sort of only taking into account a certain body type. My friends have a tiny JRT girl who just barely measured to jump 16" in USDAA and did so without any issues, even with bad knees. There is a world of difference between that dog's build and Ziggy's though. He's perfectly healthy and sound but his legs are probably shorter than most JRTs of the same height.

There is always performance or what ever USDAA calls it. JRTs have a pretty moderate body type, neither light nor heavy. But yes there are dogs that will fall out of moderate canine morphology that were not built to jump. But then again should we make course times really slow for the heavy dogs? There has to be SOME level of physical proficiency required... And there is always an option to move your dog down anyway.

OT though.. I wouldn't say your friends JRT is tiny if its over 12 inches (even if barely) Dekka, Seren and Kat all measured under 12. (Seren is bang on 11 inches) the breed standard is split into overs and unders.. with the dividing line being 12.5 inches. Scandal was barely in breed standard at just over 10 inches. JRTs can be quite small and still within breed standard.

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