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Old 10-13-2012, 12:03 PM
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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, 12:15 PM
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Short answer: Yes. Definitely. Generally has to do with angles and balance.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:19 PM
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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, 12:52 PM
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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?

Quote:
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, 01:20 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, 01:28 PM
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Very interesting! And it follows what I've seen myself very closely. I guess it all depends on how serious I want to get in agility with my next dog. There is so much more to think about in agility than I ever would have dreamed.

I was wondering if the minis jumped better than standard poodles. It seems that way from the ones I've seen.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I was wondering if the minis jumped better than standard poodles. It seems that way from the ones I've seen.
That could be true, I don't know. It does seem like more little poodles are bred *for* agility than Standards which are often show lines and bred for that show ring trot. Generalization, I know, but we're speaking generally here.

However, when you are looking at the littler dogs, it can be deceiving. At least in AKC, CPE, etc. where all the dogs run the same course regardless of height, for the little dogs there is really no such thing as a tight/technical course (at least to a certain degree). They can run all out all the time...almost the entire course is spend in full extension or maybe partial extension. Even in a jump wrap they don't have to go to full collection because they still need to run around the jump wing, so as long as they angle the jump and are efficient about stay near the inside upright they are good. So they can get away with big flat jumping arches...or rather they are rewarded for it...because even when they jump big they don't land *that* far beyond the jump and there are a lot of strides to work with between each obstacle.

Now to be the Best of course you are competing against dogs who also have the same advantage so I'm not saying efficiency isn't important, but you just don't see the extreme toggling between extension and collect nearly as much with the little dogs as with say the 20" class.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:53 PM
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That makes sense and is something I never really have thought about. It seems in a lot of ways running a small dog is easier both in that aspect and then the fact that the dog walk/teeter are a lot wider comparatively for a little dog. I've only ever done any training with little dogs.

Shelties aren't that big though, either.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
That makes sense and is something I never really have thought about. It seems in a lot of ways running a small dog is easier both in that aspect and then the fact that the dog walk/teeter are a lot wider comparatively for a little dog. I've only ever done any training with little dogs.
Well...okay I've run dogs at 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24". Vast majority at 16 and 24". I do think it's easier to consistently Q with a smaller dog. There is just more margin for error. You make a handling error with a little dog and you have a couple strides to fix it where as with a big dog you've just NQ'd with an OC or bar down or refusal or whatever. And by error I just mean a slight misbalance of cues or rotating your shoulders or taking an extra step...whatever. Something smaller. It's still going to cost you time but it's less likely to cost the Q.

And you're competing against folks who have, as a rule, the same advantages/disadvantages you do so if you are going for blue...
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:10 PM
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Is that part of why there is so much push to breed small BCs and small shelties? Or is that something else? Just wanting to stay out of the 'BC classes'?

If I do end up with a sheltie (which is looking very likely right now) I'd want a bigger one.
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