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Old 08-01-2013, 01:13 PM
BoandAbby BoandAbby is offline
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Default New Jump heights

Thoughts on the new USDAA jump heights?

I'll personally still be sticking to jumping performance with Abby and Twister when I finally start competing with him

http://susangarrettdogagility.com/20...gs-in-agility/
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:15 PM
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This is a step in the right direction, but I wish it had come with more. I want my dog to play for as long as possible, which I believe means lower jump heights. Since lowering Lucy from 16" to 12", she has so much more energy at the end of a trial day. She would actively avoid jumps if jumpers was the last class of the day, and today we Q'd easily after 5 other runs.

My thoughts:

Positives: Someone is going to have to be at the bottom of each class, and it's nice that it's not the same at every venue now.

Negatives: Still too high, imo. My dog is 16.25". I do not want her jumping 18". When I play USDAA, it will be performance. I wish there wasn't a "stigma" associated with it, but maybe that's just too much internet time and not based on reality. I know in NADAC no one cares if you are skilled or proficient--even the top awards don't distinguish between the two.

Quote:
A signature of the Championship Agility program is that dogs must be conditioned to jump a height that is equal to or greater than their shoulder height, among other requirements.
http://www.usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsID=2394

Different philosophies for different venues, but I don't like this one bit.

I really like the response from Susan's blog:

Quote:
I haven’t been training in agility for very long personally but this is something I’ve always thought about. I don’t understand what jump height really has to do with anything in regards to challenge or the sport in general.Or who has the authority to assign them without the use of research on impact on joints, trends in performace and general safety?

From my short time in agility i’ve noticed that poles generally come down due to ineffective handling, jumping in overarousal, poor understanding of jumping, not collecting, etc. Generally all classified under ineffective training in some foundation skill. The other flip to this coin is dogs with structural issues, injury or general aging.
On my travels to train in the UK it was such an eye opener to see veteran dogs at 12-14 years of age that are expected to compete at the same performance standards and much younger dogs (With a large portion of dogs jumping 26***8243.

I know that competing in anything carries some general risk and that is a gamble we take everyday in anything we do. However, dog sports can be competitive, fun, and more height friendly to all dogs if those in authority would think more along the lines of dog wellbeing backed with research.
I work in healthcare and with all age groups and there are certainly changes associated with aging we all know that and I’m sure it is not exclusive to humans but all animals. Just as we wouldn’t expect our 80-90 year old grandmother to perform at the caliber of someone in their twenties then we shouldn’t be forced to expect the same out of our dogs. I know that some would say “well just don’t compete” or “retire the dog”. However, giving up something you’ve trained in, competed in and love cannot be just simply dropped that easily
I really like USDAA style courses, I enjoy the games, and I like the people. The jump heights are such a turn off for my old lady dog though. I can't enter veterans (getting the additional jump height reduction) unless I want to run masters level courses, so I find the venue to be a poor fit for my dog.
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
I wish there wasn't a "stigma" associated with it, but maybe that's just too much internet time and not based on reality.
There really, really isn't in the real world. I've never once seen people care at all other than on the internet. Some of the top people I know will put some of their dogs in performance. Nobody cares. Really.

As I said in the other thread, I do wish they'd stuck a lower championship height in there. 10" or 8". Other than that, I'm good with everything; but then, I was fine with the heights before. I've never hesitated to put my guys in performance, so they are both jumping under wither height. I do think that...it's a sport. I think USDAA has always backed agility as a SPORT, whereas some of the other venues focus on "fun activity to do with your pets". Neither is wrong, in my mind. It caters to different crowds, and I like that there are options.

I don't think asking a dog to jump over wither height is cruel or a huge unusual expectation. I have issues with asking Meg to jump 22" (not well conformed as a sport dog, old elbow injury), so I had Performance as an acceptable alternative. It lets her jump the same height as when she's done AKC or CPE. With Gusto, I don't think asking him to jump 22" would do anything to him physically. He's well built for agility, part of why I have him. I mostly wanted to stay with the crew of people I've been running with in performance all along. And I didn't want to try to get steeplechase Qs or Super Qs against the 22" championship crowd. I'm not THAT hardcore.

Meg will be staying in 16" performance for next year; she's still over the cutoff for 18", so she'd be in 22" even with the changes. And she just runs for fun at this point.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do with Gusto. He should be able to be an 18" championship dog with the new cutoffs. The thought of having to go through measurements again is a huge turn-off for me (Why oh why can't we just use their official height now?!). I'd need to start looking at how he handles a championship height a-frame. And I'd need to decide if I want to run championship. As soon as I mentioned maybe moving him, I had my whole "We will move up the levels together and be each others pairs partners" crowd yelling at me. I HATE doing draws for pairs, and have a lot more friends in performance. Oh well, I've got a half-year to figure out what I want to do.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
There really, really isn't in the real world. I've never once seen people care at all other than on the internet. Some of the top people I know will put some of their dogs in performance. Nobody cares. Really.
I know in AKC (at least around here) there's an upturned nose movement towards the preferred dogs. The fact that a dog jumping a lower height can't get a MACH (they can get a "PACH", but it bugs me that it's a different name) is frustrating. Even people I regularly train with will talk themselves down ("Oh, she runs preferred so it's not like she's that good"). Sad
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:24 PM
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Tell them to suck a lemon

I don't run AKC enough to know if that attitude shows up here as well, but I run a ton of USDAA and go all over New England and New York, and nobody has ever once seemed the think it was an issue. I have a friend who has had a ton of USDAA success including at Cynosport, who runs her very healthy happy young BC in Performance because she's worried about the big a-frame (her older dog was injured on an a-frame). One of my favorite "big" trainers was running her 16" championship dog in 22" performance (talk about confusing!), I assume because of the a-frame as well - the dog certainly doesn't need the added course time! Meg has what is officially known as a PDCH, but her big ribbon says P-ADCH because people think it is stupid to call it by a different name, so they don't. We have our own grassroots movement in New England where instead of PI, PII, PIII, PDCH, most clubs just get their ribbons to say P-AD, P-AAD, P-MAD and P-ADCH. Everyone knows you work your butt off for the titles regardless of how high your dog jumps.

Run your dog in whatever division works for you, and hand out lemons to those who feel the need to comment. If USDAA is higher than you want to jump your dog, there's other venues. If NADAC rules seem silly, there's other venues. If you don't like the AKC attitude towards mixed breeds, there's other venues. I'm blessed that in our area, there really is an abundance of choice, and I expect you have pretty good variety in your area as well. I do feel bad for those who really don't have the option in their region.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:29 PM
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Yup, choice is a wonderful thing! I am grateful to have trialed in all the major venues except AKC (though I've been to their trials, I just know it's not a good setup for Lucy with only 2 runs over the course of a 10-12 hour day). At the end of the day, it's a game, and if you aren't having fun then you're doing it wrong.
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:51 PM
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Dogs couldn't careless about the letters before and at the end of their names. And I would think it should only really matter (if it should matter at all) is if the dog is intact and breeding dog and for the dog's standard it should be competing at the open/regular division but doesn't because of some reason. (if that makes sense)
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