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Old 08-16-2006, 01:38 PM
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elegy elegy is offline
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Default teaching proper jumping technique?

does anybody have any tips/pointers/exercises that would help me teach my dogs to jump properly and stop knocking bars?

both are APBTs and both are dog-aggro buttheads, so classes aren't really a good option, but i work with both of them playing around in the backyard and it's done wonders for our training relationships. but both of them are starting to become bar-knockers, and i'd really like to learn how to fix the problem.

not that either of them is likely to ever compete (unless struck by lightening and/or given total personality transplants) but i'd really like this to not become chronic.

luce tends to barrell through jumps at any height and send bars flying. mushroom's more likely to knock them with his hind legs.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:53 PM
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Lower the bars for now and praise like mad when they clear the jump. If they knock a bar take them back around and have them jump it again and keep jumping until they clear it. When they''re clearing consistantly then put the bar higher again.
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Old 08-16-2006, 03:06 PM
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a good way is to put up close to the jump in a sit, they they learn they have to push off with the back legs to clear it, but that can teach a short high arcing jump, not really what I want, but I do start dogs that way.

One trick I learned is to take a piece of something (I use the plastic lattice stuff for around decks and stuff) cut it about 3 feet wide and long enough to fit in between the uprights of your jump, Balance the lattice on top of the jump, then the dog learns to jump high long and flat or it will hit the balanced lattice on the way up, and if it tries to land on the backside and push off again, it gives way, not a good feeling for the dog. SO it does cause a not so nice feeling, but creates an awsome jump. I've never had a dog not like jumping or not have a nice jump by doing this
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Old 08-16-2006, 04:19 PM
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I agree lower the bars so that they are just off the ground then once they get the jump with out pushing it over raise it some. Good Luck!
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:01 PM
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I guess first we should ask what height are you jumping them?

You can also "straddle" the jump yourself,,put the dog in a sit/stay (and I'm also assuming the dog is FOOD motivated?) you straddle the jump, lure the dog over the jump, knocks a bar, no reward, reward for keeping bars up..

Another thing I do when training, is set up jump chutes,,this is a series of jumps at differing heights,,in a straight row, this type of exercise keeps the dog thinking, not knowing what height they are jumping, builds muscle memory..IF a dog has been allowed to continuously knock bars, it's become a habit, and well there are lots of 'lazy' jumpers around..Another thing can also be a medical problem,,if it's older dogs, arthritis, whatever, it just may "hurt" to jump..

I know you don't have plans to compete, but a good book to read is Jumping A - Z by Chris Zink,,she has some good ideas to fix jumping problems.
Diane
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:06 PM
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This sounds wrong, but with the broad jump Roxy quite often would step on it. So my trainer would sit there and as she neared the jump she would raise a board. Yes, it sounds mean, but the few times my trainer caught her and she bumped her leg were enough. She FLIES over the broad now.

Maybe the same thing with a bar jump would help?

How big are your dogs, and how high are the jumps? I believe in competition they only jump as high as their shoulder, so maybe the jumps are just too high
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:10 PM
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i can set my jumps to 8, 12, or 16 inches. usually i jump them at 12 because we are just fooling around (both would jump 16" in a trial). luce is LESS likely to knock bars when the jumps are higher or bigger or close together. if i set them to 8 she'll invariably knock them- maybe she doesn't respect them as jumps?

with mushroom i've not picked out a pattern of knocking.

i have set things up to reward for left bars and no reward for knocked bars but i'm not convinced they understand what the criteria is.

my suspicion is that it's just laziness or distraction as i've been jumping them for awhile and the knocked bars is something recent. it's not constant, but i don't want it to *become* constant/habitual.

i'll have to check the book out- that sounds like exactly what i'm looking for.
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Old 08-16-2006, 08:13 PM
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Because you say she is LESS likely to knock down lower bars, it sounds like laziness My horse was like that too. You can't mess around when the jumps get bigger! LOL
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Old 08-16-2006, 10:31 PM
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Already some fantastic ideas. I never had that problem with Lyric. He jumps higher than he needs to. But he's done a lot of hiking where he voluntarily flies over logs and things and somehow he knows he had better clear it. You can see his back feet tuck up tight like a horse's when they jump. It's really quite beautiful and graceful.

What about making the jumps look more solid...something lightwieght so it won't hurt if missed or knocked into, but sometimes the visual of a solid thing may make them work a little harder. Maybe like that lattice stuff just leaning against the far side of the jump so if the dog misses, it will still fall over easily. Or even a piece of cardboard to cover the air space between the side posts and beneath the pole? You could even use a plastic, outside lounge chair tipped on it's side. I use one of those to add to a few of my make shift jumps. It's even good for them to jump things that don't look exactly the same.....teaches them to be flexible. LOL. (no pun intended)

I agree to reward the best of the jumps and gradually ask for better until you're only rewarding for clean jumps. If you use a clicker, click when the dog is in mid air/mid jump. You probably already know that. Just thought I'd throw it in.
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:42 PM
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That was what I was going to suggest Doberluv. A more solid jump will make the dog pick it's feet up more. Someone else told me that they had horses who would do the same thing- solid jumps they'd fly over, ones that they could knock down they would get lazy with and knock them all down. I would worry more about a jump being too high vs a jump not moving if the dog clips it by being lazy. Banging a paw isn't going to hurt and the dog will get the message pretty quick that it can stop that from happening by jumping a little higher.

I taught Gunnar to jump with a few 4x4 landscape timbers stacked up, and as he grew, used lawn chairs to raise it up. He's completely ball motivated, so I'd put him in a sit on one side of the jump, I'd go to the other side, and tell him "up" while baiting him with the ball. It didn't take more than a few minutes for him to get the idea. Now all I say is "up" and he'll go over whatever I point to. I like to use up for lots of things- getting into the van, jumping, getting onto the A frame or other agility objects.
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