Tuesday, 17 July 2012

4th Jump Height??

I posted a photo a week ago of my three dogs and a little collie who was staying with me. It occurred to me that it perfectly showed either end of the small and medium range in dogs! The two sables in the photo are both KC measured as small, my little tri boy is just medium and Bailey collie would be medium or possibly large but is very borderline. I am under no illusion that there is always going to be dogs that are small for their height category - Brodie and Brax are both examples of this.

If Bailey was to compete in agility and measure medium he would be do very well and probably still be competing as a veteran. If he measured large there would be a massive issue in that he can't do full height jumps! We haven't pushed the issue as he isn't going to compete but he struggled over bigger jumps and happily trains at standard height (gives his owner time to get places on a course!). I can't see why a 4th height would be a massive problem for the Kennel Club to introduce - I know initially it would be a lot of work but it would be worth it for the dogs welfare. It would split the massive large classes at shows and allow many dogs to remain happily competing for longer. The most obvious reason is that there is a HUGE GAP between medium and large on jump wings!!

The last time this was proposed it was shunned because 'dogs not able to manage the current jump heights shouldn't be doing agility' What a load of cr*p!! My first dog and I started doing agility when I was 14 and although she could do the smaller jumps at training she couldn't do the 30" required for competitions so we didn't do any. I know they have lowered the large jump height since then but she couldn't do one jump at 26" let alone a course. My Bramble was a sheltie who was almost 18" at her withers. These are pics of Bramble (probably about 11 years old ) with my Dads Springer who is about 20" at her shoulder.

Shelties, working cockers and min poodles are three breeds which can end up in any height category for agility (there are probably more but I can't think of any!) If you own one of these breeds and it ends up in the large category then you would have to think twice about doing KC shows. I know a couple of shelties who do measure large and they only do independent shows at medium height or standard at UKA. I really think that UKA have got it right. Their small and mediums are measured the same heights as KC but the jumps are lower which is better for the micro dogs like our little Brax. 5cm lower is quite a lot when you are only 29cm tall!! I know my Brodie jumps better over midi jumps (400mm) than medium (450mm). There are so many dogs I know that would be better competing at standard, not because of being more competitive but simply for making it less strenuous on them and allowing them to compete for longer. We are relieved that Brooke has measured small for that reason, after having two dogs that are little for their height category! Hopefully the KC will think it through this time rather than dismiss it straight away. The other organisation that I think has it right is the World Agility Open as they also have four jump heights and four dog heights which accommodates the smaller dogs as well. Anyway, I'm going to stop rambling now and cook dinner!! :) 


  1. I completely agree! Sixx is weeny for a 'large'! :)

  2. Totally agree! Good to get it off your chest :)

  3. Agreed, there definitely needs to be a review of the jump heights. Three heights just seems so limited. I think that the difficulty is that no matter what you change to, there are always going to be issues. For example at the WAO, Smudge, who is KC small had to jump midi at the WAO, as the cut off is 12.6inches, and therefore had to jump a whole 5cm higher than at KC :-( Not good! And another Jersey sheltie who is medium KC height measured standard at WAO and had to jump 7.5cm higher than KC!!! :-( When Fuze starts running, WAO would be perfect for him, as he will measure micro :-) So I guess what I am trying to say is that no organisation will suit every dog we have I suppose. But at least four heights would be a step in the right direction, and would keep at least some people happy! Its a tough one!!