Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jump Height

Something interesting has taken place at the past couple of trials, so I thought it would be a good time to mention jump height.

There are several different jump heights that determine the height of the jumps, tire, and table, as well as the length of the broad jump. The height that a dog is supposed to jump at is based on the dog's height at the withers (shoulders). In particular, for AKC the standard jump heights are as follows (straight from the rule book):
8 Inches: For dogs 11 inches and under at the withers.
12 Inches: For dogs 14 inches and under at the withers.
16 Inches: For dogs 18 inches and under at the withers.
20 Inches: For dogs 22 inches and under at the withers.
24 Inches: For dogs over 22 inches at the withers.
26 Inches: Dogs may be entered at this height at their owner’s discretion.

Dogs are also allowed to enter one jump height lower, but that puts them into the preferred class, which is a bit separate from the standard dogs. There are some limitations for it too, for example preferred dogs can't get a MACH - the highest Agility title.

The rule for measuring the dog is that the dog can't get a permanent jump height assigned to them until they are 2 years old (fully grown). When they turn 2, they have to get 2 official measurements by 2 different judges to determine their jump height. Since Philip's second birthday was just a month ago, we got our first official measurement at the last trial, and the second one today.

Here's the interesting part though. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi standard allows for dogs between 10 and 12 inches tall, so they tend to fall either into 8 or 12 inch jump height for Agility. Philip has been measured by our instructor and a few judges before, always coming in at just above 11", so I've been entering him into the 12" jump height.

However, at his first official measurement last weekend, the judge said he was coming up at 10.8 inches. I thought she made a mistake, so I asked her to try again, and she got him at 11 inches high. I was surprised, but hey - if we could get another measurement at 11" we'd get to move down to 8" jump height, so I wasn't about to complain.

This Saturday we got our second measurement, lo and behold - Philip came in at 11" inches again! That means that we have two official measurements of 11" and so that officially puts us permanently into the 8" jump height. This is very exciting, lower height = better! Not only is it easier to jump, it's also much better for the joints.

We should be getting our permanent jump height in the mail in about a month, and we moved down to 8" for the trial this weekend. We'll also be entering 8" at all future AKC trials, though we still have to stay at 12" for USDAA since they don't actually have an 8" height.

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