Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Java runs the jump chute

Java runs the jump chute after our Control Unleashed class.

1 comment:

Robin Sallie said...

Lynnda wrote in an email:

Over half the obstacles in agility are jumps. [Remember Jumpers With Weaves?] One way to help your dog learn to run full out and gauge what to do to clear the jump [keep that bar up] is to take the handler out of the picture with a jump chute. If you can leave your dog on a stay, go to the end of the jumps, then call your dog [Recall] over the jumps, your dog can focus on its job of getting over the jumps. And if you have a training buddy that you can Send your dog over the jumps to -- then the buddy pays the dog with treats or a toy -- also takes the handler out of the pciture for the dog. Jump chutes can be arranged many different ways to help the dog learn the many athletic and judgement skills that go with jumping on agility courses. The chute Java was doing is set up for a dog her size to single bounce/stride between the jumps ans seeing she is an experienced jumperthe jumps were set at almost her competition height.

[Java is about 20.5" at the shoulder & the jumps were set at 16" or 18" or 20" high & the jumps were about 9' apart.] When we added a 20" tall Triple jump as the last jump, we doubled the spacing so Java took two strides into the spread jump [a jump that has width as well as height].

Most trainers recommend doing a jump chute only every other day, to give the muscles a rest, and do only two or three sets of 5 repetitions each with at least a 15 minute rest in between each set. Jump chutes working on extension are typically 5 jumps. When working on collection skills you may only want three jumps which will be close together, maybe even 3.5' or 5' and competition height, once the dog has some training. I agree with trainers who say that, once a sound dog is trained, it will be physically able to jump a shoulder-height Double jump from a sit right up close to the jump.

However this does not mean that every time you work your dog in agility that it needs to jump the tallest height it jumps in competition. You may want to start your session with higher jumps, then lower them on later exercises. Or vary the jumps, with the crucial jumps in the exercise at competition height & the rest lower. The crucial jumps might be the ones where you are doing a front or rear cross, or the jump at a transition point with an option for the dog or the jump at a sharp turn or the Double jump or the tire.

Happy Training --

-- Java is the 10th dog I have trained to do agility.