Friday, September 10, 2010

Jump Heights - handy-dandy table..

In the course of my classes I'm often making "guesses" (granted educated guesses) on what jump heights students dogs will eventually fall into - long before those dogs are ever jumping full height I think it's important for people to know that "your golden is going to jump 24" regular or 20" preferred in AKC". Setting expectations based on the rules of the sport is good for everyone involved (students and instructors alike) as folks learn the rules of the target venue as they go along rather than as a crash course of "these are the rules and here's a link to the rule book" as a would-be novice exhibitor.

One of the things that can challenging as we get started is getting an accurate measurement - I don't own or have access to an AKC approved measuring device - but I do have a method and setup that approximates the device and will give me a pretty good idea of where dogs will ultimately end up. I DO recommend that whenever possible novice handlers get their dogs measured by a VMO (and a temporary height card in hand) well before they enter their first trial.

As for my improvised wicket: it's nothing more than a yard stick and a plastic hanger - I hold the yardstick with one hand and the hanger with the other, the hanger resting on the dog's withers. Its not precise - but as long as the dog is not right on the line between heights I can get a reasonably accurate measurement. Then there are the dogs that are clearly over 22" that I usually don't even bother to measure :-)

A couple of things to keep in mind as you read through these charts:
 1) The name for the regular and  preferred/performance categories change across venues - but all venues have some allowance for jumping a dog lower than what they'd ordinarily measure into. Sometimes with other differences as well.

2) At the top left on each of the tables the name of the venue is a link to the rules and regulations pertaining to jump heights.

3) If you are planning to enter a trial  in one of these venues for the first time I suggest clicking through and reading the entirety of regulations that will effect you. There are lots of details that just don't fit neatly into table format - things like differences in SCT for the regular and preferred dogs in AKC, different obstacle specifications in USDAA, and some of the additional height breaks that dogs can get when running with a veteran or junior handler in some of the other venues...

4) Not all venues are created equally - let's face it some of these venues have some really bizarre rules that seem to change frequently. Others have equipment that we just don't see in any other venue - my dogs have never seen a UKC crawl tunnel or that open series of hoops (also UKC).  That's not to say that one is better than the others - just vastly different rules from one organization to another. One venue might be a better fit for you - or for your dog - but might not be a good fit for your classmate and their dog. All of these organizations have rulebooks on their websites for more information. Also remember to factor in proximity of local (or in the case of Vermont: reasonably local) trials - if you want to trial a few times a year it's probably a good idea to pick a venue/venues that are offered locally.

What height will my dog jump in AKC (American Kennel Club) agility?
Regular ClassPreferred Class
11" and under at the withers8"4"
14" and under at the withers12"8"
18" and under at the withers16"12"
22" and under at the withers20"16"
Over 22" at the withers24"20"
Dogs of any height at
owner's discretion. 
26"N/A

What height will my dog jump in USDAA (US Dog Agility Association) agility?
USDAAChampionship ClassPerformance Class
12" or under at the withers12" 8"
16" or under at the withers16" 12"
21" or under at the withers22" 16"
Over 21" at the withers26" 22"

What height will my dog jump in NADAC (North America Dog Agility Council)?
NADACProficient Class Skilled Class Skilled Veterans Class
11" and under at the withers 8"4" 4"
14" and under at the withers 12" 8" 4"
18" and under at the withers 16" 12" 8"
20" and under at the withers 20" 16" 12"
Over 20" at the withers20" 16" 12"

What height will my dog jump in CPE (Canine Performance Events) agility?
CPERegular Class Specialist Class Veteran Class
12" and under 8" 4" 4"
Over 12" up to 16"12" 4" 8"
Over 16" up to 20"16" 8" 12"
Over 20" up to 24"20" 12" 16"
Over 24"24" 16" 20"

What height will my dog jump in UKI (UK Agility International) agility?
UKIRegular Jump Height Select Class
11" and under8" 4"
14" and under12" 8"
17.5" and under16" 12"
22" and under20" 16"
Over 22" 22" or 26" (owners discretion) 20" or 22"

What height will my dog jump in DOCNA (Dogs on Course North America) agility?
DOCNACompetition Class Select Class Veterans Class
11" and under at the withers 8" 4" 4"
14" and under at the withers 12" 8" 4"
18" and under at the withers 16" 12" 8"
22" and under at the withers 20" 16" 12"
Over 22"24" 20" 16"

What height will my dog jump in ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America) agility?
ASCARegular Class Veterans Class
11" and under at the withers 8"4"
14" and under at the withers 12" 8"
18" and under at the withers 16" 12"
20" and under at the withers 20" 16"
Over 20" at the withers20"
(may jump 24") 
16"

What height will my dog jump in UKC (United Kennel Club) agility?
UKCRegular Class Veteran Class
Up to and including 14" 8" 8"
Over 14" and including 20" 14" 8"
Over 20" 20" 14"

Questions? 

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