More valuable feeback from Silvia

For the record, I do NOT think Lil has ETS (Early Take-Off Syndrome).  The reason I am focusing so much attention on Lil and jumping is because all dogs occasionally misjudge the distance or height of a jump and knock a bar.  Some dogs don’t seem to care, but I know with my dogs, if they knock a bar, they both tend to “try harder” not to knock additional bars.

There are many ways dogs can “try harder” not to knock bars.   They can over-jump, fling themselves over jumps, flip their rears up in an exaggerated way, tuck their back legs in tightly vs. extend them, drop their heads and shoulders before jumping, slow down, or any combination of the above.  Because Australian Terriers are such powerful little dogs,  I think it is fairly easy for them to jump inefficiently and if repeated enough times, an inefficient style of jumping can become habitual.

Here is my most recent post on Silvia’s Agility Foundation Class Site:

Dev: We had a typical practice session on Sunday, and included a lot of A-Frames, since I normally only have access to the one in my studio. Lil’s A-Frame striding was not consistent, but she mostly hit well within the contact zone (a couple near the line, which I didn’t like very much but definitely in). The A-Frame was set at 56″ which was 3″ higher than it was the last session at the studio.

The other reason I included footage from this practice session is to show how Lil is jumping.  I’m wondering if perhaps I should take a break from straight extension grids and just focus on cip&cap. Or perhaps change the spacing of the straight grids to force a little more collection?

Based on the practice session, Lil’s jumping was on my mind so I watched a few of her USDAA runs from a year ago where she had some faster and slower runs. I think overall Lil takes better set up steps when she is running slower (taking shorter strides vs. longer full-out running strides).

At this point I don’t know which style of running and jumping I should be encouraging?  Do I set up jump grids to encourage shorter strides and prettier jumping? But if I do that, will Lil lose speed?…. Speed is way more fun for me and I assume for Lil too????

Or do you think it will be a trade off with a dog built like Lil… that she will either run fast and jump early or run slower and jump prettier/better? 99% of the time, when she jumps early, it looks like it is easy enough for her to do.

I have been doing single cip&cap at 8″ recently, as seen at the end of the video.

Silvia: Cool, the AF looks nice and smooth – always in is good enough.  Jackpot the lower hits and keep going for higher ones. I would stay on this height for some more sessions. Cik&cap look good with the mat too, so I would keep working like that. Extension grids would be good too if you could find a distance that gives you good take off, but I wouldn’t go for slow and nice take off no. It’s normal she jumps later when going slowly, but she needs to measure the distance right even when coming with more speed. – Maybe she will learn that with speedy approaches to cik&cap, so yes, maybe focus on that for now, giving her a really speedy approach. Maybe she will still jump too early in extension, but yes, I guess I would take that over less speed…

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