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Thread: Jumping - Is it really that dangerous?

  1. #1
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    Default Jumping - Is it really that dangerous?

    I'm not asking this because I want to jump either of my dogs... I'm simply curious.

    I've seen a lot of people lately saying that it is extremely dangerous for any dog to jump any higher than their shoulder height. Now of course there are breeds of dogs that this would definitely be correct for... but what about the more athletic dogs with light builds like Kelpies, working border collies and poodles (try stopping a poodle from jumping!) among other breeds.

    Surely If done correctly and the dog is fit, it would be fine for these lighter breeds to jump over their shoulder height? Working dogs must jump over shoulder height when they jump on the back of sheep or over fences in yards and such... Even police dogs (GSD's and Malinois) surely they would find themselves in positions where they'd be jumping over their shoulder height...

    Is it really that dangerous to do so? I've always thought the Kelpie high jump competitions are cool, and the dogs always look so willing and able to do it. I wouldn't make Koda do things like that because he's clumsy and heavy, but I reckon Dodge could do it, especially back in her younger days!

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    Yes well Dodge used to jump onto and cling to a fence that was around 4-5 feet high, she did that numerous times every day for years!

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    Mine jump in sheep yards and agility trials and into cars etc. They are all lean, fit and well structured athletic dogs. If dogs are overweight, or short legged heavy breeds or long backed short legged breeds I think it would be different. It all depends on the breed build, the structure of the individula dog, the weight and fitness etc..

    Some people hold the view in agility that jumping higher is safer because it slows the dog down and promotes a better jumping style. However again I think this is breed dependent. I think some dogs really struggle on high jumps while others jump safer. My big Border collie is much better jumping at the top height class which is 5 cms above his shoulder height, but I prefer jumping my smaller, more solid cattle dogs at their shoulder height or below although they are quite capable of jumping high.

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    I agree that it depends on the dog. Sammy makes it look effortless, other dogs don't really look like they can jump. Sammy loves jumping, if you tell him he can jump something he will just do it back and forth for a while and get super excited. And you can see in the pictures, he can jump several times his own shoulder height.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.n...f00bf8606f7a4f

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.n...e1ed471f9252dd
    Last edited by 99bottles; 10-16-2014 at 06:29 AM.

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    Oh my gosh, you do Dock-dogs (i think thats what its called) Thats awesome!!

    I agree, it makes sense to take into account the dogs body type and breed when deciding if it is capable of jumping. However the people i've seen who are against jumping, are totally against it, for all dogs, no matter what fitness level or body type... That just doesn't make sense to me.

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    My brother's dog (a staffy puppy at the time) broke a leg jumping off something and landing funny.

    I know another dog - long back - that jumped off a bed as it had many times before but this time - not so good - couldn't walk for months after.

    I think it depends on the dog and the training. You can train a dog to jump nicely. My dog used to cat leap everything - eg she could jump a standard height agility jump (50cm) from a standing start. So if she got up to a jump and stopped - I could still get her to go over it. Not ideal but we were learning.

    She's much better now. She loves jumping stuff but since some basic training - most of the time she has better style and action doing it than she did before she got some training.

    She will jump the 1m fence around our local cricket oval. Sometimes she sails over without touching. Sometimes she uses the top rail as a step.

    So is it dangerous - yes and no. Depends on the dog.

    The high jump they have at the Naracoorte show involves catching the dog at the top... so there's less possibility of a crash landing - which is where the real danger lies.

    Here is a whippet beating out all the kelpies and GSDs in 2006...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mymatejack View Post
    I assume I'm not understanding what you're saying here. What I'm getting from your post is that a dog is jumping when it's clearing just 5cm's higher than it's shoulder height?(isn't that just running?) Surely your sheep yard fences are higher than that?
    In agility my 55 cm dog jumps 60 cm over 24 jumps on complicated masters courses at warp speed of say 23 -28 secs moving at speeds of 5 m sec or more with a lot of bounce jumping between jumps and fast turns, often in the air while they are jumping. Yeah I call that jumping and he does it easily but could injure himself without proper jump training. So no it is not just running. Without proper conditioning and training you leave your dog wide open to injury, like cruciates, muscles tears and strains etc.

    I see some of the heavier breeds of dogs like a heavy built male labradors that measure in at 55 cm doing the same course at 60 cm and quite frankly it can be painful to watch particularly the landing, even when they do it slowly, and in some cases dogs have had to be retired early from sustaining this activity week after week, year after year. Dogs with straight shoulders and poor angulation can also be at risk.

    Jumping in and out of sheep yards is a different type of jumping activity and a heavy male labrador would probably be incapable, but it is not something my working dogs do every second when they are working yards.

    Again it gets back to the physical capacity of the dog and the type of jumping activity. The well structured fit young ectomorphic dogs are always going to be much less at risk.

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    I think it really depends on the type of dog. Some dogs have a really natural ability to jump. My little Jack russel jumps twice her height over an obstacle. I guess as long as your not working your dog to the bone and making it go higher and higher and higher. But if your dog loves to jump over stuff and is having a good time, why not

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    Im currently being financially beaten to death, by the results of injuries to dogs.
    But all 3 of my injuries, have been caused by running over uneven ground, not jumping.

    logically, i can see, that heavier dogs, are more likely to sustain injury than a lighter breed.
    I have a GSD that jumps over things, across things, up things, down things. Never sustained a injury from jumps yet. 8yrs
    I have a Rottie cross bordeaux. Who loves to grin at you, at eye to eye height. So will jump to do so. Its part of the zoomy repttoire. No injuries from jumping yet.
    I have a dogue de bordeaux, who will jump in/out of ute trailer, which is 4ft, not a lot over his shoulder height, and jumping on lead, in ANY direction when a younger dog. Now, jumping is way too energetic for a mastiff. Take it easy love.

    I sum all of that up, and come to my own conclusions:

    Jumping is great fun to do with my dogs, though im not jumping so much these days. Nor is brian the bordeaux, we go around.
    And not jumping is hard to train for me, and ive failed miserably for many reasons, the biggest being, i love seeing my dogs having a blast.
    Last edited by bernie; 10-18-2014 at 11:11 AM.

  10. #10
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    I think that jumping as part of walks and daily exercise of a fit dog is not such a problem. The dog chooses to jump and it is normal really. Kids do the same thing. I used to love to jump as a kid.

    Agility is different because it is very intense around the course with twisting turns and different spacings often quite close for a big striding dog so more difficult for the less athletically built dogs. Then height then becomes more important. GSDS used to compete a lot in agility when the courses were bigger and higher but less twisting and much more open so dogs could get a decent run up at the jumps.

    The courses have changed and become more challenging and really suit the light athletic dogs that can turn easily on a sixpence. Although jump heights have come down you very rarely see GSDS competing any more. The lighter belgian shepherds are a better choice. Sometimes I walk a course and the jump spacing is very close so I know my big striding BC is going to have to bounce jump. The bigger heavier dogs dont have the ability to do this and I think would be better off jumping a lower height.

    Jump height is much debated in the agility world and in ADAA they give you a choice of 2 programs. So with a 40cm -50cm dog you can choose to jump 55 cms or 40 cms. With a 50cm + dog you can jump 55cm or 65. Their courses also generally have bigger jump spacings than ANKC and so are probably a good venue choice for some dogs.

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