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Growing the sport

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Dont Miss! Growing the sport

Post by Cat on Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:41 am

HI Milt,

i have a questions for you. i was at the Andersonís event this past weekend with the red cattle dog. which was crazy but still super fun. i heard you say several time 'we are trying to grow the sport'. watching form the crowd i overherd time and again "i would love to try it but i have a small dog". having an agility background my head instantly went... you need height divisions. i am wondering if this is something UAD has ever or would ever consider?

i get the different distance division but an athletic 12" dog will never jump as far as an athletic 24" dog. I think it would get a ton more people interested if small and medium sized dog could be ranked separately from large dogs.

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Dont Miss! Re: Growing the sport

Post by rocketdog on Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:36 am

Not true. We had a Jack Russell who could jump 23'. Small dogs can jump. And to be competitive you don't have to jump the furthest, just jump the best in you division. My dog, Rocky doesn't jump 20+ ft but he does jump well in his division. My feeling is a height classification would really complicate things. Did you see the little Pit Liza that was jumping. She was competitive with the Senior division (15' - 19'11") and could easily go to 20'+ with some experience.
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Post by Team Maddy on Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:47 am

Isn't there already a featherweight division for dogs under a certain height?
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Post by rocketdog on Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:55 am

I think it only comes into play when there are enough dogs to make it work. If there are only 1 or 2 then it's not worth the effort. If we had 10 small dogs then it would be a division in the finals. We also have a Jr handler division but it only works when there is more than a couple handlers under the age of 14
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Dont Miss! Re: Growing the sport

Post by Kel on Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:26 pm

First off, welcome to UAD. Sweet! I'm glad you and your ACD enjoyed your first event.

Actually, there is already a UA Featherweight division for dogs under a certain height and there has been a lot of talk amongst competitors about adding a Featherweight division for UV, as well. The Featherweight dogs have their own separate Finals round at UKC events and many of the non-UKC events as well, as long as there are at least a couple Featherweights participating.

I agree with Jason, though... there are TONS of big dogs who jump "small" and a good number of small dogs who jump absolutely huge. There are JRTs, BorderJacks, BorderStaffyJacks, ACDs, and a few other small dog breeds (or crosses) who can, do, and have out-jumped the big dogs on many an occasion. Some of the biggest jumping small dogs I have seen would be Clem (ACD), Toggle (BorderStaffyJack), and (the legend) Forrest Gumpy (JRT).


Last edited by Kel on Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Sara on Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:56 pm

The Featherweight division is for dogs 16" and under, and if there are 2 or more at an event, there will be a separate finals for them during finals.

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Dont Miss! Re: Growing the sport

Post by Cat on Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:55 pm

What I said is true. I did not say that NO small dogs can compete with the big dogs. However, you canít tell me that a 24Ē dog will not out jump a 12Ē dog with the SAME athletic ability. Of the top 200 ranked dogs, how many are under even 20Ē (I donít know I am asking)? From the outside looking in, I think people would be more interested in the sport if smaller dogs were given the chance to compete in a more apples to apple format

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Post by Rajah on Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:08 pm

Let's just say it was broken down into height. You'd still have the same issue of some small dogs jumping HUGE (like Gumpy did) and some jumping under 10'. You'd also have the same thing with big dogs. If you notice at an event, you'll have dogs that are 20" tall or taller jumping in novice and the same height dogs jumping in ultimate. Basically, the different divisions is the best way to break it down. This way, if your "little dog" jumps consistently around 13-15', you'll always be able to compete in the junior division even against dogs that might be 3 or 4 times the little dog's size.
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Dont Miss! Re: Growing the sport

Post by Kel on Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:04 pm

There is also the fact that the distances are judged to the base of the dog's tail... which helps even things out more than if UAD were to judge to the nose, for example.

I completely understand your point and think it is a very good one (I do a whole slew of other sports, too, which I agree are best broken into dog height divisions... but I don't think dockjumping -with the possible exception of UV- is one of them). So, in this sport, I really believe the distance divisions are the most fair way to break it down. Plus we have Featherweights (and Veterans and Jr Handlers) on top of that. And yet, even with the Featherweights division in place, some dogs are going to jump huge in comparison with like-sized dogs on a very consistent basis anyway.

It really isn't always a matter of pure/natural athletic ability when it comes to dockjumping... the determining factors often tend to be drive, stamina/endurance, confidence, dock launch spots, toy targeting skills, handler throwing skills, etc. There are tons of dogs I can name who, based on build or athletic ability alone, you would not think they would jump as well as they do. And then there are some dogs who have a ton of athletic ability and a great build for the sport... who have never jumped outside of the Novice division.

I could honestly argue the same, only from the opposite end of the spectrum... since I jump dogs who are huge in comparison to most dogs within the sport... meaning they have a lot more weight to haul up/out. Size divisions might help them out, too, if it meant they would be jumping with other dogs 90lbs and up. Still, my boys can hang with the smaller guys just as well as the little guys can hang with the bigger dogs.

As for overall rankings, most of the top ranked dogs are not much over 20" or right around there. Some are bigger though, and some are smaller. I don't know the exact heights off the top of my head, as I would have to do digging and asking around to figure that one out.
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Dont Miss! Re: Growing the sport

Post by AmphibiousAssaultDogTeam on Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:34 pm

Yeah I think I seen forest gumpy on david letterman jump 23=24 ft
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