Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hey blog world, any thoughts?

I did this video partially so that I could see what is going on with Kaiser and also to get pointers from anyone who has them.

Kaiser has a slight luxating patella on the right hind. It did not cause any problems until this past summer, when I began to notice him making odd jumps more frequently. He crashed several bars by landing directly on top of them -- generally following a "stutter/pop" jump style.

Out of concern for his safety, I lowered his jump height to 8" in NADAC -- Kaiser measures 14" and previously jumped 12". His has seemed happy and confident at 8" -- he will still occasionally stutter/pop, but he hasn't been crashing bars. In addition, he's been running faster.

I plan to start doing some USDAA, where he will be required to jump 12" in the Performance program (as low as he can go). Because of this, I wanted to again focus on improving his jump style and strength. We have been doing jump drills and peanut work to help with this. If anyone has any other exercises I'd love to hear some ideas.

There has been improvement already! Previously Kaiser wouldn't jump 16" from right to left, he would just keep going under the bar. The fact that he is trying and succeeding gives me hope! (My thinking here is that if he is comfortable and okay jumping 16" in drills, then 12" shouldn't be a problem at trials.)


  1. I don't know what to tell you. My theory has always been jump low and bump up before a trial. I have seen variable height jumping to teach collection, hind end use, and help with knocked bars but I haven't seen jump drills at a higher height for lower jumping at trials...

    Our physical therapist has told me that anything above elbow height starts to wear on your dog so we pick our practice heights based on this :) You know my history with Freya, I'm weird when it comes to jumps.

    Also does he know beg and if so have you taught him beg to stand (and I mean on just the hind legs)? Sissy has really good hind end strength so we're working on beg to stand to keep her back end strong and strengthen her core.

  2. And certainly didn't mean for that comment to sound critical at all, promise! Just throwing out what I've gathered from my own experience. No judgement here :)

  3. Don't worry, I have no plans to start running Kaiser through 16" courses. I'm doing these purely for strength building and to get him thinking about what he'd doing.

    The little turd has amazing core strength. He can stand on his hind legs forever. However, when I comes down to it I think he favors the right leg and doesn't push off it equally - so our strengthening exercises are focusing on that mostly.

    I know he *can* jump 12", but the odd random crashes were starting to hurt his confidence. I'm hopeful that USDAA courses would make him more thoughtful of his jumping, too, rather than just running full bore all the time in NADAC.