Q: How high should my dog jump in agility?
A: It's dependent on their size, age and ability.
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Firstly a pole on the ground can be used to train agility skills with minimal impact on the dogs which is useful as a warm-up or on a hot day as well as seniors and puppies. It's important to note that when we say puppies that includes all dogs whose growth plates may not have yet fully closed, which depending on the individual and breed, can be as old as 12-18 months. So while we can start training agility skills straight away, we need to be mindful of keeping obstacles low and sequences short to minimise the impact on their development
Next, there is the micro or lower height option where the Jump height is 250mm. This could suit toy breeds such as as a cavalier or poodle, but also useful if a dog is still in training or their muscles aren't conditioned yet.
This is a small jump which The Kennel Club and UK Agility classify as 30cm.
The kennel club rules state that this height of hurdle is for dogs that are 350mm or under at the withers. Which might include terriers and small spaniels for example. (Here's that link to the rules: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/3464/agility-h-regulations.pdf
This is a medium jump which The Kennel Club and UK Agility classify as 40cm.
The kennel club rules that this height of hurdle is for dogs that measure over 350mm and measuring 430mm or under at the withers. This is the height my cocker spaniel measures in at.
This is an intermediate jump which The Kennel Club and UK Agility classify as 50cm. The kennel club rules that this height of hurdle is for dogs that measure over 430mm and measuring 500mm or under at the withers. Such as smaller shepherd and Labradors.
And finally, this is a large jump which The Kennel Club and UK Agility classify as 60cm.The kennel club rules that this height of hurdle is for dogs that measure over 500mm at the withers such as a big collie, Visla or Weimaraner.
However this is just a guide, and I will run at a lower height category to benefit the dog, such as reduce the impact or difficulty of a session, if their muscles or training aren't ready for it yet.
Hope that helps.
About the author:
Hi 👋 I’m Emma, accredited as a professional dog trainer by the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT). I help owners of energetic dogs achieve the dog-owning life they envisioned by providing robust obedience & agility training for dogs in Balsham, near Cambridge.
Disclaimer: The content of this article does not include personalised advice and is for information purposes only. If you need individual advice or other enquiries please click here to get in contact or if you're not local to Anglian Dog Works, you can find a trainer in your area by going to the IMDT website: https://www.imdt.uk.com/find-a-qualified-imdt-trainer