a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Tribulations of Planning Agility Trials

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Tribulations of Planning Agility Trials

SUMMARY: How to organize walk-throughs and runs for multiple dog heights?
Backfill: My responses to FB question on May 28 '21. Something that every trial chair has to wrestle with.

My first three agility dogs. All different heights, of course.

From Facebook (Cynthia H):

At AKC agility trials in the Utah/Idaho area, at the Master/Excellent level, we would usually split the walkthroughs for the small/tall dogs by using the walk/run, walk/run method.  This seemed to be highly popular in our area.  Lately, it seems clubs have changed to walk/walk, run/run.  With not much of a break in between, just to switch out workers.  I guess the theory is that it saves time, but it only saves about 5 mines per class, so maybe 10 minutes a day, which doesn't seem to me like it's worth it.  I'm wondering, in your area, what do the clubs do?  And what do you prefer?

Many comments about pros/cons of each. I'm picking this one:

Hmm good question. We typically do walk, walk, run for 24-20 then 16. Walk 12, walk 8-4 run all. So it's split tall and small.. I hate it personally because I have a 16 and a 20/24. So sometimes I have to cut my 16's walk short to get my 20/24 ready to run cuz he's often first dog on the line. 

Taj MuttHall says:

I had two 24-20 dogs for years (er... 30/24... er, 26/22...LOL!note) with different needs and capabilities. So if it were walk/walk I'd sometimes sneak back out with the small dogs to figure out my 20" dog's plan--then cut that short and rush to get my 24" first on the line. But if they did walk/run walk/run (or only one walk for everyone), I'd have to cram two dogs' plans into one walkthrough. Or when running three dogs... [trembles with terror]. 

After several years of USDAA Nationals, where everyone walked all the courses early in the morning and you really literally might not run for hours and have to remember several courses, I learned that I can handle any variant.  

For handlers who are novices, though, arrangements that are easier on the handler are better.

I've been in on the planning and there's never a perfect answer for every issue, curse the agility gods! [Oops, sorry agility gods, I was joking...]

About jump heights, if you care --
darn it, I might pull this into its own blog post. Later. There's never a perfect answer for every blog issue, curse the blogging gods! [Oops...]
When I started, Remington jumped 30" and Jake jumped 24" in USDAA.
Shortly thereafter, that became 26" and 22", which lasted for years, so Tika jumped 26" and Boost jumped 22".
More recently, they dropped to 24" and 22"... or something... I've not kept up with it all. (In all cases, dogs in Performance jump one height lower so, for example, when I switched my dogs to Performance, Tika jumped 20" and Boost 16".) 
(I've not even begun to mention all the jump heights for all sizes of dogs. Here's page 1 (of two!) for USDAA this year.)

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