April 15, 2013

Dog Agility Virtual Matchup: Small vs Large

Using the Coach’s Eye, we matched up the 2013 AKC 8″ National Agility Champion Masher against the 26″ National Agility Champion Pace. Their times where separated by 0.786 seconds. Can you predict what made the difference?

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  • Firstly, the biggest reason for the close difference is height, both dog and the division they are competing in. Masher has been officially measured over 11″ at WAO yet is competing in AKC as an 8″ dog. Thusly he is jumping over 3″ UNDER his shoulder whereas the average 26″ border collie is jumping OVER their shoulder by 3″ or more. Major advantage to Masher since there is very little air time and more ground time for him to be running. The more the dog is in the air the slower their yps are. Secondly, that teeter was definitely a flyoff and would have been called in other organisations, including at the different World Championships. Yes, a smaller dog has to wait longer for a teeter to drop than a large dog so being able to leave earlier than he should have can make a quarter of a second difference, especially in that situation. But you have to push it at the big events, he did and he got away with it. Masher IS a fast dog but if he was competing at 12″ or if Pace was competing at 18″ or 20″ instead it would have been interesting to see what the times would have been then.

  • Not to take away from masher but I was at ground level it was a clear fly off in my opinion. But even if masher had stayed on for another half second he still would have beaten Duncan. And calls can go either way in that split second. I am happy for Daneen and masher they are a great team but it does sting considering my little guy got second.

      • Teeter dismounts are one of the most confusing aspects of agility judging in my opinion. Some dogs clearly dismount or are leaping off before the board hits the ground and aren’t called for it. I’ve heard interpretations that as long as one paw is still touching the board when it hits, it’s okay. But AKC Judging Rules, Chapter 5, states “To properly perform the seesaw, the dog may not exit the plank until the elevated edge hits the ground for the first time. . . . . . the dog must still be in control and have touched the contact zone at the same time or after the plank touches the ground.” Humm!

  • Thanks so much for this fascinating video, confirming what I already knew about low weight dogs’ disadvantage on the see saw. I train my Papillon, 7# Maxie, to run all the way to the end as fast as possible, ride it down, then hop off as it touches. For his safety, I used to make him wait until the second bounce but I eventually took the plunge and now release him about .25 seconds before it actually hits. I did a blog post comparing Masher’s scores to all the other champions, in case anybody wants to see the scores side by side. Pace, at 26″, and another border collie, Sweet, at 20″, were the ONLY Finals competitors that beat wee little Masher’s amazing score, Pace by only .786 seconds, and Sweet, by only .038. It’s the most amazing race I’ve ever seen.The link is http://www.foohmaxagility.blogspot.com/2013/03/akc-national-agility-championship.html

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