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All things equal that is, taking a dog of equal ability, training, and drive, a small dog will have a much easier time getting around a course clean than a big dog especially the 12" and 16" dogs

From the watching I've done I definitly agree with that. They can run flat out and don't land so far out that they're on the next jump before the handler can turn them.
Add to that the time bonus given to 12" dogs

I've never quite understood why the smaller dogs get a longer time, they can safely cut corners that would injure my shepherds to do the same. We enjoy the sport but I doubt I'll ever be dedicated enough to run excellent with this size dog.
Beth
I've never quite understood why the smaller dogs get a longer time, they can safely cut corners that would injure my shepherds to do the same. We enjoy the sport but I doubt I'll ever be dedicated enough to run excellent with this size dog.

I think the true small dogs, the 8" dogs, need it. But the 24" dogs tend to get the tightest times (look at NADAC) yet they often can't run full speed on a course.
My other pet peeve? Dogs are not allowed to move down in height, because that's supposedly an advantage for the dog. But they are allowed to move UP in height. Guess why most people move their dogs up in height? To give themselves an advantage some dogs jump better and drop fewer bars at a higher height. So somehow it's not okay to move down because it gives you an advantage, but it's fine to move up because it gives you an advantage.
It's not uncommon, in the 24" class, to be competing against dogs that are up to 4" shorter and half the weight of our dogs. Last year I had a 20" BC competing in my 24" class all year. He belonged in 20, but his owner had moved him up. Nice dog, nice owner. However, even when I Qd, I only got 2nd or 3rd place to this dog no dog except another BC of equal height and weight could compete against him at the height. Generally I don't care about this I'm not out to win, I'm out to do the best I can with the course. However, in this case it meant the loss of quite a few MACH bonus points that I would have received if the dog hadn't moved up in height to get an advantage...
I keep hearing that, and I've even parroted it. But the more agility I see, the less I believe it. It's just not true, and anybody who says that has never run a big dog.

And you have run how many small dogs?
I have run a big dog - although I am sure you can come up with a lot of reasons why my big dog doesn't count.. They do have different problems. I think on the average course it's easier to run a smaller dog, but I think that there are different problems, and I have certainly seen courses where it's easier to run a big dog.
Of course some of this depends on what your goals are.
All things equal that is, taking a dog of equal ability, training, and drive, a small dog will have a much easier time getting around a course clean than a big dog especially the 12" and 16" dogs.

Depends on the course. One of the problem you don't see with big dogs is cutting in on 180s, or staggered sepentines.
I have had a sequence I couldn't get with my small dog because she landed too tight, and took the wrong side of the jump.
I am having to spend time teachign her to go away from me and take the far side of a jump...
Yes, the aframe is more difficult, but the dogwalk and teeter are far easier. Running contacts are the norm rather than the exception.

How many running contacts have you trained?
How many dogs with a running contact have you handled in the ring?

Trust me it is a hell of a lot harder than training a reliable fast 2o/2o. Even working with a dog with correct natural striding it takes much more skill as a handler and as a trainer to maintain a fast, reliable true running contact. I don't suggest them to anyone who isn't going for wins - it's not worth the effort if your primary goal is Qing. But it does buy you a huge chuck of time - and since I want to win I have to train it in my 12" dogs.
You have several more strides to use to get nicer lines. Smaller dogs can run flat out big dogs are constantly having to collect and can never run flat out.

True - but you spend time teaching the dog to fully extend instead of teaching collection.
It's easier for small dogs to do weaves.

True, I really would like to see 24" spacing.
It's easier to keep small dogs out of traps because you have more strides to turn them in.

Unless the trap is after a contact you run - we spend a lot of time practicing that.
My dog can lock on to tunnel for the top of the dogwalk - and I can't cue her turn till she hits the contact.
Small dogs don't land 15 feet the far side of the triple. Add to that the time bonus given to ... in this area the classes are generally smaller, so there's less competition and more of a chance to double points

Not on the East coast - the biggest class is 20" with 12" usually following. Plus I am running against top 10 dogs and WT members - makes getting those multipliers more challenging.
But I agree with you on the points - it is esier to rack up points. The problem is the top dogs skew it - the average 12" dog is slower than the average 20 or 24" dog I would say. A fast 12" is better off, the average 12" isn't. I know a lot of 12" dogs just making time - or not making it.

I think your MACH analysis doesn't take a lot of factors into account - longevity is greater in small dogs for one thing, so they should get more MACHs based on that alone. You don't count BCs as "big dogs", which futher throws off the numbers...
On the whole I think it is easier to MACH a small dog. I think it is every bit as hard to win/compete at top levels with a small dog, just that there are different problems.
But my up-and-coming dog is a 24" Ibizan hound, so what do I know. I probably won't MACH her mother, because I think she will be better off pursueing a variety of dog sports than focusing on one. I full intend to MACH Rum, but what I would really like is for her to be competitive.

Melissa S. Frye
Skyrocket cockers www.mfrye.com/skyrocket/
Other than in class situations, none. However, I'm friends with, and have spoken, to a whole lot of people who have run both, and generally the concensus is that yes, small dogs have an advantage.
I think on the average course it's easier to run a smaller dog,

Exactly. I never stated what you seem to have inferred, which is that small dogs have no problems. That's not what I said at all. I said that small dogs, dogs in the 12 and 16 inch classes, are easier than big dogs, dogs in the 24" class.
Depends on the course. One of the problem you don't see with big dogs is cutting in on 180s, or staggered sepentines.

But generally, it's easier for the human half to keep up with a small dog, so they're less likely to be behind and can be right there running with the dog. Not every small dog of course, but on average.
Yes, the aframe is more difficult, but the dogwalk and teeter are far easier. Running contacts are the norm rather than the exception.

How many running contacts have you trained?

Taught, several. Trained personally, none. Seen in competition with small dogs? In this area about 80-90% of small dogs I see have some sort of running contact, in that they don't come to a stop on the contact and stride easily through it.
Trust me it is a hell of a lot harder than training a reliable fast 2o/2o.

For your dogs perhaps. But there are some dogs out there that it comes very naturally to. I've talked to people, and know people, who have never done any kind of intense contact training at all, and whose dogs always just hit it. And yes, their dogs do canter across.
Even working with a dog with correct natural striding it takes much more skill as a handler and as a ... huge chuck of time - and since I want to win I have to train it in my 12" dogs.

I'm not going to dispute that. I'm only going to say that the vast majority of people I know aren't aiming for world-team fast, nor is their big motivation winning. I know an awful lot who don't do the kind of intensive training you've done, yet still have contacts without a stop. They're going for Qs, and it's easier to Q from the 12 and 16 inch classes than it is from the 24" class.
True - but you spend time teaching the dog to fully extend instead of teaching collection.

But think of it with your beezer knowing that you can never really showcase her speed because she can't run her fastest speed no matter what you do.
Unless the trap is after a contact you run - we spend a lot of time practicing that.

Well not all us big dog people have good stops on contacts either, and we have to practice it too, only for our dogs, that tempting tunnel is 2 strides away instead of 5 or 7.
Not on the East coast - the biggest class is 20" with 12" usually following. Plus I am running against top 10 dogs and WT members - makes getting those multipliers more challenging.

Yeah, see my post about people who move into my height class from lower classes. You'll find that too with the Beezer. Try losing your multipliers to a dog that doesn't even belong in your height.
But I agree with you on the points - it is esier to rack up points. The problem is the top dogs skew it - the average 12" dog is slower than the average 20 or 24" dog I would say.

Definitely slower than the 20. Probably at least a bit slower than the 24, though all things being equal, I bet they're pretty similar.
I think your MACH analysis doesn't take a lot of factors into account - longevity is greater in small dogs ... get more MACHs based on that alone. You don't count BCs as "big dogs", which futher throws off the numbers...

I don't think BCs are big dogs. To me, a big dog is a dog running in the 24" class, a dog that weighs 50 pounds or more. That lets out almost all the BCs.
On the whole I think it is easier to MACH a small dog. I think it is every bit as hard to win/compete at top levels with a small dog, just that there are different problems.

We can certainly agree there. Yet there have been more small dogs (Moso, now Tigger, and of course the Shelties) on World Teams than there have ever been true big dogs. In the past few years there have been none. The fastest Doberman in the U.S. averages 5.5 yps in JWW. There are only 6 dobermans competing who can get above 5 yps in JWW, and they are all seriously athletic dogs. My bet is, your cockers are faster than that. There are very few true big dogs who can make anywhere near 6 yps Breezy the Giant Schnauzer being one.
But my up-and-coming dog is a 24" Ibizan hound, so what do I know. I probably won't MACH her mother, ... on one. I full intend to MACH Rum, but what I would really like is for her to be competitive.

How much does Rum weigh by the way? Just curious. I do hope she's world class competitive, that would be cool to see.
I think the true small dogs, the 8" dogs, need it. But the 24" dogs tend to get the tightest times (look at NADAC) yet they often can't run full speed on a course.

Small dogs take more strides. More strides =slower, except that small dogs can do more efficent paths.
Before I would make a blanket statement I would be looking at Q rates due to time NQs, which I haven't done. I do know that Q rates haven't been dramatically different at the trial I was at most recently across heights. I do think fast 12" are at a distinct advantage, but I am not sure your typical 12" dog is.
My other pet peeve? Dogs are not allowed to move down in height, because that's supposedly an advantage for the ... dogs up in height? To give themselves an advantage some dogs jump better and drop fewer bars at a higher height.

Most people I know do it for two reasons:

1. Trying for WT.
2. because they have to jump 26" in USDAA and don't want to shift 6", ratherjust change 2" difference.
I know the 24" is less competetive than 20, both in numbers and quality. The 20" is the most competetive around here followed by 12". (Looking at times in standard anyway).
So somehow it's not okay to move down because it gives you an advantage, but it's fine to move up because it gives you an advantage.

I do think people wanting to do WT have a legitimate reason for having to jump the higher height.
It's not uncommon, in the 24" class, to be competing against dogs that are up to 4" shorter and half ... MACH bonus points that I would have received if the dog hadn't moved up in height to get an advantage...

But you could always argue somebosy has an unfair advantage - Rum is 30 lbs at 23" - I bet she will be able to move in ways that a lot of other 24"s won't.
You can focus on who has what unfair advantage, or you can do the best you can with your dog, (alternatively - write letters to the AKC, or get a different breed).
Some dogs are better designed for this sport than others. I know someone working on a MACH with a bassett for gosh sakes.
That's life - I love my breeds and while I won't rule out another breed inthe future - I know my dogs are far far more limited by my handling and training abilities than any other aspect of the sport.

Melissa S. Frye
Skyrocket cockers www.mfrye.com/skyrocket/
I do think people wanting to do WT have a legitimate reason for having to jump the higher height.

I'll agree there. But there are lots of people doing it who do neither USDAA (which is non-existent in my area) or going for WT. They just know their dog drops fewer bars at the higher height, so they jump that.
But you could always argue somebosy has an unfair advantage - Rum is 30 lbs at 23" - I bet she will be able to move in ways that a lot of other 24"s won't.

My bet is Rum will simply not be able to get anywhere close to her flat ground speed due to a huge stride. My bet is she will be disadvantaged because she is a bigger dog. I could be wrong, feel free to make me eat my words. I don't have any trouble with dogs like Rum. I just don't like people moving up to get a purposeful advantage.
You can focus on who has what unfair advantage, or you can do the best you can with your dog, (alternatively - write letters to the AKC, or get a different breed).

And I agree with the above. I don't focus on it, but it is an issue. I do plan to suggest that move-ups not be allowed during the next rule change, just like I plan to suggest a 5' aframe and 24" spread on the weaves. Who knows where it will go!
Some dogs are better designed for this sport than others. I know someone working on a MACH with a bassett ... my dogs are far far more limited by my handling and training abilities than any other aspect of the sport.

Well of course! If my Cala belonged to a WT trainer, my bet is she could make the WT she's probably fast enough to do it. Way not my goal though.
I do think people wanting to do WT have a legitimate reason for havingto jump the higher height.

I'll agree there. But there are lots of people doing it who do neither USDAA (which is non-existent in my area) or going for WT. They just know their dog drops fewer bars at the higher height, so they jump that.

It's funny because we don't get that much around here. But I am not sure it would bother me terribly - There dog needs fewer s
My bet is Rum will simply not be able to get anywhere close to her flat ground speed due to a huge stride.

I don't get how this "disadvantages" her. On the average course she still will take fewer strides than Dice, because Dice is smaller. Just because she may have to run a larger secion of the course collected.
My bet is she will be disadvantaged because she is a bigger dog. I could be wrong, feel free to ... don't have any trouble with dogs like Rum. I just don't like people moving up to get a purposeful advantage.

Even though she isn't a "big" dog by your definition and she is running in the 24"?
Doesn't that give us an unfair advantage? What about all those big border collies?
If you want to make it really fair, you should suggest a height/weight ratio be the basis for jump heights.
And I agree with the above. I don't focus on it, but it is an issue. I do plan to ... like I plan to suggest a 5' aframe and 24" spread on the weaves. Who knows where it will go!

I don't like the 5' A-frame - sorry it's moving toward boards on the ground. I do like 24" weaves as do my dogs.
Well of course! If my Cala belonged to a WT trainer, my bet is she could make the WT she's probably fast enough to do it. Way not my goal though.

But I guess I look at my dogs and know that minor rule changes (kicking the 20" dogs out of 24") aren't going to make a difference in Kizzi MACHing or not half as much as the training I put into her. I guess I see a lot of people bitching about how unfair this or that is on the internet, and it just seems such a waste of energy...

Melissa S. Frye
Skyrocket cockers www.mfrye.com/skyrocket/
But I guess I look at my dogs and know that minor rule changes (kicking the 20" dogs out of ... bitching about how unfair this or that is on the internet, and it just seems such a waste of energy

I freely admit that having a sound dog and doing the training are the biggest things. As an observer though, I do see where it seems that the smaller dogs do have an advantage on many AKC courses. Doesn't mean I'll change breeds but I'm glad that other large dog people are seeing some of the same things that I am. Makes me feel like not such a newbie to agility. And your little dogs are FAST!! Skyrocket fits:-)

Beth
And you have run how many small dogs? I have run a big dog - although I am sure you can come up with a lot of reasons why my big dog doesn't count.. They do have different problems.

I'm glad you've spoken up. Since you not only run all sizes of dogs but also do their training I think your input is great! Since I don't plan on having a small dog anytime soon I'll probably never find out the differences in handling.
Beth
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