Friday, June 08, 2012

Sheltie, size, and Agility

Sorry, this could turn out to be a "sour" post. Sonic is coming up to 15 months now. Garden practice has been taken 2 steps back since I came back from WAO. I am getting lazier! I always find myself some good excuses, selling house, buying house, selling cars, buying van, meeting up with solicitors, do this, do that ... there is always something to do and stressful. But, I think this taking one step forward and two steps back certainly help. Little did I know, Sonic already can weave upright since I came back from WAO. Before we went to Belgium, he still need the poles to open up slightly. When we got home, I closed the poles up to practice with Sizzle for the FCI tryout and forgot to open them, he just weave through without thinking much about it. Jackpot! Although not perfect but it is a good start! We are still working on the entries eventhough he is pretty good at it but sometimes, you just need more proving! I've varied the pattern I've handled him, front cross, rear across, racing ahead, sending, recall and the biggest failure is DISTRACTION. I am always confident that he will focus once we are on course, yes he will with other obstacles but not the weave! Mmmm ... more proving needed!

I haven't make any weaving video lately but this is the one I have Colin to video us soon after we came back from WAO:

Only a couple of days ago, I started to put the odd jumps up to Medium height. Poor Sonic was struggling to start with, he knocked almost every Medium poles down. I had set up jump-DW-jump in a straight line and he failed to keep the poles up :( It really made me feel very sad about it. Although, after a few times over the medium height, he did jump clear but it is very sad for me to watch him jump over that height. He is a proper Sheltie boy size, 14.5" (37cm) and he has to jump 3 inches over his own height (Medium height is 45cm), that is a lot to ask. I enjoy Agility and having fun with my shelties but I am not lying, I am also competitive. I feel very demotivated to compete against those Medium size Border Collies. I know, there is no way that I can beat the speed of a Border Collie and it is extremely sad that I have to think to wait for the Border Collie to go wrong and I must ensure that my sheltie is running clear! 

At this year's FCI tryout, all the medium dogs are PURELY Border Collies only, there is no other breed in there, how sad? Last year, I remembered seeing Shelties, Poodles, Cocker Spaniels ... where are they this year?

As a breeder and an agility competitor, I am feeling rather sad. As a breeder point of view, I am breeding the STANDARD of a Shetland Sheepdog, this means a standard boy size is 14.5" and girl is 13.5". Don't get me wrong, I am very proud with all my puppies, whether they are small or medium. Most of our Licosateria puppies are good sizes.

As an agility competitor, I prefer running a small height sheltie. I think the kennel Club small height, 35cm (about 13.7") is a good height for sheltie to jump. I am happy to run a Medium height sheltie if he/she is over 15". Saturn (43cm) and Sipzie (39cm), these two are happily jumping over the medium height. My poor old boy Sing is even smaller, he was measured 36cm, just over 14". He did struggled, Bless him! Thank God he is long retired now :)

It look like UKA will be my favourite for Sizzle and Sonic in the future. I think the jump height suits them better. The Toy height is 300mm (11.8") and Sizzle was measured at 29cm, the jump height is just perfect for him. As for Midi, the jump height is 400mm (15.75"), that will be a comfortable height for Sonic.


Chris and Ricky said...

I agree with your complaint about the jumping heights - I understand that there has to be some sort of standard for jump height classes and measurements of dogs but it is too bad there are not exceptions for borderline dogs.

Rhoda said...

I really sympathise with you :( Brax has def shrunk and we measured her again at home at just over 11 inches! Brodie is the right size for a sheltie boy (same height as Sing) but as we proved, both of them now fit under a small measure now that they are older. If Brooke does measure medium then its UKA all the way for us!! Sonic will manage better once he gets used to the jump height, various bits of gridwork will help xx

Diana said...

Yes , I agree. In one venue here called, USDAA , Miley at 13.5 inches has to jump 16 inches. I think that is to high for her. So she is in what we call preferred. It was meant for older dogs ,so they could jump a lower jump height but there are people like me running it for our smaller dogs. For AKC she can jump the 12 inch class.
Most shelties here are at least 14 -15 inches. Everyone wants 13 inch shelties but they are hard to come by.

Vonnie said...

Yip that slight margin between small and medium is :( I felt for Sing as it wasn't fair. Totally agree with the size of a typical Scottish (I know I have to say it LOL) Sheltie should be 13" Bitch 15" Dog! Far too many small ones these days down South.