Frequently Asked Questions
Why do dogs in parkour, on a straight line, take-off from too far away?
The basic condition, which must be put in place for correct jumping, is that a dog is completely healthy (without pain, injuries, tensions, fatigue and without eyesight problems) and is very fit. If there are no health problems then the answer could be that the dog can’t judge the distance to the jump and consequently doesn’t know where the correct take-off point is, he also doesn’t know how to transfer his weight in full speed to his hind end, and quickly use the muscles to do the exercise.
A dog sees the jump in front of him, but because he lacks the knowledge about how to do a correct jump, he will jump too quickly.
In this situation the dog will stay in the air for too long and will fly a longer distance.
What follows is, the forces which affect his front feet as he lands are too big, which can be seen as a short pause in his movement and a very visible and quick drop down of the front part of his body.
His muscles, tendons and joints will not handle this pressure, so the dog will need a step or two to balance his body and be able to continue his movement with speed in a certain direction.
Besides negative effects on the body, the dog will also lose time.
How can I help my dog to better judge distances?
You can help your dog by using specific exercises which will help him recognize the correct lending points and he will learn how to effectively judge the take-off point and continue his movement into a correct technique of the jump.
In parkour dogs jump over jumps at full speed. How will jumping gymnastics exercises help them understand the jump if they are taught at low speed and at very short distances? How will a dog transfer the knowledge from jumping gymnastics to a situation in parkour?
A dog will do everything as he was taught, or as he feels is the easiest way to do it. If he hadn’t been taught the right jumping technique, he will jump as he has taught himself. Which is not always correct.
With jumping gymnastic we teach the dog how to judge distances, the correct jumping technique and other important elements. We teach all of this with an adapted set up, which helps the dog to be successful. Then we raise the criteria, so we finally end up with a desired result, which is the right take-off point and a correct jumping technique. At the same time we strengthen a dog’s muscle memory which helps the dog to move correctly and with automatism.
When a dog learns the correct jumping technique, he will quickly find out that this way of movement is easier and puts less stress on his body. This is why he will transfer what he learned to all activities which demand this knowledge. In our case the activity is agility.
If we want our dog to automatize the learned jumping technique and transfer it onto a situation in agility, we must realize that we need to do many repetitions of different exercises and we need the dog to understand them.
To make a comparison, we can imagine a ski jumper who is preparing for a competition season. Before sitting at the top of the ski jump, he will do several thousands of improvised jumps, push-offs and other exercises, which will support the eventual execution of the jump.
The same happens with our dogs – if we want them to control and correctly use their bodies while moving at great speed, we have to teach them in a controlled environment and at lower speed. This is how they will create a correct muscle memory which will transfer to the agility parkour. We must know that there are no short-cuts. In the beginning we must do a lot of repetitions (short sessions), and the learned behavior must be maintained throughout the whole agility career.
What is the difference between teaching the correct jumping technique to a young inexperienced dog or to an experienced aguility dog?
While teaching a new thing, we must realize that the behavior which was taught first will always be the strongest.
When we start with a young and inexperienced dog, his muscle memory is like a blank page. This means he hasn’t got any jumping patterns, neither good, nor bad. Consequently it will be easier to teach a young dog to move and jump correctly.
With adult and experienced dog we begin with the basics, just like we would with young dogs. But we must realize that experienced dogs already use certain learned patterns while moving and jumping. Changing a learned behavior takes more time and demands a lot of patience on our part. We must know that every time a dog finds an exercise difficult or every time he feels confused, he will go back to his old behavior. Therefor it is important to have patience and do things slowly, with small steps forward, and to raise the criteria gradually. It is also important for a dog to be successful at 80% of his attempts.
Why do dogs bend their hind legs while flying over the jump?
When a dog is approaching the jump, his weight is on his front end. He must then transfer the weight by arching his back onto his hind end and jump into the air. He places his hind feet under his front end and jumps. When he is flying above the jump, he must relax the muscles on his back and in his hind legs and direct himself downwards. If the connection between the front and hind end is good, the dog will relax his hind legs and while flying over the jump, he will stretch and open them. Dogs will bend their hind legs while flying if especially the muscles on their backs are overworked and there is not a good connection between the front and the hind end. If we want a dog to fly over the jump with his hind end open, we must teach him how to correctly use his body.
Why is there tension in dog’s neck?
While jumping, dogs will have tension in their necks when they don’t arrive at the right take-off point and then compensate with their front ends.
Why do they lift up their heads?
A dog will lift up his head when he does not get the information about the direction of movement quickly enough, and because he hasn’t been taught to focus on the jump ahead of him.
Why do dogs adjust the speed before the jump on a straight line and shorten the stride?
Reasons for shortening (measuring) of strides before the jump:
- The dog does not know where the right push-off point is.
- He remembers the pain – in the past he had a negative experience while hitting the jump and knocking it off- he remembers this as pain.
- The dog has found his own solution to jumping without knocking the pole off.
- The dog finds it easier to jump and is more aware of his own body when he approaches the jump with less speed.
- Physical problems – pain, eyesight problems.
Do I need to have taken an obedience class before joining Joyfull Jumping Training program?
Although you do not need to have attended a formal class you do need some basic skills. Your dog should understand commands for sit, down, stay and come. He need not be 100% reliable but this is a good place to start.
Will I get a refund or discount if I miss a class or can't attend all classes?
We will miss you if you are unable to attend a class, but do not offer refunds, discounts or make-up classes after your registration.
Is Joyfull Jumping Training program easy?
NO, but learning can be fun. It is not just a question of telling your dog to jump, do you know how to communicate with your dog? Performing each obstacle is not the most difficult thing to learn but how to communicate with your partner is much tougher. Your two need to be a team.
How fast will my dog progress?
That depends on many things and will vary from team to team. The speed of your progress does not matter. What is important is learning the fundamental skills at the beginning properly. Once you have trained your dog to make “mistakes”, it is very hard to go back and “fix” them. Learn from mistakes!
I have two dogs. May I bring both to one class?
In the beginning classes, we find that it is too difficult to train more than one dog at a time, but it still is possible. If you have two dogs, you will need to register both dogs separately.
How old should a dog be before beginning classes?
We request that dogs in the beginning classes be at least 10 months old depending on the size and maturity of the dog. This is for the safety and health of the dog. Agility is a strenuous sport and we do not want to cause physical stress to a dog that is still growing.
How long do I have to train before I can show my dog in competitions?
We find that training is a longtime commitment. It can take over a year to teach the dog all the equipment and to teach you to handle and be the dog’s teammate, before you could be ready to go into the ring.
Do I need to have Dog-Training experience to take your courses?
Our courses are designed to be accessible to everyone. Even if this is your very first time working with a dog, the lessons are both comprehensive and easy-to-follow. Plus, we have additional learning materials to make training easier.
Who is the trainer?
You. That’s right! You will be training your dog with guidance from our program and our skilled instructors.
Who provides the training Service?
All training services are provided by Joy4Jump.com.
Where are the training videos?
The videos are located within the course. Some chapters do not include instructional videos while other chapters do.
What currency do you accept?
We accept Eur.
Are shopping and payment on your site safe and secure?
Totally safe and secure. Our checkout page uses ssl (https), and you can pay via debit/credit card, paypal or directly on our account. Happy shopping.