I have only been involved in agility for a little over a year but have had lots of the historical reasons against 4th height given to me fairly forcibly when expressing my support for it. I knew the day my 1st dog measured large that this wasn’t right and his agility career was being unfairly ended before it began. So I want change for dogs like him and so that my 2nd “just large” has a better chance of a long, happy and hopefully injury free agility career. This is Casper who measured just large in October 2013. He is unable to jump that height and is significantly smaller than the jump height. He has competed in 5 anysize classes since he was measured and whilst I am very proud of this Judge’s special rosette he has missed the opportunity to show his agility skills to their full potential.
Freddie and I may not be the most “successful” agility pair of all time – never qualified for big finals, or gone to the heady heights of grade 6/7. BUT… he has taken me from grade 1 to grade 5, had an amazing time doing it, and earned his AW(G). I couldn’t be prouder of my just-large ABC! Now all we need is that pesky 4th height to come in to give him a few more years enjoying agility.
Belle and I are in a similar position except for not getting AW(G). She is well able to jump large at KC but I would love a 4th height so my small large (463mm) would have an agility career lasting a bit longer. Luckily we love UKA but it would be great to compete at the same height at KC.
Thanks to Annabelle Stoate for the montage.
I have two Staffie crosses, one of whom is definitely a large, the other is only just into Large. She sneaks into Large and because of her muscular physique is relatively heavy for her height! As a result, she has had several sprained muscles. I would love to be able to take Honey to KC shows, but I don’t think her joints would thank me if I did!!!
My Bree, UKA standard, we run for fun and enjoy every minute, we just find the KC large TOO BiG! So grateful to be able to run STD otherwise our agility journey would have been very short!
This is my WSD Lacey jumping standard at a UKA show when we go to KC shows she often struggles keeping the jumps up and just doesn’t jump as comfortably over them.
Photo Credits to Annabelle Stoate
This is my Tia she is a rescue BC/sheltie mix. We have competed in UKA since 2008 at midi height. On the summer of 2012 we went to our first KC show in the hopes of Qing for YKC Crufts. On this day she was measured into large. I couldn’t believe it and neither could any of my friends! She had been measured as 42.3cm by UKA so it did not make sense. Anyway as soon as the measurer said the words large I refused to compete. She was far too small and even though she could clear it, it would be disastrous to her health long term. She was 6 at the time and is 8 now. Although I would not compete her at a 4th height at her current age, it could have been a possibility for her in her youth and I think is essential for those dogs being measured into large who are just not suited to this extreme height! The gap between medium and large in kc is unreal when you have a borderline dog. I am Currently in training to become a qualified hydro-therapist and I have seen first hand what jumping dogs at the wrong height can cause to their physical health. I am pleased to say she is still doing amazingly at UKA though.
I do KC shows because as a newcomer to the sport, it was the direction I was pointed in by my KC affiliated club. When I became more knowledgeable about agility and learnt of the different organisations, I realised that my small/large collie (only a cm or so above the medium limit at KC) would be able to compete at this 4th height (standard) at many non KC shows which I firmly believe is better for her longevity in the sport.
The two dogs at our club that would compete over 4th height are both border collies. At large height Tilly owned by Luke Hossin puts an extra short stride before take off before ‘climbing’ over the jumps. At standard height she flows beautifully and easily and reasonably fast. She has had her back and legs all checked but it really comes down to being a show type with shorter legs ! Jess is owned by Sharon and Shaun Tooth.
At large height she has always missed the odd jump and also ‘measures’ before each one. She also is happy to flow around a course at standard height. She is the same build as Tilly with shorter legs. Both measured large by a fraction. They do not compete at KC shows as both owners feel that their dogs are uncomfortable with the extra height.
I did both KC and UKA shows and saw the difference it made for my daughters small large BC, though she now jumps large without problems, she struggled to start with. At the time I didn’t have a small large dog, but thought it was just logical to fill the jump height gap. I now do have a small large dog and I watched a slow motion video of her jumping and though she jumps fine over large, it was an eye opener to watch her in slow-motion and I was very reluctant to let her jump full height now.
This is Jarvis, our working cocker spaniel, who only just measured into the current Large height for KC agility. It’s not a problem for him at the moment but I worry that his agility career might be short and am concerned about risking injury to him at the full height. He’s a cocker spaniel and shouldn’t be jumping the same height as much bigger dogs. The difference in the jump height from Medium to Large is massive in comparison to the difference between Small and Medium.
Freddie is my 2nd working cocker, my 1st dog was medium. Freddie has measured into large by about half centimetre. I have been competing for 7 years and have seen many dogs in large KC classes who were struggling at this height. After Freddie’s 2nd measure was was borderline and the measurer’s said they had no choice but to give it as large, my decision was clear. We now compete at UKA standard and medium at FAB shows. I will only do a max of 2 KC shows a year while he is young. He has the biggest heart and always attempts the jumps at KC large. I would like to thank every KC judge in whose class he has competed, who have praised him on completing a course in recognition of his effort. First and foremost he is my pet and I will not shorten his agility fun days by jumping him at large.
Neet and Sasha
I started agility last year with Sasha just after she turned one. Although at first she was very keen towards the end of the year we both we struggling and nearly gave up. After Christmas though it’s like a different dog and she is really coming along. She measures 510mm so a tiny large and I have just being doing Allsorts classes with her for now, with mixed results lol. Hoping the fourth height will really push her on and challenge us both to do well.