Author Topic: Jump Safety  (Read 2548 times)

Sharon Nelson

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Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2012, 03:49:57 PM »
With a competitive high speed sport, there ARE going to be injuries.  We don't want to ever see a dog injured... EVER!

I don't care what the piece of equipment is... we can show horrific videos... horrible falls off the dog walk, dogs breaking their legs when they laugh off an a-frame.. there was a dog that broke it's neck when it got tangled in a closed tunnel.... dogs being impaled by broken weave poles....

We continue to strive to make this sport as safe as possible, but we will never reach a point that it is totally safe.

I love the idea of limiting the number of jump cups on jump uprights.... I am not as sure about wings that should "fall apart" when hit....

I am one that had Lucky once hit a metal jump and he flipped then entire jump over and hit himself with it and he was hurt for a month.... but when we returned, I worked on my responsibility to the approach of the jumps and training him to watch the path I was putting him on and not just taking the shortest possible route, which isn't always the shortest route.

I didn't see the handler in the video doing anything to create a path for the dog other than a rush to the next obstacle.  Maybe this dog needs to calm a bit and not risk his body over speed.  I don't know the dog or handler but I know I was worried for this dog's life long before he hit that jump... it seemed like a matter of time before he did something to hurt himself with his franticness.  Once he hit the jump, it seems he would have pulled up and not flown into the weave poles and blasted through those.  It seems just as likely that he displaced a toe while weaving.

JMHO

Sharon
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2012, 04:47:59 PM »
One could always use a few more hoops and barrels and less jumps too!!

Sharon
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LeeAnne McAdam

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Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2012, 04:57:47 PM »
One could always use a few more hoops and barrels and less jumps too!!

Sharon

I'd vote for that!  I guess we're lucky around here that we don't see jumps that strike me as particularly unsafe, although I do understand that accidents can happen anytime and anywhere.  I stumbled into NADAC  by accident when I first started doing agility, did a couple other things a bit but am NADAC only now as I feel it's in the best interests of my dogs for many reasons (to say nothing of the fact that it's just so freaking fun)!  I appreciate your efforts to always keep dogs first, Sharon. 
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Diane Whitney

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Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2012, 07:20:52 PM »
Sharon, you just made my point for me better than I could have.  :)  You are one of the best handlers and trainers there is. Why should you and Lucky have had to go through all that? That's exactly the kind of accident I'm talking about.

Sharon Nelson

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Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2012, 08:49:10 PM »
Sharon, you just made my point for me better than I could have.  :)  You are one of the best handlers and trainers there is. Why should you and Lucky have had to go through all that? That's exactly the kind of accident I'm talking about.

You can't make the sport "so safe" that there is no chance of a dog being injured.  He showed me that I needed to pay more attention to the path I put him on for his own safety..... that is MY responsibility and I took it to heart and never let him approach again from that angle....

In the video you showed the handler did nothing to "put" the dog on a safe path.... she was already turned and driving to the weaves.... if the path to the jump had been created from a safe angle, then the dog couldn't have hit the jump wing.

We, as handlers, can do a lot to make this sport safer by the methods we use to guide our dogs through a course... and we must take that job responsively and not expect the equipment to cover up our handling errors or expect the judges to always set a course perfectly....  it would be great if every course were perfect for every dog and every stride length, but in reality, only, we the handlers have that type of control over where we run our dogs, the courses we choose to run and the paths that we train our dogs to run on.

Sharon
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TheQuestKnight

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Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2012, 05:23:17 AM »
Having equipment that will "break before the dog does" presents another plethora of risks.  Several displaceable tire designs that I have seen only permit the tire to displace so far . . . or in the case of the magnetic one that I saw, to fall to the ground, theoretically out of the dog's way.

The parts that make up a jump that could be made "break away" could pose and equal, if not greater, risk to the dog than simply "crashing" the jump.

The simplest, SAFEST, solution is to eliminate jumps altogether and replace them with TEAM HANDLING-required hoops and barrels!  How many "takers" want to jump on that bandwagon???

IMHO, jumps are EASY to train because the dog can see an obstactle that has a specific ACTION associated with it, so many handlers to a less-than-adequate job of showing their dog the path . . . and leave too much up to the dog . . . which can lead to crashes and injuries.

Dogs can still run into hoops . . . or try to jump over them . . . so not even hoops are "safer", just safeR . . .

Years ago, our "agility steady" Dred began crashing jumps and tires "left and right" and jumping off of contacts . . . physically, we couldn't find a "reason" . . . and he'd always been "solid" in those aspects of the sport . . . it wasn't until we were playing with a frisbee one day that I realized that his peripheral vision seemed to be non-existent.  Opthamological examination revealed that his retina and visual field had significantly deteriorated in many areas; but his adaptability had kept his declining vision "hidden" from us for several years . . . until it reached a point that Dred could no longer hide from us . . .

I have always owned semi-suicidal BCs . . . no respect for their bodies when they are "doing their job" . . . my wife and I are the same way . . . so we accept the inherent dangers in our chosen pursuits, such as agility.

Is it possible that Dred's retinas became detached from some of his youthful "crash and burn" learning experiences in his youth . . . then reattached with scarring???  Yes, that's what the opthamologist theorizes . . . and yes, Dred could have still functioned normally enough through that process that he would have appeared "normal" . . .

My point is merely that I've seen several dogs agility careers ended with just one slip or mis-step . . . I've also had my own dogs injured because they were running recklessly on an adrenaline "high" . . . in only ONE instance can I sort-of fault a piece of equipment . . . an A-frame had been surfaced and then painted with a gloss paint . . .

. . . but the real BLAME still rested with me . . . with all of the equipment that I had worked on by then, I should have checked the surface during the walk through . . . and noticed the sheen, even on a cloudy, drizzly day . . . and pulled my dog from those runs with the A-frame . . .

But I digress . . . perhaps one of the safer, multiple cup jump designs is one of the OLDEST in the sport.  The uprights are made from 2x4 lumber and the jump supports are "Z" cuts made into the thin side of the 2x4.  The jump bars' ends are capped and a small (3/4") metal angle brace is screwed into the cap so the top of the metal angle matches the top of the bar . . . this is the OLD "hanging bar" design.  There are no protruding cups and the metal hanges are generally fall behind the dog when bars come down.

Just random thoughts . . .

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Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2012, 07:48:34 AM »
Hi Diane!  Great example of a picture being worth a thousand words.  WOW!  Those  protruding v-shaped pieces of metal attached to uprights that would not knock over if hit (due to being attached at the bottom) look VERY dangerous indeed.   

The type of metal jump strips mounted on light weight PVC stanchions used by a local club that hosts most of the NADAC trials around me are VERY different.  They have a much lower profile and jump bars fit snugly inside of curved cups and the stanchions are not connected by a base, which I think is an important safety feature.  I have not seen an injury but I have seen quite a few stanchions knocked over by dogs hitting them.  Its hard to imagine a dog's eye coming in contact with these type of jump cups or a dog bruising a rib by hitting a stanchion that would tip over.

It makes perfect sense that a movable single jump cup (or a magnetic device) would be the safest option but I doubt a small club like the one near me could afford to change out all of their jump strips unless it was super cheap.  Plus I don't think the jumps they are currently using are particularly unsafe, so I wouldn't want them to have to change them out unless they chose to do so. 

I fully support your mission to get rid of the type of jumps seen in that photo though!   

Good luck.   

Devorah Sperber, Woodstock, NY


Janine McGee

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Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2012, 12:49:14 PM »
In response to the video there is an extra engineered stabilizer on the jumps - the wings.  They create a buttress making the jump even more sturdy and unable to fall compared to the T shaped ones used most often.

There is inherent risk in all sports as has been said previously. Sharon, I believe, has made NADAC the safest game in town.  Not only in equipment modification but training style as well.  By making the path OUR responsibility we must look at ourselves when assessing the risk involved not only the equipment.

Janine McGee
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Kathy Phelan

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Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2012, 04:45:50 PM »
I've been following the jump discussion and agree it would be better if the cups could be phased out - especially after reading about the awful injuries some dogs incurred. One of my friend's dogs broke a toe hitting a jump cup this year.

There are some who seem to be saying good handlers' dogs are not in danger. In my mind, that's the point. Not every agility competitor is a perfect handler. Until this discussion I've never once thought about what part of the jump I should be guiding my pup over, I just send her to the jump. Dogs need to be protected as much as possible from harm caused by mistakes handlers like me may make.
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Rose

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Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2012, 03:10:07 PM »
After I read Steve's article, I replaced the jump cups on my PVC jumps with single clip-on-cups.  (I'm sorry to say that it has taken me this long to do so since Brio is a half-sister to one of my dogs.)  I decided to leave the two standards joined at the bottom because it is often windy in my agility field, and I know that if my dogs hit one of them, the entire jump will fall over.
Rose Kirwan

Re: Jump Safety
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2012, 11:00:34 AM »


You can't make the sport "so safe" that there is no chance of a dog being injured.  He showed me that I needed to pay more attention to the path I put him on for his own safety..... that is MY responsibility and I took it to heart and never let him approach again from that angle....

In the video you showed the handler did nothing to "put" the dog on a safe path.... she was already turned and driving to the weaves.... if the path to the jump had been created from a safe angle, then the dog couldn't have hit the jump wing.

We, as handlers, can do a lot to make this sport safer by the methods we use to guide our dogs through a course... and we must take that job responsively and not expect the equipment to cover up our handling errors or expect the judges to always set a course perfectly....  it would be great if every course were perfect for every dog and every stride length, but in reality, only, we the handlers have that type of control over where we run our dogs, the courses we choose to run and the paths that we train our dogs to run on.

Sharon
[/quote]

I totally agree with this Sharon.  You can't make any sport totally injury free.  I have seen dogs hurt by coming down A-frame and hitting a bit "off" before.  This has nothing to do with the A-frame itself, but the fact that the dog simply came down a bit off balance.  I have heard my little guy fall in tunnels (not just the U shaped tunnels that others talk about) because he is so light (11 lbs) and so fast.  He simply banks off the side and his feet sometimes come out from under him.  I have also managed to "punt" him, unintentionally of course, because he came back into me on a run.  I was running forward and well, he wasn't... I stepped on his foot and sent him tumbling.  Fortunately he got up and ran and was fine.  But this wasn't even on a piece of equipment. 
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