Five years ago, myself and Sarah Stremming developed an online class to help agility dogs jump better. The class was created around a program of fitness and jumping exercises for my dog Stig. The combination of fitness, jump grids, and training techniques is like nothing I’ve ever seen anywhere. Now I use this program for all my agility dogs and for all the dogs that come to me for agility fitness training.
There are SO MANY different things you can learn in this class. It was a hard task to narrow this down to the top 5 concepts you will learn, but here they are:
1)The 5 Phases of Jumping – Approach, Take-off, Aerial, Landing, and Departure
The approach and departure are affected by the set up and handling. The dog depends on the information we give them to know how to approach the jump and where they are going after the jump. The Take-off, Aerial, and Landing phase can all be affected by strength and conditioning.
2)Correct Jumping Form – Not every dog jumps the same and that’s okay! Jump form will change with extension, collection, and different departures. Learn to analyze the dog’s jump arc, and how to manipulate the environment (including what parts of the body to strengthen) to improve it.
3)Use of Grids as Plyometric Exercise – plyometrics are a form of reactive exercise that usually takes the form of jumping. Specifically, the muscles are loaded and then quickly allowed to unload, like loading a spring and then allowing it to explode. Plyometric exercises are not only a great way to strengthen the muscles, but also to quickly build power.
4)Whole Body Conditioning – the whole body needs strength for powerful jumping, not just the core. All the muscles need strength and power and must fire the correct amount and in the correct order to create amazing jumping.
5)The Joy of Jumping – often we take jump training for granted. We expect the dog to figure it out with little help from us. Both you and the dog will learn to love jump training.
To learn more about jumping fitness, check out Jumping Gymnastics at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Class opens for registration on July 22, 2020 and starts August 1, 2020. The class runs for 6 weeks and has 3 levels of participation. Gold spots (12) have full participation, posting videos for feedback and asking questions for discussion. Silver spots (25) are allowed to ask question and post a very limited amount of video (2 x 1min) for feedback. Bronze spots (unlimited) are allowed access to all material and all student threads. The bonus for bronze students is the opportunity to join a Facebook group to get feedback from other students and our teaching assistant, Jenn Bennet. Every student has access to the material as long as you take one FDSA class or workshop a year. For more information, click on the link: https://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/11652