I attach my the Abstract (700 words) of my recent study into the scale jump for anyone who is interested. The original is too big to place here but I can supply it to anyone who is interested enough to read the long version. (Mark it is 2.2MB if you can accommodate that somehow)
I hope it will be useful for anyone who is worried about the jumps. Please let me know your thoughts.
I have sent the full version to all the members of the Kennel Club Working Trials Liaison Council equipment sub committee, but have not yet received an itinerary of how they will respond to it. I have been informed that agility will be subject to a general consultation next month.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gail, Averil, Les
Hi Penny and thank you for sharing your thoughts and findings,
A quarter of dogs getting injured on the scale seems horrific to me and that is concentrating on the landings. I have seen many dogs hurt on the take off side - strained front assembly from either insufficient power behind or from slipping with the back feet, the horrible slip back and collapse and once a toe caught and trapped between boards. Imagine how high the percentage of injuries would be allowing for take off injuries and then if we added long jump injuries...……
Thank you very much for your comments. I’m glad you read the work. The study was intended to take in all injuries from the scale jump and not just in landing, though perhaps that was my approach. I did not look at the long jump. I’m happy to collate incidents of injuries from the scale jump until the equipment subcommittee wish to take on that role for themselves. I’m also happy to do an update to the study if it should become necessary.
So if you could let me have details of any accidents such as who, what, where, when and how. I’m looking to reduce injuries sustained as well as reporting on the safety of the equipment per se.
I so wish I had collated incidents but sadly most of the times and places are beyond me. As to names that is up to the people concerned. What stands out is that almost every time dogs are doing the trials jumps there is something to make the heart stop. Almost always a dog falls back for various reasons from poor preparation to slippery surface to over enthusiasm etc etc. The one permanent factor is the jump itself. Even now that the scale has chamfers they aren't regulated so some are deep and some are shallow, some are horizontal and some slope making them useless. At our local club last Sunday one dog out of four using the jumps fell back ( backing up your 25%) and it was an experienced dog. I also think that a lot of injuries show up later on, sometimes the following morning and aren't attributed to the jumps. It would certainly be useful to study the long jump as I think it causes many injuries as well as the scale.
Occasions I can pinpoint include our own dog back in the 80s straining his "arms" severely when he first came across a competition scale without slats his front paws supporting his full weight while his back paws could not find purchase. This is still seen where chamfers aren't enough of a shelf to provide purchase or are slippery. I'll never forget the spaniel belonging to a friend whose claw was caught between top and next lower board of the scale. A terrible accident was averted by Terry Hadley's lightening actions, supporting the dog freeing the paw and saving the day. Our own dogs are very fit capable and suitable breeds and enjoy jumping. Even so we have had a serious lumbosacral injury and arthritis and my latest young dog has fallen back through over enthusiasm. While they enjoy jumping I do not consider it worth the risk. Someone recently said why deny them something they enjoy - my reply was that they would enjoy chasing cars down the road but I don't allow that to do that either to keep them safe.
Happy safe training
Falling off the scale on the take off was not a significant feature in my observation of theBanbury progress tests. I would have noted these, and did not confine my study merely to landing.
It is true that not every dog is suitable for working trials agility. In my rehabilitation survey most people seemed to have good practices at fittening their dogs or managing their jump training. Also in the absence of professional rehabilitation advice, fittening may mean different things to different people. It’s difficult when you are running a training group to manage the fitness of your clients.
You mention a number of things which contribute to jump accidents and evaluating them and problem solving is something we should be doing.
I didn’t cover it in my wok but you mention a very valid point in that if the handler fears for an accident it is likely to make the dog uncertain and more likely for an accident to happen, so it is wise not to ask them to jump if you feel like that.
I agree that a study into the long jump is important, but I’m having a break for a while right noŵ but would support anyone else who took it on.
I understand that the KCWTLC are commissioning a study by Nottingham Trent into the jumps for next year and we will get to know the details of this shortly,
Right now a good information base to make good decisions that we can all have confidence in is the way forward