During their last dog agility training session Buzz and Colin were working on early verbal and physical cue for more efficient lead leg change during collection and extension jumps. Although lead leg is often overlooked in agility it is actually a simple concept that can make the difference between a tight turn and a wide turn.
In simple terms, the front leading leg when a dog is cantering, galloping or jumping is always the second of the front legs that strikes the ground. Do you know which leg is the leading leg when your dog is jumping to the right? If not, I would advise you to film your dog in slow motion whilst jumping and learn to recognise which one should be his leading leg. You will then be able to recognise so many video of agility dogs on the internet turning with the wrong lead leg, this is often a sign that the handler has not provided clear enough physical and/or verbal cues to allow the dog to prepare himself for the jump.
As Colin was struggling a little with the concept, he decided to take the exercise to the next level. I must admit I am really impressed by his dedication and interesting initiative!
As the exercise was definitely a success we decided to share the experience with the outside world for the benefits of you all but remember that this jumping exercise is an advanced exercise, I would not advise to try it without the supervision of your trainer nor without a photographer to capture the essence of the exercise.
So now, please look attentively to the next few photos and share with us your opinion
- Which one of these is a collection jump and which one is an extension jump?
- That was easy? OK, so now watch attentively: who is using the wrong leading leg?
- Do you think Buzz gave the command early enough?
- Finally which jumping style do you prefer?
In case you were wondering I can confirm that no human was hurt during this photoshoot! But did you know that abnormal lead leg changes can also be an early pointer of injury?