Hey all,

I'm thinking of taking a foundations agility class with Kaylee. If we both enjoy it, I would very much like to continue to competitions. But I'm worried of possible injury due to overuse, the outward facing front legs of cardigans and the taller jumps for dogs over 8 inches. (Kaylee is around 11" at the shoulders.) She is very athletic (read "solid muscle"), but how do I determine if she is developmentally sound enough to go into the 12" division?

I've attached some photos of her standing.

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First there are many factors involved. The amount of "turn out" your corgi has may or may not contribute to a repetitive use injury. The #2 AKC agility Cardigan in the nation has a fair amount of turn out and jumps 12" without apparent injury. She's kept lean and in top condition, which also makes a difference. Then there's what jump height your dog will actually measure. 11" is a cutoff point for many agility organizations. In AKC if your corgi is over 11", she'll be jumping 12", but if she's under 11" she'll be jumping 8" as her regular jump height. If she's right at 11" I'd pick my measuring judges very carefully and make sure you get a judge that will work with the dog to get her under 11". It helps to wear the dog out before having measurements taken. When they're tired, they measure lower. Also you can always jump your dog one height class lower than they measure. In AKC it's called Preferred. That means that if your regular jump height is 8", you can enter as Preferred and jump in the 4" class. Some agility organizations give an automatic "breed exemption". That means that whatever your corgi measures, your regular jump height is one height class lower than that, but no lower than 8". Basically for corgi's that means they are all 8" jump height dogs. I have Cardigans and I jump them in Preferred and use the breed exemptions when organizations have them. 

He's beautiful ^_^

Thank you for the info. It makes me feel a lot better about starting something new with her that we could still compete at a lower height if I thought that was best for her long term health.

Cheri, they really measure lower when tired? I've never heard of that and I'm curious to know why that happens.

My last dog was right at the cutoff and the judges all wanted him to be pushed to the higher one...

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