Bogey received his CD title last month at fourteen months old. I plan to continue in Novice A and then in Novice B to gain experience for both of us. We have most of the Open exercises learned. Due to his age, we are only jumping 14” high, twice a week and limiting the number of jumps. He is a male and intact. My question: At what age (months) should I begin higher jumps?
I would wait until two. However, I have had two very active dogs who wound up with OCD due to over activity (not specifically jumping-they were just very active boys).
I don't do any serious jumping (over 4-6") or allow my dogs to jump out of a vehicle until their bones have matured, usually by 2 years of age. I still don't allow them to jump out of the vehicle without a little support, OCD has been very painful for my dogs, and painful (seeing my babies hurt) and expensive for me.
My struggle has been trying to keep my puppy from leaping in the air. He loves to leap up as high as he can and slam down on the ground. He usually adds a twist in mid-air, turning it into a flip finish(I suppose he's trying to live up to his name...). Not something I taught him and certainly not something I'm encouraging, but he keeps doing it. Sometimes if he's gotten really high I'll catch him in the air just so he doesn't slam the ground, but I don't want me catching him to make him want to do it more often. I guess it's in his blood...his grandmother was known for jumping the six foot kennel runs and his father moved like he had springs attached to his feet.
I too wait until my dogs are older before jumping them over 8-12 inches. Usually when they are nearing 2 years I'll start occassionally jumping full height but you know, when working obedience I almost never jump full height in practise (I do in agility though since they are moving naturally). When the jumps heights were 30", I would practise at 20" until the week before a show and now do the same. The height is not the important thing for most dogs, but going through the stanchions is what needs to be understood.
Protect those joints now and you'll hopefully have 10 years or more of jumping to look forward to