Small breeds, like dachshunde, small terriers, beagles and toys, must clear an obstacle twice their own height at the shoulder.
The distance for broad jumping varies from four to six feet according to the size of the dog, but for all breeds the obstacle is ten inches in height at its highest point. Since the training required for the jumping tests is much simpler than that for correct form in retrieving the dumbbell, we’ll consider that first.
Begin as such training must always begin, whether for horses, dogs or human athletes, with a jump so low it is easily cleared. This will accomplish three things: give Jock confidence, allow you to concentrate on teaching him what he is expected to do and stimulate the natural fondness for jumping which is a characteristic of nearly all breeds. This natural fondness, as we have already learned, is an asset if properly used, and a liability if it is not. It will make Jock give an inspiring performance if he is taught it is a requirement and not simply good fun. Or it will make him refuse to give any performance at all if he is only half trained and doesn’t happen to be in the mood.
So let’s go. With Jock on a leash you simply walk briskly toward your twelveinch hurdle, stepping over it when you reach it, at the same time saying “Hop!” in a crisp cheery tone. It’s ten to one Jock will jump over the bar. Praise him and repeat the routine until Jock has the jumping idea firmly fixed in his mind, never forgetting the command “Hop!” or the word or two of praise that follows his jump. You see now why the excellent command “Hup!” you may have used for the command to sit proves a bit embarrassing at this stage. Even so, it’s nothing serious. Shakespeare used over 50,000 words, they say, and you should be able to find something besides “Hop” to fit the situation.