AKC Weave Pole Spacing Results
The results are in! I asked everyone what their opinion might be on AKC’s coming announcement of a change in weave pole spacing to 24″ (due around February). Over 95 of you submitted your thoughts, and they were all very enlightening! To read them all, go here.
Nearly everyone agrees that 24″ spacing is healthier for dogs of all sizes, but most helpful for big and long-backed dogs. Dogs with neck and back problems who have switched have had significant lessening of their symptoms. Larger dogs are moving faster and ‘smiling’ as they run- and isn’t that what it’s about? Having fun and being safe. This also opens the AKC venue for more competitors, since some dogs with health issues can use the wider weaves without worrying about aggravating an injury. All round, a big thumbs’ up for health.
There’s been some fears expressed that smaller dogs will pop out more, or be slowed down by the wider weaves- but the experience of many people say their smaller dog hasn’t had a problem, or has been even faster!
Check this video one of our members sent! It illustrates in slow motion how the wider spacing affects different size dogs.
Several commented and said they thought trials should have two sets on course- one for big dogs, one for small dogs. After all, A-frames are adjustable, jump categories are for big and small dogs, why not have two sets of weaves? That could be a good idea, except there’d have to be stipulations for the long-backed small dogs like Corgis and Dachshunds. I can see it now…meansuring not just tall, but long! Probably not going to happen, but a creative idea nonetheless.
In summary, AKC has made a change for the health of the big dogs- not a simple preference, but an actual health issue. The change doesn’t hurt the small dogs, and benefits the large dogs. It sounds like a win-win situation. While maybe two sets of poles is a good choice (though some clubs may not be able to afford them) the AKC has spoken, and 24″ spacing prevails.
What about USDAA?
This leads to a problem. When is the USDAA going to make the change? They mandate a current range of 20″-22″! So far they aren’t talking, and this is a frustrating to many people who compete in various venues. I personally believe that if they take their time in making the change, this issue is going to be damaging to their organization. I already see more and more people leaving AKC for CPE for certain advantages that AKC is slow to embrace, and USDAA is sure to experience a downhill descent if they don’t make changes faster. (A universal umbrella organization would be helpful at times like this, though I’m glad there isn’t for other reasons!) USDAA should jump on the health-issues with weaves bandwagon as soon as they can.
Congratulations to our Winner!
Congratulations to Jeff Riedl, who won a copy of Susan Garrett’s DVD “12 Poles in 12 Days”. Our random number generator chose #26 and he was the 26th comment that came in. If you want your own copy, visit here and check it out! And check out our 24″ weaves here. (and for USDAA folks, yep, we have 21″ available as well!)