Well, agility class is cancelled this week for the dog club meeting, so I found myself with an evening with nothing to do...so I did what any self respecting agility addict does...loaded up the car and went to play with the pups at the agility yard. I got some video of Breeze doing weaves, not the best but her weaves are looking way nice, I got some box work footage with Liz, after our disastrous fun match it was good to see her able to play with me, and I got some video at the end of the Crickster. It was funny because everyone was tired and no one wanted to play with her, so she had to work hard to get someone to play. Breeze is not usually a tugger but the toy Liz likes to use for agility really gets everyone excited. It is a pain in the rear because it is hard to tuck into my waist band while I am running and it really looks like an animal. Deanna got freaked out when I had her reward Liz in class, in the dark she all of a sudden yelled, WHAT IS THIS????
I know how important independent weave entries are so we have been working on those. I taught my dogs weaves with Susan Garrett's 2X2 method, using her written materials and DVD and I LOVE that and plan to use it with Crick when she is ready for weaves.
I do think weaves are one of those things that I will speak for myself, but, it is easy to get them good enough,...and then move onto other things and leave huge holes in a dogs skills. So I have been using Joe Canovas program from World Class weaves, a video available from Clean Run. I believe he uses just channels to initially teach the weaves, but it was so long ago that I watched the initial training chapters that I could be wrong. I really like his chapters on the DVD that sort of walk you through the proofing process. He shows how to teach the dog if they are within a 15 foot radius of the jumps and the weaves are able to be seen by the dog, the dog should find the entrance like a heat seeking missile. That is what he uses to describe it and I love the mental picture!
He shows how to work through so your dog understands how to recall through the weaves, how to run with your dog through the weaves-well, guess you are running next to the weaves, LOL, and how to send your dog through the weaves. I think he makes it easy to work through each step so you can train the entrance for different positions, the left, the right side, then adding in more speed and then lateral distance.
In one of Deanna's classes our homework was to list all the ways to train weave entries and exits. Well, I went and did all the research I could and found 278 things to train and quit because I was tired of writing-I did get the class record with that homework assignment so I get the honor of them mentioning my wining list each time that homework assignment is given out. Joe's list looks a lot like mine, but I will say I had my list before his DVD came out, so not saying he copied me, LOL, but I think it is a fairly basic program that everyone says to do, it is just I like how he laid it out in an organized way.
A few hints about weaves I have read/watched/been told recently, if you are working on weave entries you can use 6 poles, or even less....if you are having problems with popping out then use twelve or more. If you have a problem at the entry...go back to the obstacle that was before the weave, but if your dog pops out you can just go to the start. One thing that Joe suggests too is to slightly open the poles except the first two so the dog looks for the weave and needs to learn to bend their body to get into the weaves, but then BLASTS through the rest of the poles to keep them used to going fast.