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  #11  
Old 06-28-2012, 07:35 PM
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SpringerLover SpringerLover is offline
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Another vote for free shaping here.

Bailey's weaves were fast and reliable but her entrances weren't great. I also wasn't the greatest trainer when I taught them the first time around.

I'm sure I have video somewhere... and this reminds me I need to pick up the portable agility equipment this weekend so I can work Amber while she's here!
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  #12  
Old 07-03-2012, 04:40 PM
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Ok, so for those of you who free shape, would anyone be willing to detail the process a little bit? How many poles do you start with? Any other tips? I think this might be a good method for us as Keeva is an excellent free shaper.
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  #13  
Old 07-03-2012, 05:47 PM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is offline
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Quote:
Ok, so for those of you who free shape, would anyone be willing to detail the process a little bit? How many poles do you start with? Any other tips? I think this might be a good method for us as Keeva is an excellent free shaper.
Here's how we did it with Gusto. I did the same basic technique with Meg, but made things a little easier for her, because she isn't as strong a free-shaper as Gusto and quits very quickly if she isn't right. I refer to it as free-shaping since I don't lure, but treat placement is a big part of it.

We started with 6 poles, upright and in line, just like you'd do them with an advanced dog. I stood a ways to the right of the second pole. Click the first few times for any interaction with the poles. I'd click and toss the treat behind me, so I was basically lining him up for the correct entry.

As soon as he realized the game involved the poles, I moved closer, so my left foot was almost touching the second pole. Basically making it so the correct entry is open and the easiest route to my side. Clicking as he made the entry, and being very careful to click *when his head was pointed away from me*, not as he was turning to look at me. Click the moment that his head was down, pointed away, and moving past the second pole. Then I'd move a step forward, and reward from my left hand between poles 2 and 3. So he's making the entry, getting clicked as he wraps around the second pole, getting the treat as he moves his feet back to me between poles 2 and 3. Then I'd throw another treat behind me and repeat.

Once he was consistently doing that (with Gusto, probably less than 4 minutes from the very start to the point where he had that), after the first treat between poles 2 and 3, I'd step forward again so I was in line with pole 4, and wait for him to move through that next entry. Same thing - click when his head was down and turned away from me, reward between the next two poles. Within that first 10 minute or so session, he was bopping through all six poles, with a reward between each set. I've heard that referred to as "macaronis". I'd go one way, then turn around and go back the other way on the same side, so he got used to both sides. With the poles on your right, you line your feet up with pole 1, again so the correct entry is the route to you.

By the end of the second session, I could occasionally "forget" the treat between two sets of poles, so he had to weave 2 before getting a reward. The video posted above was, as I said, probably session 6. So he was fairly comfortably and reliably doing 6 poles with a thrown reward at the end. If it is decent weather Thursday, I'm going to try to have someone at practice tape his poles for me. I'm ridiculously proud of them.

The timing of the click/placement of the reward is the biggest thing with this method. Handlers with bad timing will inadvertently teach the dog to look at them in the poles. Watch where the head is when you click (down and pointed away), and I always throw the last reward so they are driving forward out of the poles.

I've seen a lot of different methods work with a lot of different dogs. I don't think there is ever one right or wrong answer for how to train the poles. This one has worked great for my two dogs, and a bunch of the dogs I've trained with. I've seen 2x2 work great as well, channels, and one of the most reliable weavers I know was trained with gates. Whatever works best for you and your dog will be good.
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  #14  
Old 07-03-2012, 08:06 PM
BoandAbby BoandAbby is offline
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With Abby in class we freeshaped the first set of 2x2's. We basically waited for any interaction then clicked and eventually just clicked for them going through and we'd immediately praise. From there we just worked on different angles/entries/drive through them and once they could do "around the clock" entries we added the second set of 2x2's and continued with regular 2x2 training

This was abby when I was retraining her weaves going along with what the class was doing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PxaowmPP0k

And this is most recent vid. Kinda mauled my 2x2's so only had a set of 4 poles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fARE0F932k

And this vid is one of every method we've tried (aka the progess vid) up until back last nov I believe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z55O1Xpduu0

I personally like the 2x2 method and will use it with Twister as well
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  #15  
Old 07-03-2012, 09:07 PM
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With Hawkeye's free shaping I started him on 6 poles. I would point to the entrance and tell him "go" and he walked thru them, I threw him a treat. Then i told him "come" and he walked back thru the second pole and he got a treat. This continued for about two days till he started to really catch on.
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  #16  
Old 07-03-2012, 10:56 PM
DobeLove DobeLove is offline
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I just started agility a few months ago so I'm not sure what the technique is called, but we started with twelve poles and they were set far enough apart that she could just walk straight through them. We've been moving them closer and closer, and she is almost perfect at them now. I've never seen anyone do them that way before, but it seems to have worked. And it has worked for a lot of the other dogs in the class.
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  #17  
Old 07-04-2012, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DobeLove View Post
I just started agility a few months ago so I'm not sure what the technique is called, but we started with twelve poles and they were set far enough apart that she could just walk straight through them. We've been moving them closer and closer, and she is almost perfect at them now. I've never seen anyone do them that way before, but it seems to have worked. And it has worked for a lot of the other dogs in the class.
I believe that's generally referred to as the channel method.

BB, thank you soooo much for that. I figured reward placement would be a big part of it to prevent the dog from looking at the handler and to teach proper head position. That helps a lot, thanks!
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  #18  
Old 07-09-2012, 08:37 PM
crazedACD crazedACD is offline
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We're allllmost doing 4 poles...just a few more inches (another day or two) and he should have it. Have you started with anything?
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  #19  
Old 07-09-2012, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by crazedACD View Post
We're allllmost doing 4 poles...just a few more inches (another day or two) and he should have it. Have you started with anything?
That's awesome! I haven't started yet because of the heat - I only have room to start outside. Now that the heat has broken, I'm actually hoping to get rolling tomorrow.
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