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Old 06-21-2013, 12:29 AM
Aleron's Avatar
Aleron Aleron is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 2,270

I agree that I'd first review the sending concept with the dogs. Get them fast, excited and solid with sending to a food bowl at least 15' away from you before doing any more weave training. If you can't send your dog forward, teaching weaves with any method will be more challenging.

Then, I'd probably take a different approach. I'd set up "channels" of other things and practice sends that way. Still no actual weaves. So set up an expen a couple feet from a wall to make a long chute and work on your sends there. If they don't get it right away, move closer to the food bowl in the chute. You might have to get really close to the target at first, then gradually work your way back. When the dog has mastered that, try it in a different location. Or with different barriers. Experiment with how narrow it the channel can be. This both teaches the dog the idea and takes the pressure off this being the serious business of teaching agility Really though, it allows you to teach the concept of running down a chute without having to worry that you're going to mess up on a behavior that is more important to you. Easier on the dog and the handler!

I really think if you spend a few weeks working on that stuff the channel weaves will work just fine for you. Your dogs probably just don't understand what they are supposed to do with this obstacle and may need some more work on forward focus/sending. Once your dogs are good on the non-weaving chutes, set up a weave chute wider than you think you need and give it a try. If they don't send through it, do what you did with the non-weaving chute - move down closer to the target. You may start with sending from just the first two or four poles to the target (or you could set up a 4 pole chute) then gradually work your way back.

And don't feel bad about where your dogs are in training. Savvy still doesn't have totally solid weaves because...well weaves are probably my least favorite thing to train so I tend to not work on them as much as I should. It's just more fun to work on wraps and sequences and contacts and tricks and heeling and...and.... I was just thinking tonight that I really need to devote some time every day to working on weaves with him I use a combination of WAMs and channels and have dabbled in 2x2. I think I'm a bit too ADD for 2x2s LOL I've tried, really I have but it just doesn't hold my interest past Day 3 or so. It does seem to me that 2x2s work best for very toy driven dogs (and maybe for handlers who are very organized and systematic in their approach to training). I'm not really a fan of adding guides to channels because then you have to wean them off of those while also getting them to do straight poles. It works for some people/dogs though. You can find people who've successfully trained weaves with all variety of methods for sure.
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