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  #11  
Old 02-11-2011, 08:55 PM
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2x2s strong point isn't the drivey weaves, its the amazingly independent weaves. But then again it was designed by a Canadian. And gamblers (ie distance skills) are paramount in AAC. Not only do you need good weaves, you need them at great distances and at crazy angles where you can't help the dog find them.
Watching nationals this year, you could totally tell who did 2x2s and who didn't... And watching Garrett herself run Encore and Feature, whoo boy did those dogs have perfect independent weaves and it really counted giving her a few extra seconds. She would send them on in and then run to where she needed to be to shave time off her run all while the dogs weaved themselves through, never a slip up.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2011, 09:00 PM
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The other issue is (not likely in BB case) but 2x2 require greatest effort in the way of training and timing. Weaveomatics and guides in particular the least. THerefore those methods are still the most common in class settings.

2x2s strong point isn't the drivey weaves, its the amazingly independent weaves. But then again it was designed by a Canadian. And gamblers (ie distance skills) are paramount in AAC. Not only do you need good weaves, you need them at great distances and at crazy angles where you can't help the dog find them.

So it also depends on the level of independence you want/need from your dog.
Another class issue is having enough resources to teach at the same time and enough time to teach. My old trainer took a 2x2 seminar.. then wanted to teach 2x2s to her classes. It was a horse arena, so enough space for groups of 2 to take a single standard.. but 5 min a person a class once a week wasn't enough for most people or dogs to get it.

She had to give it up for group teaching. I got my own 2x2s, and they were 100x better than luring, my shaping skills suck, guide wires taught slow as molasses weaving. Cider hits her entries at speed and is pretty consistent these days from any entry.

Not something other methods were doing for us. Any dog regardless of breed that I inquire at trials how they trained weaves because I'm impressed has trained 2x2s these days- including the amazing pap girl I adore.
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  #13  
Old 02-11-2011, 09:32 PM
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As I said, I don't doubt that it *can* be done. I just think there would be a very, very long period of transferring value to rewards that would work for the training method before I could use them successfully. And this is someone who spent an entire winter drilling contacts on planks - hundreds of reps a week! Teaching Meg to care that I'm throwing something along a line just doesn't inspire me. Until it becomes acceptable to throw a cat or rabbit, we will stick with what worked for us!

It may be partially the area I'm in, but I do still see a lot of spectacular weaving dogs trained through other methods. I'm curious Mandy - did you ask the people how they trained them? I actually did ask quite a few people at Cynosport this year (the ones I wasn't too intimidated to talk to ), and while there were a lot of 2x2 fans, there were certainly some serious top weavers who were taught in other ways. I'd bet it is probably 50 - 60% of top dogs on 2x2, and the rest split through other methods, just from my very non-scientific poling. But granted, it was almost all BC people I asked, so not a good cross section.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:45 PM
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As I said, I don't doubt that it *can* be done. I just think there would be a very, very long period of transferring value to rewards that would work for the training method before I could use them successfully. And this is someone who spent an entire winter drilling contacts on planks - hundreds of reps a week! Teaching Meg to care that I'm throwing something along a line just doesn't inspire me. Until it becomes acceptable to throw a cat or rabbit, we will stick with what worked for us!

It may be partially the area I'm in, but I do still see a lot of spectacular weaving dogs trained through other methods. I'm curious Mandy - did you ask the people how they trained them? I actually did ask quite a few people at Cynosport this year (the ones I wasn't too intimidated to talk to ), and while there were a lot of 2x2 fans, there were certainly some serious top weavers who were taught in other ways. I'd bet it is probably 50 - 60% of top dogs on 2x2, and the rest split through other methods, just from my very non-scientific poling. But granted, it was almost all BC people I asked, so not a good cross section.
I was ring crew, didn't get to talk to a ton of people. But the ones i did ask who had dogs doing independent weaves all did 2x2s.

Also, there's a lady who trains with my club that shaves her long hair cats in the summer and saves the fur to put in a bag for her dog to chase as a reward. There's even some people who did hunting and shot and skinned a rabbit to throw for his dog as a reward in agility.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:12 PM
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Also BB 2x2 is fairly new. So many of the 'older' agility dogs won't have learnt 2x2 even if the people are training their new ones that way.

I do hear you though. Bounce is learning a modified 2x2. She doesn't care about thrown toys. BUT training it as partial 2x2s and partial shaping has been working fantastically for her. Much better than shaping regular poles. (as you can move them around to make it so she learns to find the entrance)
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:25 PM
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Yeah, the one nice part about having bought the 2x2 for home use (besides easy storage in a tiny condo ) is that along with setting them up as normal uprights, I do sometimes make a hard entry a bit easier for her by opening up that first entry.

The purists of the world would have me shot, but I like to mess around with things! Many roads to Rome and all that....

I did actually buy Meg a rabbit skin to see if she would be into it. She was interested more so than most toys, but it still will take a while if I ever decide to make her a dog who can be rewarded with toys. And honestly, as a six year old rescue hound who is already able to be competitive in the BC height class at Masters...I'm just not that sure I want to spend our time on that. She's not built super well, and I don't have a real need to make her *faster*drivier*gogogo*; I think one of the things that will keep her running agility as long as possible is that she is fairly cautious about her own safety. Unlike my friend's "He is going to break his legs off some day" border collie who makes us all flinch watching him run.

Like I said, it will be very interesting to think more about how I want to train weaves when the next dog comes along. There is so much information out there, and I imagine it will only get more so by the time I'm training a new one! I do love hearing people's experiences with this sort of thing.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:08 PM
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2x2s strong point isn't the drivey weaves, its the amazingly independent weaves.
This is another reason I chose to train the weaves this way with Mira...she's a big dog who runs all out plus I'm going to take a stab at running contacts with her...so ANY chance I have to get a head start on course is going to be needed...I want to be able to send her to the weaves and make my getaway

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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
It may be partially the area I'm in, but I do still see a lot of spectacular weaving dogs trained through other methods. I'm curious Mandy - did you ask the people how they trained them? I actually did ask quite a few people at Cynosport this year (the ones I wasn't too intimidated to talk to ), and while there were a lot of 2x2 fans, there were certainly some serious top weavers who were taught in other ways. I'd bet it is probably 50 - 60% of top dogs on 2x2, and the rest split through other methods, just from my very non-scientific poling. But granted, it was almost all BC people I asked, so not a good cross section.
Several top trainers in my region train with weave-o-matics primarily. It works for them and their dogs (BCs btw ).

Weave-o-matics helped things click for Kim very well. For Web, he did them beautifully again and again but it never transferred no matter how gradually I did it. Mira thought it was a most excellent set of punching bags and beat the ever living snot out of them and I decided that was MAYBE not the best choice for her or her health.

As you suggested, gotta know your dog.
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  #18  
Old 02-11-2011, 11:11 PM
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I love 2x2s, re-trained Rosco's weaves with them and noticed he now really understands the entry much better.
I will for sure be doing 2x2s with Pepzee.
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  #19  
Old 02-12-2011, 10:04 AM
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I really, really wish I could see a seminar or something where some very different breeds were being trained with them. I went to one 2x2 seminar, and it really wasn't.

Meg's weaves were shaped, and I would say are about 90% of where I'd like them to be. She rarely, if ever, misses a pole or even in entry, in practice or trials. I'd like to feel I have more flexibility in where I send her from for the poles. I'm happy with her speed.

I bought a set of 2x2, I watched the video and took notes, and went to a seminar...and it totally didn't work for us. I though I'd love them; I like breaking things down, I like drilling.

My friend who loaned me the video has trained a couple of his Cavaliers with the method fairly successfully. His words, when he handed me the DVD, were "Watch this, take very careful notes - and then accept that you don't have a border collie and you are going to have to change some things."

I don't doubt for an instant the method can work for most dogs (I'd never say all for anything). I am very frustrated by how difficult most of the work would be for my very not-a-border-collie. She is of course missing some bits and pieces of the "stuff you should have before" (she is never going to care about tugging enough for it to be a reward; she has mild interest in chasing a food bag, and just a bit more than zero in chasing a toy). But I finally decided I can work entries in other ways that don't involve spending months teaching my six year old dog to want to work like a BC.

I'm not sure what I'd do with my next dog; without a seriously experienced 2x2 trainer to work with, I have to say I'd be inclined to go back to shaping like I did for Meg.

I'll be interested to hear how things go for you!
BB, bottom line is no method is fool proof and no method is going to work for everybody and/or dog, imo. Something that people are not mentioning about the 2x2 method is the fact that the dogs that do best with it have a history of free shaping, they are use to offering behaviours. They are also dogs that don't worry about making a mistake and melting if they do. So therefore this method may not be a good choice for Meg.

one of my pet peeves is trainers that think there is only one way of teaching things or one method is the only way to train something.
The goal should be to have as much information and knowledge to be able to think outside of the box. Trainers get into trouble if they try to mold every dog and handler into the same mold. Where as they should be trying to figure out what works best for each team and then insist upon consistancy.

I absolutey love the 2x2 method and it will be my first choice to try but having said that.......I would never get rid of the V-set, Off Set, Channels or straight line weaves that I have

There are just too many variables as to why one method wont work, drives and motivators of both the handler and the dog being the first one.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:27 AM
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We have reliable entry each time on 2 poles! It took a while for the stubborn little mare but she got it.

What we are doing with Riley BEFORE doing any apparatus training is teaching her to work away from me. It is so different from how I taught Ben. He relied on me for all direction. We are now teaching Riley to work in a series of straight lines with very little direction from me.

I am mightily impressed by the new way of training. On Friday she was doing jump tunnel jump reliably with just her ball placed at the end of the series. I would hold and send her, she would get to the ball and self reward. This is a one year old with no previous training what so ever!! I was blown away, then again so was my instructor.

We have her in weave and contact training now seeing as she picked up the jumps and tunnels as quickly as she did. Now all I need to train are directionals. Looks like I am going to have to shape directionals as she is not entirely sure of the spin. She thinks I am mad.

But yeah, back on topic. I am loving the 2x2 simply for the independence it allows. It does help you to shave off those few seconds where you really need it and if she can reliably do it while I am thinking about the next set of obstacles it will really help. I also hated weaves with a passion because the shaping frustrated me and Ben. So this way we can cut out my negativity on it.
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