Kory’s Weave Poles

We’ve finally begun our weave pole training in earnest.

The foundation for the weave poles performance will be on 2×2 poles. In this drawing I’ve got three sets of two poles set about 7′ apart. The red “x” represents the position of the reward. The concept is to teach the dog to drive forward in anticipation… rather than drawing out of the weave poles perpendicularly, in anticipation. It’s really a trick of timing to toss the Frisbee (which I mostly use) so that Kory commits to finish the performance and will drive forward to get the reward without having to look back (in anticipation).

The interesting thing about the 2×2 method is that it reemphasizes the entry to the weave poles as each set requires entry.

As soon as Kory started showing understanding and drive, I started incorporated movement and pretty much resolved not to support him through the performance. “Supporting” him would be measuring stride alongside him, flapping my arms in rhythm, or singing some kind of doo-dah cadence.

I can play with various approaches; increasing lateral distance; back crossing… the whole gamut of the kinds of thing a handler would like to do if the dog indeed owns the independent performance.

You’ll note that the poles are slightly rotated to be open to the dog’s approach but not so much that he can trot through them without actually weaving.

Typical of my training method my correction is simply to break off and deny the reward. Kory is a clever enough boy that he quickly figures out what he needs to do to earn the reward. I figure that If he can’t figure out the performance then I really haven’t done my foundation work. And I’ll go back and fix it, if that’s the case.

I’ve always been a considerable advocate of training wires for the weave pole. The only real problem with wires is that they tend to foster a “macaroni” performance. And so it is worthwhile to go to staggered poles to build the dog’s speed and footwork.

Now I actually foresee never going to a fully wired set of 12 poles with Kory. However, what I will do is gate the entry and the exit in order to accomplish some of the more advanced handling objectives.

End Notes

Kory is learning the weave poles at a phenomenally fast pace. After only a couple weeks of work he’s doing a full set of 12 weave poles. His performance in the poles is not completely reliable… but I’ve only had him on weave poles for a couple days. I do believe he’s on his way to being an agility dog.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

She was the last woman to succeed her living spouse in the U.S. House of Representatives. Who was she?

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Plan – March 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: http://countrydream.wordpress.com/web-store/ . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special03” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.

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3 Responses to “Kory’s Weave Poles”

  1. courtenay Says:

    Katherine G Langley

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_G._Langley

    I’d love february’s 🙂

  2. Betty Says:

    Katherine Gudger Langley (who took office in 1927).
    She also was the first woman elected to Congress from Kentucky.

  3. Michelle Says:

    Bud, did you start Kory with 3 sets of 2 poles, or introduce just 1 set of 2 poles?? I’ve left the poles until last with Elvis and want to get him to be fast, accurate and able to do them without me babysitting.

    I started Presley on the poles as the first thing he learned. We did channel method and he had wonderful weave poles, found the entrance himself and did them all, fast. Even with his performance problems that have developed since, his weaves remain pretty good.

    So I was wondering if doing channels with Elvis or trying the 2 poles wold be best.

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