Around the Clock Weave Poles

Fundamentally my approach to dog training is reward based. If my dog gives me the desired performance he earns a reward. If he fails… I withhold the reward. I was perhaps blasé about weave pole training in the early going. But now with my boy Kory eligible for play in August I’ll be intensifying my training efforts. To tell you the truth I had no interest in inflicting the weave poles on this leggy dog before he was a year old. That’s just me.

Two things I see right now deserve the most attention. First of all Kory doesn’t really understand his entry… not really; and mostly from the right side. From the left he is apt to wrap the first pole and make a correct entry. The other problem is the “allure” of obstacles in close proximity to the dismount. He’s keen to go on working. I like that. But I’d also like for him to finish the poles before he “goes on working.”

This week I’ll be setting up the Around the Clock Weave Pole drill.

The Around the Clock Weave Pole drill initially is just a “sending” exercise. The jumps set in clock-face positions establish flow to the weave poles and determine the angle of approach. The illustration above shows approaches from the off-side.

On the first day I’ll probably work three sessions with only five or six reps per session. I  will begin at 6 o’clock and will not move on to 7 o’clock until we’ve managed a couple sessions without fault.

It will probably take me a whole week (maybe more?) to work all the way through the Around the Clock weave pole drill from the off-side. Then I’ll change the set to work from the entry side.

Spacing Notes: I’m using 24″ interval weave poles. The distance from any jump to the entry pole is 20′.

I’m showing the entry-side Around the Clock configuration with the gates to the weave poles wired. I may also wire the first drill from the off-side. The entry side, however, is the most problematic for most dogs. So I’ll want the wires just to reinforce the entry.

Again, the first day I’ll probably work three sessions with only five or six reps per session beginning at 5 o’clock and stepping back to 4 o’clock after we’ve managed a couple sessions without fault. After we’ve mastered the approach from all four clock positions I’ll no doubt remove the wires and start the whole thing over again without trainer wheels.

Oh… you’ll note the red “X” in the drawing. This is my target reward area. I’ll be training with a Frisbee and I’ll be aiming at that spot when my boy makes a correct dismount of the poles.

Other Notes

It’s not clear by looking at the drawing… but in our work with the weave poles I fully intend to be working 20′ or more away from Kory while he weaves. My desire for an “independent performance” of the weave poles demands that I pretty much get myself out of the picture of presentation or performance.

These are the beginning exercises. I’ve designed a suite of exercises that escalate the criteria and introduce considerable inertia of movement. Mostly these more advanced exercises will show up in the Jokers Notebook; some of them in June, and more in July as I report back on the successes and failures of the exercises.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

What is the part of the U.S. Constitution that protects a citizen’s freedom of religion, speech, assembly, or petition?

First correct answer, posted as a reply to this blog post, wins a free copy of the June Jokers Notebook.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Plan – April 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special04” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.


3 Responses to “Around the Clock Weave Poles”

  1. Adrienne Says:

    This would be the Bill of Rights.

  2. Jeff Says:

    Specifically, the first amendment to the Constitution.

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