Weave Pole Warm-Up Drill

Last night we were treated to a full moon in the early evening sky. Jupiter was brassy and bright and unblinking underneath. The terrible dry heat of summer is pretty much over and some of my trees are showing grateful early fall colors. I sat out on the porch for awhile in a rare moment of serenity and relaxation.

I have a private camp going this week with a handful of agility enthusiasts from central Pennsylvania. A touch of a flu or a cold or something has descended on me; and so I am over medicated on antihistamines.

My schedule is getting ready to really heat up. So I won’t be able to be sitting out on the porch a whole lot. The world has gone and gotten itself in a huge hurry. And I wonder for a moment how I got caught up in the hurry.


I want to share with you a weave pole warm-up or two. In case you’re bored and want to try something slightly challenging.

The intention of this exercise is to practice the entry to the weave poles unshaped and unattended by the handler. With this in mind the handler will turn the dog away after jump #5 while layering to the opposite side of jump #5 (staying inside of the pinwheel).

If there is a prerequisite skill, aside from the performance of the weave poles, it is the ability to turn the dog away without attending the dog’s movement; in other words, without dragging the dog through the turn. This might be accomplished with simple directionals. In this case it’s a “Right” turn on the dismount of the jump. The “relative” directional skill is a Tandem Turn, showing the change of directions on the landing side of the jump.

In the Tandem the handler uses pure movement to communicate the turn away his position. The handler should approach the jump from a parallel lateral path and at the moment of the turn show a strong step and rotation of his body to communicate the turn to the dog. These physical cues are good handling habit even when the handler is using absolute directionals.

Note that in this exercise the handler probably begins near to the dog for the initial performance of the weave poles. When entering the pinwheel the handler drives the dog through jump #2. There’s a real possibility here that the dog will get sufficiently forward of the handler that any real estate for good movement is exhausted when the dog comes back towards the handler. And so the moment of the Tandem could be spoiled by a handler not moving in convincing fashion or coming to a complete stop to await the dog.

In this exercise the intention is to test the dog’s understanding of the weave pole entry from a very difficult blind approach. After entering the pinwheel the handler will turn the dog away after jump #6 to seek out the entry as an independent performance.

The corner of approach to the weave poles is actually 12′ or 15′ out on the flat after the dismount of jump #6. So the handler  might

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

What does the front of this T-Shirt say?

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


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training ~ Issue #0 ~ August 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: http://countrydream.wordpress.com/web-store/ . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special00” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.


2 Responses to “Weave Pole Warm-Up Drill”

  1. Laura Clute Says:

    I don’t know. This is the back. 🙂

  2. Carole Says:

    The shirt said “Vick ’em”, a reference to Michael Vick hanging a college mascot. Really bad taste.

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