Back in the Weave Poles Again

[Sung to the tune of “Back in the Saddle Again”]

I suppose that I would prefer that all of my students were ardent back-yard-do-your-homework-dog-training enthusiasts. Weave poles especially are one of those meticulous and time-consuming dog training projects that—when there is a deficit in the thoroughness of training—can be a drag the efficient management of a group class; and an imposition on balance and fairness to other students.

We will approach both discussion and practice of training methodology for the weave poles in the group setting in the optimistic hope that the student can be directed and focused with some inspiration to his or her back yard objectives.

Today we have a Sunday mini-clinic here at country dream focusing on the weave poles.

You’ll note in this setting of the floor that we have two weave pole training fixtures. There is a regular set of weave poles (24″ spacing); and these have the gates wired at either end. There is also on the floor a set of six 2×2 weave poles. We encourage our students to use both/either wires or 2×2 in training their dogs. Though to tell you the truth not everyone (or almost anyone) owns good weave pole training props for the back yard.

This first numbered sequence features extreme oblique approaches to the weave poles. Inasmuch as we are in dog training mode I’ll be after my students to reward their dogs for successful conclusions to the performance. For my more advanced students I’ll probably ask for a rear cross at the #2 weave poles. While it might be a gratuitous risk we’ll make the attempt in the hope that we can entrench the skill against the day it becomes a necessary risk.

When I put up any numbered sequence I’ve found over the years that the “objective will be revealed”.  Attempting to make absolute predictions of either outcome or objective can be a ham-handed approach to lesson planning. Though certainly there are some things that can be anticipated. For example in the transition from the dogwalk at #2 to the weave poles at #5 if the handler feels compelled to run around the pipe tunnel with his dog he’ll likely not be able to gain an elegant control position for the approach to the weave poles. So I’ll have to propose the obvious… that the handler shouldn’t run around the pipe tunnel, allowing the dog to go out and do his work while the handler slides neatly into position to direct the dog from a forward position.

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

In the context of 2×2 weave poles training how would you define the “reward line?” Further, what is the objective?


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: I’m redesigning my web store. It’s a lot of work. It’s closed for construction at this very minute.

2 Responses to “Back in the Weave Poles Again”

  1. Sandy Says:

    The reward line is a cone-shaped area at the end of the weave poles which is the only place a reward should be thrown. The objective is to keep your dog focused forward.

    • budhouston Says:

      That’s right. And if you think about it, what many trainers do is condition their dogs to come out of the weave poles (pop) by giving the reward in a perpendicular dismount. So the “reward line” is a savvy dog training discipline that encourages the dog to stay focused forward and finish the job.


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