Step One: Go Through
We start by teaching our dogs to love running through the weave poles. Stand to the left of the "open set of weaves as shown on the diagram to the left. Either throw your treat/toy or use race to reward. You don't want to throw too far as we are going to add a second set in step four.
Your dog should be making a wide circle as you turn with your dog to set up for another rep. The dotted line shown is your dog's path. You will be closer to the poles at the start but try taking a step or two back a couple times a session. Only work two minutes at a time to start with you want your dog to be excited and happy to play the weave game.
Once your dog is happily charging through those poles move to step two.
Step Two: Close the Poles
In step one the poles are "open" and now we are going to work to close them. The biggest advantage of using 2x2 is that it teaches the dog to wrap that first pole so we want to spend ample time on this step. Never be afraid to make it easier on your dog. My rule of thumb is that if I have two failures I need to make it easier, if you continue to try and make them get it right you're doing more harm than good.
Turn the poles counter clockwise just a few inches, do three to five reps and then turn them again. Start each new sessions with the poles a few turns before where were last session. Make the learning effortless and fun. Working this every other day you should be able to close the poles in about two weeks. Go easy on younger dogs. This obstacle is mostly muscle memory and that takes time to develop
Step Three: Working Around the Clock
You know the song that goes "One, two, three O'clock, four O'clock rock"? Well we are going to rock around the clock for weaves. In the diagrams on the right this you can see handler and dog lined up in every possition around the clock. I want my dog to understand that no matter where we are you enter at the first pole with it on your left shoulder. This is an exercise that I still do with my accomplished agility dog in the space of our tiny back yard. Below is a video of Stark and I working the clock
In this video I use many different angles and distances to help his understanding to always wrap that first pole. I want him to be looking for first pole and move his body accordingly. You can see him make very deliberate choices to enter correctly. I always turn with him and keep my eyes on him. There are several times in this video that he "shoots from my hip." We move easily together from our foundation work on shadow handling.
Step Four: Adding More Poles and Moving Them Closer
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