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Monday, January 26, 2009

Weaves 2x2 - Chapter 1

Today I started the basics of weave training. I've decided to use Susan Garrett's 2x2 method since I prefer shaping obstacles and I like the concept of working entries immediately. Besides, I've trained with every other method and want to continue developing my Agility Skills.

I've started this method with some of my students and really liked what it did for them, however those that didn't have poles at home were less likely to succeed while those who did work at home progressed very nicely.

Things I like about the video so far (Introduction, Chapter 1 & 2):
  • Susan talks about letting dogs figure things out on their own
  • Encourages very short (1 minute) training sessions
  • Promotes having fun and keeping it a game
  • Shows how to do things with an inexperienced dog
  • I like that the "line" or "path" the dog is to consistently take is reviewed and
  • Susan addresses how the dog should only go in 1 direction at all times
Things I wasn't as excited about:
  • The main thing that really caught my attention was the poor video quality. When paying almost $70 for a DVD, I was unpleasantly surprised by this. The picture is very grainy at times and I was constantly distracted by the squares on Susan's face (low pixel quality I assume) during "close-ups" while she is talking. Watching a distorted face was very distracting and might also explain the next bullet point.
  • There's a lot of talking. I'll admit, I got bored quickly as some of the information was very basic (a good thing to have in a how to video, but things I already knew) - regardless, Susan is sharing a lot of great information that is good to consistently hear.
Overall, no surprises on the video so far and so I began with Ru.

  • I first put all of the other dogs away as they have a way of barging in on the play!
  • I kept my session short (maybe 3 minutes, including lots of play).
  • I started w/ 2 poles in my livingroom, treats & a tug toy that Ru loves
  • I started out with treats, but quickly went to the tug toy as it was more exciting to her
  • Getting her to go between the poles progressed very fast. At first she offered up all kinds of actions (sit, down, play bow, putting her back feet on an object near me, etc.). I simply ignored those actions and when she looked at the poles, I tossed the toy so that she'd have to go through the poles to get the toy.
  • After that, she moved in to the poles (to go between them) quickly.
  • After I tossed the toy and she brought it back, we'd tug and play.
  • A quick session and then we were done for the moment.

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