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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Weaves, Weaves and More Weaves

Dan and I have been diligently working with Ru, Burton and Zulu on weaves, weaves and more weaves. Rylee is still on break since she came into season this past weekend.

Yes, that's a picture of weave poles in our hallway. It's been raining here in Seattle for weeks now and so we've adapted and our dogs get to earn their dinner.

So here's how it works. I sit at one end of the hall and Dan sits at the other. We split each pups food and work to call them back and forth, feeding when the dog correctly works their way down the middle of the weaves.

It's really a lot of fun to work together (Dan and I) and the dogs love the simple "game". We work to rev 'em up and it gives us a chance to really enjoy their success, praise and reward them.

Each dog is at a different phase in their weave pole training. Burton is by far the more advanced of the three dogs. His nutty drive and absolute LOVE for treats keeps him in high gear. But just like my white colored chicken at Chicken Camp, the fast-paced offering of behaviors isn't always the most accurate. So with Burton, we'll be focusing on accuracy on the FIRST attempt before we move forward and close the poles further.

Rouge is much more methodical. I originally attempted to train her using the 2x2 weave method and although I really wanted to move forward with that training technique, I quickly learned that it wasn't a good fit for her. So I've moved back to the channel method because it encourages speed and creates a straight line for her to move toward. So far this has been a great fit for her.

We started Zulu on the channel method this evening. While I wouldn't mind trying the 2x2 method with him, I really wanted to engage him in an easy physical activity. A straight line between poles seemed to be the perfect thing a week after his neutering surgery since mentally he had to engage, but physically it required no effort, twisting or bending. He thought it was pretty fun too!

A side note on where we'll be going with our weave pole training. Since Dan and I are currently at each end of the poles and we're indoors in a sterile environment, we'll need a plan to transition the (soon to be) learned weave pole skill into the agility arena, with distractions and with just one person rewarding. I mention this because often time handlers or trainers don't take transition time into account. I firmly believe this is a part of training and is a part of the proofing processes and should be considered a normal part of training.

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