Sasha learns to weave

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One of the first things Sasha has been learning is how to weave.  She hasn't made her mind up yet about whether to be a "two footed" weaver or a "one footed" weaver, but she'd only been with us a couple of months  when I made these videos.  She is making some progress but it takes time to learn it properly.  This page shows how she's  started with the weave and how she's getting on now. First of all, however, I've included a clip of Jamie weaving to show how an experienced older dog goes straight into the weaves and keeps moving on.  The only thing I've said to him is "Weave," and this is at the end of a beautiful clear round to put him in second place.  This is what Sasha's aiming for only she doesn't know that yet.
 

Jamie was a two footed weaver which means that he jumped from side to side through the poles.  This is illustrated in the video clip on the right.

Weaving is the one thing that beginner dogs get faulted on more than any other.   It isn't easy to train properly, and speed, style and accuracy can vary a lot from dog to dog.  
 


 

Now Sasha Learns to Weave

First of all we made a V-weave from waste pipe.   Then we tried it out in the back garden.  Unfortunately it wasn't secured and Jamie wanted to have a go as well so he pushed in.  The only way I could get Sasha to go through the weave at first was to lure her with a titbit.  I did try opening up the V so that the poles were at a bigger angle but this encouraged her to try and jump the weave like a long jump.

Instructions on how to make the V-weave are given in the equipment section or you can just use stick in the ground weave poles and put them in at angles. 

I had to secure the weave with tent pegs before we could go on.  We practised the V-weave  every day and after a week  Sasha was able to go ahead of me and complete the weave on her own.

Moving on to Uprights

When Sasha had mastered the V-weaves and could go in ahead of me we decided to have a go at the upright poles.  Most people say that going on to uprights is simply a question of narrowing the "V" by moving the poles more upright.  This didn't work with Sasha.  Each time I tried to narrow the "V" she needed to be lured through the weaves and behaved as if she'd never seen them before.   I decided that it might be better just to go on to the upright weave.  In the clip on the right we're trying the uprights in two different ways.  First of all I'm walking alongside her and then I try walking backwards.  I can't go backwards fast enough though and Sasha starts jumping excitedly through the poles.  

 

In the next stage I'm trying to get Sasha to go half a pace in front of me so that she's not relying on me so heavily.  You can see she's "Little Miss Hysteria," and at first it all goes wrong.  I have to go backwards again before she finally does a weave just ahead of me. 

We continued training in this way but Sasha is a very excitable dog and it soon became clear that this was not the best way to train her in the weaves.  It may work for some dogs but they are all different and you have to find out what works for you. 

Later I found that v-weaves suited Jilly down to the ground and within a couple of weeks she was doing 12 upright poles.  See more about training Jilly here.

 

I was suggesting to someone else that they should try a channel weave when I thought, "Why not have a go with Sasha."  She is tending to jump through the upright poles almost as if there are jumps in between them!  here's a clip of how we got on.  Sasha's very excitable and I have to be quiet and restrained with her otherwise I've got a manic border collie on my hands.  She did eventually get the idea of the channel weaves and she has been weaving quite well through them. 

I know now that to get her to go on I should have thrown a toy ahead of her when she was at the end of the weave.  This encourages a dog to go on and not to turn back to the handler all the time.

 

 

2009 and Sasha has now become a good weaver. I've just found this clip of her at her training classes.  It's a hot day and she's getting a bit tired as it's right at the end of a long class, but the weave is lovely and she goes the right way round the course.  We don't worry about the knocked poles.  It's time to go home and do it all again another day.

 

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