Monday, September 19, 2011

Weave Entries

20/20 hind sight is a beautiful thing!

Tangle has been struggling with his weave entries over the last several weeks. Not sure what happened since they were AWESOME before my injury. I say "before my injury" since I suspect that my injury had it's impact on Tangle. The weaves being one of the casualties.

Before the injury I was able to move with Tangle, meet him at the end, and have a huge game of tug. I didn't do this all the time, but obviously enough that it made it really fun and worth the challenge to hit entries. While my motion was still very limited, just throwing a toy at the end didn't seem to be enough for him.

So, over the past week, I went back to just 4 poles, worked entries, threw a HUGE party if they were correct! When I first started this approach, Tangle was getting his entries but thinking way too much. Slow, methodical, and not having a ton of fun! I am not sure what made me realize this, but I started to tug with him at the end of the weaves and I saw a dramatic shift in his motivation to hit the entry and to drive through the weaves! Sometimes you don't realize what you are doing to motivate the dog. You have to retrace your steps, examine every motion and figure it out.

All of dogs have switched from time to time what motivates them. It takes me a day or two, but eventually I catch up and realize that I must shift the reward to the "reward of the day". This is exactly what was going on with Tangle's weaves. This morning Tangle was back to being "on fire", hitting his entries, driving with passion through the weaves and tugging for his reward.

When given the proper motivation it is amazing the speed at which Tangle can hit his entries and drive through the weaves!

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