Sunday, April 26, 2015

Combining methods--weaves revisited

Every dog is a different training experience and as I have already mentioned I am trying different things with Hoot.  I hate doing the same thing over and over again, even if it is successful.  I always want to at least tweak my process.  Optimist that I am, I know that even the most perfect process can be made better.

I decided to go back to the channel weaves with Hoot.  Tip and Split were both trained with channels and Tangle was trained with 2x2's.  I liked both methods.  I felt like the channels taught the dog foot work and speed a bit better, and 2x2's taught entries better.  Channels with Tip and Split were hell to get the last inch closed.  Seemed like I was working hard and it took at least a month or more.

With Hoot, because I was taking Silvia's foundation class I decided to start with her method, which is channels.

I started Hoot on channels.  They were wide open and she didn't wiggle her body at all in them.  We worked all the entries, speed, sequencing through the next several months or so and only about once a week (probably less).  I have to say, mentally I wasn't really serious about teaching them since I knew that I wouldn't start closing the weaves for a long, long time!  I am in no hurry with Hoot and weaves aren't the funnest thing we work on.

So about a month ago I started closing them figuring it would take months.  We did them only in sequences, never more than a couple of times per session.  Like I said I wasn't really into teaching them.

About 5 days ago I started teaching her 2x2's.  She was having trouble with really acute angle entries.  Figured 2x2's would be a nice tool to help with that and it lessens the amount of poles she has to do.  Again, what do I have to loose right?  Holy cow, she got 2x2's in a couple of days and we were up to 6 weaves.

On a whim I closed the channels (they were about 2 inches open) just to see.  Holy cow, she weaved!!

I don't think that it is because Hoot is super special smart, I really think that all the hard work was done with the channels still wide open and then the 2x2's bridged the gap for her.

I think that I am now sold on channels in the beginning.  I can teach all the harder skills without being hard on the dog's body and then use 2x2s just to teach the closed pole concept.

Never hurts to have more tools in the bag of tricks!