Training Weaves in Dog Agility

Training Weaves
There are several methods for training a dog to handle weave poles. All can work well if you remember our motto: "

Small Steps to Perfection."  
Eventually your doggy will race though all 12 weave poles without you having to babysit him/her. 

But at first, it pays to reinforce a small step toward the ultimate goal. 
Training with a Leash
In the illustration I have drawn the poles with red lines because they are quite thin and hard to see in the original. 

1. Study the illustration where Puppy Magic Momo is learning weave poles with an inexpensive dog agility starter kit.  Then fill in the blanks below:

Momo enters on the _______ side of the first pole.

The handler steps with his  _______ foot to the ________ of the ________ pole.
Check Your Answers Below. (Don't peek until you have decided on your own answer.)

ANSWER
The handler steps with his right foot to the left of the first pole.

2.  Next, handler steps with his _______ foot beside and (close to/away from) _________ the second pole.

Check Your Answers Below

ANSWER
Next, handler steps with his left foot beside and away from the second pole.


Third Step. The Third Step of the Handler is hard to see in the photo illustration. 

The third pole is blocked by the handler, so I am showing the third pole with a dotted line.  

The handler is stepping in closer to the third pole with this right leg.  This helps to guide Momo between poles 2 and 3 as shown by the small red arrow. 


In short the technique is to step beside the first pole with your right foot, then away to the left with your left foot. Repeat this sequence for each pole. When using this foot work, you always position yourself on the left side of the weave poles and you dog on the right side.



Puppy Momo and Laughable Agility Set

Video. Next is a video showing Puppy Magic Momo Superdog at 5 months of age going through a tunnel, over a jump and then through the weave poles. I use a leash and have to drop the leash when she goes through the tunnel and over the jump. Yes, the agility equipment is laughable and cheap, but it did help Momo learn, nevertheless.




Another Method -- Start with 2 Weave Poles
Another method, which I like even better than the method I used with Magic Momo, is a method that starts with just 2 weave poles.

Watch the video named "Dog Agility - Training your Dog to Weave" -- then check your understanding by answering the questions below. 

1. Dog must enter on the (right/left) ______ side of the poles.
2. Initially, the (dog/handler) _______ drags the (dog/handler) through the poles.
3. Hold treat in right hand, but pass treat to your ______ hand rewarding dog (when?) __________
4. It can take many (hours/days/weeks) ______ for a dog to learn weave poles. 
Answers

1. Dog must enter on the right side of the poles.
2. Initially, the dog drags the handler through the poles.
3. Hold treat in right hand, but pass treat to your left hand rewarding dog as soon as dog exits the last pole.
4. It can take many weeks for a dog to learn weave poles. 

So be patient and take small steps to perfection.

At right you can see a video of Magic Momo Superdog winning an AKC trial with independent weave poles. 
NOTE: an annotation in the video references "EXPERT CLASS" -- it should say "EXCELLENT CLASS."
Training weaves with a leash


weave poles step #3 with right foot beside pole 3.


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