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Discussion Starter #1
We were introduced to weaves in agility last week! Yay!

I just wanted to get people's feelings on how they taught them, since we've still got some work on proofing entrances before adding additional poles. Our trainer described the 2 x 2 method last night, but we didn't try it because it was near the end of class and Ida was totally zonked. I taught Ida entrances mainly through shaping/capturing. I just wanted to get a sense of what methods people used, which ones were successful, and potential pitfalls. And also what to avoid.

Thanks!
 

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We did 2 x 2, as well. Katie does great with it in our family room, but tends to fall apart in class. Moving the poles to another part of the house for a few practice sessions helped with the transfer of knowledge aspect.

One thing we didn't work on enough was entering the weaves from any position (the whole clock thing, if your instructor describes it that way), so we'll need to backtrack a bit. The other thing I've had trouble with is my aim - I can't throw a treat in a straight line for anything.

Tyson learned weaves, too, even though he's not in class. He picked it up quickly mostly from watching Katie.
 

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I taught Lucy, my Shih Tzu x Maltese, with the channel method. I can't throw in a straight line either so I would put her in a Sit Stay and walk down and put the target at the end of the poles and walk back, then send her through. The target was a pouch with Velcro on it so she could not get into it if she did happen to duck out of the poles. This was after running alongside her at first and just gradually closing up the poles. She has pretty solid weaves and good entries.
 

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I just looked it up cause Ive never heard of it before. It looks like it works really well! Maybe I will use that with Nova.
 

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Um. 2X2 combined with channels for Molly. 2X2 combined with channels and shaping and then more 2X2 for Kylie. Both worked. Molly's more consistent and independent and while that could be attributed to the method Molly is also not Kylie and has more confidence than Kylie, and Kylie is really easily stressed by being 'wrong'.

It's taken Kylie a year, almost exactly to go from ''I can weave" re: 6 weaves and a lot of caution to 12, sequences, and some tough angled entries, layering - and we're *STILL* proofing a lot of things, like not popping if I fall too far behind her (lateral distance is fine, behind her is not). Molly does not have those skills either, though - I just haven't bothered because she's not ready to go back to doing agility out of our backyard yet.
 

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We have only used channel method with "around the clock" so far. Kai has nice solid weaves outside of trials and Ember is getting it fast now that the channel is starting to close. I think ideal is what works best for your dog. If they aren't getting 2x2, try the channel. 2x2 is known for nicer entries and channels possibly for speed. I have my likes and dislikes about both methods. 2x2 is a good way to go!
 

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I used 2x2 for Obi and he's doing 12 poles, but the success rate isn't as high as I would like yet.

With Pixie I started with 2x2, but after several classes with NO progress we switched to a shaping-luring hybrid, where she's move through the poles and I would very strategically place the treat where her head should be for the next bit. This worked really well for her and she made loads more progress in only 2 classes than she had in the previous 6.
 

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I feel like I should also share that while teaching weaves is harder than most of the other contact equipment, it can also be harder for the dog to do. Getting the dog to understand is part of the process - probably the biggest. Muscle memory on the dog's part and just the mechanics is another. Kylie at least still has the very rare time she pops about pole 10 not because she doesn't understand them or is refusing or a proofing issue, but because her stride/rhythm gets thrown off somewhere (too much speed, she stumbles, whatever) slightly. That issue becomes a little more exaggerated with every pole, until at some point it's impossible for her to STAY in them.
 

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I used the channel method with Eppy and refined the straight line (he would skip a pole occasionaly) with a weave-a-matic type of setup. Weave-a-matic is where the poles are aligned along the center line and are leaned right and left. The poles are then slowly stood up to vertical.
 

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When Sor was 1-2 yrs old we took an agility class and learned it the weave-a-matic kind of way that troglo. described. I made a set of weaves for home practice too, and he was consistently weaving with 6 straight poles in 4-6 weeks. No word on entries or speed since 1. I never set up or trained difficult entries and 2. He seemed to go fast enough but I have no point of comparison.

I sort of disliked the ideas of channels but having used them in class I now think they are neat in that the dog pretty much always succeeds and it makes it brainlessly easy for them to do so. And after 5 weeks I can see how I would fade those channels out.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Woah, the channels method is really cool, and I can see how it would be great for working on proofing/speed.
 

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The channel method is what we have been doing in class. So far we are still at all the way apart and just getting her to understand exactly what it is she's supposed to do, but she's doing really well! Not popping out halfway through!
 

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I like 2x2. Granted, I haven't really tried all of the methods, but I like it in theory, and I like the weaves of people who have trained it that way. I don't like the luring heaving methods or the weave-o-matics. I'm retraining with 2x2 right now.

I do think there can be value in teaching weaves multiple ways though. Like working with channels and also 2x2 and then putting them together at the end. They kind of teach different skills from different perspectives and that might help a dog put it all together.

ETA: Also, I've had instructors tell me to use caution with learning 2x2 from the internet. Lots of YouTube videos aren't doing it quite the right way and you can build in more problems from the start. So until I feel like buying the DVDs, I'm just following my instructor's explicit instructions. Like, it's easy to do it as shaping and let the dog work slowly to think it through, but really the dog should be charging through and excited. I was told to get the dog as revved as possible and expect some mistakes, rather than have them work slowly and be right every time, or you're going to end up with slow weaves. I think Susan Garrett is pretty clear about that, but all the resources you find online aren't.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I like 2x2. Granted, I haven't really tried all of the methods, but I like it in theory, and I like the weaves of people who have trained it that way. I don't like the luring heaving methods or the weave-o-matics. I'm retraining with 2x2 right now.

I do think there can be value in teaching weaves multiple ways though. Like working with channels and also 2x2 and then putting them together at the end. They kind of teach different skills from different perspectives and that might help a dog put it all together.

ETA: Also, I've had instructors tell me to use caution with learning 2x2 from the internet. Lots of YouTube videos aren't doing it quite the right way and you can build in more problems from the start. So until I feel like buying the DVDs, I'm just following my instructor's explicit instructions. Like, it's easy to do it as shaping and let the dog work slowly to think it through, but really the dog should be charging through and excited. I was told to get the dog as revved as possible and expect some mistakes, rather than have them work slowly and be right every time, or you're going to end up with slow weaves. I think Susan Garrett is pretty clear about that, but all the resources you find online aren't.
That's good to know. I don't have any plans on trying to teach 2 x 2 weaves myself (I don't have the equipment, for one). We'll see how the next round of classes go before I start considering putting money into real equipment, although I might attempt to build a couple PVC jumps over the summer. Plus, we're not wanting for things to work on (backside jump approaches, contacts, not being a peehole....)
 

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That's good to know. I don't have any plans on trying to teach 2 x 2 weaves myself (I don't have the equipment, for one). We'll see how the next round of classes go before I start considering putting money into real equipment, although I might attempt to build a couple PVC jumps over the summer. Plus, we're not wanting for things to work on (backside jump approaches, contacts, not being a peehole....)
I did 2x2 by sticking some pvc pipes in the ground. Sharpened the end of them so they were easy to put in the ground, and they worked fine. Worked up to 6 + 6 poles at home, then fine tuned it in class.
 

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WHOOPS I've been mistaken for a while it seems. Channels are not what I thought they were. What I mean is using "guides" I think, or whatever it's called when you put up x-pens.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I did 2x2 by sticking some pvc pipes in the ground. Sharpened the end of them so they were easy to put in the ground, and they worked fine. Worked up to 6 + 6 poles at home, then fine tuned it in class.
What size pipe did you use?
 
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