Stock weave photo of Scraps practicing from June 5, 2010 trial
In the past year I think Scraps has learned to manage the weave poles in competition but that is about it. He isn’t fast at them, can only enter on one side for success and the poles aren’t a fatal flaw in a run, but he still only manages them and doesn’t attack the obstacle.
We have heard about people’s success in the 2×2 weave pole technique to teach the dog how to do weaves well. Since St. Huberts and Jackie were teaching this technique in the form of a 2 hour seminar, Kathy decided to take Scraps and see what it is all about. I happened to be at the David Nelson Band concert in Whippany and couldn’t attend the class. Kathy came home excited about the potential of teaching Scraps the weaves this way and now that Rags is also beginning to learn agility, it will probably be worth the $150 investment into a 3 pair set of 2×2 weave poles. That’s a lot of numbers of 6 poles. Hopefully you will see our success in more Q’s in the agility ring.
Week 3 featured more of the same methodical introduction to the agility equipment we will be encountering during a standard run. Most of the work we did this week involved targets and I’m glad that Rags and I had an excellent practice at home on Thursday night where I think the target concept really hit her and the nose on the target was the best thing she did during week 3.
To view all the photos go to the link below:
We started with the ladder practice with a target to get the dogs acquainted with their rear legs. Rags did well in this. We then did some plank on the ground work and Rags had some difficulty getting the hang of it but the target concept helped her out in the end, literally. The plank turned into introduction to the ramped dog walk with a target at the end. We continued running through the channeled weave poles for the 2nd week in a row and ended the class on an introduction to the chute without the actual fabric chute. Rags did both the weave poles (channeled apart) and the chute without a problem.
As far as Rags behavior and focus, she was good. She does get distracted by smells in the grass and I am still not sure she will eventually run with me when I don’t have treats on me, but time and practice will tell us if she is destined to compete in the future or not.
Next week Rags and I will be alone for Class as Scraps and Kathy will be competing over on the other side of town at the CPE agility trial at Lewis Morris Park. There probably won’t be any footage of week 4 so soak up the fine footage Kathy shot of this week.
Unlike week 1, the second week of Rags’ agility class featured beautiful weather. Once again, Rags behaved really well during the class and didn’t bark at or bother anything around her. Additionally, she performed really well in her homework as well as the three or four new things she tried.
Initially in class, we practiced luring with each hand separated and transitioned between each hand vis-a-vis a front cross. Rags did this well with the added space inside the practice ring giving her room to run which she doesn’t get when she practices at home in the basement. We did a target at the end of walking over poles and through a ladder and she did okay with the target but she knows the concept.
While we didn’t practice any tunnel, which we learned the first week, we did get introduced to 3 new obstacles including the tire, the plank and the weave poles. The tire was introduced by having it as low as possible. Since Rags has experienced a tire she did really well at it. The weave poles was introduced by spreading them and letting the dog run through the subsequent channel. Rags did this very well. Once I figured that I need to have better body positioning and lead Rags with my hand at a very low level, we were able to complete most of our tasks quite easilly. Finally, we were introduced to the plank by walking her on a plank on the ground. This she did from both sides very well.
Tom, our teacher, gave us lots of tips on how to create much of our own agility equipment. He described the creation of weave poles using 3/4″ PVC pipe with an end cap that you drill a hole in to insert a very long spike which you keep in the end cap by placing a nickel over the head of the spike and then putting the pole inside the end cap securing the nickel and the spike in a javelin type of pole that can be spiked into the ground. Buy 6 of these setups and you have a cheap and portable set of weave poles.
It was a good class, I am surprised how quickly we get introduced to all the equipment and get us going on learning it. It is nice the Rags is already being introduced to the weave poles. It’s now time to practice and get ready for week 3 of beginners agility class.