Disco's fisrt day of 2 X 2 Friday 1-2-09

I have watched the first DVD a couple of times now so I have a good idea of the overall plan. I want to share just a few things about this training method for the weaves before we start so you can follow along. I would also suggest that anyone that is starting a dog in agility training or un-happy with your current dogs’ weaves you should really invest in this DVD. It is very well done and I am very excited to try it with one of my dogs. It is worth every penny you spend on it, even if it just gives you ideas of challenges to set up for your dog with your current training system it would be worth the price. I can tell you I forgot just how much I challenged Dixie when I was working her weaves and in fact all her beginning training. This DVD reminded me of all those things I had worked on with her and failed to do with Drifter.
First this system moves very quickly, you really can have a dog weaving in just a matter of a couple of weeks instead of six months to a year. Before training you are also playing tug with the dog or doing some other activity to engage the dog and pump them up and you continue to do so between attempts. The whole process needs to be fun and exciting for the dog. You do not spend a lot of time at any level of training, once the dog is offering you the behavior at one level you quickly move on and challenge the dog for more. If the dog makes a mistake you simply ignore it and try again rewarding them for getting it right. This helps building the dog’s’ confidence and willingness to try without shutting down when getting things wrong. It also creates a dog that really enjoys working things out and is highly motivated. You also are teaching the dog to weave from some pretty incredible angles all around the arc, with distractions and at speed so once you have done your initial training you really have a dog with a great understanding of weaves. Even after your dog is doing awesome weaves you have a whole DVD of advance exercises and training ideas to help continue to challenge and improve your dogs’ performance on the second DVD.
Ok, so Erie is very cold and there is snow on the ground in January so our weave training will be limited to what I can do inside my hotel room. There is not a lot of room in here but I think we can at least get him to learn to offer the pole entry from all points on the working arc according to Chapter 1 of the training DVD. These first couple of training session could be very frustrating for both Disco and me. He has not been “Free Shaped” much and does not really know to try to offer me things to get his cookie and I am not use to waiting for him to do so, but we are going to try our best to get through this without luring him. This first step sounds easy enough. You bring the dog to the weaves at a right angle to the entry and wait for them to engage the poles. The first time it may be something as simple as looking at them, but you really want the dog to walk into the entry. Once they do you throw a cookie to your reward spot/line. Once they get the idea you move further away from the poles so the dog has to leave you and the cookies to go engage the entry and you continue to throw the treat to the reward spot. Then you begin working the arc around the poles until the dog figures out the entry from everywhere. Training sessions are supposed to be kept very short, no more than a couple of minutes. So here it goes:
It did take a couple of minutes for Disco to actually get up and go into the pole entry and he was very excited when I tossed the cookie out. He quickly came back and tried it again. In no time he was offering me the correct entry as I moved further away from the poles and changed my angle. Even going to the off side it only took him a few seconds and one wrong try to figure out to go around the pole and enter the correct way. We trained for only a couple minutes and most of that time was actually spent playing between attempts.

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