2 X 2 Weaves Day 6 1-9-09

Well the ice has not melted in the yard yet. The last set up that we had while working here is still set up and frozen in place. I have decided to at least try to do a couple weave entries with Disco today, provided it is not too icy for him. I figure if he is able to run and use his feet I can work on some sends through the weaves without me and so send outs for him to find the entry and weave toward me. While it is not exactly the lesson plan we had planned it will be better than sitting around and not working weaves for yet another day. So here is the set up that is out there.

We start the session with some tugging and retrieving to give Disco a chance to adjust to the icy conditions. He does not seem to be having any problems except when he try’s an abrupt turn. I do not think he will have much problem with working in these conditions but as expected I cannot move very well, so I will not be able to run much. We start with some simply 90 degree angle entries from both sides of the six poles. After this I add the jumps, which are frozen in their current position. This gives Disco a very hard 180 degree entry from both sides. I am using treats for his reward as I do not want him jumping and sliding to get the toy. This entry gives him a little trouble when he is excited but after a couple attempts he figures it out.
Finding the entryAdding a front cross

After working with the jumps I move on to adding a front cross as the dog approached the weaves. This blocks the dog’s view of the weaves and forces them to make a quick decision to find the entry. Because of the ice we are not moving real fast, at least I am not, and Disco has no problem finding his weaves. Please note that we still are not using any commands for the weaves, the dog is offering them as I approach without any commands. Since he is getting this we will move on to the next step for today which will be sending him through the weaves ahead of me. 

This is a little more challenging for Disco as he wants to stop and look back at me. If I had the 2X2 poles outside instead of the frozen six I would have opened up the last two to help him see that he needed to continue forward. It takes a couple tries but once he figures out that he must finish all the poles for me to toss the treat the game is on. At this stage an early toss can cause problems as you will be rewarding the dog for leaving the poles and not finishing them. I really like that the dog has really learned that making a mistake is no big deal, just come back and try again. Considering the conditions outside this was a very successful training session.