Thursday, October 2

Teaching Weave Pole Entry

Well, today was the 2nd day and I just finished the 3rd training session with Popper on weave pole entries. It is working so well so far that I thought I would share the method that was shown to me. Today, after several successful entries, I sat Popper offset to the left of the pole by about 6 inches. I called him, and boom! Successful entry! It was the only time I offset him because I was so proud and happy I didn't want him to mess up, LOL. We do at least two training sessions a day so I figure we'll work on offsets more later after he's solid in entries.

The method used, which is harder to explain than to show, is to only use two weave poles. Put the dog in a sit-stay directly in front of the first pole, centered so he has to choose himself if he's going to the right or the left. You go and stand behind the second pole like a statue, treats out of sight (but in your hand). Call the dog. If he enters correctly (weave pole to the left of the dog) you give him a treat, quickly, at nose level of the second pole. It's very important to not use body language to influence your dog! Just reach down quickly after a successful completion, click or use your cue word (I say "GOOD!" since he's afraid of the clicker and so are many of my other dogs) and give a treat at nose height, right next to the weave pole. If the dog messes up, don't say NO or anything else that's negative (which is really hard for me, as I am accustomed to say no or AHT! if the dog does something wrong). You simply go oops, try it again, and put them back into their sit-stay. Never ever ever get frustrated with your dog. Always act happy and excited (especially when they do it right!), but you can act a bit sad if they do it wrong, just don't yell at them. Don't do this more than ten times in a row. You don't want your dog to get bored with it.

Once you're confident your dog knows where the entry point is, change the dog's angle. Offset a bit to the right, then a bit to the left. Next session, offset even more. See how it's going? You're reinforcing the dog's entry without telling him all of the sudden to find the entry point from twenty feet away.

1 comment:

RetroB said...

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