Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ultimate Weave Challenge - Iowa Style!

Do you ever get tired of the same old weave pole training?

Does it seems like you're either working entries, or training weaves while coming from a chute or panel jump. ME TOO!!! So this week I decided to put a different spin on weave training. Weaves are fun! RIGHT???

Photo by Marsha Kingsley

So I used the 19" - 'practice poles' to do some distraction work. Until USDAA decides to move to 24" weaves, Seeker needs to stay 'tuned up' on the narrower poles. I personally feel most dogs find it's much easier to do the 24's than the 19's as the dog doesn't have to bend or collect as much. Maybe someday USDAA will change? It would sure make a LOT of people and clubs happy. Alas, that's another blog topic.

Distraction Training! For us, training almost ALWAYS involves Cougar the cat. If Cougar thinks there's food involved, he's there! Gee, this sounds a lot like my friends! Cougar is around so much, that he's not even considered a distraction anymore. Unless he pounces on Seeker, which he does occasionally. I guess that's "Cat Humor"?

I start off our distraction training by dropping toys all over the ground. They were either on or near the weave poles. I even dropped his favorite toy of all time!! The Red SQUEAKY BALL!! Trust me, this is an OUTSIDE ONLY TOY! If you hate your friends, then get their dogs THIS toy for Christmas!

The toys weren't a distraction at all. He was perfect. Of course you'd want to go back and proof this at different angles. Simply work your way around the clock.

Next came food and Cougar! Popcorn! YUMMY!!!! I can hear Bill yelling now, "That's MY POPCORN!" Not to worry, it expired last month, so I'm really doing him a favor! HONEST!
I had Seeker do a trick, gave him some popcorn, and then made sure he watched me pour it onto the ground! I think Cougar was more interested in this part than Seeker.

Through the poles again, no problem. You'd want to work a lot of different approaches on this one as well. Maybe even pick up a piece of food from the ground to reward your dog.

The final distraction for this day involved poultry! They will also clean up the popcorn! Unfortunately I didn't have my flip on, and missed the best weave performance with all the birds. One thing about the "girls", they are only good for 'maybe' one distraction session every couple months. They REMEMBER! Luckily, Tom, the Bourbon Red Turkey, and a few of the other hens are more food motivated.

Since I only get one 'shot' at the poultry, there's no since trying to convince them that we need to work different angles. GAME OVER!!

That was it for distraction for that day. I tried to get Rilda to come out to see if she could distract him. No one I know can make a dog lose it's concentration like Rilda! They LOVE HER!!

Day Two involved Handler Positional Changes.

The positions were: Sitting in a chair, sitting on the ground and laying on the ground.

Seeker struggled with me in the chair, but we were able to work through it. Seeker missed his left entry several times. The right entry he rarely missed. The other positions weren't as difficult, but then he'd already worked through the toughest parts with sitting in chair position.

Here's our Flip Video. I'd rather have used the song - Monster by Skillet, but You Tube wouldn't let me. So, if you'd like you can bring up that song at the same time you watch the video. I like it better that way!

So look for creative ways to train your dog and have FUN!!!

This week we'll work send ahead and call through.


  1. Awesome!! Now I have even more things to work on!!

  2. Fun! I do stuff like that for Utility signals, retrieves, etc. but never thought of it for weaves. Duh! I am such an obedience-brained trainer. ( :

  3. Not after the chickens came back!! Sorry, you had to hurry! It was a ONE TIME OFFER! G

  4. Impressive esp. the popcorn and the chickens. Diana

  5. That is super impressive! Good ideas for distractions.