Weaves Progress and Serpentine’s


Here is the small course I have been using with Ice to train his weave entries.  We start by taking each jump in flow to the weaves.  For each jump I work Ice on both my left and right hand sides.  I’ve also been doing the occasional rear cross whilst Ice is weaving.

For fun I have also been running the numbered sequence so we can practice serpentine’s.

Ice loves this sequence and has no trouble running it or finding the correct weave entry.

Class July 27th, 2015

Things that went well:

  1. Lots of drive, focus and commitment.
  2. Read my cues and acted on them correctly.
  3. 12 inline poles taken in flow for the first time. Lots of speed and drive in the weaves.
  4. Really nice running A-Frame.

Other observations:

  1. He was not as quick in his second session and this showed itself in his A-Frame performance (he would have made the judge think) and he knocked a bar which is something hardly ever does.

Ice had the best weekend!

On Saturday he went to the Fun Fur Paws Fun Match – he did great.  Here’s a video of the run.

On Sunday we continued weave training and now he’s showing lots of confidence and drive and doing 12 poles.

For the next couple of weeks we are going to spend some time working the Teeter.

Class July 20th, 2015

  1. Once Ice saw the toy he speeded up dramatically.  He was that much quicker I got hopelessly behind cuing the obstacles.  Therefore I need to work more on transferring the value of the toy to the jumps.
  2. Ice did not read my “pushes” from the end of the Dog Walk that well.  He kept falling off the side of the board at or just above the contact zone.
  3. Tunnel / A-Frame discriminations, Ice loves tunnels and he loves the A-Frame too.  When faced with a choice the tunnel won!
  4. I started doing some of the “Pre-Bang” game training for the Teeter.  Ice was very responsive to the clicker.

Finding the entry and independence

Here’s a short video clip of Ice working the weaves.  The goal of this session was finding the correct entrance from a variety of approach obstacles and to show independence.

Ice is not moving at top speed as I am showing very little motion.  For our next session I will start to fade the Manners Minder away by moving it beyond a jump.  I’ll also start moving the weaves around in the agility field a lot more so they are in a different location for each session.  Later in the week I’ll introduce a second set of 6 poles, slowly bringing the two sets closer together until he’s weaving 12 poles.

Weave Update

I’ve continued to work the weaves over the past couple of weeks and Ice has progressed very nicely as a result.

He’s now doing 6 inline poles and really driving his way through to the end.  He’s also pretty good at finding the entrance and staying in the poles whilst I move around.

Things we need to continue to work on are:

  1. Location – I need to start moving the weaves to different areas of the yard.  Ice has been doing 6 inline poles at Dogs World so I know he does have some degree of location independence.
  2. Extra poles – I plan on having 6 poles then a longish gap and 6 more poles, over time I’ll reduce the gap until he’s effectively doing 12 inline poles.
  3. Entries and independence – I’m going to continue working the entry angle and the entry speed.  Not only does Ice need to be able to find the correct entry from any approach angle he needs to know to collect prior to the first pole.

This is pretty much the training plan for the week.  In addition I want to restart our Teeter training – this is the last obstacle we need before I can enter Ice in a trial.

Class July 9th, 2015

We trained the rear cross, Ice got it on my first attempt but I did not get the cue timing right and Ice ran by the jump rather than taking it.  Same thing happen on our second attempt.  On our third attempt I got the timing right, Ice took the jump and continued with the course.

Next we moved onto weaves – I had 4 poles and concentrated working the entries and independence.  Ice is getting pretty good at finding the entrance but I think we can still be better.

Finally we worked the contacts.  Ice loves the A-Frame and did some great runs over it.  Next we moved onto the Teeter.  This was a disaster, Ice read the Teeter as a Dog Walk, he ran up the plank but didn’t expect it to tip.  When it did tip it took Ice completely by surprise, he leaped off it and was pretty shaken.  He would not go near the Teeter from that point onward until I lowered it to almost its lowest setting.

Class 8th July 2015

We ran the full JWW course from Monday – Ice did very well, nice speed and focus.  The lateral sends which were a problem on Monday were much better this time.

We also ran the same modified Standard course that he ran on Monday.  He did not do so well on this, he missed his DW contact and did not appear to have the same level of drive as he did on Monday or earlier in today’s class.  I think this was caused by two factors:

  1. Tiredness – Ice had already run the full JWW course twice which is further than he’s ever run before.
  2. Lack of encouragement/rewards from me.  I really must make the effort to remind Ice just how well he’s doing.  His performance improves so much when I do.

Desiree also pointed out that I should try to not get too far in front of Ice, this would discourage him from trying to catch up with me.

We have class again tonight, this time I’m going to concentrate on training the contacts and weaves.  There will not be any handling.

Reflections on class 6th July 2015

This was Ice’s first class at the Intermediate level and overall he did very well.

In his beginners classes there were other dogs out on the agility field working at the same time.  This proved to be a significant distraction for Ice although he did get a little better as class progressed.  Ice has also been attending Sky’s “Expert” level classes whilst Sky recovers from injury.  Ice has done well in these classes but Penny was next door working Sky in Rally, Ice knew this tried to go visit several times.  We did not have that distraction last night and as a result Ice’s focus improved dramatically.

We ran two different courses – an international JWW course and a Novice/Open STD course.  In both cases I modified the course to avoid the weave poles.  Ice is not quite ready to take the weaves in a sequence yet.

Here’s a link to the course map.

Highlights of the night were:

  1. Drive and speed – Ice has speeded up considerably from Camp.  Hard to image the difference really, camp was only 2 weeks ago.
  2. Enthusiasm – Ice exploded away from the start line when I released him.
  3. Confidence – Ice tugged all the way to the start line and he tugged after each run too, this is a good sign as he will only tug if he feels relaxed and confident of what is being asked of him.
  4. Start line stay – Ice held his start line even though I could see he was itching to get going.  He was sitting but leaning forward waiting for his release, just like Sky does.
  5. Forward Sends – both course had these and Ice read the cue perfectly.
  6. Dog Walks – Ice did the Dog Walk twice, on both runs he had multiple feet (>2) nicely spread in the middle of the USDAA contact.  Its so nice to be able to cue the Dog Walk and not have to manage the far end of it like I do with Sky.

Things that need more work:

  1. Lateral Sends – Ice reads these but he needs a stronger cue than what I was giving him.  On a couple of occasions I cued a jump and moved laterally only to see Ice run by the jump.

Training Plan for the week beginning July 5, 2015

Last week we spent a lot of time working the weaves.  Ice now has a pretty good understanding of the entry requirements and he’s happy driving straight ahead without wondering what I’m doing.  We also did some DW and AF practice in class at “Dog’s World”.  I didn’t train the tunnel as much as I had planned as I spent more time working the weaves.

The plan for this week is:

  1. Weaves – add additional poles, continue to work entries and independence.
  2. Teeter – the teeter will be our contact obstacle of the week.  Ice sometimes confuses the Teeter for the DW.  I don’t want him launching off the end of the teeter.
  3. Tunnels – review some of the foundation flat work exercises that used the tunnel.

Ice has graduated from his “Beginner Agility” class at Dog’s World – this week he starts the Intermediate class on Monday nights at 8pm.