blog post with video clips detailing all the steps I've taken in Hokey's weave training starting from the very beginning all the way up to the point where I was ready to add the 3rd set of 2x2s for a total of 6 weave poles. Then the WORST happened! It snowed.
Okay...so it wasn't the worst thing in the world. Despite my lamenting the ceaseless winter, it actually melted quickly and I was out there the very next day (yesterday) to resume our training. And that meant adding the 3rd set of 2x2s.
I introduced the new set by placing it a few feet in front of the set of 4 poles. Then I ran her through a couple of times from both sides. Gradually I moved the new set closer and closer to the other 4 poles.
Eventually I joined the new set with the old set of 4 poles and that's when the magic happened. Suddenly I had a dog that was weaving 6 poles!
So now that I have a weaving dog, what's next? Well, I want her to have independent obstacle performance regardless of my position or motion (or lack thereof). So we will continue to do some exercises with me sending her from various locations. For example, one thing I'm working on for independence is to send her ahead of me. We struggled a little with this at first; she would do the first 3 or 4 weaves then stop and look at me because she was unsure. Most dogs, particularly green ones, find lack of handler motion a bit perplexing. But being deaf, Hokey is probably a little more reliant than the average dog on my motion and/or keeping me in visual range. But we worked through it. Here she is sending ahead of me to complete the weaves. The fact that she is willing to go on ahead of me to complete them is a huge step. The confidence will come.
I will continue to do some Around-the-Clock exercises to work on difficult angles of entry, as seen here:
I will also be introducing motion and handling into the picture at this stage. Once Hokey is confidently performing 6 weaves independently with and without motion and consistently hitting her entries from all angles of approach, I will introduce a 2nd set of 6 poles and work up to the full set of 12.