the secret to success in off set weave pole training - a long handled
spoon, Cheez Whiz and Cesar's dog food! It's like doggy crack - they
love it! I like to use this particular purple top one. It's more
squished together. Some is not.
get started you'll need a long handled spoon like the one in the photo.
That's to keep the messy ( and fragrant) Cheez Whiz and Cesar's
out in front of your dog, at the dog's eye level, and so you can hang
on to the collar and have them drive into the poles. I put the Cheez
Whiz on first and embed the Cesar. Here's what it looks like "loaded".
At first, getting the dog through the poles will be a train wreck,
because the dog is only interested in the food. At this point, you are
building muscle memory in the dog. It will get easier and the dog
will stop crashing about, sending the parts of the weaves willy nilly.
( I don't glue the base together, it's less damaging to the dog's
shoulders if the weaves come apart. If you use schedule 40 pvc, the poles won't fly apart as much.)
Eventually, the dog will begin bending around the poles and stepping
one side to the other - at least the big dogs will. Some smaller dogs
will still be in the galloping mode.
I've created a short training demo so you can get the idea.
Yes, there is a lot more to it, but you'll be encouraged to see what
practice for a few times a day will do. With Guy, it took about 6
months for him to really catch on and so I could send him to the weaves
without leading him with treats.
BUILDING OFF SET WEAVES
I've tried another style of off set weaves, this set has been the best
for teaching my Ridgebacks to weave fast and for setting muscle memory.
I have used 1 inch PVC, but you can use 3/4 inch PVC pipe if you like.
I also put caps on all open ends to keep out trash and water. It's best
to use Schedule 40 PVC, it won't fall apart as easy.
You'll need nine 3-way connectors and three 4-way connectors to make a six pole set. The height of the upright poles on mine are 30 inches.
I find it's easier to use when you are guiding with treats and you can
eventually run your hand down the tops without the dog having to look
up and lose concentration.
Bottom spacer bars are all 22 ( NOW 24 ' inches). Use the 3-ways for the "in line" uprights and a 4-way for the off-set connectors.
Another advantage of these off sets is they teach the dog to
always enter correctly on the right side between the first and second
The distance between the "channel" is about 1.5 to 2" depending on your connecting piece at the off set link.
Once my dog learned the weaves without my leading him
and I could send him to the poles, I then transitioned him to the
regulation weaves without a problem. We still do the offsets for fun
and for conditioning and reinforcing the muscle memory.
Medium sized dogs and smaller dogs often "gallop" through the weaves
and it works well for them. Follow the sequence and you'll see both her
front feet are landing: first on one side, then the other. With larger
dogs, like Ridgebacks, the galloping style tends to slow them down, as
the size of the dog doesn't always fit in that 21 inch slot. I'm
looking to teach the dog to step right, then left with the front foot
as they go down the weave. The off sets are terrific for helping the
dog learn this style.