Weave Poles can be the most challenging obstacle for you to teach and for your dog to learn. Many agility obstacles resemble natural obstacles that dogs could find out on a hike out in the woods, jumps, frames, and tunnels. Going over, under, or through things and places are natural for dogs, however, weaving the poles is not.
How do you teach an unnatural skill. . . . . . . . with lots of patience, the right motivators for your dog, and a plan. There are many great methods to teach the weave poles. If you've gone to agility camps with several top instructors, you know that most have their own method . So, there is not one method that is the best or one method that produces the best weaving dog.
There are many methods of teaching weave poles. Some of these include, the Push-Pull method, the Angled Weave Approach, Chute Training, Two-Pole Method, Gate method, and more. . . . . . . . . .
How do you decide on which method to choose? Research each method and find out what you like about it and what you don't. What method are they teaching at your agility school? Most handlers just starting agility will teach the method being presented at their facility. If you attend a large agility school, sit in on some of the advanced classes and watch the skilled dogs weave. Ask those individuals how they taught their dog to weave. Most instructors have a preference of weave training, it may be the method they are teaching or it may not be.
Once you decide on a method, get the poles you want and then, outline a plan to train 5 minutes a day on weaves. Five minutes a day will take your dog much further than once a week in class. If you are into agility and want to progress, the weave poles are an absolute must to have at home.
Get your dog, grab his motivators, take a deep breath and go have fun for five minutes a day.
Brad Carlson is a dog trainer at Agility by Carlson. For more training details, visit our website at http://www.carlson-agility.com/