Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Trying the 2x2 Weave Pole Method

I decided to teach Dobby to do weave poles after he learned to weave between my legs in freestyle. He started getting really fast with weaving between my legs. I remember thinking that it shouldn't be that hard for him to learn weave poles because they were practically the same thing. I was wrong! Weave poles proved to be a completely different challenge.

We started training using a channel method. In this method, you begin with the poles in two lines about a foot apart. Then, you encourage the dog to go straight down the middle of the poles(in the diagram below this would be following the blue line). After your dog shows success you begin placing the poles closer together and asking for the same action from the dog. Eventually you have the poles in a straight line and the dog should be able to weave.

Dobby did learn to do the weave poles this way but as evident in this trial video, he doesn't have the speed or concentration competition requires.  He did complete the weave poles on the third attempt but he requires that I stand right next to the weave poles and move my hand to guide him through the poles. His current weaves cost us time, which is why we NQ'd due to time.

I had been searching for a new way to basically reteach Dobby how to weave with speed and accuracy when I found the 2x2 Weave Method (this method was created by Susan Garrett). I watched a lot of videos and did a lot of research before starting to train this method because I had read about people who had made mistakes in beginning to train the 2x2 method which had confused their dogs more. In the 2x2 method, you begin with two poles and train the dog to go straight through the middle of the poles. You begin shaping by repeating this exercise at all angles around the two poles. After the dog completes the exercise 95%   of the times you add two more poles a distance away and require the dog to go between both. With success, you begin moving the second set closer until the four poles are in a straight line.

We have just finished training the 2 pole entry and began with adding the second set of 2 poles. Where Dobby already knows the basic weaving method, he is able to understand quickly what I'm trying to teach using this new method. As of now, our second set of weave poles is about a foot away from the first and Dobby is able to execute the exercise with speed and minimal mistakes. Keep an eye on the Training Log tab for updates in our training with the 2x2 method.


  1. Weave poles are Nailah's least favorite part of doing agility. Good luck getting Dobby to improve his time! :)

  2. ,In this method, you begin with the poles in two lines about a foot apart.
    My Blog: dogstrainingvideo.blogspot.com