Joon’s learning to weave

Joon resting on a warm day in November 2008

Joon resting on a warm day in November 2008

It’s been a long time, but I have an opportunity to work with this girl. Ken took the two young ‘unsĀ  (Genie and Zip) on a road trip for a week or so, and it’s my assignment to teach Joon to weave. I’ve chosen to teach her using the 2 x 2 method, since it doesn’t require another person to start the dog, and I’ve had a pretty good success rate with it. Today was step #1.

Lately, Karen Stinnett has been taking Joon to our Sunday evening agility runs, since Karen’s dog Grace E is recuperating from TPLO surgery. I’ve missed the fun, having been away the last two classes. Looking forward to seeing how she does with her next time.

Joon jumps (not efficiently) and has rudimentary contact behavior. Her focus is always on the toy/reward, so that’s something to modify a bit. She even does the fourth contact obstacle – the table- well. Has a good enough stay, needs work. It all does, since we’ve worked with her only sporadically. The weaves really are the only obstacle remaining for her to conquer. Then it’s all learning about control, control, control.

2 x 2 weaves, step #1

Using one set of 2 weave poles, entice dog to enter between them. So first step was to hold her collar and toss the toy through the poles, low, then let her go. We did this perpendicular to the poles, i.e., she directly faced the opening between poles #1 and #2 and ran between them. Repeated a couple of times, then set her next to me and waited for her to go. A few false starts, with her natural inclination to arc outward, then a correct response rewarded by the thrown toy as soon as her nose passed between the poles, throwing the toy out in front of her. Then a few more of these, intermingled with some false starts/outruns, and finally she appeared to get it (5 correct responses in a row).

I then switched from having her on my right to being on my left, and set her up (she’s standing, by the way, no sit for her). Again, a false start or two and she then got it 100%.

Now to change my angle to the poles, so I moved leftward (she’s still on my left) so I’m more in line with pole #1 but facing #2. Cued her to go, mistake, cued her to go – success. The toy now is thrown in line with her future direction of movement, i.e., through the poles and angled toward the end of the poles, thus a roughly 20 degree angle to the poles. Worked for a few more correct responses, then quit. She did well!! More later today, or definitely tomorrow morning. Keeping sessions short. It’s almost 70 degrees out there, and she’s intense. She was panting pretty hard by the end of our session.

Brilliant little red dog!

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