weave proofs

Image credit: Devon Dogs

Weave proofs Part 2

Here’s 50 more ideas to really nail those weaves!

  1. Tunnel wrapped around the entry of poles think EXTREME make it harder for them to get into the poles.
  2. Weave races with other dogs in poles at the same time – MULTIPLE DOGS NOW in the poles – make sure you only play with suitable dogs. My dogs love this game; it is one of Fiji’s favourites!
  3. Weave in a new indoor habitat – different surface.
  4. Weave in a new outdoor habitat – go to a friends’ yard.
  5. Weave at a show environment – practice rings are ace for this!
  6. Weave while other dogs/handlers sprint the opposite way close to poles – think mean!
  7. Food around the poles -a raw meaty bone to the side of the poles – that will get those spaniels’ noses going or maybe some freshly baked liver cake for the shelties!
  8. Stand at end of weaves and recall the dog, as they start weaving, the handler runs across to other side and carries on. So run at a right angle from the end of the weaves.
  9. Extra cheerleading and excitement from handler and all of the other classmates.
  10. Pretend to throw a toy or get ready to throw. Swinging your toy around can be a terrible distraction for some dogs – have a go.
  11. Can you rattle your food pot?
  12. Can your dog weave with the crate or bed right at end of weaves?
  13. Can your dog weave with people running back the opposite way to which the dog is weaving? Other people / dogs?
  14.  Can you rear cross the weaves?
  15. Can you extreme rear cross the weaves? Really get right up behind your dog.
  16. Can you twitch and hang back or run sideways from them? Dog should stay in no matter what! Twitching is Miss Popi’s worst weave proof – she reads every minute movement, well so she should she is a border collie!
  17. Can you send dog in the weaves, run past them and then stop before the end; your dog should weave past you to the end.
  18.  When your dog is weaving, run past them and then turn and move back the other way – your dog should carry on weaving in the original direction.
  19. While your dog is in the weaves, throw or drop food or toys down next to the weaves and run the other way. They should weave past the distractions.
  20. While the dog is weaving try a handling manoeuvre through the poles, yes I did say through the poles – front cross through the middle of the poles.
  21. Run past your dog in the weaves, stop and turn at some point along the poles. Again your dog should weave past you until the end.
  22. Send ahead weaves go the distance – use the whole field or sand school and now push it to the extreme! Think speed, weight shift and decel.
  23. Weave towards a wall, many dogs find it hard to weave into nothing. And add equipment to the side to make it harder.
  24. Stand at one end of weaves touching the weave poles and send dog to other end of the poles to make the entry (extreme entry!)
  25. Now do exactly the same on the other side.
  26. Now do the extreme entry and move away as soon as you send your dog to the first pole.
  27. Now do the extreme entry and the extreme rear cross to match it, add the acceleration in.
  28. Add tinsel and decorations to your weave poles ready for Olympia!
  29. Can your dog make a weave pole entry regardless of where you are (behind, ahead, lateral) and regardless of the speed of approach? If not try the one you are struggling on NOW…..
  30. Will your dog continue to weave all of the poles regardless of what you are doing: running ahead, recalling through, pulling up, turning in front, crossing behind, falling, or moving away laterally? Which one is he slower at, practice these to make them equal speed.
  31. Will your dog finish all the poles while you push around the end of the poles from either side? While you turn a full 360 degree in front?
  32. When you “proof” a performance, you want to test the dog’s training beyond what might be encountered or required in the ring. Whilst thousands of people take their dogs into the competitive agility ring without proofing their obstacle performance you are going to be ahead of the game. Some people do proof their contact performance, but few seem to proof the weave poles what proof is beyond your dogs current ability, do that one now.
  33. For people with high-drive dogs, test to see if the dogs can hit and hold the entry with a full speed approach. Maybe add two tunnels in, and then three on the approach, get them high and speedy and then ask them to be cognitive. Many times fast dogs can successfully find the entry, but when approaching from straight on and at top speed, they have trouble holding onto the weaves and end up skipping the second pole.
  34. Go back through those old courses and find courses with ugly weave pole entrances. Proofing your entries is not just about getting the dog into the poles, but also about setting the correct line as you approach the poles.
  35. Add lateral distance and add lateral movement. Again make it extreme once you have mastered the lower challenges.
  36. The bottom line is that you want to be able to make any move necessary when working at the weave poles, without restriction. Test it to the max! Move in an extreme fashion here – skateboard past your weaves….
  37. Add speed to the tougher entries now, add big sequences into them and party when you get them right.
  38. Make the weaves visually difficult, add obstacle discrimination in so your dog has to go past equipment to get in as well as verbally discriminate.
  39. Put the weaves under the dog walk – can your dog do them independently? This is hard for those Velcro dogs.
  40. Layer the weaves with other equipment. Don’t be shy, test the skills.
  41. Can you blind cross the weaves? Add other equipment in after them.
  42. Put a tunnel either side of the weaves, let the dog do both tunnels and then the weaves.
  43. Have multiple equipment near the weaves and see if your dog can verbally discriminate in a more difficult environment and set up. Change the picture for your dog.
  44. Push the dog back and race at the weaves, really try hard to play against their reflexes, we always did this with heelwork position when we were teaching dogs obedience back in the day, I love how this game comes around.
  45. Weave different spaces – it keeps them honest! 22” 24” you go for it.
  46. Take out a brand new squeaky ball and squeak it all the way along, how fun.
  47. Move your hands and clap close to the poles but in the wrong direction to the weaves, can they weave?
  48. Take a friend to train with you and get them to set you their hardest challenge. Test each other and add in your own level of games here.
  49. An old favourite of mine, downhill weave entries, this really tests your dogs ability to weave at speed, can they decel and weight shift to hit the weave entry downhill, I play this in my country garden!
  50. Record keep all of the failures and successes ready to develop for next time. End on a straight easy one after all that testing, phew!

With a little imagination, it can be more fun proofing the weaves than training the dog to do them.  Test only what is ready to be tested, avoid over testing and keep smiling! We hope you enjoy working the proofs and if you want to send us any more of your favourites we welcome them.

With thanks to Mary Ann Nester for her brilliant ideas. 🙂

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