Monday, September 28, 2009


At the end of our seminar, people were asking various questions. Someone stated that their dog starts out slow in the weaves, but speeds up toward the end. Oreo does this a lot too.

The instructor said that's because the dog knows it is getting closer to the reward at the end. She said you need to vary which pole you reward after. Click and treat after pole 2, after pole 4, after pole 8 and so on.

Huh. Never thought of that. I would have thought that would make the dog pop out of the poles. I guess if you make it random enough, you won't create a pop out problem.

Also, I always wondered "why does Oreo weave so fast at home, but not at school?" Someone else asked the same question.

The instructor said that the dogs don't see the similarity in the equipment the way we do. It is almost like they are learning a whole new obstacle.

That may explain why Oreo was suddenly weaving fast in class a couple weeks ago. He could have finally learned how to weave on the school's poles, which are nothing like mine at home.

Here is a video I shot last weekend of Oreo weaving. He is slow in the beginning, then speeds up toward the end.

We're going to work on random rewards this week and see if we can improve. I'll post a new video later with our results.

She also said you shouldn't practice weaves without an obstacle beforehand. It isn't helping them learn their entries. She suggested starting with the obstacle far away from the poles and gradually move it closer.


Ricky the Sheltie said...

Mom is really suspicious of the rewarding after random number of poles - she thinks like you that it might create pop outs. So we'll let you experiment :)

Hat and gloves - NOOOOO!!!!! We're not ready for winter - seems like it was just yesterday that we were counting down to spring.

Sara said...

I wouldn't be trying it myself, but one of my classmates, who is an instructor herself, also does it with her dogs. I really trust her training methods, so that's why I'm going to give it a try.

madcobug said...

Seems like giving a treat after he is finished is the best to me else he would be pausing to get a treat between times. It will be interesting to see how that goes.

Greg S said...

I would never stop them in the middle of the poles to reward, I think thats just asking for trouble down the road.
Now, I might be inclined to setup only 4 poles sometimes, only 6 poles, only 8 poles, etc, and I would always make it an even number so they come out the correct side.
When the reward is high value, they will fly through the poles. I can get my Skye dog to weave 12 poles in 2.5 seconds if I am throwing a frisbee for him to chase after weaving, but in a trial, he is more like 3.5 seconds.

Sara said...

Using fewer poles is a good idea Greg. I tried clicking Oreo today after two poles, he looked at me like I was nuts, kept going and finished the poles.

That tells me Oreo totally knows what his job in the poles, stopping him will just confuse him.

Ludo van Doggy said...

I think Oreo's doing great with the weaves anyway. Seems to me like he's just being careful at the begining because as you say, he knows what his job is.

Honey the Great Dane said...

How strange - I would also have thought rewarding in the middle enourages popping out...

Be interesting to see how you get on! Seems to me that Oreo is just cautious in the beginning but the speeds up once he gets "the rhythm" going


Lian said...

Oreo is looking very good in the weave. I have problem with Sizzle pulling out at 10th pole. I am not sure I want to try rewarding rondomly at 2,4,6 as we often get 9 poles in this country.

Sara said...

Yes Lian, I've decided to throw this idea out the window. I'm sure if I get more speed up before we enter the poles, Oreo will be faster in the beginning.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

If mom can get me really worked up before the weaves, I will do them fast from the beginning. The problem is how to get me all fired up right before.

Wow - you got lots of comments on the stopping to reward during the weaves thing!

Greg S said...

Thats interesting Lian that they will give you 9 poles often. Only once here in over 2 years have I had a course with 9 poles! I know its in the rulebook, but they just never do it.

Sara said...

I have never heard of 9 poles being in the rulebook. Then again, I don't really read the rule books. LOL. I sent the rule books to my Dad, hoping he would read them, then explain the rules to me!

Greg S said...

I know, who really has time to read all those rules in the thick rulebooks! The time I saw 9 poles was in AKC, and I went back later and found the rules on it - it says this:
Weave poles are a required obstacle on course: a minimum of 9-12 weave poles will be required for Excellent/Open class level and six (6) weave poles are required on Novice courses.