Weave Contest

Doolin' doing the Weaves

What method do you use for weaving? Channels, 2×2’s, something unique to you?  What’s your best tip for weave-working?

You could win a 6 pole weave wire set, or, if you prefer, a Clean Run Exercise Source Book!  Share your weave knowledge with us for your chance to win!

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43 Comments on “Weave Contest

  1. I always get my little Papillon excited before we do weaves, and whenever she makes a mistake I immediately say “Oops!” and laugh at her to keep her spirits up. And if she keeps failing I go do something easy like a jump and treat her and come back later.

  2. Off set weaves; gradually put them straight up. In my backyard I use stick in the ground poles.

    Works well for my Cocker.

  3. I’m not sure if this the correct way but it worked for my aussie. I took a treat and had him follow it through the polls. When he learned the routine I left a treat after the second pole and continued on with this. He picked up on it right away and at the end he got the treat. Not fast at it but he learned it.

  4. We did 2, then 2 sets, to 4 straight, then 2 sets of 4, then 8 straight, then 2 sets of six, to 12 straight. I used 2 sets of 6 competition weaves, I don’t own real 2x2s. Good success!

  5. I used the 2×2 method and it was fantastically successful despite my inexperience. I will say, though, that it kind of rises or falls on how familiar your dog (and you) already are with shaping. So if you are not doing a lot of this already, I think it is worth spending a coupla weeks teaching your dog various tricks first, so that both of you are “in the swing of things” before starting 2×2 weaves. Also you do need to listen to *everything* said on the video and follow directions *exactly*, if you expect it to work the way it’s supposed to. It sure worked great for us though!!

    The best advice I can give is to do teeny amounts of weave practice as frequently as you can. I would put my dog thru the weaves probably four or five times a day but only a couple of reps at a time (a minute or so). This kept the excitement up and prevented frustration.

  6. I’ve been using Susan Garrett’s 2×2 method with my dog, Denali. He’s deaf and we tried out a couple different methods, but her’s is the one where he really “got it”. The best piece of advice I could give: Make sure your dog is successful. If Denali wasn’t successful from a certain direction or with a certain number of poles, we’d back up a few steps and either remove a few poles or try another angle until we got success. This kept it positive and “fun” for him, and kept him motivated to keep working.

  7. I use the channel method. Our channel is almost closed now and Tibby is weaving 12 poles at almost 100%. Sometimes she gets too excited to run back down through the channel and she turns around at the end, without completely exiting the channel.
    We are working on round the clock entries and she is doing great! She does better when I don’t point at the weave poles, but rather let her find the entrance herself.

  8. Have used channels with mixed success in the past. One dog has killer weaves and one is slow. I’m not sure that the method would have made a difference, but I am considering 2 x 2 for the pup I hope to get next summer. My lovely set of channel weavepoles is outdated – only 22″ and I am going to have to replace them anyway, so I am looking at a set that can be broken down into 2 pole sections. This will be a new thing for me so I am talking to anyone I know who has used this method and I plan to get Susan Garrett’s DVD and to re-read Mary Ellen Barry’s Clean Run article.

    • Hi Eileen,

      2×2 weaving is a training method started by Susan Garrett, a world champion in agility. You start the dog out with two weaves and build from there! (It’s a bit more complex than that but I don’t explain it terribly well!) 2×2’s are especially beneficial for training weave entries.

  9. We didn’t have a ‘real’ set of weaves but wanted to be able to practice at home so we got creative…I put gardening stakes in upside down flowerpots. It sounds wacky, but I was able to move them around easily for a channel method and I could also tip the poles a little for a weave-o-matic approach. We could also move them easily from inside to outside. It worked well for us and now Jonah weaves great! Here’s a picture: http://jonahsgreatcanineadventures.blogspot.com/2010/10/success.html

  10. With my amstaffs I start off by guiding them through the weave polls a few times. After that I start on 2 x 2’s and speed.

    In my experience guiding a dog that does not process information very quickly a few times helps them get the big picture. In the end you get a very solid weave.

  11. My opinion is that you can train a dog to weave using ANY method so long as you practice FREQUENTLY and CONSISTENTLY. I think that’s the main issue with people who struggle to train their dog(s) to weave. If you rely on once weekly classes to teach your dog the weaves, it is going to be a very long time before the dog is weaving.

    My first dog learned to weave with guide wires. We started agility in the middle of winter, so I had a set of PVC poles set up in the living room of my one bedroom apartment. Every morning I would cook him an egg and he would have to weave for it. Dog #1 has amazing weaves. :o)

    My second dog would not go NEAR poles with guide wires on them. I tried and couldn’t get him within 10 feet of them. I gave up and just taught him via luring with the “add a pole” method. Started with two poles and then just kept adding one as he figured it out. Dog #2 has amazing and FAST weaves.

    I decided to try the 2×2 method for my third dog. She’s a border collie and learned everything early in life via shaping, so I thought it would suite her well. The only problem with her is that she wasn’t turned on to toys at all yet when we started the weaves, so I did everything with food (Susan Garrett is big on toys). She was successfully and independently weaving 6 poles in 6 days, but not with the speed I desired. Things improved a lot when she did get turned on to toys, but she’s two now and still not weaving with the drive I would like to see. So we are going to start weaving for meals every day and see if that makes her light up a bit more.

  12. I’ve got 2 nicely weaving dogs thanks to 2x2s. Currently training my 3 dog with 2x2s. It’s so nice having independent weave entry and obstacle completion!

  13. I taught my pug to weave when I was probably about 10 or 11. Not knowing the different methods, only that she had to do them, I simply taught her to weave back and forth between the poles. She does weaves nicely, but has many issues getting started, and isn’t reliable at all with right handed weaves. The first pole is a killer, because I never taught her where the entrance to the poles is. But she’s learning, and doing better. Next weekend if we get 10 more points and finish our UACH, we’ll see if she can do 6 foot weaves in the show ring.

    I’ll teach my new puppy the two-by-two method, with some around the clock exercises mixed in. 🙂

    Also, to anyone who has dogs getting bored from practicing the weaves over and over, I’ve learned that practice doesn’t always make perfect. If I practice the weaves with my pug, she won’t do them at the show. If I don’t, and leave it up to her to remember how to do them, she never fails me. 🙂

  14. We are having poblems with weave form and it was suggested we use the “Weave a matic” method. This entails tilting the weave poles. It is working like a charm. We are slowly getting them straighter and straighter and my dog is not hopping through the poles.

  15. How do I weave,very simple TERRIBLE!!!!!!
    My dog & I only know how to weave from one side. I was never taught the correct way.
    I sure could use the wire weaves for my new puppy.

  16. I have been training in agility since 1994. We started training weave poles with the cage wires. What barbaric method looking back. Then we went to channels, and then finally wire with channels.
    Since 2004 I have been training using Susan Garrett’s 2X2 method. I have trained 4 dogs this way and train my students in this method. I will never use another method again.
    The only advise I have when using this method is to stick to the plan. It is actually making your dog think therefore learn the weave poles not just do them. It is very easy to let them be successful by making things easier for them, but with this method a little bit of frustration goes a long way in their learning curve and in thh long run you will have the best weave poles ever…

  17. At a recent competition class, we were challenged with standing behind a line and asking our dogs to weave, without us running beside them. Of 10 dogs, mine was the only one to do it successfully. Here’s how I trained him.

    I used the 2×2 pole training method; one thing I did throughout was always throw a toy ahead of the dog. First, he ran through two poles and retrieved the toy. This helped him learn entries. As I added poles, he continued to drive ahead toward the toy. When he eventually progressed to six, then twelve poles, he was already driving through them independently of me. To “proof” his performance, I would sometimes run with him, sometimes let him run alone. I also taught him to do his weave entry from a variety of angles; going back to two poles from time-to-time helped solidify his entry angles.

    One last tip: shouting encouragement as the dog runs poles or “leading” your dog through the poles can actually distract the dog from his performance!

    To summarize: a toy can help focus your dog to drive through the poles independent of your support.

  18. When I first started learning how to teach the weave poles as an obstacle I used channel weaves. And I like this method for novice people learning how to teach weaving to their novice dogs. Now that I have been at this for a few years, I’ve switched to the 2×2 method for my dogs. I like it much better, but I think it requires a slightly more skilled handler to teach it successfully to their dogs…I think it might overwelm some novice agility handlers who don’t have a trainer to help them work through the 2×2 concept and progression.

  19. When learning to weave, we were taught using 2 x 2’s. I was also blessed with a dog that took to it right away and developed a true love of weaving. Consequently, Bella is accurate and fast and rarely, if ever, misses a weave entry allowing me to concentrate more on the rest of the course.

  20. After using various methods, I’m totally sold on Susan Garrett’s 2×2 method. I’m firmly convinced that it truly is the best method for teaching independent weaves and fabulous entries. Buy the DVD and follow it religiously (don’t try to figure it out on your own!), and you will very quickly have a thinking, weaving dog who thinks the weaves are the best thing ever!

  21. Ayla and I used to use channel weaves but recently in our new class we have been using a Weave-a-matic style set and it seems to be much easier for her to get the concept. She is actually placing her feet nicely and self-correcting – right now we are ~10 degrees off vertical so we are almost there!!!

  22. I use a clicker and treats to encourage my dogs to weave. Then I try to build up speed by clapping and running alongside them, while they weave.

  23. I trained Bella, English Springer Spaniel(Field Bred), the Weave Poles when she was a little over a year old by using X-pens on both sides of the poles…thereby making a channel or maze of the weave poles. After a few short training sessions, I removed one of the sides X-pens ……a few more short training sessions and I removed the 2nd X-pen. Have since worked with various approach angles, and only a few times needed to put an X-pen back up on one side to help her remember the entrance. Bella is just over 2 yrs old now and has real nice weave performance. I will definitely train weaves like this to my next agility dog!!

  24. We are using channel weaves. Our channel is still open a small amount most of the time to work on speed through the weaves. Right now we are focusing on entries and practicing round the clock entries. When we are working on just weaves the pups do fine, but when we add them in sequence with other obstacles the pups are learning to collect for their entries.

  25. I started out using only 6 poles with wires and when she started doing them consistantly, I randomly started removing some wires and worked until she had it no matter which wires were removed. With only having enough wires for 6 poles, I started using 12 poles and worked on the first six with wires and then the second 6 with wires. And then changed up which 6 depending on which area needed improvement. Then did the random removing of wires on the first 6 then the second 6 or whichever needed improvement until she could do all 12 without wires and then worked on improving speed. She loves doing the weaves and this is the obstacle she excells at.

  26. I have used all the traditional methods and just adjust according to what seems to work for each individual dog. I mostly use the channel weaves and sometimes remove the middle poles so that they get the entrance and then add back the poles gradually. I think combining methods helps with different issues so mix it up!

  27. Teaching weave poles has been easy for me. My Golden Retreiver, MACH Kodiac, literally learned to weave in two days, and is and has always been a great and aggressive weaver. My wife and I raise puppies for a service dog organization. Just for the fun of it, I taught the puppy we are currently raising to weave in just a few days. I use two sets of weave poles that I purchased from you a few years ago, that I believe you now call weave a matic? I simply slant the poles quite a bit, and continue to reduce the amount that they are slanted after a few times thru. Haven’t tried anyother method, can’t imagine a quicker way for the dog to learn.

    Randy Roberts and MACH Kodiac

  28. Well, my little JuanCarlos started with a channel and then I made that channel smaller and smaller! After daily practice, he got it! But my command is “Weave, Weave, Weave, Weave”. Last week when I left the course, About seven people came up to me separately and told me I sound like the little pig in the GEICO commercial that says, “Weee, weee, weee, weee” all the way home!!!

  29. When I first started out I used food as a lure to go in and out of the weaves. This worked really good as I have two Cocker Spaniels who love food!!
    My one dog (Toby) has really good weaves and seldom popps out of them. My other dog (Teddy) on the otherhand is slow at doing them, so I clapp my hands as I run along side of him and say the word go, go, go, go! This seems to get him to go faster and he concentrates more on the job at hand! I have been told by my instructor that they both have good weaves.

  30. I use the 2×2 method now for training.It teaches the dog to think and find his entry.Its a very simple and fast way to teach the weaves.My best tip for weave training is keep it short and always end on a positive note.Make weave training fun for the dog with lots of rewards!!

  31. I use wires. I take a few out after they are consistant with the wires. I take more and more out, starting with one or two at several places along the poles, then I gradually faze them out. If I have problems further along, ie, skipping a pole at the start or the end, I put the wires on again and work harder with the wires at the end the problem is at. For example, my girl went through a period where she wanted to pop out a pole early at the end. I put the wires back on my home set, and sent her through with the wires at the end of the set over and over over several days. She didn’t do it at her next run, though she did skip out at the second run at the same trial. Kept at it, and she got better and better. Also, I try to teach them to do the poles looking at the ground, ie, I don’t treat them out of my hand, but I put the treat on the ground. Also, I try not to distract them. Ie, I try not to alter the sound of my voice, I try to be consistant with my body language, anything that will tend to get the dog to look at me. I find my dogs get off rhythm when they look up at me.

  32. Well to anybody who is a beginner in weaving you should invest in some of Affordable Agility’s weave guides! They are great for learners. I personally am still teaching this to my dog. It will take allot of practice and patience. Good luck!!!!!!!

  33. We use the channel weaves in our club. However, I really like the old Weave-a-matics. My dogs had trouble going to straight line weaves from the channel weaves, even when we gradually close the channel over time. The Weave-a-matics seemed to help my dogs make that transition.

    Best weaving advice – practice, practice, practice; and make in fun and not stressful.

    Donna Work
    Lufkin, TX

  34. I started Harper with the weave poles by simply luring her through a set of 6. She took to it very quickly so we continued with that! To increase her speed I work her with just 2 poles rewarding her for entering correctly and tossing a treat/toy quickly to get her to run fast!

  35. While my Collie Sable and I are coming to the weaves I usually use my pointer finger and make a J stroke with it. While I am doing that I give her the command “Weave It” and she goes on into the weaves.

  36. I use clicker training to teach weaves. I have tried many other techniques with my bulldogs, but they really didn’t seem to “get it” until I started with clicker. I am now on my fourth bully and it has worked every time.

  37. I used Susan Garrett’s 2×2 method to teach my Cavalier to weave. It was the 1st time I had taught a dog to weave and I was amazed at how quickly he caught on.

  38. I took a “focus” class that worked on teaching dogs to think for themselves on the weaves. That meant no pointing with fingers, or vocally directing them in and out between each pole. The class used 2x2s, then tossed a treat when the dog reached the desired position on its own. I didn’t do well at getting the treats in the correct position, plus my dog was so interested in the treats she didn’t concentrate well. I modified the instructions by still using the 2x2s and adding a set only when she was consistent. I also tried to not direct her. Little by little she became faster and faster, so I would add another set.

    Consistent practice has helped a lot. I race her through then entire set of 12 every morning (using a handfull of her kibble) and every evening. I make sure to give her a “jackpot” each time she does it right, but tell her she “cheated” if she misses a pole and make her start over.

    She is much better at trials now, but I can’t stop her and give our “On your mark, get set, go!” signal, so we don’t get quite as much excitement. Perhaps that will come later.

  39. We’re using the 2×2 method and are just starting to weave 6 poles (sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much!). The best tip I have is one my instructor gave me: Get the dog really hyped up and excited to work! You don’t want to come at the weave poles with a dog whose emotional state is flat. So play with the dog, get them all excited playing tug and then send them to the poles. I see a HUGE difference in my dog when I do this!