Ways to Teach Dog Agility Weave Poles
You may wonder why there are so many different ways to teach the weave poles and the answer is fairly easy. Dogs learn differently and we keep finding better ways to teach them. The weave poles are the only obstacle in the AKC that have no practical use outside of dog agility. They are an obstacle that has to be taught not only to the mind but body of the dog as well. Dogs naturally jump and climb but not weave.
So just like some dogs are motivated by lettuce while others only really get excited by liver bits you have to work with your dog’s natural preferences and learning style. Some dogs do fabulously learning to weave using the 2×2 method and others do better in channels, or slanting weave poles. Some dogs need the help of wired weaves to get their muscle memory down or to stop them from popping out. There is the possibility that it is the trainer who understands one better than the other which translates to clearer communication with the dog. This allows the dog to learn quicker with one method over the other.
Regardless of which method you use, if you are having difficulties either with yourself or your dog, experiment. If you use stick in the ground weaves, it’s easy to change between methods! Just change the layout of your weaves and you’re good to go. If you are working with a trainer, ask them to help you work with another method first. Find the method that works for your team, you want happy weaves so use what makes you and your dog happy to weave.