I am still working on teaching Scoop to weave. My husband Jim says Scoop is weave challenged and I would somewhat agree with that observation. I really want him to slalom the poles. His father Yankee double steps, his mother Taser single steps. His siblings mostly double step. I want the maternal type of performance and I am not ready to give up the mission. There is nothing wrong with double stepping, some handlers prefer it and think it is better for the dog physically. I will have to accept that performance if Scoop is unable mentally or physically to weave the way I want. I am just not ready to throw in the dog towel yet!
Scoop will slalom a set of 6 or 8 poles, so I have decided to do something I have never tried before. I have two sets of 6 in the yard, with about 10 feet separating the sets. They are still in a slight channel configuration, about 1.5 inches apart. Scoop will slalom those two sets and you can see a couple views of his performance here in these videos. He doubles in and out of the poles, and that could get in the way of him learning to do 12 consistently… I won’t know till this mission is complete.
For a while I tried to add just two poles at a time but once I got past 8 he would start to double again. Equipment is also an issue. I don’t know if I want to mix sets of 6 with sets of twos which I needed to do if I was doing 8’s and 10’s because of the equipment I own. My two by two’s are 22 inches and Scoop is learning on 24 inch bases. I am going to stay with the two sets of 6 until the channels are closed on both sets. Then I am going to move the sets closer and closer together. Hopefully he won’t switch back to doubling when I straighten out the poles.
Another reason I felt that I needed to stay at 6 poles was that I was also having an issue with Scoop reliably hitting entries and exits at speed. When I clicker trained 2’s and 4’s, he was reliable on entries/exits, but I did not like the slow and cumbersome footwork I got. If I added speed and he missed a gate, he would immediately slow and double step if he thought he was wrong. More than 6 poles was just not an option when I considered all the separate issues I was having.
In three days I leave for the Agility World Championships. Till then I am going to stay the course and hopefully I can convince my husband to do a bit of training with him when I am gone. 3 or 4 sessions while I am gone should keep him remembering his footwork.
I hope your young dog likes weaving and takes to it like a duck to water, my black swan and I are swimming along:)