Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Around The Clock Weave Entries" or "Nasty Weaves"

Today I changed my weave pole spacing from 21.5" to 24". This took drilling new holes in the wooden strips that guide me where to stick the weaves.  My strips are 2 10 feet long 1" x 2".   To fit 6 holes on each strip, I had to drill very close to both ends, and space the holes about 23.75" apart, and leave a gap between them.  It will work, but if I ever rebuild my strips, I'll use 12' pressure treated 2x4's, ripping 1" thick strips off the two edges, then sanding the square top edges down so they wouldn't hurt, maybe cut, the dogs paws.  These provide proper spacing, but also get the dogs used to something being there that they need to clear, simulating the metal strips they will encounter at trials.

I'm glad of this change, especially for the large dogs. I had read an editorial last year in Clean Run that the tight turns were injuring the larger dog's spines. The article must have taken effect, because both AKC and USDAA are moving to the longer spaces between the poles.

After fixing the spacing, I took Lucky out and she did the poles better than before.  Even hopped a few times. Max ran just as fast and with even more bounce, I do believe.  So I don't think it's going to be any big problem adjusting.

"Nasty Weaves" setup looks like the chart below.  The purpose is to get D entering the weaves correctly from any position on the clock, and exiting the weaves correctly before taking the next obstacle, whereever on the clock it may be.  It's easy to set up and fun to do.

NOTE:  For family and friends who don't know, D has to enter the weaves with the first pole to his left shoulder, then not miss any spaces while zig-zagging thru 12 poles to the end.  Many think it's the hardest agility obstacle to train and there are all kind of methods.  D has to really focus, have complete control of his fore and hind quarters, and drive thru as fast as possible no matter where H is off to.  D can't "pop out" until the end.

In this exercise, the weaves can be replaced with other obstacles, too.  For instance, D should be able to enter any contact obstacle (A-frame, dog walk, see-saw) from anywhere along a semi-circle around the entrance, and hit the yellow contact from the front (not the side) upon entering.  H should also be able to call D off a contact obstacle from a semi-circle and still  have D stick the contact, preferably in the middle, not off to the side.  The weaves can also be replaced by a tunnel.

Lots more training to do!  Educate, exercise, entertain, bond.

Upwards and onward!

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