Friday, January 23, 2009

"Where are all the poles, Mom?"

You've got to love thinking dogs. Devon is having a small weave pole entry problem. She's nailing the first pole, but she's not slowing down enough to get turned into the second pole and often skips it for the third pole. All in all, this is a minor problem. And considering it's basically her only problem, I'm thrilled!

Now that it's cold, I have moved the equipment into my small building, so we can’t do much agility at home. But we can practice weave entrances on 6 poles, which we've been doing. It became clear Devon was not 100% sure why or when she does something that doesn't get her a reward. I didn't help a lot because I was standing back letting her work, and not really helping the baby dog out. And she is a real thinking dog. So, she decided to make stuff up to figure out what she's supposed to do right! A couple of weeks ago on right hand entrances, she started slicing into the poles on the wrong side of #1. Great! Now I really did have a problem.

 In our lesson this week, Jenn suggested I go back to just three poles and clicking the entrance. This was a thought I had had, too, and since that’s how I trained entrances, I made it a priority this week.You should have seen the look on Devon's face on the first night! She kept looking past the third pole like, "Where did the rest of them go, mom?" She even weaved invisible poles on the base several times at first. She is too funny!

It may be working, because last night she didn’t miss a single entry and made it to pole 3 every time … she did start skipping poles along the 12 because of speed and sliding, but I didn’t worry about this too much. I want this entry problem fixed, and then we can move on to doing all 12 poles!


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