a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Weave Entries

Monday, March 14, 2011

Weave Entries

SUMMARY: Boost, funny dog.
Here's how the field was laid out for last Thursday night's class:

(Thanks, Nancy, for this course map of your class setup.)

There are tons of exercises that you can do on this layout. But I want to talk just about Boost's weave entries.

In one of the exercises, we swooped around a course that included the obstacles with the square numbers--jump, tunnel, Aframe, weaves. I stayed on Boost's right all the way through, intending to just shoot her straight forward at the weaves from the Aframe and cross behind to her left. But nooo--she went into the 2nd pole, not the correct entry.

This is the weave entry that Boost has trouble with. This is *supposed* to be the easy side (bearing left) for dogs to enter because they have to wrap the first pole, which is supposed to give them a solid place to aim for (there's only one place where the weaves begin), compared to the other end (bearing right), where they have to go between two poles to make the entry (there are 11 places where there are 2 poles to go between).

But noooo, Boost is the opposite.

To end the evening, we did some follow-the-leader drills. There, the leader does a short sequence of 3 to 5 obstacles, and everyone else has to do it exactly the same way (same starting position, same crosses at same places, running on same side of the dog, etc.). With no walking the course--Handler See, Handler Do, all of us in rapid succession.

I marked two of them: The first in white circles. Challenging because you're on the left, you're not leading out very far, and the weave entry is not in a straight line from the line of jumps. I lined Boost up aimed at the left side of jump #1 so that she'd be on her left lead through the line of jumps, hopefully helping her to drift slightly towards me after the 3rd jump and then make a distinct right turn into the weaves. I also called her name once before the last jump to emphasize drifting in my direction, but kept running, and followed it with a quick "weave!" Worked perfectly. But then--this *is* Boost's good side for weave entries. Most classmates had trouble with this one.

[Hmmm--in looking at this--the weaves were more to the left in real life, because I could look down the line of jumps and the left side of the weaves was more in line with the left side of the jumps, not so far to the right of the jumps.)

The next is in dark circles. With dog on your right, you send them into the tunnel, then skeedaddle into a front cross between the tunnel and the #2 jump, but the dog still has to make that turn into the weaves pretty much independently. Again, Boost had no trouble with it, but several others had to retry.

It's both funny and baffling to have a dog who can make what I'd consider to be hard entries but can't make what I'd consider to be easy entries. Ah, well, at least that's something!


  1. That is pretty backwards! Walter agrees with you, the wrap entry is farrrr easier than bearing right.

    There was a course at this past weekend's trial with the most brutal bearing-right weave entry I have ever been faced with. I was surprised at the number of dogs who had no trouble with it even with a ton of independence -- Walter and I were not among them!

  2. Maybe Boost should teach a seminar for dogs on how to make that entry. Of course, she'd have to admit that she can't always get them straight on, grumble grumble.