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Secret is my third agility dog and the first that I decided to use Susan Garrett's 2x2 method to train the weave poles. Luke was trained with a combo of wires & weave-o-matics and Kaiser was trained using the lure/add-a-pole method (because I couldn't get him near the wires). My boys both have fantastic & fast weaves, but I knew there were better methods out there and I was really excited to try the 2x2's.

 

We started at square one on Saturday and have been diligent about doing three short (5 minute) sessions each day -- On the weeknights, all three sessions usually took place in the span of an hour or so, but she only needed a short break to "refresh" each time.

 

Here is the final product!

 

 

If you'd like to watch her progress from start to finish, each day has its own video on my channel.

 

I'm sold on this method. After six days, Secret's weaves are already independent enough to allow me to front & rear cross the poles. I'm just in awe of her! :rolleyes: I look forward to following the rest of the program to improve her speed, footwork, entries & proofing for distractions.

 

Has anyone else trained weaves with the 2x2's?

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Rushdoggie -- I think it's worth it. I lucked out and found a local guy who could make them for me, so I at least saved on shipping. Really, though, I think I got a pretty good deal from him. He welded me three sets of 2x2's with 24" spacing and then built me a matching set of 6 solid-based poles. I debated getting 6 sets of 2, but Susan's plans pretty much all allow for a solid base once your dog is weaving six poles and I thought that it might be more handy to have a solid set on hand. One thought I had, though, is that it would be nice to have the full set of 6 2x2 bases so that you could open them up into a channel to build speed & footwork through the entire set of 12. Oh well, we'll do that with 6, I guess.

 

I have a friend who is/was trying to do this with stick in the ground poles and I think it's just too difficult to do it right that way. Her dog is still struggling. The bases are so worth it. They are very mobile, too, which is nice!

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I recently trained Rievaulx in just over 2 weeks to get six straight poles. I did use my pvc poles stuck in the ground, but had my tape and handy mallet and had no problem moving the poles fast. I only trained once in the morning and once in the evening. I think we could have gone faster but was happy to make sure he understood what I wanted. I am now giving him a week of and I will bring them back out again.

 

I was thrilled with the result. It does help to have a toy/tug motivated dog, Brody has very slow weaves and I would love to go back and start again with this method but he will not chase a toy as reward when playing agility, only when we are playing a game of fetch. He can be a very strange little dog.

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I have trained all my dogs with 2x2's and wouldn't have it any other way! My first dog could do 12 in a few days but that was because I was so excited and rushed it. But she still is phenomenally fast and has wicked entries. I am currently training my other two and am going alot slower especially with the entries. My puppy is on 4 poles and I am staying there until her entries are unbeatable and she is consistently fast. She is a weave demon and flys through the poles, we did get a bit stuck for a day but she seems to have worked things out and has now got it down pat. My rescue is also learning poles as a way of learning distance as she is so clingy with jumps. It has taken alot longer simply because she has had no training all her life bar cattle work so is still mastering shaping. But even she is managing 4 poles, and as slow a process as it is with her she is lightning fast. I have shown 2x2's to my students and the results are amazing. I am definitely a pro 2x2 person.

 

I trained all my dogs to weave with only food. My first dog was solely food trained and didn't tug for ages after but managed to speed her weaves up to warp speed on just food. My puppy is training using food and ocassionally when I am out the back playing with them I will send her through and reward her with a toy but her reward quite often is simply playing rough with me. The rescue is training solely on food as she doesn't know what toys are but the method works just as well. As long as you throw the food out ahead you should have no problems.

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I originally trained Kyla on channel weaves. I liked the method and I don't think theres anything wrong with the channel method, but we struggled with entrances for quite a while.

(and I think it was my fault - I didnt do a good job with the method) We borrowed a set of 2x2s from a friend and within days she knew EXACTLY what she needed to do with that

entrance!!! I can even send her back UP the set of poles to the far entrance and she can hit it!!! It's great and I will use the 2x2 method with my next dog as well. (frankly I think

the 2x2 combines the channel with Susan Garrett's unique focus of the dog on 'targeting'/focusing on sets of two poles as gates)

 

Anyway, I really love the understanding this method created for my dog. NOW she knows what she needs to do to hit the entrance, and I am not frustrated about what to do

anymore either! :rolleyes:

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I have a friend who is/was trying to do this with stick in the ground poles and I think it's just too difficult to do it right that way. Her dog is still struggling. The bases are so worth it. They are very mobile, too, which is nice!

 

I would agree! My dog had actually learned that she could push the poles (on our set of PVC channel weaves) apart so stick in the grounds do not stand up to her. A friend let us borrow a three 2x2 bases to retrain Ky's entrances, which I was very thankful for! I am ordering my own set of 2x2s soon and plan to order 6 2x2 bases (so we can do a full channel if needed) Very excited to get them!!!!

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We built ours and it added up to be alot cheaper than buying them here. We bought galvanised steel from the local hardware cut it up to competition specifications and got them welded. It was the best thing I ever did. As I trained my first dog on PVC poles and it was so difficult as she was forever knocking them over not too mention she also learnt to barge through them.

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We built ours and it added up to be alot cheaper than buying them here. We bought galvanised steel from the local hardware cut it up to competition specifications and got them welded. It was the best thing I ever did. As I trained my first dog on PVC poles and it was so difficult as she was forever knocking them over not too mention she also learnt to barge through them.

 

Where did you get them welded?

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We just got my partners brother to weld them. They didn't need to be fancy just solid and built to regulation size. I got 2 sets of 3 to make six. And when I was teaching the 2x2 I simply put just 2 poles on each set of 3. Worked just the same.

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I wasn't sure how well this method would work with Secret -- Who is VERY food motivated and not so much with toys. In the video, Susan stresses over and over and over again how she recommends working with toys. Well that's nice, if your dogs cares about them.

 

With Secret, she learns everything with food. Once she knows what the job is, I can start to introduce toys into the equation. She will now do jump patterns for toys (tug/ball), but is still on food for contacts and obviously weaves. She's just not toy obsessed enough to think that it's a suitable reward for as hard as she feels she is working to learn a new skill. :rolleyes: I blame all of her early clicker training. It made her think that learning is paired with food rewards.

 

The bad thing about rewarding with food is that -- in my opinion -- it doesn't bring out the full speed in a dog. Whenever I train Secret with food I have a MUCH slower dog than when I train with toys (even though she's not a highly toy-driven dog!). My oldest dog, Luke, goes so absolutely bonkers for certain toys that I train with them at home to simulate how jazzed he gets at a trial. My little dog, Kaiser, has only been trained with food and somehow it hasn't affected his speed.

 

So while I trained entirely with food, it's not necessarily something I would recommend if you can help it. :D But it did work -- I'm hoping we can start to experiment with toys in the weaves fairly soon.

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