For dogs who have trouble organizing their body to enter weave poles at speed, here are some problem solving techniques to play with. Keep in mind you don’t have to set up all 12 poles to work entries, I often use 4 poles.
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1. Leading with their head, literally, using surveyors tape stretched above the dog’s shoulder height to encourage them to slither into the poles.
2. Leading with their head, mentally, using games to make “finding” the entrance something the dog focuses on. You can “hide” poles behind a shrub, tunnel, a corner of the room, down the hallway... You can put stuff around them like toys and treats, food bowls, target plates and other distractions.
3. A moving reward delivered low to the ground and targeting them on the ground at the end of the poles can help them focus and focus low.
4. Practicing collection by setting up extreme angled entries.
5. Practicing using low jumps or tunnels that crowd the entrance, say only 5 feet away from the entry.
6. Using a ground bar to create a decision point for the dog, which in turn gives you something to mark/click to explain how to get into the poles.
7. Practicing high energy work so they are better prepared for competition. Racing other dogs in parallel weaves, or racing dogs who are ahead of them in the weaves, for example.
8. Use a short set of poles followed by another set, followed by another set in patterns like zigzags or a square to encourage them to fight for the multiple entrances.
9. Providing instant feedback that they made a wrong decision such as a guide wire on poles #2 to #4 or on #3 to #5.