Sunday, February 13, 2011

But I Don't Want To

Travis weaving
It never fails.  Each new greyhound brings on the assumption that I've got this.  I know what I am doing.  Seven is actually my seventh greyhound to train in agility so, of course, I think I know everything there is to know about training agility to greyhounds.  Wrong!  Each new dog presents something new and sometimes I just don't want to learn something new.  I want to do it the old way.

For example, weave poles.  I did a terrible job of training Teresa and Jessie weave poles.  Plain and simple, they sucked at them because I did a sucky job training them. 
Katie weaving
Katie and Travis learned via Weave-O-Matics (the poles are opened up like a "V" and you gradually close them) and some clicker work.  Both easily learned their foot work and I do not recall it being much of a struggle. 
Reagan weaving
Reagan comes along and I naturally think that Weave-O-Matics are the way to go.  Katie and Travis had learned to weave on a $10 set of Weave-O-Matics I made myself.  Reagan promptly disassembled them every time she went through them.  I upgraded and purchased a set of poles that would lock into the Weave-O-Matic position of my choosing.  Reagan broke those too.  I was not happy about it as they were very expensive and I felt they should stand up to a 50 pound greyhound.  At the time, creator was working on a tougher prototype and promised to replace them. 

Seven showing Weave-O-Matics
In the meanwhile, I started Reagan on channel weaves (poles remain upright, but are spread apart to create a channel) since I had a set of those.  They held up to Reagan's force and she finally learned to weave.
Seven showing Channel Weaves
Riley comes along and I'm truly and expert now.  I mean I have trained three greyhounds to weave very well.  Piece of cake!  Nope... Riley takes forever to learn to weave.  After OVER A YEAR of training, Riley finally masters the poles.  I mostly used Weave-O-Matics, but had to add guide wires to my training toolbox.
Riley weaving
So here comes number seven agility greyhound.  Seriously, I've got this.  How much different can she be from the others? Well... very different.  Seven has an unusual, inefficient style all her own (see video below). The untrained eye will have an easier time seeing the problem from the side.  Basically, she sort of hop/canters with her rear end when she should be using more of a trotting gait. So against my will, I am learning a new method for teaching weave poles. It is called the 2X2 method.


jet said...

that's a strange one! it's like she thinks she should be jumping over them!

KF-in-Georgia said...

Are you sure her butt is attached to the rest of her?

But it looks to me as if her gait will work okay. I mean, at least the back end follows along where the front has gone, and she doesn't seem to have a problem getting her front end through properly.

Andreja said...

Wow, that's funny! :) I can imagine her learning this, though, not that it's of any help of course. When training running contacts Ruby learned a 3-foot step (one front foot is held straight forward) and he can do it with quite some speed! He became convinced that's what I clicked while actually I was clicking for striding through the contact...

I think they're so funny the way they can pick one aspect of performance and in just few reps decide that this is what we want :)

houndstooth said...

I know that you wouldn't enjoy it if there weren't some challenge involved! :P I think you like solving those problems almost as much as you enjoy competing! I bet she'll get it soon.

mirza8 said...

I going to teach Hunor whit the 2X2 menthod too. When I ask trainers they said that the 2X2 menthod is better for a greyhound

lg said...

I look forward to seeing a video of the new 2x2 pole method which I know nothing about. I love your blog. This is my first comment. There is no baloney with lots of really high quality info. Thank you thank you for not only all your amazing and determined hard work with the hounds but for sharing the info too. I am on GH number four (all ex-racers) and can attest that they are all totally different from one another. You are giving me confidence on days when I need it.
LG in Bristol RI

4-legged Wiums said...

Ohh hehehe she looks so funny!! Hopefully the 2x2 works for her. We started training using the 2x2 also

Muttsandaklutz said...

Oh my, that is quite a unique style! I have no doubt that you will help her figure out a better one though :-)

Kathy said...

That's how Blaze has been learning weaves--2x2. He struggled with everything else but is doing well with 2x2s. Rio learned with weave-o-matics and guidewires. Didn't work for Blaze. One thing I really like sbout the 2x2s is they really learn their entry from anywhere :)

I guess we have to grow learn with every new dog too ;)

Katie said...

I think you'll like the 2x2s.

Life would be boring if every dog didn't bring new challenges to the table ;)

GreyhoundsCANsit said...

Aren't dogs wonderful for bringing you back down to earth:) I'm sure you will relish the challenge of learning the 2x2 method yourself and training Seven with it. She looks like she's a very willing pupil, must get Beryl to watch some of your videos:) Actually I'm the one who should be re-watching your videos.

Sandy ~~~ said...

Fascinating....I've never watched how the weave is taught and now I guess I realize it's taught lots and lots of different ways!

jerZgirl said...

I have used the 2x2 method with my short dogs and I like it - I think you will too.

It takes longer thank the other methods (IMO) but it works. :)

Goos luck!