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.