Weave woes

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Laurelin, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I suck at training weaves and it is frustrating me to no end. :( I can train everything else and my dogs rock at it but we are sooo behind on weaves compared to the other dogs in class. So... help? I'm getting frustrated to be honest.

    I think there's a few problems I'm running into.

    1. I'm confusing them. too many methods tried and now they just have no flipping clue what to do. Sometimes they randomly wrap around a pole and sometimes they just seem to run through correctly. Other times they pop out at pole 2 and just run. Sometimes they think they need to jump over the base of the weaves. I think because they are so confused they are stressing and having motivation issues.

    2. They're small? That seems like something that would make things easier but I have found my dogs automatically lock on to the weave pole base and seem to not really look at the poles.

    3. No toy drive so any methods throwing toys aren't working so hot. Even with the food toys I'm not having much luck there.

    My equipment: 12 stick in the ground weaves and 3 sets of 2x2s.

    What I've tried:

    2x2s: they will go through a set of 2 from easy entrances correctly most the time. Only sometimes not and then other times they just run around them. Which goes back to confusion on their part. But I have no idea how to 'fix' that and correct that. When we do one set of poles and send them to the target they will hit it well but I swear they have no idea about the poles. I don't know that they realize the poles are really part of the game.

    I've tried putting the 2x2s in a circle and running them through each. It's so-so but I don't see progress really.

    Channels: Everyone in my class is doing channel weaves. My dogs....? We can open the channel 100% and they will absolutely not stay and run through the middle of them. Ever. Which has made channels difficult. They go through the first two then pop out and run as fast as they can outside the channel. We've tried rewarding in the middle, using a target, and whatever. Not much help really.

    Shaping: This is where I am now. I brought out my 2x2s and put one in the living room. Clicker in hand, cookies and waited. Summer is still trying to interact with the base of the weave poles most the time. Mia is seeming to get it a little better and she is circling around and finding the entrance to the set of 2 poles. Where do I go from here with them? How do I get Summer to realize that jumping over/targetting the base or lying down between the poles is not what I want?

    Anyways so there is my confessional on how I suck at training weaves. I can capture and shape all sorts of tricks but weaves are not my friend.

    I think Im going to schedule a private lesson for just weaves. Hopefully I can get something started that I can carry on at home.
     
  2. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Definitely schedule a private with a someone who'll understand your dogs. I was extremely frustrated with my dogs entrances before I did a private and realized I was pushing too fast along and positioning myself towards the second pole, something I had absolutely no idea about until educated eyes caught it.

    I wouldn't concern yourself with their size after seeing some small dogs rock them. I think it's more of a throwing too many things at them and not following a process through.

    With your 2x2s have you stood silently in a line up and built weave drive (like jump drive) by clicking and rewarding for going out and seeking crossing the pole base? Are you consistently rewarding at the reward line across the pole? Only then should you add another set of poles, when you can line up, lunge and the dog will soar forward through the poles around the right side of the clock. Then you add a second set perpendicular to the dirt making the entrance almost inevitable and continue your click and reward on the same spot while slowly tightening until they're running four before repeating with the last set.

    I think we have a habit of rushing, I know I do, and it really hurts their performance. Finally I was forced to give up or take it super slow and then within four weeks they were fixed. What I did though, importantly, is not push during each session. I accepted where we were and moved at the dogs speed.

    Also, my dogs are *too* toy motivated so I used food to help them think more clearly.
     
  3. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I know people don't like it (though I'm not sure why), but we used guides. We use them with everyone who comes through the program, and we have 100's of independently weaving dogs.

    I like the method because you really cant screw it up. We start baby dogs with x-pens and just encourage driving down the lane. Back off xpens pretty quickly to little garden gates on alternating sides to force a change of direction. One by one remove the gates. I did the whole thing with cheese, as Lucy has no toy drive either.

    Of course, in the past month we went from having perfect weaves 100% of the time to a dog who won't weave in a trial...so maybe my suggestion should be ignored :) (I firmly believe that's stress more than anything though). We still have nice weaves in class and in training.
     
  4. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm retraining Kim's weaves right now since she may get to try her paw at competition again in a couple months. Her weaves have always been our weakest link due to the crappy intro and many methods we started with (poor First Dog). She started with channels then did weaveomatics. Then I sort of "patched" her poor entrances with something resembling 2x2s. She's had almost a year off now so I'm rebuilding from the ground up with 2x2, acting as though she never knew anything. So far so good, and she offered a speedy single-striding performance across 6 poles from a ridiculous angle last night at a practice...I hadn't cued them, so obviously we are transferring some value there. Fingers crossed.

    Webster was the same way and I retrained him on 2x2 as well. He was the first dog I did 2x2 with and he didn't really have much retrieve drive then so the firt part was taught on a flat surface (black mats in our case) with a high contrast food (white diced cheese mostly) so I could toss the piece of food onto the reward line and not lose him as he hunted for it. If I delivered with my hand it caused problems (not surprising I know :)) and at first I had to set him up facing it and release until he figured out the reward line because if he got turned around at all he would start offering touches and various other behaviors at the poles and base and get frustrated when his fifty rapidfire offers earned him nothing. One he figured out the reward line he was better, but when I adde the second set I had to reward between fairly regularly at first. Progress sped up quite a bit when I started really working on his ball drive and was able to throw the toy and reward on the return.

    Mira and Cookie were the opposite (Cookie only ever did two rotated sets spaced well apart as she was too young to actually weave)...their retrieve drive was so high that they really didn't care a whit about the poles in the way and would just throw themselves at them and demand the ball lol. So we had to break that down too, just for different reasons.

    Of they frustrate you, though, walk away. Do something fun instead. Then when you're in the mood or say right before dinner, make it really easy, do it once or twice, reward heavily, then walk away. You'll make far more progress and have happier weavers than if you work hard at it while it feels like, well, work.
     
  5. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    I know we had a national winning NADAC guy do some seminars in Vegas who used xpens as guides and that definitely worked, I like 2x2s because it seems once the weaves are the dogs choice they drive harder and understand them better. That being said he has a ton of success and so do his students so I think it's a valid method. (My inexperienced guess as to why people dislike guides)
     
  6. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    14,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    Home Page:
    Don't feel bad. Weaving is hard for a lot of dogs. It's not something they do any other time naturally. I had a lot of frustrations with Payton too, especially trying to force the 2x2s. I ended up taking a few weeks off working on it then tried a completely different method and we stumbled through finding something that worked.

    Can you take some video of shaping with the 2x2s? My gut reaction from reading your post is that you're lumping when you should be splitting. I ended up shaping Payton's weaves and once he "got" the idea it actually went very quickly, but it took a while to get the idea to sink in. I also mixed my methods, shaping with weave-a-matics, then I switched back to the 2x2s so I could open the gate in a different way than you do with weave-a-matics.

    I also wonder if you're doing sessions that are too long. If they are frustrated with the task at hand, you should be working even shorter. Maybe two minutes? Get a couple of successes - literally two or three - then stop. Lots of clicks for any forward movement through the gate even if Summer appears to be running up to scratch the base or whatever. Since you're inside right now, you can throw a cookie forward without worrying about it getting lost in the grass.


    I would still work on toy drive, but completely separate to the weaves. Don't try to use toys with the weaves until you have great toy drive. If you're trying to do weaves and use toy drive which you don't have yet, you're basically working on two skills at once AND trying to reward with something that isn't rewarding, so it's just frustration abound for you and the dogs I think.
     
  7. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I talked to the other trainer here some (she does really well with her dogs) and they use guides. They start dogs on channels, get them driving through at speed, then when they close them pop guides on at first. I've thought about guides to be sure. Cali how did you teach with guides? I still have to overcome them not wanting to drive down the open poles.

    One thing I've thought about is just with my stick in the ground weaves place them up like a jump (totally perpendicular to me) then get them running through them. Then add set #2. and so on until there's a channel. Then start closing them?

    I think my problem with the 2x2s is drive and reward. I was rewarding from my hand after them since the throwing the toy wasn't working. I've been working on toy drive with the food toys so maybe that will be helpful. I was using a target but my dogs are faster than I am so I was having trouble timing it so the reward was given at the right time and not for them messing up.

    I need to get a game plan and stick to it though. This bouncing around is not working (surprise).
     
  8. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    14,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    Home Page:
    This is like modified 2x2s just without the 2x2 bases. Have you seen this video?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7anJ3egQmyw


    You might also want to find some kind of larger cookie to throw. I bought Charlee Bears because they are largeish and yellow, so easier for the dog to spot in the yard.
     
  9. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Can you clarify the bolded? I think you are correct though that I'm asking way too much too soon from them both. I really am pretty good about not letting my frustrations through but I just keep waiting for some progress and there's not any... I've noticed they try harder when I break it up and ask for very very basic tricks in between. Mia especially.... she gets really excited about playing but will go and run around the 2x2s a few times then get totally demotivated. I decided on the shaping as that was a game that she really understands and it seemed a lot less demotivating to her.

    Will try for a video tomorrow.
     
  10. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I have watched that video and that was (in my mind lol) my plan. I think I am having trouble getting the dogs to drive through especially without using a toy to throw. They run through and then I reward by hand, which is changing things.
     
  11. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    14,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    Home Page:
    Lumping means you're tossing a lot of behaviours into one - splitting means to break a behaviour down into minute parts. Baby steps, in other words... itty bitty teeny tiny baby steps, the SMALLEST baby steps possible. Bob Bailey has a saying, another of my "dog training robot" sayings LOL. "Be a splitter, not a lumper."

    We as humans tend to look at things in too broad a sense. An example - to us it's "Okay, this is easy. All the dog has to do is run forward through these two poles." So we are waiting for the dog to run forward through the two poles. But in the dog's behavioural reality, what we need to be looking for is forward movement towards the poles. ANY forward movement. With baby dogs we start with even just looking at the two poles as the rewardable behaviour. Then it's rewarding forward motion towards them, then through them, then beyond them. These are all separate actions that form "run through the poles." How many individual steps (of the feet) is the entire motion up to, through, and beyond the poles for a dog? You can look at it as splitting the action down into each of those steps.

    Of course that's pretty extreme and I'm not at all suggesting you actually have to sit there and click+treat every single little step, that's just an example of what I mean by splitting versus lumping. Almost every time I'm failing at teaching the dogs something, it's because I am expecting the dog to make a leap of behaviour that to ME seems simple, obvious, and logical - but to the dog it's a serious long leap of behaviour that makes no sense. There are usually steps in between the behaviour I'm getting and the behaviour I want that I can and should be rewarding for to bridge the gap. I know I do it, then when I realize what I'm doing, I smack myself on the forehead and parrot out "BE A SPLITTER NOT A LUMPER" and move forward the way I SHOULD be. =P So I'm wondering if there's not some stuff in between that you can be rewarding that will help the girls move forward and get closer to the final picture.
     
  12. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,341
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Texas
    Even if you plan to use treats to train the 2x2's throwing the treat is a key element. If you go by SG's method. You should have a tossable treat.

    When I retrained Carrie using 2x2's I put canned dog food in the tiniest lidded container I could find and tossed my reward, then ran to it and opened it for her to have a lick or two. The key with 2x2's is reward placement, so rewarding out of your hand is adding little value to forward drive for the dog. She wants them driving forward to the weaves then having the reward appear ahead of the dog.
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    When you do 2x2s or shape the weaves are you stationary? That's what I've been doing for shaping them.

    Beanie that makes sense. I know I am definitely guilty of doing that and expecting too much. I think we will need to start from scratch tomorrow. I am going to have to set a timer for myself too so I don't try to do some ridiculously long session.
     
  14. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I normally start out stationary (except with Webster who needed a little movement to get started before I switched to being stationary) and later add in variable positions then movement the variable positions + movement.
     
  15. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I think Summer will need me to move a bit at first too. So since she's not toy driven is a target the way to go? Or should I just stop completely until she follows the food ball well enough?

    With the shaping I was actually sitting across from the weaves and not cuing anything. Mia would wrap around the 2nd pole of the 2x2 and come in to me for her treat. Bad?
     
  16. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    This was exactly what crossed through my head when reading the OP. I would probably keep sessions to about 30 seconds, and really really break it down as Beanie suggested. Also, throwing food is key, which has also already been mentioned. Use cheese, or work on flooring where the food is easily visible so as not to waste the dog's time/energy searching for its reward. Keep your reward line in mind alllll the time.

    My guess is that your dogs are very tuned into you, and you've been rewarding them looking to you for guidance. Now that they need to think and act more independently for this obstacle they're having trouble. So again, split, don't lump and keep those sessions insanely short, especially when first starting out.

    I'd also like to see a video.
     
  17. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto
    Yep, bad. Working against yourself. The reward needs to come down the line and away from you.

    A target could help. I've used it for dogs who were having issues in class. I would encourage you to be careful of your body movement. Moving sometimes is okay, but doing it too often will again work against you. Try to move no more often than about 20% of the time.
     
  18. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    Yep, figured. I guess I thought that the more I treated it like a 'normal' shaping session the more they'd be into it. And yes, they are very tuned into me and not very independent. It's something I've always rewarded almost all the time I'm around them. Even on walks and hikes they check in constantly.

    Ok so for now Im going to set up the one single 2x2 and stand stationary and throw the treat. I need a bigger house to do all this in lol.

    If you're using a target but not moving how do you reward? Putting the food out on the target isn't something I've been doing because it is easy for them to reward for going around the poles. So I've been jogging and placing the food on the target as fast as possible. Bad?
     
  19. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I did a verrry short session with Mia and her tennis ball throwing it through the poles. That seems to be a good way to start it but timing the throws is hard right now. This first session she is focusing a lot on the ball and less on the weaves. I was watching the video Beanie posted earlier and at first you are essentially luring the dog through the poles via the toy, right? She was definitely picking up on it although my throws are not the best and a couple times she was rewarded for jumping around them.

    she doesn't work for the ball outside or at class though so translating this outside may be an issue.
     
  20. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2006
    Messages:
    4,089
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    7
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Agree with what has already been said and would like to add to it.

    I would actually go back a couple steps further and teach them to send (leave you) with permission to either a target and then just tossing out a easy to find, high valued reward. Start from a static position on both sides and then with you moving. Once they are driving forward start tossing your reward. As already stated, never from hand and if you can't toss onto the reward line accurately, then practice that with no dogs around :)

    Once you have that, then introduce your first set of gates for the 2x2's. Keep sessions short (under 1 minute at first), super happy and make sure you are not making sigh's or other body language that will de-motivate them. Remember 2x2's is also about teaching dogs how to fail, bounce back and figure out how to do it right :)

    Golden rule: never more than 2 failures in a row, if that happens figure out why and/or go back a step.
     

Share This Page