2×2 Q & A

Posted on 12/29/09 10 Comments

Okay, workshop today and since it is contacts and WEAVES I thought I would quickly answer a couple of the 2×206-09-08-2x2.indd questions that you guys have posted.

Q. First of all what about those 24″ spaced poles? Now that the AKC and the USDAA have gone to 24″ spaced poles . . . what you didn’t hear that the USDAA listened to our survey and changed their regs? Well maybe it hasn’t exactly happened that way yet, but I am a big believer in the power of visualization so lets all keep me happy in my bubble shall we? So in my world where everyone is at 24″ spacing what would I do?

A. I dunno. Seriously I don’t think there is a cut and dried, right or wrong answer. I think for those dogs that like to wildly “blither” at the poles keeping your smaller 2×2 spacing during your training is a good thing (the 20″ poles would work perfectly).  It will make the dog exaggerate his collection and bend back for the 3rd pole. However, for other, more thoughtful dogs, bigger space of the 24″ 2×2′ spacing will allow a freer motion so they can be faster soon. So (I know our weave pole suppliers are gonna love me saying this) for now, I will have both. I will likely do most of my training on the tighter spaced poles, but I can see your point if you just want to go to the 24″ ones. I a few years maybe there will be a “correct” answer to this question but right now I don’t think there is one.

Q. When do you add the weave cue?

A. I don’t think there is any rush to add a cue. The only time it is really necessary to have a cue is when you are standing motionless (like at a party when you want to show off or in a gamble class). At any other time, if you have done your job training the 2×2’s properly, Pavlov should be nicely taking over any time your dog sees those poles. With the poles in your dog’s eye line he should be hearing them screaming out his name with the accompanied phrase “DO ME!”. The actual permission for the dog to do them, is your motion towards those poles. So even in training, once you have added distance be sure to add at least one step towards the poles so the dog knows it is ok to leave your motionless body and drive ahead without you. Once your dog is brilliant with his weave pole performance, — in that you CAN NOT get him to miss any approach and I mean he gets it the first attempt, every time, then it is time to add a cue.

Today I am grateful for indoor heating in our building, otherwise today’s clinic would be more than uncomfortable in the -13 C temperature.


  1. Soren Smail says:
    Sunday, July 17, 2011 at 9:29am

    My Aussie has been doing great with the 2by 2s but when i tried to do them striaght she looked like she didnt have a clue what they were. I’ve tried to go back to where it was 2 sets but it wont work. How can i fix this?


    • soren says:
      Friday, January 20, 2012 at 2:39pm

      all fixed now!


      • Susan says:
        Friday, January 20, 2012 at 6:32pm

        Great to hear it!

  2. Jaime says:
    Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 1:19am

    I just want to THANK YOU for the brilliant 2×2 method. My young dog has just started trialing this year, and so far his weaves have been totally awesome! I have gone out of my way to NOT help him with his entries, and he has nailed every one. Even ugly snooker weave entrances, that I sent him to on purpose. No stressing over weaves for him or me. Never thought weaves could be so much fun…
    Gratitudinally Yours…


  3. Betsy says:
    Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 1:01am

    A naming funny story: My sister has trained her young RR on the 2x2s, She has now finished both Novice titles with only 1 missed entry. Her first 12 was in a Time to Beat class, she lifted her head at 6, when she was encouraged to continue, she put her head down and went to the end.
    In class we were doing a tricky right angled entry from a curved tunnel, which the dog did but with not as much focus as usual, so I suggested to my sister that she give a verbal cue in the tunnel—but she said she has NOT named the weaves yet!! She just says “get in”. So that may be their name now.


  4. Pat says:
    Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 1:04pm

    Hi Susan,

    I trained my 16″ ACD on the 2×2’s, first from your book, then the dvd that I got last spring. I have one set of 3 in the 20″ style, and going to order a full set—6–2×2’s in the 24″ very soon, and I do have one question (I have many but will just post this one). My girl bounces through the weaves, but when I offset them just an inch, just slightly, she single-steps very fast through them. Once I’m able to set them up, with 12 poles, should I set the 12 up so they are offset to work on the footwork, and if so, for how long? She’s pretty good in the weaves, can hit some awesome entries, but I really want to thoroughly work through the dvds this spring to see just how far we can go. She is brilliant at shaping, I think the most fun was watching her work through her mistakes, and I just can’t wait for spring so we can do some more playing on the 2×2’s. You are absolutely revolutionary in your training, and I do have to thank you for being such a generous and sharing person!!! Thanks!!!



  5. Mary M says:
    Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 10:59pm

    I am competing in two venues one with 21″ poles (which I trained mostly on previously) and AKC with 24″ poles, which I have only sparsely trained due to money (purchasing a new set of 12 poles) and only used my original stick in the ground poles for….

    What I have noticed:
    – My dog (and most of the large dogs in competition) is not missing a beat as far as completion of the poles with the change
    – Smaller dogs have had trouble if they had only previously seen 21″ poles
    – I think my dog has lost some of his patterning in the poles and has lifted his head in the new spaced poles, so instead of his very fast slalom like performance I see him with a hollowed back with his head raised a bit in the wider poles…..I wonder if you have feedback on thoughts about why I am seeing this?

    My plan for next year (once I can get back outside again regularly) is to purchase a set of 24″ spaced poles and rotate between the two.

    But I would love your thoughts on the new performance I described above and why this may be occurring?!



  6. Christine says:
    Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 6:57pm

    LIGHT BULB MOMENT! Thanks. Now I know why my dog is choosing the weaves even when I’m stationary I seem to have missed the stepping forward part as being the part to allow him to take the obstacle even though we do that with other stuff….duh!

    And I think I just answered my other question it falls back to his committment zone as well as his understanding of the BCBL. I find my guy who I used to hate to correct now is weave obsessed(thank you SG’s 2×2!) He will seek out and choose the weaves as an obstacle when we are near as they have very high value but I think I’ve lost the balance and the value of the BCBL awareness. I think I have some fun testing to try this winter!


  7. Lee says:
    Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 1:36pm

    Just from watching people train, the biggest mistake I see is ignoring the reward line.
    Has anyone come up with a catchy phrase to get trainers to stick with it?


  8. Tracy says:
    Tuesday, December 29, 2009 at 10:30am

    About the 24″ poles (or using different spacings in general…)
    Go for complete understanding in your weave pole training (Got DASH?) and going to different spacings won’t be a problem. My 2×2 trained dogs have seen a variety of different spacings in different venues, including going to 24″ spacing to compete in Europe earlier this year. No problemo. The hardest part for the dog will be coming back to the smaller spacing, they will really need to use their hind end to hit & hold the entry.

    With my young dog, I am training on a huge variety of footing as well as well a lot of different sets of poles & distances (I can lie and say I am doing it on purpose, but the reality is that it is winter here and there is no grass – just snow, mats, dirt, sawdust, etc. and I am using whatever poles are in the place I am training) I think the different footing has given her better awareness of what she has to do to weave – her speed & footwork have improved a lot because she is really working her body.



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