The Two Way Communication of Training
As we approach the one year anniversary of the release of my 2×2 Weave Training DVD I thought I would welcome any questions you may have that I have not yet answered.
By now there are likely thousands of people that have trained their dogs to weave using the 2×2 method. I get all kinds or great emails from folks raving about the experience and many of you have posted about the adventure on this blog. Thank you to all of you for taking the time to write.
Even people that are resistant to breaking away from their old “favorite” method of weave pole training are now at least training entries alone with 2 poles. As a result, I see more and more dogs nailing difficult weave entires in trials. Entries that normally would handcuff a great number of dogs in the past. Bravo!
I would however like to comment on one small detail that irritates me. That is the issue of footwork. Striding problems in weaving are not all created by the same method, but they are created for the same reason. Dog training problems grow from simple fixes to time consuming complex issues, when people don’t observe what the dog is learning as they are training. I have seen dogs trained with the channel method of weave pole training, the 2×2 method as well as those that have been shaped to weave using a clicker. Regardless of how it happens, I think it is unnecessary for any dog to struggle with their footwork.
Now I am not suggesting that this is common with 2×2 trained dogs, the vast majority of dogs whizz through the method just as I demonstrated, with my dog Feature, on the 2×2 DVD . In less than 7 days she had to-die-for weave skills. However, as I commented on the DVD, I altered her striding on day 4. I made adjustments when I saw the issue arise. She was trying to go faster, but couldn’t figure out how to do it with her current 3 or 4 beat stride. She need more input from me, she needed to know who to accomplish the task at hand with a more efficient single step action.
Here is the take away point that we all need to remind ourselves of as we work with our dogs; training is a two way flow of information. You give the dog your input and immediately your dog will give you feedback on how he has processed this information. It is crucial, in all of your dog training, that you observe this feedback from your dog. This critical training information will come to you in the form of the dog’s actions. Observe what your dog is sharing with you and make any necessary adjustments immediately.
Please do not press ahead with your training thinking “the dog will figure things out.” Sometimes they do, but many times they don’t. This sort of training is often the reason why some dogs have painfully slow contact performances or trip over their own paws while trying to weave.
Take the time to receive feedback from your dog and you will reap the benefits of a dog so brilliantly trained that he exceeds any expectations you could have possibly dreamed for him.
Today I am grateful for the feedback our dogs give us, sometimes it is subtle, but it is always there if you are looking for it!