Dana Pike Advanced Class Course - Evil Weave Entry

30 Oct 2004Steve Schwarz

Dana had us run a full course whose opening ended up

going through a sequence similar to the section I described on last week’s course. This week’s section of interest starts at the A Frame and goes through the weave pole entry. I was going to credit Dana with devising the right angle weave pole entry with the tunnel opening faced to draw the dog off course as a kicker. But she mentioned that she saw that tunnel off course at a trial…

Course With Obstacle Numbers

For most of the students this turned out not to be too difficult an entry, Dana has worked us all many times on ugly weave entries. But I’d like to go over the handling options since success on this course also depended on executing crosses at the right place.

Starting the Sequence

As shown below, the handler would have the A Frame on either their right or left hand depending on their approach from the previous section of the course (as indicated by handler paths labeled A and B). I mention this part of the course because handlers executing a Post Turn Learning the Post TurnPost Turn/Shoulder Pull/Pivot Turn through jumps 2 and 3 were almost forced to take path C towards jump 5. This was because the timing to complete the Post Turn (and consequently, their not being ahead of the dog) didn’t allow them to execute the Front Cross Learning the Front Cross - VideoFront Cross before jump 4. Handlers on path A who used a Rear Cross Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross before jump 2 set their dogs up with little longer path over the jump that allowed the handler the time to get in position to Front Cross before jump 4.

All Handler Paths

Weave Pole Entry Strategies

There were two methods for handling the Weave Pole entry. After jump 5 handlers with the dog on their left used a Post Turn to turn the dog into the weaves. Alternately, handlers with the dog on their right after jump 5 used a Rear Cross to turn the dog into the Weave Poles.

Novice handlers should take note that this is a common situation on the agility course; where a handler with a specific strategy for the weave entrance had their strategy for handling several preceding obstacles impacted. Handlers using a Post Turn needed to have front crossed jump 4 to be on the correct side of jump 5. Handlers using a Rear Cross had to have used a Post Turn approaching jump 4.

Handlers using the Rear Cross to setup the dog’s path to the weave poles suffered two problems as shown in the diagram below by dog paths A and B. On path A, handlers that drove their dogs into the weave entry would see the dog continue through the weaves to the tunnel entrance. This problem wasn’t too common as the Rear Cross tended to setup a wider turn. On path B, it was handlers that either delayed starting the Rear Cross or stuck an arm out and pushed the dog around the weaves.

Rear Cross Weave Entry Problems

Handlers using a Post Turn were more successful than I had expected. I expected to see more dogs skip the weave entry; as the handler’s body hides the weave poles until the dog turns around the handler’s body. Just like the Rear Cross handling, path A below shows what happens if the handler drove the dog too far into the weave poles. Path B shows what happened if the handler turned too widely/slowly and pushed their dogs around the weaves.

Post Turn Weave Entry Problems

Regardless of the handling approach, success was dependent on two factors. The first being a dog comfortable working weave pole entries from many angles. The second being a handler executing the cross so the dog turned towards the weaves with enough distance to find the entrance but not driving the dog through the first weave pole and into the tunnel. After running the four preceding jumps it was easy for the handler to loose their “spot” for their cross while moving at speed.

I’ll have to remember this weave pole/tunnel combination for a future practice course…

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