Snippet: Contact With Cross to Weaves

02 Mar 2009Steve Schwarz

This snippet is about challenges due to sharp turns from contacts to 90 degree weave entries. Dana Pike’s class course this week contained this challenge where Dana asked us to perform the sequence without a Front Cross Front CrossLearning the Front Cross at the end of the contact (in this case a teeter).

The Set Up

In the left hand sequence in the diagram below I’ve generalized Dana’s challenge showing that you can move the weaves in both dimensions to increase or decrease the difficulty. Her original challenge is shown in the middle diagram where the start of the weaves is in line with the end of the teeter. The right most set up shows an even more challenging configuration. Of course the number of weave poles you use is up to you.

Contact to Weave Challenges

Contact to Weave Challenges

Handling Options

So if you approach the contact (teeter) with the dog on your right and the orientation of the weaves is as shown in the green or blue diagrams above, the most common handling is to Front Cross at the end of the contact. You position yourself on the Front Cross Line Using the Handler Line/Front Cross LineHandler Line/Front Cross Line between the teeter and the start of the weaves and you want to be near the teeter so when your dog turns they have the most time to see and prepare for the weave entry. This is shown in the black handler and dog lines in the first diagram below:

Contact to Weave Challenges

Contact to Weave Handling

For the bigger and less flexible dogs that can’t perform a 90 degree weave entry the handler should “know thy dog”. One solution would be to follow the orange handler and dog path where the handler turns the dog around their hip to give the dog a straighter approach to the weaves.

The second diagram above shows handling the sequence by fading from the contact and then being in position to call your dog to you through the weave entry. This handling scheme requires that your dog have independent contact performance and can navigate the weave entry independently (two good things to train). Depending on whether your dog has running or stopped contacts the dog’s path would be either like the black or green lines.

The third diagram shows using a Rear Cross Rear CrossLearning the Rear Cross to turn your dog to the weaves. This handling was the reason I posted this snippet for Meeker and me to practice. Meeker normally has pretty good weave entries and I was kind of surprised that he skipped the first opening in this case. It was my forward pressure in the Rear Cross that was pushing him past the entry.

So Meeker and I will play around with different layouts, handlings and contacts.

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