Weave Safety in One Photo

15 Nov 2019Steve Schwarz

During a Lee Gibson seminar Whitney Rupp of Chops Photography took some great photos of Snap! and one of them showed three potential weave safety issues in one shot! Take a look at her photo and see if you can spot them:

Photo of Snap! weaving toward the camera
Can you spot the potential issues?

Did you look?

Really?

OK here we go:

1. Vinyl Tape on Weave Poles

Photo of Snap!'s head rubbing against the tape on one of the weave poles
Weave tape sharp edges at eye level

Ten years ago I blogged about the dangers of the sharp edges of vinyl tape slicing dog’s faces and pulling out dog’s fur. Not much happened until 2017 when I raised a stink on FB about a local dog getting their face cut and then emailed UKI. The next day UKI announced banning of taped weave poles effective March 2018. The AKC won’t allow taped weave poles effective January 2020.

So long story short, if you still train using taped weave poles please remove the tape, clean off the adhesive, and paint on the stripes for your dog’s safety. You can also buy weave poles with stripes molded into the PVC from Clean Run and other equipment vendors. Lastly, some organizations allow the use of colored poles without stripes (or require alternating solid colored poles) so that may be another option.

2 & 3 Non-Slip Top and Anchoring the Weave Base

Photo of Snap!'s feet on the base of the weave poles
Non-skid top surface and anchor the base

This set of weave poles has non-slip tape on the top surface of the base as required by most agility organizations. I used to think that was mostly required by the smaller dogs who definitely step on the weave pole base, but you can clearly see Snap!‘s nail right on the top of the base as he is pushing off. So if your club or practice weaves don’t have a non-slip surface (or it it worn smooth) please take some time to apply non-slip tape to the top surface.

The last issue in this photo is the double stick tape used to hold the weaves to the turf has lost its “stick” and when Snap! was weaving it is coming up off the turf. It is kind of a pain to remove/re-apply the double stick tape but you don’t want dogs to pinch their toes under the base as it flexes/moves when not secured. You can just make out how one of his nails on his rear foot is sliding under the weave base.

If you train on dirt and use “spikes” or hexagonal lag bolts to anchor the weaves, check them frequently to make sure they aren’t sticking up where a dog missing the weave entry could snag a foot on them. Some smart folks have found long anchor bolts with a flat head that are almost flush with the weave base. I hope someone will put a link in the comments.

A picture may be “worth a thousand words” and it looks like I’ve come up with about half that many describing this photo! I hope you found this info helpful.

Photos copyright Whitney Rupp of Chops Photography and used with permission.

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