Weave Poles

31 May 2009Steve Schwarz

I really feel like I’m living up to the Nerd in AgilityNerd now; not an article on the Weaves themselves, only the poles! Here are a few thoughts on weave poles.

Paint Your Poles Don’t Tape Them

Some dogs get cuts on the skin around their eyes from the sharp edges of the plastic tape used to tape weave poles. Tape can also pull the hair off of some dogs and they start disliking that feeling. There are paints available for spray painting PVC; tape the poles with painters/masking tape and then spray the poles.

Dog Hair Pulled Out by Tape on Weave Pole
Dog Hair Pulled Out by Tape on Weave Pole

Vary the Pole Striping

Ideally have a few sets of poles with variations in striping from no stripes, one or two stripes, all the way to spiral striped. It can help dogs to get exposure to different looking weave poles.

Vary the Pole Height

Vary the height of the poles with which you train your dogs. One benefit of the Short Pole weave pole training method is you’ll have poles as short as 24-30 inches during training. When trialing most poles are around 40 inches long. Having poles of a couple different lengths can also help acclimate your dog.

Vary the Pole Diameter

If possible vary the diameter of the poles. You’ll usually see 1 inch outside diameter PVC weaves in the US. But some venues can go as small as 3/4 inch diameter. The skinny poles do look different, but I haven’t seen dogs care too much about this difference. If they do notice it could be worthwhile making a set of Stick In The Ground Weave Poles, another set of weave poles, or visiting somewhere with those weave poles.

Vary It All

Lastly, vary the height and striping (and even diameter) of the poles within a single set of weaves to help your dog be ready for any thing they might see in the ring. Pay special attention to varying the first and last pairs of poles.

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